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Deloitte Consulting Winning Florida’s $135 Million Medicaid Contract Has Left Accenture and IBM Feeling a Bit Pissy

This blurb was buried in today’s Politico Florida Playbook column:

A $135 million Medicaid contract Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration awarded to Deloitte earlier this month is officially being protested by two competitors who say the process was flawed, state records show. IBM and Accenture, who also bid on the lucrative contract, filed documents with the Agency for Health Care Administration this week protesting the contract award. Their previously unreported complaints include the criteria being changed in the middle of the procurement process and what they said was the agency not fully factoring in Deloitte’s work on the state’s failed unemployment system.

We don’t have a subscription to Politico Pro so I wasn’t able to read what Matt Dixon wrote about Accenture’s and IBM’s claims that Florida’s bid-procurement process favored Deloitte Consulting. But the Tampa Bay Times posted an article last week that explains how inept Florida’s government is by awarding Deloitte the Medicare contract even though the firm built the state’s problematic CONNECT unemployment claims system and amassed millions of dollars in penalties:

A critical factor that boosted Deloitte’s odds in scoring the new contract was that the bidding process the agency created for the job of overhauling the state’s Medicaid data intentionally downplayed each company’s past performance.

Any fines levied against the companies by a government agency since 2014 counted for just 10 out of a possible 1,000 points. Despite being penalized $8 million during the duration of its work on Florida’s unemployment system — which was partially covered in the 5-year time frame — Deloitte scored a perfect 10 out of 10. (Deloitte representatives assert the firm has not had any involvement in Florida’s unemployment system since 2015.)

The company’s top competitor, Accenture, scored just 1 out of 10.

And although the Department of Economic Opportunity responded “no” when asked whether it would hire Deloitte again, the scoring system the state created does not appear to include penalties for a negative recommendation.

Deloitte also netted a positive recommendation from a different state agency for recent work. Accenture got positive marks from two state agencies — and no negative reviews.

In winning the Medicaid contract, Deloitte edged out Accenture by just 14 points, scoring 755 compared to 741. Although five companies bid on the project, including IBM, Deloitte and Accenture’s top scores allowed them to move on to negotiations with the state.

A state lawmaker, Sen. Janet Cruz, believes Deloitte edged out Accenture and its other competitors because of Big D’s political connections. WPTV, the NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, wrote:

Cruz doesn’t like the deal to begin with, given Deloitte’s history with Florida. She’s also concerned about the company’s lobbyist Jenn Ungru, who served as chief of staff for AHCA until 2015 before moving to the private sector.

While it’s common for lobbyists to have previously served in a government role, Cruz worries the connection may have inappropriately influenced the award and given Deloitte an edge over four other bidders.

“I’m not convinced in the least that this has been a fully transparent process,” she said. “I’ve said it before — I’ll say it again. This is the absolute fleecing of Floridians.”

Since we posted an article almost two weeks ago saying how stupid this love/hate relationship is between Florida and Deloitte, DeSantis said Deloitte most likely won the bid for the Medicare contract because it made the cheapest offer:

“They dropped their price so dramatically that it’s not clear to me that at that point they could have been denied it on neutral grounds,” said DeSantis. “Maybe if you inject this issue into it, but I’m just not sure they’re allowed to do it based on the law.”

DeSantis said state code forbade him from stepping in to freeze the contract. He did say he would support whatever could be done legally to put the deal on hold.

That’s because Ronny D. “doesn’t want Deloitte getting contracts personally, because we’re investigating what happened with the unemployment system,” according to FLAPOL.

This whole thing is a mess. Florida’s head doesn’t know what its ass is doing most of the time, it seems.

Should you really feel that bad for Accenture or IBM? Nah, they’ll be fine. But did Deloitte catch a break during this whole process? Hell yeah it did.

Florida agency downplayed Deloitte’s history with unemployment before awarding it $135m contract [Tampa Bay Times]
Florida lawmaker worries connection between Deloitte and AHCA influenced new contract [WPTV]
Gov. DeSantis can’t stop Deloitte Medicaid contract [FLAPOL]

Related article:

Awarding Deloitte a New State Contract Just Goes to Show That Florida’s Leadership Is Dumb