How much did Deloitte Consulting lowball Accenture, IBM, and a couple other bidders to win Florida’s $135 million contract to modernize the state’s Medicaid system? No one is saying, even though state law says bids become public information upon the state announcing the winning bidder, the Tampa Bay Times reported on Aug 24. So according to that statute, the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration should have announced Deloitte’s winning bid amount on Aug. 3. But the agency didn’t.
Florida officials are refusing to say how much Deloitte Consulting bid on a potential $135 million contract to handle the state’s Medicaid data, claiming the company believes the information is a “trade secret” and not releasable under the state’s public records law.
Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration is now asking Deloitte and its four competitors to get a judge to say why their bid amounts should not be considered public records. If the companies want to avoid the legal route, they could remove their claim that the information is a trade secret and allow the release of the information.
“The Agency wants and intends to release all documents absent valid confidentiality,” Fred Piccolo, spokesman for Gov. Ron DeSantis, said in a statement. “(The Agency for Health Care Administration) encourages all parties to seek judicial review quickly.”
The only reason we kinda know Deloitte made the lowest bid is because of a comment DeSantis made earlier this month discussing the Medicaid contract:
“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.”
Florida law allows companies to claim details are a “trade secret” to avoid having them released under the state’s public records law, according to the Tampa Bay Times. But the state supposedly has refused to accept bids in the past from companies that claim their total bid amount is a trade secret.
So why was Deloitte’s bid not refused if the firm was hiding behind the “trade secret” excuse? Here’s why:
The state chose not to include that prohibition when taking bids for the Medicaid data project, which was advertised last year.
The lack of transparency in this whole situation is just mind-blowing. No wonder Accenture and IBM filed protests with the state over Deloitte winning the Medicaid contract, which has put the deal on hold for the time being.
If I had to guess how this all plays out, Deloitte is going to do whatever it takes to make sure its bid amount isn’t made public, then Florida (only because of public pressure) is going to do whatever it takes to nullify Deloitte’s winning bid, and Deloitte will end up taking the state to court.
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Deloitte Consulting Winning Florida’s $135 Million Medicaid Contract Has Left Accenture and IBM Feeling a Bit Pissy