Citizens Property Insurance plans to ask its board of governors to change a process that allows the company to approve contracts in emergency situations without competitive bidding.
Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink said Thursday that the move is one of several resulting from recent meetings her office had with Citizens officials about its contracts.
"I commend Citizens for taking steps to change its policy to encourage more competitive bidding, and to only enter into an emergency contract when there is a true emergency," Sink wrote in a letter to Citizens CEO Scott Wallace.
Sink wrote that the state-backed insurer will beef up training for managers and employees that deal with contracts to streamline the process: "Citizens' competitive bidding process does not need to move too slowly for the company's business needs...By streamlining the competitive bidding process, and planning ahead within business units, Citizens will no longer need to rely on 'emergency' procurement. "
A Sun Sentinel examination of Citizens' no-bid contracts worth more than $25,000 showed that the insurer claimed it was dealing with emergencies in 14 contracts, that only one company provided the needed service 12 times and that other exemptions applied in seven instances. Together, the 33 unbid contracts were worth up to $49 million.