The Attorney General of Florida firmly believes in the principle that government must be accountable to the people. The Florida Constitution – the document that sets forth our rights as citizens of this great state – provides that the public has the right to know how government officials at all levels spend taxpayer dollars and make the decisions affecting their lives. As such, the principle of open government is one that must guide everything done in government for its public.
Florida is among the nation’s leaders in providing for public access to government meetings and records. However, simply allowing access to records is no longer enough in light of the technological advances that make it infinitely easier, cheaper and more efficient to provide information to people far and wide.
The Office of the Attorney General has launched the Government Accountability Project (GAP), in partnership with the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, with the objective of encouraging state and local government entities to be proactive in providing Florida’s citizens the information and records they need to hold government accountable. This web site is part of the GAP initiative. Here, the Attorney General’s Office will strive to provide Florida consumers with useful information disclosing how the agency operates. This office will strive to serve as an example for other government entities to follow.
In addition to the GAP, the Attorney General is promoting transparency in private attorney contracting and is holding the Attorney General’s Office out as an example of what such transparency should be. While the Attorney General’s Office functions as the state’s first and foremost legal representation, private attorney contracts are often used to ensure the appropriate resources and expertise can be dedicated to specific cases and issues when necessary.
To enhance the transparency of the process and thus the ability of citizens to hold their government accountable, the Attorney General must make a written determination, prior to entering into a contract with an outside legal counsel, that the representation is both cost-effective and in the public’s best interest. The Attorney General also requests proposals from private attorneys before determining which attorneys will represent the agency on a given case.
Copies of the contract and the written determination will now be available for public inspection on the Attorney General’s website no later than five days after the date the contract becomes effective. Any private attorney chosen for a contingency-fee case must maintain detailed records of time spent and work performed on the case. The payment of any contingency fees received through the contract would also be posted online within 15 days. This will ensure that when private counsel contracts are necessary, the public is aware of the circumstances and is well-informed of the decision-making process.
To help in this ongoing effort and make this site as useful as possible, The Attorney General of Florida invites you to tell us what types of public records would help you hold your government accountable.
Downloadable Org Chart in .pdf format
You can download the current budget in PDF format (11KB)
|2014-15 Budget Requests
To view the Department of Legal Affairs' budget requests online, click the link above.
Searchable database of current agency contracts
Reports are available at www.oppaga.state.fl.us
|GAP Phase 1 Report
Downloadable GAP Phase 1 Report in .pdf format