FCIR, the Florida Center for Investigate Reporting has published a story about vendor fraud. FCIR is one Florida’s last hopes for continued professional investigative journalism.
According to the article, a vendor for a number of Florida’s on-line public schools, “K12″ has been ripping -off taxpayers by fraudulently submitting bills for services rendered. Allegedly, K12 has been billing taxpayers for “certified” instructors when in fact the instructors actually doing the teaching were lower paid and less qualified.
The FCIR piece claims that K12 leadership attempted to pressure certified instructors into falsifying documents in order to make it look like K12 was delivering services as agreed. K12 is a publicly traded company valued at more than $864 million. The company was founded by William Bennett, the former Secretary of Eduction under Ronald Reagan.
It has long been my contention that MANY state contractors are ripping-off the taxpayers of Florida. In spite of our liberal open government laws and the fact that many contractors are subject to those laws just like the agencies that awarded their contracts, few contractors will tolerate scrutiny. It should come as no surprise that companies like K12 play fast and loose with the terms of their contracts. Whose watching them?