|By Charles Elmore, The Palm Beach Post, Fla.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The "market conduct examination" by the state's
Spending on vendor contracts accounts for about
"In some instances there was a large price differential between the chosen vendor's contract price and a lower bidder's price," the report said. As of June, the report found 499 out of 903 contracts were not competitively bid for various reasons.
The state report concludes "a more detailed review" of procurement is warranted and an additional report is scheduled.
On claim handling and complaints, the report found what it called minor procedural or operational errors but overall "Citizens operates in a timely manner, responding to consumers within one or two days with few errors."
But other areas drew more attention: "Our review of the procurement and of travel expense reimbursement processes, however, indicates that, while Citizens follows its written procedures, existing procedures may be deficient. "
Among the report's recommendations on travel: Citizens should "increase supervision over spending and revise the reimbursement policies to adhere to more specific guidelines." It also urged more video conferencing in place of face-to-face meetings.
The company's response in the report says, "A more stringent travel policy that applies to all Citizens' employees and senior management was implemented in
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