Judge Takes Aim at Prison Phone Contract

Posted: September 18, 2014 in News and politics

An administrative law judge said Thursday that the Florida Department of Corrections should toss out proposals by three companies to provide phone services to prison inmates.

The department gave notice this year it planned to award a contract to Global Tel Link, a move that drew protests from competitors CenturyLink Public Communications Inc., and Securus Technologies Inc.

The case focused, at least in part, on commissions that the department could receive and how those payments were factored into proposals submitted by the companies.

In a 53-page decision, Judge John D.C. Newton concluded that Global Tel Link and Securus did not properly include commissions in their pricing proposals.

“Commissions are also critical factors both to the price paid by inmates and their designees and the department, should it collect the revenue,” Newton wrote. “They are also an important variable considered by vendors when they construct their proposals. Basing a decision on prices that do not include commissions when the RFP (the department’s request for proposals) required including them, is contrary to competition, clearly erroneous, arbitrary, and capricious.”

Newton called for the rejection of all three proposals.

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