The Florida Legislature
OPPAGA script logo
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Information Brief: Improvements Needed in Cost Management For Corrections Health Services and Overtime, Report No. 02-096, November 2001
Full report in PDF format

The Auditor General and OPPAGA jointly reviewed certain Department of Corrections budgetary processes and expenditures pertaining to inmate health services and correctional officer overtime. Our review included department actions relating to the privatization of Region IV health services. We made the following determinations:

The Region IV Contract

  • Legal challenges of the department’s request for proposals (RFP) and contracting processes delayed implementation of the contract for privatizing Region IV inmate health services into the next fiscal year.
  • Estimated cost savings for contract year one of the Region IV privatization total about $2.46 million, based on our comparisons of contracted per diems with the RFP’s per diem estimates.
  • The structure of the Region IV health services contract may restrict future efforts to fully evaluate the costs associated with privatizing inmate health services.
  • The Region IV health services contract includes many essential monitoring provisions. The department should develop and provide for legislative consideration an annual funding plan for contract monitoring.
  • Delays in finalizing the Region IV health services contract contributed to a department wide increase of $8 million in professional medical services expenditures. Such additional costs appear to counteract any cost savings that may result from the privatization.
  • To complement future determinations of cost savings, the department should track the transportation and security costs related to medical services.

Health Services Budgeting

  • Enhancing the population-based budgetary estimates to reflect the influence of other important cost factors would provide a more reliable basis for determining and managing health services appropriations.
  • The Legislature should adopt a separate budget category for privatized health services.
  • The department needs to report to the Legislature when unanticipated or extraordinary correctional health costs occur.

Correctional Officer Overtime

  • Overtime is a necessary element of department efforts to provide secure correctional institutions. The department annually spends about $16 million on correctional officer and correctional probation officer overtime.
  • The department has established new criteria for determining when correctional officers should work overtime, but the criteria’s effect on overtime costs is not yet known.
  • The department has not implemented an automated roster management system, which is essential to the effective management of security staffing, including overtime.
  • An incentive program to reward officers who demonstrate good work attendance may help reduce the need for overtime.
  • To assist in controlling costs, improvements are needed in department timekeeping records for correctional officer overtime.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Health Services
Security and Institutional Operations
Department of Corrections

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 09-07 Steps to Control Prison Inmate Health Care Costs Have Begun to Show Savings, published in January 2009.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
e-mail address:

Reports  |  Home