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Profiles in Government: A Closer Look at the Florida Department of Commerce

The department, which is poised for an annual IT budget of $41.1 million, promotes economic opportunities for Floridians through workforce, community and economic development strategies.

Closeup of a pile of $100 bills.
The Florida Department of Commerce (FloridaCommerce) aims to implement policies and strategies to help provide economic opportunities for all Floridians.

Below is more information about the agency, including who leads it, how many staff the department employs and what it does.


Budget: $827 million overall, with a $41.1 million budget for information technology, according to the Legislature’s recently approved budget.

Leadership: Paul Forrester is the agency’s chief information officer, and Ryan Tolia is the chief information security officer.

Staff: The agency has about 4,939 employees, according to budget documents.


Within FloridaCommerce, there are several divisions and offices, including the Division of Community Development, the Division of Finance and Administration, the Division of Workforce Services and the Division of Economic Development. The agency also operates the Office for Civil Rights, the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Economic Accountability and Transparency.

Overall, the department’s mission is to “[assist] the governor in advancing Florida’s economy by championing the state’s economic development vision and by administering state and federal programs and initiatives to help visitors, citizens, businesses and communities,” according to the agency’s website.

A few pieces of the agency’s IT budget include $6.9 million for data processing services from the Northwest Regional Data Center and $835,200 to switch from the Florida Accounting Information Resource System to a new Planning, Accounting and Ledger Management system.

More information about the agency’s potential IT spend can be found online.
Katya Diaz is an Orlando-based e.Republic staff writer. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in global strategic communications from Florida International University.