Home > Your Government > Departments > Director, Internal Services

Tara C. Smith - Director

Ms. Smith was appointed Director of the Internal Services Department (ISD) in 2015, where she oversees 995 full time employees with an operating budget of $317 million. Ms. Smith is responsible for a wide array of services in support of other County departments who serve the community directly.

In Facilities Management, ISD manages and maintains over 6 million square feet of office and multi-use spaces and infrastructure, a complex power distribution grid and two district cooling loops in downtown Miami that feed seven County facilities; and regulates private and public elevators throughout most of Miami-Dade County. In Fleet Management, ISD provides centralized fleet maintenance services to over 11,000 pieces of light and heavy fleet equipment across most County departments; manages the planning and procurement of all countywide vehicles through the 5 Year Vehicle Replacement Plan; provides diesel and unleaded fuel to County and municipal customers across 29 fueling stations countywide. ISD’s Fleet Management Division was ranked #1 in the country by 100 Best Fleet in 2019 and was recognized by Government Fleet Magazine with the 50 Leading Fleets Award for 2020 in the United States.

The ISD Program Management Office manages over $330 million in capital projects and provides support to other departments in space planning, engineering, and architectural services. Ms. Smith has gained considerable knowledge and experience in alternative project delivery methods, managing the County’s first Public Private Partnership (P3) project team. Recent approval of a contract to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the New Civil Courthouse will be the County’s first social infrastructure P3 project and one of the first in the country, which has been recognized as a finalist for P3 Project of the Year. Since then, the department has led the solicitation processes for multiple mass transit and development projects that exceed $4 billion to date, in addition to ongoing development projects such as the Downtown Master Plan which will help effectively position the County’s portfolio of properties in the central business district within the commercial real estate market. The considerable expansion of P3 and other joint development projects managed by the department in the past year led to the recent creation of the County’s first Office of P3 Development within ISD. This office will be responsible for providing strategic guidance and project management services for the planning and development of large countywide infrastructure and joint development projects across County departments.

Through the Strategic Procurement Division, Ms. Smith oversees centralized procurement services for all County departments, including the contracting of all goods and services contracts estimated at $3 billion a year, and the procurement of architectural and engineering services countywide. ISD was selected as the 2020 recipient of not one, but four prestigious awards. Two awards were earned from the Florida Association of Public Procurement: Best Practice Award – Innovation in the Procurement Process and the Excellence in Public Procurement Award; the National Institute of Public Procurement’s Outstanding Agency Accreditation Achievement Award; and the National Procurement Institute’s 25th Annual Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award. Procurement works closely with ISD’s Small Business Development division to ensure that County contracts are meeting goals to support small and local businesses. There are currently 1,908 total Small and Disadvantaged Businesses certified with SBD. $271M or 21% of total contract award of $1.3B was awarded to small businesses. In Real Estate Development, Ms. Smith manages over 1,235 acres of land owned by ISD and oversees more than 4,700 parcels of County land. Real Estate Development acts as the real estate agent on behalf of County departments. The Risk Management division oversees the County’s self-insured program, administers workers’ compensation, tort-liability, property & casualty, and the County’s safety program. In Materials Management, ISD manages the capital inventory of all County departments, provides internal printing services, and provides for the disposition of County property.

Before joining ISD, Ms. Smith was second in command at the Elections Department as Chief Deputy Supervisor of Elections, managing the largest elections operation in the state and supporting three presidential elections. As a special assignment, she was later appointed as part of the County’s Management Watch Team to turn around the Jackson Health System, consistently proving her abilities as a consensus builder and problem solver.

Prior to joining the County in 2004 as part of the County’s Management Trainee program, Ms. Smith worked in the non-profit sector managing a volunteer program within the juvenile justice system. After obtaining a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, she joined the public sector and has shown proven leadership skills throughout her career. She holds professional certifications from the Elections Center, the Building Owners and Managers Association, and the Project Management Institute.