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June 20, 1986

COMPTROLLER'S MEMORANDUM NO. 20 (1985-86)

SUBJECT: AUDIT AND ADJUSTMENTS OF ACCOUNTS AND RECOVERY OF ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE


Attached is a copy of our rule, Chapter 3A-21, Florida Administrative Code (F. A. C.), Audit and Adjustment of Accounts and Recovery of Accounts Receivable, which became effective January 8, 1986. These rules are not applicable to those State agencies exercising their specific independent statutory authority to collect, settle, adjust, or charge off delinquent accounts receivable or other specific accounts of the agency.

Chapter 3A-21, F. A. C., establishes the general procedures under which the Bureau of Auditing administers:

  1. Requests for adjustments of agency State-owned tangible personal property records;
  2. Processing of delinquent accounts receivable (write-offs);
  3. Voluntary and involuntary recovery of nonsalary sums due the State from State officers and employees; and
  4. Requests for approval of settlements of claims in favor of the State.

All requests received by the Bureau which do not contain all the information and/or approvals prescribed in the applicable rule may be returned indicating the information and/or approvals needed to complete the request. The request should not be resubmitted until all information and/or approvals indicated as being needed have been obtained and made a part of the request.

Adjustments of Property Records

Prior to making a recommendation to the Comptroller pursuant to Section 3A-21.02, F. A. C., the Bureau will evaluate and make recommendations, if applicable, for the agency's procedures and efforts to safeguard its property, report losses, and recover reasonable cost of lost State-owned tangible personal property. There will be no recommendation of approval until the agency, in the opinion of the Bureau, has made appropriate efforts to recover reasonable cost of assets lost and established adequate procedures to prevent future losses.

Delinquent Accounts Receivable

Upon receipt of the information required by Section 3A-21.03, F. A. C., the Bureau will evaluate the agency's collection procedures and efforts to determine if the agency has exhausted all its lawful means to collect. If in the opinion of the Bureau, the agency has not exhausted all its lawful means, the request may be returned recommending that the agency pursue additional means to collect.

Returned checks received by an agency are accounts receivable and shall be processed by the Bureau in the same manner as other receivables.

Recovery of Nonsalary Sums Due the State from State Officers and Employees

Voluntary

When a determination is made that a repayment of the amount due the State is to be made in installments, whether through payroll deductions or otherwise, the repayment schedule must be approved by the Bureau. When the individual is a member of the staff of another agency and payroll deductions are to be made, the collecting agency must provide the other agency's personnel office a deduction request form signed by the individual and should obtain a promissory note from the individual. When installment repayments are to be made by means other than through payroll deduction, the collecting agency should obtain a promissory note from the individual.

If a preapproved promissory note format is used and the repayment schedule for payroll deductions and other methods of payment meet the guidelines established in Section 3A-21.04(3), F. A. C., the Bureau's approval of notes and schedules may be obtained verbally; if not, all documentation must be submitted to the Bureau for review and action.

It is the responsibility of the collecting agency to maintain a full accounting of all repayment accounts whether they are payroll deduction or not. This includes appropriate communication with the employing agency of persons who are repaying via payroll deduction to insure that the proper amount is deducted for each account.

Attached are samples of a promissory note and payroll deduction request to assist agencies in establishing needed forms.

Involuntary

As stated in Section 3A-21.04, F. A.. C., "Involuntary deduction from wage payments shall be considered as an extreme remedy and shall be used only where other reasonable efforts have failed." Therefore, the requesting agency must provide the Bureau with sufficient information to substantiate:

  1. The validity of the debts (i.e., judgments, final orders, returned checks, etc.);
  2. That a diligent effort was made to recover the amount due through voluntary means (i.e., rejected written offer by the agency to allow the individual to repay the agency in equitable installments over a reasonable period of time); and
  3. That all applicable due process requirements were met (i.e., rejection of or failure to request a hearing pursuant to Section 120.57, Florida Statutes (F.S.), final orders, judgments, etc.)

Once the Bureau approves an involuntary payroll deduction, the Bureau will advise all parties involved of the repayment schedule and direct the appropriate agency to initiate the payroll deduction. It will be the responsibility of the requesting (collecting) agency to maintain a full accounting of the account which includes appropriate communication with the individual's agency to insure that the proper amount is collected.

Settlement of Claims

The accepting of an amount less than the total amount due the State as full payment of the debt, which includes any interest or service charges provided by statute, is a settlement. All settlements whether in the form of a written two-party agreement or a note must be approved by the Bureau before the settlement becomes effective. If the settlement is in the form of a written agreement, the collecting agency may submit for approval a nonexecuted agreement or an executed agreement which contains a provision that the agreement become effective only upon its approval by the State of Florida, Department of Banking and Finance.

In order for the Bureau to recommend to the Comptroller pursuant to Section 3A-21.05 (4), F. A. C., that the settlement be approved, the Bureau must be satisfied that the settlement is in the best interest of the State.

Please contact the Bureau of Auditing at 410-9194, Suncom 210-9194, if you have questions concerning this matter.

THIS MEMORANDUM INCLUDED ATTACHMENTS WHICH CANNOT BE TRANSMITTED. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO OBTAIN THESE DOCUMENTS, PLEASE CALL THE BUREAU OF AUDITING AT 488-4094, SUNCOM 278-4094.