Volume 5 Number 28 July 11, 2008
CONSUMER SERVICES HELPLINE
This week, CFO Alex Sink announced a
plan to consolidate the Department of Financial Services’
(DFS) eleven consumer call centers, resulting in an
estimated taxpayer savings of $5 million over the next five
years. Florida TaxWatch called this “exactly the kind of
savings our leaders should be implementing to better serve
the people of Florida.”
As a reader of CFO Sink’s
eViews, you join over half a million Floridians
currently receiving a weekly update on important work and
announcements like this one that can save you time or money.
Whether events, notifications, or money saving tips, this
newsletter gets information directly to those who need it
The eViews newsletter also offers a link to
where you have access to the thirteen divisions and programs
available to Floridians as well as information for
consumers, agents and adjusters, employers, and state
After announcing her tax savings plan, CFO Sink said the
“people in our state are looking for innovative and
effective ways of increasing productivity, while not
sacrificing customer service.”
Thank you for reading CFO Sink’s eViews and for your
interest in the critical issues affecting Floridians.
CFO SINK TO APPEAR ON DATELINE NBC
CFO Alex Sink will be featured on NBC’s
Dateline NBC Monday night at 10 p.m. Tune in as Tiki Barber
leads a team of 'on-air detectives,' including NBC News'
Peter Alexander and Tamron Hall, as they cross the country
helping states crack some of their toughest, unsolved
Dateline NBC assisted CFO Sink’s Bureau
of Unclaimed Property in tracking down the heirs of an
invaluable medal of service, which was turned over to the
State of Florida.
Tune in to "You Might Be Rich!" Monday
at 10pmET/PT on NBC and visit
www.FLTreasureHunt.org to see if you have a missing
CFO SINK ANNOUNCES PLAN TO CUT
$5 MILLION BY CONSOLIDATING STATE CALL CENTERS
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced a plan
to consolidate the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS)
eleven consumer call centers, resulting in an estimated
taxpayer savings of $5 million over the next five years. CFO
Sink’s plan calls for two high-quality service centers in
Tallahassee and Largo to improve service and increase
The call center consolidation is consistent with CFO Sink’s
direction to ensure responsible stewardship of state funds,
and the Florida Legislature’s directive to state agencies to
find operational reductions to help balance the state’s
“The people in our state are looking for innovative and
effective ways of increasing productivity, while not
sacrificing customer service,” said CFO Sink, who oversees
the department. “Over the next five years, this plan will
save millions in tax dollars and set a new standard for
government efficiency in tight economic times.”
CFO SINK SWEARS IN NEW LAW
On Monday, CFO Sink joined State Senator Bill Posey in
opening an innovative Insurance Fraud Academy for
investigators within the Divisions of Insurance Fraud and
Workers' Compensation, in addition to the State Fire
Located at the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy in Quincy,
investigators will participate in an eight-week course aimed
at increasing effectiveness of anti-fraud efforts across the
state. Graduates of the academy will be better trained and
more prepared to protect Florida citizens. While
congratulating the first class of participants, CFO Sink
also swore in detectives from both divisions and promoted
Senator Bill Posey and CFO Alex Sink
Are you the chief
financial officer of your family? Are you always
looking out for the best deals, wise investments and
smart moves for your family's financial security?
As your family's fiscal watch dog, keep an eye on
this column for money-smart ideas from the Chief
Financial Officer of Florida,
sure your home is protected from a flood
midst of hurricane season, Florida residents should take the
time to prepare themselves and their homes for possible
As a homeowner, there are a variety of things you can do to
protect your property against floods. Florida flood maps are issued by the Federal
Emergency Management Agency and are available at
Many Floridians are surprised to learn that homeowners'
insurance may not cover flood damage.
Homeowners' insurance usually covers damage from wind, but
not from flooding. If you desire flood insurance
coverage, you must purchase a separate flood insurance
You can purchase these policies from the federal
government through private insurance agents and agencies.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) establishes one set of
policy terms and rates for the various flood insurance
policies. As a result, comparison-shopping for flood
insurance is not necessary, but a buyer should carefully
discuss and review the conditions and requirements of the
applicable flood insurance policy with his or her agent.
Information on flood insurance is available at
www.floodsmart.gov or you can contact the NFIP
directly at (888) 379-9531. However, unless you are
purchasing insurance in connection with a new home or
refinancing a mortgage, you should be advised there is a
standard 30-day waiting period from the day of purchase
before a new flood policy goes into effect.
IT'S STORM SEASON, FLORIDA
The first hurricane of the season has formed and is an important reminder
about the importance of being prepared. From June 1 through November 30,
Floridians should keep a watchful eye on the weather , especially if a
storm is developing.
If you haven't already, now is the time to review and
update your insurance policies, develop an emergency communication
plan, make a hurricane preparedness kit, and create a home inventory.
CFO Sink has prepared a financial tool kit for Floridians to help them
The kit provides essential financial information and a complete set of
documents to aid in recovery. Print
it out to get the financial tools you need. You may
have a tool kit mailed to you by calling our Consumer Helpline at
For additional about how to prepare for a storm, visit
DON'T WAIT - SIGN UP NOW FOR YOUR MY SAFE
FLORIDA HOME WIND INSPECTION
As of Friday, July 11, 2008, the popular first-come, first-serve My Safe
Florida Home (MSFH) program has less than 5,000 free wind inspections remaining for
eligible Florida homeowners. If you have not already done so,
on this link to fill out the application for your wind inspection now.
The Florida Legislature directed the MSFH program to provide wind
inspections for at least 400,000 site-built, single-family homes and the
program expects to exceed that goal in the next few days.
The program previously met its goals for awarding matching grants in May
after providing grants to at
least 35,000 applicants.
Participating homeowners receive a free wind inspection
report, which suggests ways homeowners can harden their
homes against storm damage and informs homeowners if they
are currently eligible to save money on their wind insurance
premiums. To date, 58 percent of homeowners who have
received a free wind inspection were eligible for discounts
on their wind insurance premiums, averaging $219.31
SCAMMERS USE EMAIL, FAX TO POSE
The Internal Revenue Service cautions taxpayers to be on the
lookout for a new wave of scams using the IRS name in
identity theft e-mails, or phishing, that have circulated
during the last two months.
In May and June alone, taxpayers reported almost 700
separate phishing incidents to the IRS. In 2008 so far,
taxpayers have reported about 1,600 phishing incidents to
“Taxpayers should take steps to keep their personal
information out of the hands of identity thieves,” said IRS
Commissioner Doug Shulman. “That includes not falling for
any of the phony e-mails or faxes now in circulation
pretending to come from the IRS.”
The most common scams involve tax refunds and, this year,
economic stimulus payments.
Although most of these scams consist of e-mails requesting
detailed personal information, the IRS generally does not
send e-mails to taxpayers, does not discuss tax account
matters with taxpayers in e-mails, and does not request
security-related personal information, such as PIN numbers,
CFO SINK: PUTNAM COUNTY VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER
SUSPECTED ON CHARGES OF ARSON
State Fire Marshal Alex Sink Friday announced the arrest of
a Putnam County volunteer firefighter on charges of
Detectives from the State Fire Marshal’s Office arrested
Charles M. Jones III, 19, for first degree arson. White is a
volunteer firefighter with the Georgetown Volunteer Fire
Department within Putnam County.
White was arrested after confessing to setting fire to an
older unoccupied mobile home. He is currently being held at
the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is a law
enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal
that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement
agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin.
Anyone with information about this case or any incident of
fire is asked to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON).