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CFO Sink Announces Plan to Cut $5 Million by Consolidating State Call Centers

7/10/2008

CONTACT: Tara Klimek or Kevin Cate
(850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE— Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today 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 customer satisfaction.
 
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 budget.
 
“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.”
 
Earlier this year, CFO Sink directed her department to conduct a high-level feasibility analysis to determine the potential savings and customer service benefits of consolidating regional service offices for DFS.  The study concluded that maintaining DFS regional service offices is critical to delivering a high level of customer service for Floridians; however, DFS’ consumer hotline could be more efficiently operated and improved.
 
CFO Sink’s department provides essential consumer protections throughout the state including, but not limited to: educational consumer outreach, insurance fraud investigations, workers’ compensation enforcement, arson investigations, funeral and cemetery licensing, agent and agency licensing, and financial literacy workshops.
 
For several years, DFS consumer service specialists answering the hotline have been scattered throughout the state, without the benefit of frequent training or best practices initiatives.  CFO Sink’s plan to consolidate call centers will increase the quality of customer service Floridians are receiving while saving taxpayers millions.
 
“By consolidating resources while improving customer service, CFO Sink is being more efficient with Floridians’ tax dollars,” said Dominic Calabro, President and Chief Executive Officer of Florida TaxWatch.  “This is exactly the kind of savings our leaders should be implementing to better serve the people of Florida.”
 
Effective February 1, 2009, consumer service specialists for the DFS hotline will work in one of two offices in Largo or Tallahassee.  All affected Consumer Service employees have the opportunity to transfer to Tallahassee or Largo with up to $2,000 in moving cost assistance.  Any employees choosing to remain in their communities have preferential consideration for other DFS vacancies.
 
All DFS regional service offices and outreach coordinators will continue providing high-level service to the people of Florida. 

As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink  oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.