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CFO Sink Attends Ribbon Cutting of Consolidated Call Center, Saving Floridians Millions

5/4/2009


CONTACT:  Kyra Jennings or Nina Banister
                 (850) 413-2842
 
LARGO, FL — Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink toured the Department of Financial Services’ consolidated call center today, noting that the consolidation will generate over $2.2 million in annual savings while improving services to consumers.  CFO Sink was joined by Florida Representative Janet Long, Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce Chairman Derri Davisson and employees from the Largo call center. 
 
“Floridians expect us to spend their money as wisely and efficiently as possible, and I will continue to lead by example in these tough economic times,” CFO Sink said. “With help from Department of Financial Services’ employees, we found smart operational efficiencies that will generate millions in taxpayer savings without compromising customer service.  Finding cost savings is like peeling back the layers of an onion – everyday I am working to find more ways to cut costs and be responsible with Floridians’ precious tax dollars.”
 
In a brief ribbon cutting ceremony, CFO Sink, joined by local officials, celebrated the consolidated call center, which employs nearly 20 insurance consumer specialists.  She suggested that more state agencies may want to consider consolidation in these tough economic times.  Florida’s taxpayers will save over $2.2 million annually as a result of streamlining and consolidating the Department of Financial Services’ consumer call centers. 
 
CFO Sink determined that eliminating lease expenses for multiple call centers and expediting the timeline for consolidation from five years to seven months would generate greater savings immediately and on a recurring annual basis, creating even more savings for Florida’s taxpayers.  CFO Sink now has two high-quality service centers in Tallahassee and Largo, improving service and increasing customer satisfaction.
 
The consolidation was effective February 1, 2009.  In March, the Largo office, located at 11351 Ulmerton Road, Suite 240, answered nearly 3,400 calls and helped consumers recover more than $545,000 in claim payments and premium refunds.
 
Until CFO Sink’s consolidation, employees answering the consumer call center hotline were scattered throughout the state, without the benefit of frequent training or best practices initiatives.  All affected consumer service employees were given the opportunity to transfer to Tallahassee or Largo with moving cost assistance or were offered other positions within the Department.
 
For the past two years, CFO Sink has been an outspoken watchdog on behalf of Florida’s taxpayers, pursuing cost saving measures in the Department of Financial Services such as renegotiating contracts and cutting down on state-paid cell phones.  CFO Sink recently unveiled a new website, www.GetLeanFlorida.com, which allows citizens to offer tips on how to cut government waste and inefficiencies.