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CFO Sink Announces over $1 Million in Savings with "Going Green, Saving Green" Paperless Efforts

11/23/2009

CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Kevin Cate, 850-413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE — Florida CFO Alex Sink today announced that her Department of Financial Services has realized over $1 million in savings for Florida’s taxpayers by launching numerous paperless efforts.  Overall, CFO Sink's Department has cut print volume in half since 2007.  CFO Sink highlighted some of the “Going Green, Saving Green” efforts and unveiled a new legislative proposal to require electronic payments, in an attempt to cut costs and modernize government actions.
 
“We are always looking for more efficient and cost-effective ways to do the business of the state and by taking this modern, electronic approach we are able to save over one million dollars for the taxpayers and do our part to help the environment,” said CFO Sink. “We live in the 21st century, and by taking steps to go paperless we have modernized many of our services, making them more accessible and cutting costs.”
 
At her press conference, CFO Sink highlighted a few initiatives that exemplify the Department's “Going Green, Saving Green” efforts.  Some examples include posting annual reports and training manuals online, communicating with agents licensed by the Department by email only, and eliminating the printing of receipts for electronic reimbursements.
 
CFO Sink also announced that in the next legislative session she will push for changes to allow her Department to require electronic funds transfer (EFT) payments, instead of paper warrants to and from certain companies that do business with the state.  It costs the state $4.18 per payment for a paper warrant and only $0.77 to send a payment electronically.
 
“Given the dramatic cost difference, electronic payment requirements just make sense -- they are one more way to modernize the business of the state and save money,” CFO Sink continued. “My number one priority here in Tallahassee is to make sure taxpayer dollars are being used wisely, while improving service to the citizens of Florida.”
 
For the past two years, CFO Sink has been an outspoken watchdog on behalf of Florida’s taxpayers.  Because of cost saving and efficiency measures encouraged by CFO Sink, the Department of Financial Services is projected to save over $5 million in 2009 alone.
 
Since coming into office, CFO Sink has undertaken measures such as consolidating the Department’s 11 consumer call centers into 2 call centers, renegotiating existing contracts, and cutting Department wireless costs by 37 percent.
 
At www.GetLeanFlorida.com, citizens can offer tips on how to cut government waste and inefficiencies.  Get Lean has already received approximately 1,300 citizen suggestions since March 2009 about how state government can rein in wasteful spending and has passed these tips along to the agencies for action.  For more information visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com.
 

 
Going Green, Saving Green Efforts By Division
 
 
Division of Accounting and Auditing:

• Eliminated printing of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR): $10,000 per year
• Statewide: Discontinued printing employee reimbursement receipts: $85,000 per year
Division of Administration:
• Printer consolidation to multi-function devices that allow scanning and emailing of information and digital filing.

Division of Agent & Agency Services:

• Replaced most outgoing correspondence with an e-mail notification directing licensees to their online account to view information: $350,000 per year
• Jan 2010: Will send e-mails to licensees with updates to licensing record and pending application status.
• June 2010: Will send ad-hoc e-mails directly from the licensing database for all records maintained in the system or any subset of records.
• Eliminated record storage of investigative case files:  $3,100 per year

Division of Consumer Services:

• Consolidation and on-line posting of consumer brochures: $38,304 to date
Division of Funeral and Cemetery Services:
• Use of CD instead of paper copies for Board packets: $1,200 per Board meeting

Division of Information Systems:

• Statewide: Eliminated agency printing on financial data that was already available through a secure web site: 3.7 million sheets of paper and over $22,000  to date
• Print volume has been cut in half: $137,390 in Fiscal Year 08-09

Division of Insurance Fraud:

• 500-page Policy Manual is now on-line instead of printed: $5,000 per year
• P-card reconciliation report scanned and saved electronically rather than printing a hard copy.
• Scan hard copy citizen’s complaints into the ACISS database rather than sending hard copies throughout the state: $1,000 per year
• Anti-fraud plans are reviewed, stored, approved, and updated on-line rather than running hard copies.
• Various pamphlets available on-line rather than sending hard copies through the mail.
• DTO Program is now on-line rather than hard copy manuals for new hires and Field Training Officers.

Division of Legal Services:

• Electronic Return Receipt Mailings: $ 10,000 per year
Postage Reduction using IServe: $85,375 to date
• Eliminated the need for plaintiffs lawyers to submit a second copy of service documents to DFS: reducing paper intake by 1.5 million pages per year.

Division of Rehab and Liquidation:

• Move to online documents such as court orders, proof of claim forms, W-9 forms: $11,780 to date
• Two-sided printing of correspondence: $5,861 to date

Division of Risk Management:

• Increase in electronic payments (ACH) to claimants: $8,575 to date
• Electronic Return Receipt Mailing: $3,152 per year
• Transmission of claim files to liability defense attorneys electronically.

Division of the State Fire Marshal:

• Increased use of CD-Rom vs. Digital Photos for Laboratory Public Records Requests: $8,280 to date
• Reduction in Laboratory case file documentation: $8,361 to date
• Use of e-mail to transmit inspections and plan review docs: $4,295 to date

Division of the Treasury:

• Publishing the Treasurer’s Annual Report on the website, instead of printing 300 copies:  $740 per year
• Stopped printing daily statements and started saving them to the network drive: Over 1 million pages of paper and $5,948 to date
• Only print EFT Notices of Change upon agency request:  700 pages per week
• Trust Business Annual Reports are now emailed to the approximate 100 applicable customers as opposed to being mailed in hard copies.
• Monthly reports to agency regulators (i.e.: DOT, Lottery, OIR) are now provided in electronic form via email as opposed to being mailed in hard copies.
• On-line enrolling with all of the investment vendors.

Division of Workers Compensation:

• Increased Use of CD-Rom Florida Statutes: $2,030
• Electronic Return Receipt Mailings: $5,200  (Since March 2009)
• Implementation of mandatory Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) submission for the four primary workers' compensation claim forms.

As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, CFO Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services.  A successful businesswoman with nearly three decades of experience in the private sector, Sink is serving her first term as Florida's CFO.  As CFO, Sink's priorities include using her business experience to cut wasteful government spending, cracking down on financial and insurance fraud and reforming the state government's contracting practices.