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October 15, 1987



Section 17.03, Florida Statutes, charges the Comptroller with the responsibility to examine, audit, and settle all accounts, claims, and demands, whatsoever, against the State, and issue a warrant in an amount allowed by the Comptroller thereon. Therefore, unless an agency is exercising its independent statutory authority to settle accounts, claims, or demands against the State, an agency must submit any proposed settlement agreement to the Office of the Comptroller for approval prior to execution, or in the alternative, an agency may execute a provisional settlement agreement which under its terms will become effective only upon the Comptroller's subsequent approval.

In submitting proposed or provisional agreements, an agency must also submit the following information:

  1. A description, with appropriate supporting documentation of the transactions or events that created the claim against the agency;

  2. A brief explanation of why the settlement is in the State's best interest under the circumstances;

  3. Copies of the notices required to be given the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives pursuant to Section 45.062, Florida Statutes;

  4. A certification from the agency's chief financial officer that the proposed expenditure is provided for by an existing appropriation or program established by law as required by Section 45.062, Florida Statutes; and

  5. Any other information that the Office of the Comptroller may request in order to properly perform its duties pursuant to Section 17.03, Florida Statutes.

For the purpose of this memorandum:

  1. Settlement is defined as an agreement obligating the State or agency to expend State funds to discharge a debt due a person, entity, or group of persons when the amount owed pursuant to a contract, purchase order, or other form of indebtedness is in dispute.

  2. A settlement expenditure is provided for by an existing appropriation or program established by law when:

    1. the existing appropriation would have been the source of payment for the goods or services in question if there had not been a dispute; or

    2. the existing program was established for the purpose of administering claims against the State, such as settlement payments made from the Florida Casualty Insurance Risk Management Trust Fund pursuant to Section 284.30, Florida Statutes.

Proposed and provisional settlement agreements should be submitted to Dan McCall, Chief, Bureau of Auditing, 1101 The Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-0350. The Bureau of Auditing will review information submitted with the proposed or provisional settlement agreement and determine the appropriate action to be taken on such settlement.

Effective November 1, 1987, no settlement agreement payment voucher will be approved for payment by the Bureau of Auditing without the Comptroller's approval being included in the voucher. If a settlement voucher is submitted for payment without the required prior approval, a delay in payment may be required in order to review the settlement agreement and determine the appropriate action.

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