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Division Director

Paul Whitfield

Assistant Director

Mark Merry

Accounting and Auditing
200 East Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0318

(850) 413-5510
June 16, 1995



Budget cuts enacted by the 1995 Legislature resulted in the deletion of all staff positions that comprised the Vendor Ombudsman Section within the Bureau of Special Programs. We are still charged, however, with administering the Vendor Ombudsman Program pursuant to the provisions of Section 215.422, Florida Statutes. While vendor calls received in our Department will continue to be addressed by existing staff in the Bureau of Special Programs, we are asking for your cooperation in assuming more responsibility in addressing vendor payment issues and resolving vendor concerns.

The existing telephone numbers of (904) 488-2924 and 1-800-848-3792 currently available to vendors and listed on contracts and purchase orders will remain unchanged. We will continue our procedure to refer current payment inquiries to agencies using our contact list of names and telephone numbers as designated in writing by agency management. Delinquent payments will be tracked by our staff and agency contacts are encouraged to respond to vendors within a reasonable period of time, advising of the payment status. Appropriate payment requests should be expedited as necessary.

We have planned two systems enhancements that should be available after October 1, 1995. The first is the ability to disseminate prompt payment reports on-line to designated agency recipients. The second is to provide agency capability to process deletion requests for incorrect interest penalty invoices that were generated as a result of agency data entry errors. The latter function will require that the agency retain documentation for the deletion and make it available for audit upon request.

In an effort to reduce the amount of paper used to effect these deletion requests, effective July 1, 1995, agencies should submit only a list of interest penalty invoice numbers for deletion by our staff if they fall in the category of agency data entry errors. Documentation should be maintained by the agency and be available for audit upon request. These deletion requests should be sent to the Bureau of Special Programs, Room 1001, The Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0350. We encourage the use of inter-agency mail whenever possible as a cost savings measure.

Chapter 95-312, Laws of Florida, amended Section 215.422,(6), Florida Statutes, to require the Department of Banking and Finance to establish criteria for determining an acceptable rate of compliance with the provisions of the prompt payment law. Once we establish an acceptable compliance percentage, we will acknowledge those agencies that meet or exceed the threshold. Effective with the quarterly period ending September 30, 1995, those agencies that have achieved the quarterly compliance rating will not receive a Quarterly Prompt Payment Compliance Report, nor a Quarterly Report Letter from the Division of Accounting and Auditing that requires a written response from the agency head addressing corrective action to be taken. Those agencies that fail to meet the quarterly compliance rating will continue to receive both items. We will make this compliance threshold known well in advance of the quarterly period ending September 30, 1995.

If you have any questions or concerns relating to the Vendor Ombudsman Program, please call the Bureau of Auditing at 410-9194, Suncom 210-9194.