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CFO Sink's Cabinet Motions Pass to Improve SBA Transparency and Oversight


MEDIA ADVISORY: May 13, 2009
Contact: Kyra Jennings or Kevin Cate (850) 413-2842

CFO Sink’s Businesslike Proposals Unanimously Approved by Florida Cabinet
TALLAHASSEE— Florida’s CFO Alex Sink saw her two motions aimed at increasing transparency and financial safeguards over the Florida State Board of Administration (SBA) pass unanimously during today’s SBA Board of Trustees meeting.  Drawing upon her nearly three decades of private-sector business experience, CFO Sink passed motions based on her recommendation from over a year ago, requiring the SBA to hold quarterly board meetings and to have representatives from the trustees study expanding the structure of the board. 
“As one of the SBA’s three trustees, and the only current trustee with prior business experience, I have long argued that it requires more than three elected officials meeting twice-a-month for fifteen minutes to oversee a $100-billion fund that our police officers, teachers and other state employees depend on for a secure retirement,” said CFO Sink. “We need to be doing the business of the State Board of Administration in the sunshine, and I commend my fellow SBA Trustees for joining me in pushing for these reforms I proposed more than fourteen months ago.”
In March 2008, CFO Sink released ten specific recommendations designed to toughen the SBA’s financial safeguards, increase transparency in SBA communications and strengthen board oversight over a firm responsible for so many Floridians’ retirement funds.
CFO Sink’s first passed motion enacted her recommendation that the SBA hold public quarterly board meetings, in addition to the bimonthly SBA updates currently provided during meetings of the Florida Cabinet.  These in-depth meetings will bring SBA investor advisors, legal staff, audit committee members, and trustees together to better safeguard Florida retirement accounts and other investments, and do the business of the SBA in the sunshine.
CFO Sink’s second passed motion requires that each SBA trustee appoint a staff member to an ad hoc workgroup charged with researching government structure models, identifying best practices, and making recommendations to the trustees on how the governance of the SBA can best serve the people of Florida.
Appointments must be made by June 15 and a report is due by September 1, 2009.  After this report, CFO Sink is hopeful that trustees’ recommendations can be made to the Legislature regarding how best to expand the SBA board.
“Given the unprecedented financial environment that we are currently in, we cannot lose sight of the need for increased accountability and transparency for the investments of Floridians’ money,” CFO Sink continued. “So many Floridians who depend on the SBA for their retirement security deserve nothing less than a more modern, businesslike approach to managing their money.”
The SBA manages the assets of the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan, the Lawton Chiles Endowment Fund, the Local Government Surplus Funds Trust Fund, the Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, and a variety of other mandates.