(1) As used in this section, the term “beneficiary” means any person who is drawing salary or retirement benefits from the state or who is the recipient of any lawful payment from state funds.
(2) The Chief Financial Officer shall establish a program for the direct deposit of funds to the account of the beneficiary of such a payment or disbursement in any financial institution equipped for electronic fund transfers, which institution is designated in writing by such beneficiary and has lawful authority to accept such deposits. Direct deposit of funds shall be by any electronic or other transfer medium approved by the Chief Financial Officer for such purpose.
(3) The Chief Financial Officer may contract with an authorized financial institution for the services necessary to operate the program. In order to implement the provisions of this section, the Chief Financial Officer may deposit with that financial institution the funds payable to the beneficiaries, in lump sum, by Chief Financial Officer’s warrant to make the authorized direct deposits.
(4) The written authorization of a beneficiary shall be filed with the department or its designee. Such authorization shall remain in effect until withdrawn in writing by the beneficiary or dishonored by the designated financial institution.
(5) All direct deposit records made prior to October 1, 1986, are exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). With respect to direct deposit records made on or after October 1, 1986, the names of the authorized financial institutions and the account numbers of the beneficiaries are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Notwithstanding this exemption and the provisions of s. 119.071(5)(b), the department may provide a state university, upon request, with that university’s employee or vendor direct deposit authorization information on file with the department in order to accommodate the transition to the university accounting system. The state university shall maintain the confidentiality of all such information provided by the department.
(6) To cover the department’s actual costs for processing the direct deposit of funds other than salary or retirement benefits, the department may charge the beneficiary of the direct deposit a reasonable fee. The department may collect the fee by direct receipt from the beneficiary or by subtracting the amount of the fee from the funds due the beneficiary. Such fees collected by the department shall be deposited into the Department of Financial Services Administrative Trust Fund.
(7) Effective July 1, 2000, all new recipients of retirement benefits from this state shall be paid by direct deposit of funds. A retiree may request from the department an exemption from the provisions of this subsection when such retiree can demonstrate a hardship. The department may pay retirement benefits by state warrant when deemed administratively necessary.