Section 163.05, Florida Statutes 2001
163.05 Small County Technical Assistance Program.--
(1) Among small counties, the Legislature finds that:
(a) The percentage of the population of small counties residing in the unincorporated areas is relatively high and increased substantially between 1980 and 1990.
(b) Projected revenue and expenditure trends of the small counties indicate that a serious fiscal condition has developed that could require a number of small counties to declare financial emergencies.
(c) Fiscal shortfalls persist even though 13 of the small counties levied the maximum ad valorem millage authorized in their jurisdictions in 1990 and an additional 13 small counties levied between 8 and 10 mills.
(d) State and federal mandates will continue to place additional funding demands on small counties.
(2) Recognizing the findings in subsection (1), the Legislature declares that:
(a) The fiscal emergencies confronting small counties require an investment that will facilitate efforts to improve the productivity and efficiency of small counties' structures and operating procedures.
(b) Current and additional revenue enhancements authorized by the Legislature should be managed and administered using appropriate management practices and expertise.
(3) The purpose of this section is to provide technical assistance to small counties to enable them to implement workable solutions to financial and administrative problems. As used in this section, "small county" means a county that has a population of 75,000 or less.
(4) The Comptroller shall enter into contracts with program providers who shall:
(a) Be a public agency or private, nonprofit corporation, association, or entity.
(b) Use existing resources, services, and information that are available from state or local agencies, universities, or the private sector.
(c) Seek and accept funding from any public or private source.
(d) Annually submit information to assist the Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations in preparing a performance review that will include an analysis of the effectiveness of the program.
(e) Assist small counties in developing alternative revenue sources.
(f) Provide assistance to small counties in the areas of financial management, accounting, investing, purchasing, planning and budgeting, debt issuance, public management, management systems, computers and information technology, and public safety management.
(g) Provide for an annual independent financial audit of the program.
(h) In each county served, conduct a needs assessment upon which the assistance provided for that county will be designed.
(5)(a) The Comptroller shall issue a request for proposals to provide assistance to small counties. At the request of the Comptroller, the Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations shall assist in the preparation of the request for proposals.
(b) The Comptroller shall review each contract proposal submitted.
(c) The Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations shall review each contract proposal and submit to the Comptroller, in writing, advisory comments and recommendations, citing with specificity the reasons for its recommendations.
(d) The Comptroller and the council shall consider the following factors in reviewing contract proposals:
1. The demonstrated capacity of the provider to conduct needs assessments and implement the program as proposed.
2. The number of small counties to be served under the proposal.
3. The cost of the program as specified in a proposed budget.
4. The short-term and long-term benefits of the assistance to small counties.
5. The form and extent to which existing resources, services, and information that are available from state and local agencies, universities, and the private sector will be used by the provider under the contract.
(6) A decision of the Comptroller to award a contract under this section is final and shall be in writing with a copy provided to the Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations.
(7) The Comptroller may enter into contracts and agreements with other state and local agencies and with any person, association, corporation, or entity other than the program providers, for the purpose of administering this section.
(8) The Comptroller shall provide fiscal oversight to ensure that funds expended for the program are used in accordance with the contracts entered into pursuant to subsection (4).
(9) The Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations shall annually conduct a performance review of the program. The findings of the review shall be presented in a report submitted to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Comptroller by January 15 of each year.
History.--s. 5, ch. 92-309; s. 5, ch. 96-311; s. 3, ch. 98-258.