(1) Among municipalities and special districts, the Legislature finds that:
(a) State and federal mandates will continue to place additional funding demands on all municipalities and special districts.
(b) State government lacks the specific technical expertise or resources to effectively perform ongoing educational support and financial emergency detection or assistance.
(2) Recognizing the findings in subsection (1), the Legislature declares that:
(a) The fiscal challenges confronting various municipalities and special districts require an investment that will facilitate efforts to improve the productivity and efficiency of their financial 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 municipalities and special districts to enable them to implement workable solutions to financially related problems.
(4) The Chief Financial Officer 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 municipalities and independent special districts in developing alternative revenue sources.
(f) Provide for an annual independent financial audit of the program, if the program receives funding.
(g) Provide assistance to municipalities and special districts in the areas of financial management, accounting, investing, budgeting, and debt issuance.
(h) Develop a needs assessment to determine where assistance should be targeted, and to establish a priority system to deliver assistance to those jurisdictions most in need through the most economical means available.
(i) Provide financial emergency assistance upon direction from the Executive Office of the Governor pursuant to s. 218.503.
(5)(a) The Chief Financial Officer shall issue a request for proposals to provide assistance to municipalities and special districts. At the request of the Chief Financial Officer, the Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations shall assist in the preparation of the request for proposals.
(b) The Chief Financial Officer shall review each contract proposal submitted.
(c) The Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations shall review each contract proposal and submit to the Chief Financial Officer, in writing, advisory comments and recommendations, citing with specificity the reasons for its recommendations.
(d) The Chief Financial Officer and the Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations 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 municipalities and special districts 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 municipalities and special districts.
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 Chief Financial Officer 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 Chief Financial Officer 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 Chief Financial Officer 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 Chief Financial Officer by January 15 of each year.