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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXXII
REGULATION OF PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
Chapter 455
BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL REGULATION: GENERAL PROVISIONS
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F.S. 455.32
455.32 Management Privatization Act.
(1) This section shall be known by the popular name the “Management Privatization Act.”
(2) The purpose of this section is to create a model for contracting with nonprofit corporations to provide services for the regulation of Florida’s professionals which will ensure a consistent, effective application of regulatory provisions and appropriate budgetary oversight to achieve the most efficient use of public funds. Nonprofit corporations may be established pursuant to this section to provide administrative, examination, licensing, investigative, and prosecutorial services to any board created within the department pursuant to chapter 20 in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and the applicable practice act. No additional entities may be created to provide these services.
(3) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Board” means any board, commission, or council created within the department pursuant to chapter 20.
(b) “Corporation” means any nonprofit corporation with which the department contracts pursuant to subsection (14).
(c) “Department” means the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
(d) “Contract manager” means an employee of the department who serves as a liaison between the department, the board, and the corporation and is responsible for ensuring that the police powers of the state are not exercised by the corporation, while also serving as the contract monitor.
(e) “Business case” means a needs assessment, financial feasibility study, and corporate financial model as specified in paragraph (4).
(f) “Performance standards and measurable outcomes” shall include, but not be limited to, timeliness and qualitative criteria for the activities specified in paragraph (6)(o).
(g) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Business and Professional Regulation.
(4) Based upon the request of any board, the department is authorized to establish and contract with a nonprofit corporation to provide administrative, examination, licensing, investigative, and prosecutorial services to that board, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and the applicable practice act and as specified in a contract between the department and the corporation. The privatization request must contain a business case that includes a needs assessment and financial feasibility study performed by the board or an entity commissioned by a majority vote of the board. The needs assessment must contain specific performance standards and measurable outcomes and an evaluation of the department’s current and projected performance in regard to those standards. The feasibility study must include the financial status of the board for the current fiscal year and the next 2 fiscal years. A financial model for the corporation must also be developed which includes projected costs and expenses for the first 2 years of operation and specific performance standards and measurable outcomes. The business case for privatization shall be submitted by the board to the department for inclusion in its legislative budget request to the Executive Office of the Governor and the Legislature pursuant to s. 216.023. The board shall proceed with the privatization only if such privatization is specifically authorized by general law.
(5) Any such corporation may hire staff as necessary to carry out its functions. Such staff are not public employees for the purposes of chapter 110 or chapter 112, except that the board of directors and the employees of the corporation are subject to the provisions of s. 112.061 and part III of chapter 112. The provisions of s. 768.28 apply to each such corporation, which is deemed to be a corporation primarily acting as an instrumentality of the state but which is not an agency within the meaning of s. 20.03(11).
(6) Each corporation created to perform the functions provided in this section shall:
(a) Be a Florida corporation not for profit, incorporated under the provisions of chapter 617.
(b) Provide administrative, examination, licensing, investigative, and prosecutorial services to the board, which services may include unlicensed activity investigations and prosecutions, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, the applicable practice act, and the contract required by this section.
(c) Receive, hold, and administer property and make only prudent expenditures directly related to the responsibilities of the applicable board and in accordance with the contract required by this section.
(d) Be approved by the department to operate for the benefit of the board and in the best interest of the state and specifically authorized by the Legislature.
(e) Operate under a fiscal year that begins on July 1 of each year and ends on June 30 of the following year.
(f) Be funded through appropriations allocated to the regulation of the relevant profession from the Professional Regulation Trust Fund pursuant to s. 455.219.
(g) Have a five-member board of directors, three of whom are to be appointed by the applicable board and must be licensees regulated by that board and two of whom are to be appointed by the secretary and are laypersons not regulated by that board. Initially, one member shall be appointed for 2 years, two members shall be appointed for 3 years, and two members shall be appointed for 4 years. One layperson shall be appointed to a 3-year term and one layperson shall be appointed to a 4-year term. Thereafter, all appointments shall be for 4-year terms. No new member shall serve more than two consecutive terms. Failure to attend three consecutive meetings shall be deemed a resignation from the board of directors, and the vacancy shall be filled by a new appointment. No professional board member may also serve on the board of directors for the corporation.
(h) Select its officers in accordance with its bylaws. The members of the board of directors may be removed by the Governor, for the same reasons that a board member may be removed pursuant to s. 455.209.
(i) Select the president of the corporation, who shall manage the operations of the corporation, subject to the approval of the board.
(j) Use a portion of the interest derived from the corporation account to offset the costs associated with the use of credit cards for payment of fees by applicants or licensees.
(k) Operate under a written contract with the department.
(l) Provide for an annual financial audit of its financial accounts and records by an independent certified public accountant. The annual audit report shall include a management letter in accordance with s. 11.45 and a detailed supplemental schedule of expenditures for each expenditure category. The annual audit report must be submitted to the board, the department, and the Auditor General for review.
(m) Provide for all employees and nonemployees charged with the responsibility of receiving and depositing fee and fine revenues to have a faithful performance bond in such an amount and according to such terms as shall be determined in the contract.
(n) Keep financial and statistical information as necessary to completely disclose the financial condition and operation of the corporation and as requested by the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, the Auditor General, and the department.
(o) Submit to the secretary, the board, and the Legislature, on or before October 1 of each year, a report describing all of the activities of the corporation for the previous fiscal year which includes, but is not limited to, information concerning the programs and funds that have been transferred to the corporation. The report must include:
1. The number of license renewals.
2. The number of license applications received.
3. The number of license applications approved and denied and the number of licenses issued.
4. The average time required to issue a license.
5. The number of examinations administered and the number of applicants who passed or failed the examination.
6. The number of complaints received.
7. The number of complaints determined to be legally sufficient.
8. The number of complaints dismissed.
9. The number of complaints determined to have probable cause.
10. The number of administrative complaints issued and the status of the complaints.
11. The number and nature of disciplinary actions taken by the board.
12. All revenues received and all expenses incurred by the corporation during the preceding fiscal year in its performance of the duties under the contract.
13. Any audit performed under paragraph (l), including financial reports and performance audits.
14. The status of the compliance of the corporation with all performance-based program measures adopted by the board.
(p) Meet or exceed the requirements of the business case developed by the board and approved by the Executive Office of the Governor.
(7) The department shall annually certify that the corporation is complying with the terms of the contract in a manner consistent with the goals and purposes of the board and in the best interest of the state. If the department determines the corporation is not compliant with the terms of the contract, including performance standards and measurable outcomes, the contract may be terminated as provided in paragraph (14)(e).
(8) Nothing in this section shall limit the ability of the corporation to enter into contracts and perform all other acts incidental to those contracts which are necessary for the administration of its affairs and for the attainment of its purposes.
(9) The corporation may acquire by lease, and maintain, use, and operate, any real or personal property necessary to perform the duties provided by the contract and this section.
(10) The corporation may exercise the authority assigned to the department or board under this section or the practice act of the relevant profession, pursuant to the contract, including but not limited to initiating disciplinary investigations for unlicensed practice of the relevant profession. The corporation may make a determination of legal sufficiency to begin the investigative process as provided in s. 455.225. However, the department or the board may not delegate to the corporation, by contract or otherwise, the authority for determining probable cause to pursue disciplinary action against a licensee, taking final action on license actions or on disciplinary cases, or adopting administrative rules under chapter 120.
(11) The department shall retain the independent authority to open, investigate, or prosecute any cases or complaints, as necessary to protect the public health, safety, or welfare. In addition, the department shall retain sole authority to issue emergency suspension or restriction orders pursuant to s. 120.60 or may delegate concurrent authority for this purpose to the relevant professional board.
(12) The corporation is the sole source and depository for the records of the board, including all historical information and records. The corporation shall maintain those records in accordance with the guidelines of the Department of State and shall not destroy any records prior to the limits imposed by the Department of State.
(13) The board shall provide by rule for the procedures the corporation must follow to ensure that all licensure examinations are secure while under the responsibility of the corporation and that there is an appropriate level of monitoring during the licensure examinations.
(14) The contract between the department and the corporation must be in compliance with this section and other applicable laws. The department shall retain responsibility for any duties it currently exercises relating to its police powers and any other current duty that is not provided to the corporation by contract or this section. The contract shall provide, at a minimum, that:
(a) The corporation provide administrative, examination, licensing, investigative, and prosecutorial services in accordance with the provisions of this section and the practice act of the relevant profession. The prosecutorial functions of the corporation shall include the authority to pursue investigations leading to unlicensed practice complaints, with the approval of and at the direction of the relevant professional board. With approval of the department and the board, the corporation may subcontract for specialized services for the investigation and prosecution of unlicensed activity pursuant to this chapter. The corporation shall be required to report all criminal matters, including unlicensed activity that constitutes a crime, to the state attorney for criminal prosecution pursuant to s. 455.2277.
(b) The articles of incorporation and bylaws of the corporation be approved by the department.
(c) The corporation submit an annual budget for approval by the department. If the department’s appropriations request differs from the budget submitted by the corporation, the relevant professional board shall be permitted to authorize the inclusion in the appropriations request of a comment or statement of disagreement with the department’s request.
(d) The corporation utilize the department’s licensing and computerized database system.
(e) The corporation be annually certified by the department as complying with the terms of the contract in a manner consistent with the goals and purposes of the board and in the best interest of the state. As part of the annual certification, the department shall make quarterly assessments regarding contract compliance by the corporation. The contract must also provide for methods and mechanisms for resolving any situation in which the assessment and certification process determines noncompliance, to include termination.
(f) The department employ a contract manager to actively monitor the activities of the corporation to ensure compliance with the contract, the provisions of this chapter, and the applicable practice act.
(g) The corporation be funded through appropriations allocated to the regulation of the relevant profession from the Professional Regulation Trust Fund.
(h) If the corporation is no longer approved to operate for the board or the board ceases to exist, all moneys, records, data, and property held in trust by the corporation for the benefit of the board revert to the department, or the state if the department ceases to exist. All records and data in a computerized database must be returned to the department in a form that is compatible with the computerized database of the department.
(i) The corporation secure and maintain, during the term of the contract and for all acts performed during the term of the contract, all liability insurance coverages in an amount to be approved by the department to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the corporation and its officers and employees, the department and its employees, the board, and the state against all claims arising from state and federal laws. Such insurance coverage must be with insurers qualified and doing business in the state. The corporation must provide proof of insurance to the department. The department and its employees, the board, and the state are exempt from and are not liable for any sum of money which represents a deductible, which sums shall be the sole responsibility of the corporation. Violation of this paragraph shall be grounds for terminating the contract.
(j) The board, in lieu of the department, shall retain board counsel pursuant to the requirements of s. 455.221. The corporation, out of its allocated budget, shall pay all costs of representation by the board counsel, including salary and benefits, travel, and any other compensation traditionally paid by the department to other board counsel.
(k) The corporation, out of its allocated budget, pay to the department all costs incurred by the corporation or the board for the Division of Administrative Hearings of the Department of Management Services and any other cost for utilization of these state services.
(l) The corporation, out of its allocated budget, pay to the department all direct and indirect costs associated with the monitoring of the contract, including salary and benefits, travel, and other related costs traditionally paid to state employees.
(m) The corporation comply with the performance standards and measurable outcomes developed by the board and the department. The performance standards and measurable outcomes must be specified within the contract.
(15) Corporation records are public records subject to the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution; however, public records exemptions set forth in ss. 455.217, 455.225, and 455.229 for records held by the department shall apply to records held by the corporation. In addition, all meetings of the board of directors are open to the public in accordance with s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution. The department and the board shall have access to all records of the corporation as necessary to exercise their authority to approve and supervise the contract. The Auditor General and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall have access to all records of the corporation as necessary to conduct financial and operational audits or examinations.
(16) If any provision of this section is held to be unconstitutional or is held to violate the state or federal antitrust laws, the following shall occur:
(a) The corporation shall cease and desist from exercising any powers and duties enumerated in this section.
(b) The department shall resume the performance of such activities. The department shall regain and receive, hold, invest, and administer property and make expenditures for the benefit of the board.
(c) The Executive Office of the Governor, notwithstanding chapter 216, may reestablish positions, budget authority, and salary rate necessary to carry out the department’s responsibilities related to the board.
History.s. 9, ch. 2000-356; s. 120, ch. 2001-266; s. 1, ch. 2004-292; s. 83, ch. 2005-2; s. 1, ch. 2008-134.