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Department of Financial Services

Personnel note: Scott Fennell named Deputy Chief Financial Officer

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Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis on Tuesday announced Scott Fennell as Deputy Chief Financial Officer over operations. Fennell will oversee the state’s accounting and auditing responsibilities, as well as the Department of Financial Services‘ $299 million-dollar budget, according to a press release.

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Court clerks funding case continues in capital

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A lawsuit over how the state funds its clerks of court is still trudging along in Tallahassee, court dockets show. Circuit Judge Karen Gievers set a case management conference for Sept. 7, after lawyers for plaintiff Howard Forman alerted the court of possible “additional or substituted parties.”

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Jimmy Patronis is sworn in as Chief Financial Officer

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Former state Rep. and Public Service Commissioner Jimmy Patronis was sworn in Friday morning as the state’s fourth Chief Financial Officer. Patronis took the oath of office in the Governor’s office, given by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga, and standing next to wife Katie and sons Theo and Johnny. “Thank you for allowing me to partake in this incredible honor,” the Panama City Republican told them. “I look forward to keeping up the same standards and values that CFO (Jeff) Atwater…

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Workers’ comp reimbursement regulation headed for administrative challenges

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The Division of Workers’ Compensation’s efforts to extract itself from contract disputes between insurance companies and medical providers have drawn administrative challenges, scheduled for hearings next month. Under regulations proposed by the division’s parent Department of Financial Services, officials would limit their involvement to reviewing “reimbursement schedules, practice parameters, and protocols of treatment.” Furthermore, they would issue “no findings regarding an improper disallowance or adjustment in reimbursement involving managed care contracts or when the carrier asserts that medical treatment was…

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Jeff Atwater leaving office early to take job at Florida Atlantic University

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Jeff Atwater announced Friday that, following the conclusion of the 2017 legislative session, he would leave office to become vice president for strategic initiatives and chief financial officer at Florida Atlantic University. The move will allow Gov. Rick Scott and Atwater’s remaining Cabinet colleagues to name someone to fill the remainder of his second term as chief financial officer, which runs through early 2019. “I am honored to join FAU in such a significant capacity,” Atwater said in a written…

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Jeff Atwater wins first round of $1 billion bonds fight with feds

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Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has scored a preliminary win in his fight against the federal government over U.S. savings bonds he holds as unclaimed property. The U.S. Treasury has agreed to redeem “just over 1,000 bonds, worth a little more than half a million dollars, excluding accrued interest,” Atwater spokeswoman Ashley Carr said Thursday. The total value of all the bonds in question is more than $1 billion. A Treasury spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In November, Atwater sued the…

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Audit uncovers flaws in state’s accounting system

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accounting

When you try to manage a multi-billion-dollar state budget with three-decade-old software, problems are bound to happen. An audit has found security flaws in the Department of Financial Services‘ antiquated FLAIR accounting system, according to a report released Friday. (FLAIR stands for “Florida Accounting Information Resource Subsystem.”) The department is run by Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. Among those, “access privileges for some FLAIR and network users did not … restrict users to only those functions necessary for assigned job duties,” it…

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