Lee County Clerk of Court Ex-officio Clerk to the Board
Our Mission and Vision • It is the mission of the Clerk's Office to provide to the citizens of Lee County the functions of court clerk, county auditor, county finance officer, county public/official records keeper and Clerk to Board of County Commissioners as mandated by the federal, state, and local government statutes and laws. • It is the vision of the Clerk to work smarter with fewer people and be more efficient and effective; to use automation to achieve real and long term savings for the tax payers. • We believe that this mission can be achieved through teamwork, initiative, and open and honest communication and that the people of the Clerk's Office are the organization's most valuable resource.
Responsibilities…Everything we do is dictated by law • It is our responsibility to provide Circuit and County Court case maintenance, which includes • court case processing, • financial processing, • jury management • information and reporting. • We are clerk, auditor, recorder and custodian of all county funds for the Board of County Commissioners of Lee County.
Our Structure Clerk of Circuit Court Charlie Green, Clerk
Revenue Sources Recording Fees • State appropriations for the Court Department are based on the State’s fiscal year
Expenditures by Funding Source Dollars in Thousands
Surplus Fees At the end of each fiscal year, the Clerk is required to return to the Board’s General Fund any surplus fees that were not used in the operations of the office during that year. *Recording fees are all fees and revenues collected by the Recording Office
Funded by State Appropriations Courts Department
Courts Department … What we do All Clerk’s court-related functions • Case maintenance, case processing, financial processing, jury management, and information & reporting for: • Circuit Civil, County Civil, & Small Claims cases • Probate & Guardianship cases • Domestic Relations & Support cases • Felony, Misdemeanor, & Criminal Traffic cases • Civil Traffic, Ordinance, & Parking Violation cases • Juvenile Dependency & Delinquency cases • Appeals cases • Locally funded programs: Family Support Pay or Appear, Probation Payments, eFirst Weekends, Drug & Mental Health Court.
Courts Department … Where we have been • Prior to July 2009, the Clerk’s court-related functions were funded by revenues from court fees, fines, service charges, and court costs. Surplus revenues were sent to the State. • After July 1, 2009, senate bill 2108 put the Clerk’s court-related functions in the State’s General Appropriations Act and cut the budget by 2.5 million. All revenues are now sent directly to the State. • We absorbed the budget reduction by cutting back and maximizing the efficiencies we have been implementing since 2002.
Courts Department … Where we are today • We are running a bare-bones operation with the following efficiencies and resulting savings: • Electronic case files are created for all cases – resulting in significant savings in time and labor for the entire court system. • A Business Intelligence system is used for quality control and to make & monitor changes to processes quickly and easily – resulting in significant efficiencies for the court system. • Electronic files are used in the courtroom for County Court Criminal and Foreclosure cases which facilitated the elimination of paper files for those courts – resulting in significant savings in labor costs and office space & storage of the paper files for the County. • About 24 employees work-from-home which lessens the demand for office space, parking, and desks. • Electronic distribution of documents to other agencies is utilized extensively– resulting in significant savings in labor, copiers and paper. • The Internet, phone & check cashing stores are used to provide customer convenience for paying fines.
Courts Department … Where we are going • As we respond to the demands of our customers – the courts, the legislature, state and local agencies, and the public - we will continue to set goals for more automation, more efficiencies and more savings… • Electronic filing - to eliminate remaining paper files Estimated savings of $1.2 million annually some of which is a savings for the County. • Automated interfaces with the Jail, State Attorney, and Court Administration – hopefully with a new integrated CJIS system. Significant annual savings for each agency. The return on investment for an integrated CJIS system could be met in one year.
Services funded from fees Human Resources Department Recording Office Delinquent Tax Office
Human Resources Department Our Mission: Guiding the Clerk’s Office to attract, retain, and motivate high quality employees who will contribute to achieving organizational goals and objectives.
Human Resources…What we do STRATEGIC • Ensure adequate human resources to meet the strategic goals and operational plans of the Clerk’s Office, • The right people with the right skills at the right time. • Keep up with social, economic, legislative, and technological trends that impact HR. • Manage change when the future is different than anticipated.
Human Resources … What we do Employee Safety, Health and Wellness Benefit administration, maintenance Organizational Development Training, Cross-training Compliance Manage HR compliance issues HRIS Utilization and maintenance of HR and recruiting software Utilization and maintenance of Clerk’s intranet • Recruitment • Eligibility Verification, Applicant Tracking, Hiring, Employee Orientation • Compensation • Review for fairness • Employee Relations • Partners with management to communicate policies, programs and regulations • Records and Information • Maintain personnel, insurance, and medical employee files
Human Resources … How we do it • Kronos timekeeping software • PDS HRIS software • NeoGov applicant tracking software • Sharepoint software for Clerk’s intranet management • OnBase software for electronic recordkeeping including e-RPA’s with workflow
Recording Office … What we do Record all instruments that are required or authorized by law in the County’s Official Records • Deeds, leases, bills of sale, agreements, mortgages, notices or claims of lien, notices of levy, tax warrants, tax executions and other instruments relating to the ownership, transfer or encumbrance of or claims against real or personal property. • Notices of lis pendens, judgments entered by any court of this state or United States, certified copies of death certificates, etc. • Issue marriage license applications and record marriage licenses • Accept passport applications and forward to US Department of State • Collect document stamps and intangible taxes for the State • Maintain record of recorded plats
Recording Office … How we do it • Image documents upon receipt • AI Index and AI Redact software • Indexing and verifying documents handled by Work From Home and in-office personnel from imaged documents. • Full service clerks for walk-in customers • E-recording for customers • Documents can be searched and printed from the Clerk’s website going back to the 1800’s
Delinquent Tax Office … What we do • Sell properties for delinquent taxes • Notify owners and interested parties of pending sale • Hold auction of properties not redeemed by time of sale • Notify previous owners and interested parties of any proceeds exceeding taxes, costs and fees owed • Review and pay claims for surplus proceeds • Transfer unclaimed proceeds to the Board
Delinquent Tax … How we do it • Automating the certified notice mailings with a download of the interested party information from our software directly to a vendor who processes the notices • Using an on-line auction vendor we broadened our bidder base and eliminated the need for a physical site for the auction • Web access to documents permits investigators and bidders to research our records from their office or home
Board Funded Services Minutes Office Finance
Clerk to the Board … What we do • We keep the minutes and original documents for • Board of County Commissioners • Port Authority Board • Lee County Governmental Leasing Corporation • Value Adjustment Board(VAB) • We administer the petition process for VAB • accept petitions, schedule hearings and record the hearings and minutes of the Board • Propose VAB annual budget, track costs and report same for the Board’s approval • We maintain the lobbyist records and special district financial statements that are filed with the Minutes Office
Clerk to the Board … How we do it • Imaged database of documents and petitions • Public access is provided via the Clerk’s website and in our office (from 1990 to current) • Recorded meetings and hearings transcribed within 2 days • VAB petitions can be filed online via the Clerk’s website. • Off-site meetings handled via laptop recording equipment. • Use Recording Office personnel
Minutes Statistics 117 For the last two years the Minutes Office has utilized cross trained personnel from other offices to handle the large influx of VAB petitions
Finance • Accounting (collectively referred to as Finance) • Accounts Payable • Revenue and Investments • Payroll • General Accounting • Finance Operations • We handle associated accounting responsibilities for • Lee County Board of County Commissioners • Lee County Port Authority • County Funded Court Administration • Lee County Government Leasing Corporation • Lee County Clerk
Finance … What we do • Pre auditing all payment requests made by vendors • All vendor and contract payments are monitored for compliance with federal, state and county laws and policies • Since 2005 our clerks have located over $2 million in errors that would have resulted in overpayments • Pay all Board, county-funded Court Administration, Port Authority, and Clerk employees bi-weekly • Monitor the numerous employee pay types in accordance with the adopted pay plans, union contracts, administrative code, ordinances, federal and state regulations • Administer the various pay deductions and benefits and ensure that they are paid timely • Manage banking and broker arrangements • Invest surplus monies • Record all bank deposits • Monitor the investment market and confirm that adequate collateral is maintained • Negotiate banking, armored car contracts • Prepare bank bid, negotiate additional banking services • This year’s bid will be a combined bank bid that will include all Constitutional Officers • International wire payments • Monitor budget and cash balances
Finance … What we do • Record and track tourist tax payments • Monitor bonded debt covenants to insure compliance • Authorize debt service payments • Monitor grant funds for proper tracking • Maintain Master grant inventory list • Prepare the Single Audit Report • Complete the Data Collection Report to the State • Maintain and reconcile the county’s fixed assets and construction in progress • Reconcile the Board, Port and Clerk’s bank accounts • Monitor and ensure accuracy of financial reporting • Lee County’s Annual Financial Report (CAFR) • State’s annual financial report (AFR) • Monthly Financial Report to the Board of County Commissioners • Single Audit Report • Federal and State tax returns for Lee County Governmental Leasing Corporation • Track arbitrage and reporting to IRS • Prepare various other financial and tax reporting as required by law
Finance … How we do it • Invoice images are passed between various Board, Port and Clerk departments and Finance electronically • Imaged invoices, contracts, deposits, journals available online for all Board and Port departments to view • Electronic Request for Personnel Action for Board and Clerk • Use remote deposit (images sent to bank instead of physical check) to limit loss of checks • Online access to bank accounts • Pay Cards and ACH • Enables employees to be paid while out of the local area • Eliminated hand delivering and lost checks • Kronos timekeeping software eliminated manual keypunching of employees time
Finance …How we do it • We use Bloomberg to confirm adequacy of collateral • There is constant communication with brokers, bank and various merchant services • The check form is printed when issuing checks, which lessens printing costs and potential forgery • We use positive pay with vendor name, check number and amount verified by the bank prior to releasing the funds • Crystal report writer allows us to create reports on request • We emphasize technical knowledge and training • Employees work from home, where possible, which lessens the demand for office space, parking and desks
Finance … What our technology means to YOU • Invoice processing time was cut in half with the implementation of OnBase workflow software • Board and Port personnel no longer need come to our office to look at the original invoices, journals or deposit information – • They can now be viewed from the comfort of their office • Documents are imaged as they come into the office and are not misplaced or lost • By implementing Kronos timekeeping we are able to wait until the end of the pay period to begin the payroll process • Remote deposits guarantee credit for the deposit a day earlier than armor car delivery
Finance … What our technology means to YOU • Crystal report writer provides flexibility for the accountants to design the reports they need and to provide information to Board, Clerk and Port personnel and the public • Use of the Clerk’s website to provide public access to • The County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report • The County’s Single Audit Report • The Port Authority’s financial statements • The Clerk’s audited financial reports • The Monthly Report to the Board • The Clerk’s Budget report • The Annual Report to the State • The latest transcribed Minutes
Actions that Impacted our Workload • Board Action • Local Tourist Tax Collection and Enforcement • Externally held Board meetings • 51 different pay types • County Probation Payment Collections • Pay or Appear Program • Port Authority Special Dependent District • County-funded Court Administration • Lee County Governmental Leasing Corporation • Sick Pay Buy Back program, Paid Time Off • Long term inter-fund loans • Federal Regulation • Taxable fringe benefits (car, life insurance) • Arbitrage Reporting on Debt • Vendor Withholding • W9 Reporting • Stimulus Package’s COBRA subsidy • Stimulus Package’s new withholding tax tables • Accounting Standards • 56 governmental accounting standards • 5 concepts statements • 6 standard interpretations • OPEB accrual • FMV accounting for investments • Full accrual accounting for governmental funds • Infrastructure Accounting • Fund Balance Reporting and Governmental Fund Type definitions • Pension disclosures • Pollution remediation obligations • Accounting for termination benefits • Deposit and investment risk disclosures
Payroll Statistics Number of Employees paid throughout the Calendar Year
Fee and County Funded Internal Audit Technology Services
Internal Audit • Provides audit services to assist departments under the Board of County Commissioners, Port Authority and Clerk to meet their objectives • Internal Audit is funded by Tourist Tax Commission, recording fees and county funding Auditor
Internal Audit • Audit programs are designed to : • Insure accuracy of financial records • Evaluate internal controls for protection against fraud, waste and abuse • Analyze task performance for efficiency and effectiveness • Survey customers to determine satisfaction • Benchmark performance and best practices • Confirm compliance with laws, regulations, policies and procedures • Insure compliance with contract terms and conditions • Compare records with physical assets • Evaluate computer and software application controls • Audit reports are published as public record on the Clerk of Courts website • An average of 26 reports are published annually • Conducts enforcement audits for Tourist Taxes • Generated approximately 6,000 accounts • Tax collected has dropped less than 1% from 2006
Technology Services Business Performance Business Value Technology
Technology Services … What we do We provide: • All technology services to the Clerk’s office • Application hosting and other services to: • BoCC • Port Authority • Twentieth Judicial Circuit • Access to County and Court information for: • Public and Paid-subscribers • Government agencies • Mailroom services to: • Clerk • Court Administration • State Attorney
Technology Services … Where we are Reliability of Service Justice Center Datacenter Sarasota DR Datacenter Administration Building Datacenter Business Continuity Disaster Recovery