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More than 100,000 Invoices are Processed by the Clerk’s Office Each Year

Did you know that the Clerk’s office processes more than $1 billion dollars through the estimated 100,000 invoices submitted by Collier County’s vendors each year?  

The Collier County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller’s office has more than 1,000 official duties as directed by the State of Florida’s Constitution, which establishes and describes the duties, powers, structure, and function of government offices. The Florida Constitution further established a Clerk and Comptroller as an independently elected public trustee, a system of checks and balances to serve citizens and taxpayers 

One of my most important roles, in serving as your Clerk and Comptroller, is in protecting the interests of Collier citizens through the pre-audit of payments to County vendors. This duty is established in the Florida Constitution, Article VIII, Section 1(d) which named the Clerk as the auditor, recorder and custodian of all county funds. The current dollar volume and number of payments processed exceeds $1 billion dollars and 100,000 individual invoices, respectively, in a fiscal year cycle. These payments cover a broad spectrum of obligations such as monthly postage and electric bills, outstanding debt service payments, to multi-million-dollar payments for construction.   

Collier County is currently experiencing rapid growth and expansion in its capital improvement program. Recent major projects in parks and recreation, water and sewer, tourist development and transportation have significantly increased cash outflows. In addition, the County’s adoption of an Infrastructure Sales Tax in 2018 resulted in a $420M programmed revenue stream designated for certain voter approved County capital improvements. Each payment made by the Clerk’s Office is subject to tests for budget availability, public purpose, and adherence to contractual terms.  

The most complex payments are those made pursuant to County contracts. Required backup for payment on these contracts includes progress reports, daily logs, receipts, and cancelled checks for proof of payment, and subcontractor invoices. Per Florida Constitution, the Clerk and Comptroller can request any additional documentation deemed necessary to provide adequate assurance that the vendor and county complied with all terms of the agreement, local ordinances, and Florida Statutes.

While the majority of payments are processed without issue, problems encountered during audit of these invoices include calculation errors, pricing errors, unallowed markups applied, incorrect billing methods (lump sum versus time and materials) and expired insurance certificates. When these instances occur, the Clerk’s office works closely with Prime Contractors and Purchasing Agents to resolve administrative errors and educate the vendors about proper submittal of invoices and backup documentation. We are committed to helping small businesses grow in Collier County.  

In working with vendors to resolve errors, we still require strict application of the terms of county contracts and applicable laws. This procedure saves the taxpayers of Collier hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. All disbursements of funds are approved by the Board of County Commissioners at their regularly scheduled meetings and are posted on www.collierclerk.com.