Email: Chapter 5A, Article 7
Unless the context in which used clearly requires a different meaning, as used in this article:
(a) “Data-processing equipment” means: (1) Any equipment having stored program capabilities; (2) any equipment designed to handle electronic input-output devices; or (3) any other similar equipment specified by the director;
(b) “Director” means the director of the information services and communications division;
(c) “Division” means the Information Services and Communications Division established in section two hereof;
(d) “Secretary” means the secretary of the Department of Administration;
(e) “Telecommunications equipment” means: (1) Any equipment used in the transmission, emission or reception of signals, writings, images, sounds or other forms of communication by electromagnetic or visual means; or (2) any other similar equipment specified by the director.
§5A-7-2. Division created; purpose; use of facilities; rules and regulations.
There is hereby created the Information Services and Communications Division of the Department of Administration for the purpose of establishing, developing and improving data processing and telecommunication functions in the various state agencies, for promulgating standards in the utilization of data processing and telecommunication equipment and for promoting the more effective and efficient operation of all branches of state government. The facilities of the division shall be available, subject to rules and regulations established by the secretary, to the legislative, executive and judicial branches of state government. Such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
§5A-7-3. Director; appointment and qualifications.
The division shall be under the supervision and control of a director. The secretary shall appoint a director of the division. The director must have extensive knowledge in the principles and practices of administration, five years' experience in data processing and telecommunications operations and extensive knowledge of the procedures and techniques used in conducting highly complex systems analyses.
§5A-7-4. Powers and duties of division generally; professional staff; telephone service.
(a) The division is responsible for providing technical services and assistance to the various state spending units with respect to developing and improving data processing and telecommunications functions. The division may provide training and direct data processing services to the various state agencies. The division shall, upon request of the Chief Technology Officer, provide technical assistance in evaluating the economic justification, system design and suitability of equipment and systems used in state government. The director shall report to the Chief Technology Officer.
(b) The director is responsible for the development of personnel to carry out the technical work of the division and may approve reimbursement of costs incurred by employees to obtain education and training.
(c) The director may assess each state spending unit for the cost of any evaluation of the economic justification, system design and suitability of equipment and systems used by the state spending unit or any other technical assistance that is provided or performed by the Chief Technology Officer and the division under the provisions of section four, article six of this chapter.
(d) The director shall transfer any moneys received as a result of the assessments that he or she makes under subsection (c) of this section to the Office of Technology. The director shall report quarterly to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance on all assessments made pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.
(e) The director shall maintain an accounting system for all telephone service to the state.
(f) The provisions of this article do not apply to the Legislature or the judiciary.
§5A-7-4a. Payment of legitimate uncontested invoices for telecommunications services; procedures and powers of the Information and Communications Division and Secretary of Administration.
(a) The Legislature finds that it is in the best interest of the state, its spending units and those vendors supplying telecommunications services to the state and its spending units that any properly registered and qualified vendor supplying telecommunications services to two or more spending units under a shared account is entitled to prompt payment upon presentation of a legitimate uncontested invoice for telecommunications services to the division, as provided in the following subsections.
(b) To facilitate the administration and payment of telecommunications services, there is continued in the State Treasury a special revenue account to be known as the Telecommunications Services Payment and Reserve Fund. All moneys transferred from state spending units pursuant to the requirements of this section shall be deposited in the account. Expenditures from the fund shall be made by the director for the exclusive purposes set forth in this section: Provided, That no more than $150,000 or the actual amount collected pursuant to subsection (j) of this section in any fiscal year, whichever is less, may be expended from the fund in any fiscal year to defray the costs of administration of this section.
(c) Upon receipt of any telecommunications charges from a properly registered and qualified vendor, the division shall conduct a preliminary review of the charges. If the division determines during this preliminary review that: (1) Any of the charges are not authorized by law or by the contract under which the telecommunications services are provided; (2) no specific spending unit is designated for any charge; or (3) any charge or service is not in accordance with contract pricing, the division shall reject those charges. Within fourteen days of receipt of any telecommunications charge, the director shall notify a vendor of any rejected charges and shall include in the notice a description of the rejected charges, the reasons a charge was rejected and a proposed resolution of the rejected charge. The director and the vendor shall attempt to resolve the matter in good faith. Within ninety days of the receipt of the vendor's invoice or a time period mutually agreed to by the vendor and secretary, the secretary shall make the final decision as to the legitimacy of the rejected amount and determine if payment is warranted. If the final decision of the secretary is to require payment of the rejected amount, the secretary shall cause the division to bill that amount to the appropriate spending unit which shall remit payment of the amount as required in subsection (d) of this section. If the final decision of the secretary is to refuse to pay any amount, the vendor may proceed in accordance with the provisions of article two, chapter fourteen of this code.
(d) Following the preliminary review of the charges, the director shall fully apportion all telecommunications charges not rejected during the preliminary review required by subsection (c) of this section among spending units based on the spending unit's service and usage, as determined by the director. The director shall send each spending unit a statement of the spending unit's proportionate share of any telecommunications charges within thirty days of receipt by the division of the invoice detailing the telecommunications charges. Monthly statements for a spending unit of less than $75 may be accumulated and sent to the spending unit on one statement near the end of the fiscal year. The director shall continue to pay any vendor invoices based upon the requirements of subsection (b) of this section. The statement is to provide a date of no more than thirty calendar days from the date the division sends the statement by which the spending unit shall submit payment or transfer to the telecommunications services payment and reserve fund all funds necessary to pay for the spending unit's charges in full: Provided, That the statement sent in last month of the fiscal year shall provide that the transfer shall be made by July 31. If feasible for the spending unit, the preferable method of payment is by intergovernmental transfer.
(e) All spending units shall budget for telecommunications service expenses. Prior to the date provided in each statement sent to a spending unit pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, each spending unit shall pay or transfer the statement amount to the Telecommunications Services Payment and Reserve Fund.
(f) If a spending unit fails to pay or transfer funds by the date specified in the statement sent pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, the Secretary of the Department of Administration shall transfer to the Telecommunications Services Payment and Reserve Fund the statement amount plus an additional penalty in the amount of three percent of the statement amount from any funds supporting the administration of that spending unit: Provided, That the secretary shall complete all such transfers by July 31 of each fiscal year. Upon exercising a transfer under the authority of this subsection, the director shall provide a notification to the spending unit, including, but not limited to, the date, time, total amount of the transfer, statement amount and penalty amount. If a participating spending unit does not maintain funds in the State Treasury, the secretary may transfer funds by wire from any depository outside the State Treasury. A participating spending unit maintaining funds in depositories outside the State Treasury shall furnish the secretary access to those funds for the exclusive purposes of this section.
(g) If a spending unit contests any portion of its statement, it shall nonetheless remit payment for the entire statement amount and notify the division in writing within thirty days of statement receipt by the spending unit. The secretary shall consider any contested apportionments of charges and provide a final determination on the apportionment of legitimate charges. Corrections or adjustments to apportionments may be effected on future transfer payments: Provided, That legitimate vendor charges are to be fully apportioned. If the basis of the contest is vendor error, overcharge, service failure, failure to terminate services as required by the division or other failure of or error in vendor performance, the director shall withhold the contested amount from current or future vendor payments, pending resolution by the secretary, and the director shall bring the contested matter to the attention of the vendor. The director and the vendor shall attempt to resolve the matter in good faith. Within ninety days of the receipt of the vendor's invoice or a time period mutually agreed to by the vendor and secretary, the secretary shall make the final decision as to the legitimacy of the contested amount and determine if payment is warranted. If the final decision of the secretary is to refuse to pay any amount, the vendor may proceed in accordance with the provisions of article two, chapter fourteen of this code.
(h) The director shall provide for full payment of legitimate, uncontested telecommunications charges within ninety days of receipt of an invoice detailing the telecommunications charges by the division. Payment for the charges shall be made by the director from the Telecommunications Services Payment and Reserve Fund.
(i) The director may direct the discontinuance of telecommunications services to any spending unit that fails to comply with the provisions of this section and the vendor supplying telecommunication services shall comply with the written direction of the director on discontinuance of services.
(j) To help defray the additional cost of administering this section, the director may assess a proportional fee of up to $150,000 in aggregate per fiscal year to the participating spending units based on each spending unit's portion of service and usage. This fee is to be included in the statement sent to spending units pursuant to subsection (d) of this section and transferred to the Telecommunications Service Payment and Reserve Fund by the date specified in the statement for the transfer of payment.
(k) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, for purposes of this section, an invoice is considered received by the division on the date on which the invoice is marked as received by the division, or three business days after the date of the postmark made by the United States Postal Service as evidenced on the envelope in which the invoice is mailed, whichever is earlier: Provided, That if an invoice is received by the division prior to the date on which the telecommunications services covered by the invoice are delivered or fully performed, for purposes of determining the ninety-day time period for payment in subsection (h) of this section, the invoice is considered received on the date on which the telecommunications services covered by the invoice were delivered or fully performed.
(l) For purposes of this section, "telecommunications service" means and includes not only telephone service regulated under chapter twenty-four of this code or under federal law, but also may include, at the discretion of the Secretary of Administration, wireless service, voice over Internet protocol service, Internet service and any other service or equipment used for the electronic transmission of voice or data: Provided, That the service is provided under a statewide contract.
(m) The director may propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to effectuate the purposes of this section.
§5A-7-5. Control over central mailing office.
The central mailing office heretofore controlled by the director of the General Services Division shall hereinafter be under the control of the director of the Information Services and Communications Division.
§5A-7-6. Central mailing office employees.
The director shall employ such persons as shall be necessary to carry out the provisions of sections seven, eight, nine and ten of this article.
§5A-7-7. Central mailing office responsibilities.
The director shall have the general charge and supervision of the central mailing office, and shall be responsible for its efficient administration. The director shall be required to: (1) Charge each spending unit of state government served by the central mailing office for providing such services; (2) keep proper account of the receipts and disbursements of the central mailing office; (3) render to the secretary a report each month showing the receipts and expenses of the central mailing office for the preceding month, and shall render such other reports as the secretary may require; (4) keep the central mailing office open during regularly stated hours to serve state spending units; and (5) provide rules and regulations for the efficient and prompt dispatch of the mail.
§5A-7-8. Use of the central mailing office.
All state spending units having their offices in the capitol, except the legislative branch of government, shall dispatch all mail through the central mailing office: Provided, That mail prepared after gathering time and mail for special handling may be posted without utilizing the central mailing office upon approval of the director.
§5A-7-9. Preparation of mail for special rates.
All mail received by the central mailing office shall be processed and presorted in order to receive the most favorable mailing rates, unless otherwise directed by the director. The director is authorized to make such expenditures as are necessary to process and presort all outgoing mail or to enter into contracts with any person, firm or corporation engaged in such business to supply the service.
§5A-7-10. Special fund created; payments into fund; charges for services; disbursements from fund.
For the operation of the division, there is hereby created in the state Treasury a special revolving fund to be known and designated as the “information services and communications fund.” This fund shall consist of appropriations made by the Legislature, funds transferred in accordance with the provisions of section four of this article, funds received for data processing, telecommunication and central mailing office services rendered to other agencies, departments, units of state and local government and any other entity, and funds received from the federal government or any agency or department thereof, which federal funds the division is hereby authorized to receive. Each agency, department, unit of state or local government or any other entity served by the Information Services and Communications Division, is hereby authorized and directed to transmit to the division for deposit in said special fund the charges made by the agency for data processing, telecommunication and central mailing office services rendered, such charges to be those fixed in a schedule or schedules prepared by the director and approved by the Governor. Disbursements from the fund shall be made in accordance with an approved expenditure schedule as provided by article two, chapter five-a of this code and shall be made under the direct supervision of the secretary.
§5A-7-11. Confidential records.
Under no circumstances whatever shall the head of any state department or agency deliver to the division any records required by law to be kept confidential, but such head may extract information from such records for data processing by such division, provided the integrity of such confidential records is fully protected.