(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) The “Florida Secured Transaction Registry” or “registry” means the centralized database in which all initial financing statements, amendments, assignments, and other statements of change authorized to be filed under this chapter are filed, maintained, and retrieved. The term does not apply to documents that are filed under this chapter with the clerk of a circuit court.
(b) “Department” means the Department of State.
(c) “Materials and records” includes, but is not limited to databases, source or object codes, and any software relating to the Florida Secured Transaction Registry or other filing system for centralized filing under this 1chapter, regardless of the original source of its creation or maintenance. (2) Under chapter 287, the department has the authority to determine and select the most qualified respondents to the request for qualifications and to negotiate and enter into one or more contracts as provided in this section. The contract may not be assignable or otherwise transferable without the express written consent of the department, notwithstanding any limitations imposed by s. 679.4061 or s. 679.4081. (3) The department shall perform the 2duties, as filing officer and filing office under this chapter, for the Florida Secured Transaction Registry until October 1, 2001, or 3until the effective date of a contract executed by the department to administer and operate the registry for the performance of these duties, whichever occurs later. At that time, the department shall cease serving as the designated filing officer and filing office for the registry under this 1chapter, and thereafter, except to the extent the department may reclaim those duties as provided 4below, the department shall not be responsible for the performance of the duties of the filing office 5or officer under this 1chapter, including determining whether documents tendered for filing under this 1chapter satisfy the requirements of law. The department shall retain authority under this 1chapter to approve the forms required to be filed under this 1chapter. If authorized by the contract with the department, the entity performing the duties of the filing office may certify a copy of a financing statement, or an amendment thereto, which shall be admissible in a state or federal court or in a proceeding before any other tribunal.
(4) Notwithstanding the terms and conditions of any contract to perform the administrative and operational functions of the filing office or filing officer under this part for the Florida Secured Transaction Registry, the department and the state shall retain sole and exclusive ownership of the materials and records of the registry, shall have the right to inspect and make copies of the materials and records of the registry, and shall have the right to immediately reclaim and take possession and control of the original materials and records of the registry if any entity under contract with the department to administer and operate the registry does not, or cannot, perform the terms and conditions of the contract for any reason or commences or is adjudicated a debtor in an insolvency proceeding. If the department reclaims control of the materials and records of the registry, the department shall provide for the uninterrupted fulfillment of the duties of the filing office and filing officer under this chapter by administration and operation by the department until a subsequent contract for such duties can be executed. The department shall be entitled to injunctive relief if the entity fails to turn over the materials and records upon demand, and the Circuit Court for Leon County, Florida, shall have exclusive original jurisdiction to adjudicate any disputes pertaining to this section or any contract entered into under this section.
(5) The Department of State shall immediately develop and issue a Request for Qualifications seeking capable entities to perform both the 2duties currently being performed by the department as a filing officer and filing office under 6this chapter. (a) The qualifications shall, at a minimum, provide for the organization and maintenance of the Florida Secured Transaction Registry as the centralized Uniform Commercial Code filing and retrieval system, which:
1. Is comparable and compatible with the department’s existing filing system.
2. Is open to the public and accessible through the Internet, to permit the review of all existing filings of the department and all future filings in the registry, in compliance with chapter 119.
3. Provides for oversight and compliance audits by the department.
4. Requires records maintenance in compliance with this 1chapter and chapter 119. 5. Maintains the current level of filing fees and procedures for the deposit of revenues with the department as specified in chapter 15, net of operating costs, 7for a period of 5 years.
(b) The Department of State shall develop performance standards to ensure that the Florida Secured Transaction Registry is accurate and complete and that the users thereof are being well-served. Periodically, the department shall verify that these performance standards are being met or modified as may be needed from time to time.