2018 Florida Statutes
Compliance examinations of existing licensees.
Compliance examinations of existing licensees.
497.150 Compliance examinations of existing licensees.—
(1) There may be examined by the department the facilities, records, operations, trust accounts, and financial affairs of licensees under this chapter, as often as may be deemed necessary by the department, to ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter. The provisions of this section shall apply to examinations conducted by the department under this chapter.
(2) The examination may, as deemed necessary by the department, include examination of the affairs, transactions, accounts, and records of the licensee’s agents and controlling or controlled person, relating directly or indirectly to the licensee.
(3) The examination may be conducted at the offices, wherever located, of the person being examined or investigated and at such other places as may be required for determination of matters under examination.
(4) Every person being examined, and its officers, attorneys, unless it violates the attorney-client privilege, employees, agents, and representatives, shall make freely available the accounts, records, documents, files, information, assets, and matters in their possession or control relating to the subject of the examination.
(5) The licensee shall provide for the department examiner’s use during the examination such suitable private office work location and facilities, including desk, chair, and adequate lighting and ventilation, as are reasonably available on the licensee’s premises.
(6) If the department finds any accounts or records required to be made or maintained by a licensee under this chapter to be inadequate or inadequately kept or posted, it may employ experts to reconstruct, rewrite, post, or balance them at the expense of the person being examined, provided the person has failed to maintain, complete, or correct such records or accounting after the department has given her or him notice and a reasonable opportunity to do so.
(7) In connection with any examination under this chapter, the department may administer oaths, examine witnesses, and receive oral and documentary evidence, require the licensee to answer under oath interrogatories propounded by the department, issue a subpoena for testimony or the production of records to any person believed to have information or materials relevant to the subject matter of the examination, and compel such attendance and testimony and the production of such materials for inspection and copying. If any person refuses to comply with any such subpoena or to testify as to any matter concerning which she or he may be lawfully interrogated, the Circuit Court of Leon County or of the county wherein such examination, investigation, or hearing is being conducted, or of the county wherein such person resides, may, on the application of the department, issue an order requiring such person to comply with the subpoena and to testify. Subpoenas may be served, and proof of such service made, by any employee of the department.
(8) The department shall furnish a copy of any examination report to the licensee examined within a reasonable period of time, and the licensee shall have 30 days thereafter in which to prepare and provide the department a response to the examination report. No examination report shall be filed by the department until such 30-day period has elapsed. If the licensee provides a written response to the department within such 30-day period, the response shall be attached to and made a part of the report as filed in the department’s files.
(9) The examination report when so filed shall thereafter be admissible in evidence in any judicial or administrative action or proceeding brought by the department against the person examined, or against its officers, employees, or agents, or for the enforcement of an investigative subpoena issued by the department in any investigation of, involving, or relating to the person examined. In all other proceedings, the admissibility of the examination report is governed by the evidence code. The department or its examiners may at any time testify and offer other proper evidence as to information secured or matters discovered during the course of an examination, whether or not a written report of the examination has been made, furnished, or filed in the department.
(10) The written report of each preneed examination, when completed, shall be filed in the office of the board and, when so filed, shall constitute a public record.
(11) The person or organization examined shall pay the travel expense and per diem subsistence allowance provided for state employees under s. 112.061 for out-of-state travel incurred by department representatives or examiners in connection with an examination.
History.—s. 20, ch. 2004-301; s. 89, ch. 2005-2.