Article 6B.

Statewide Accounts Receivable Program.

147-86.20. Definitions.

The following definitions apply in this Article:

(1) Account receivable. - An asset of the State reflecting a debt that is owed to the State and has not been received by the State agency servicing the debt. The term includes claims, damages, fees, fines, forfeitures, loans, overpayments, taxes, and tuition as well as penalties, interest, and other costs authorized by law. The term does not include court costs or fees assessed in actions before the General Court of Justice or counsel fees and other expenses of representing indigents under Article 36 of Chapter 7A of the General Statutes.

(2) Debtor. - A person who owes an account receivable.

(2a) Electronic payment. - Payment by charge card, credit card, debit card, or by electronic funds transfer as defined in G.S. 105-228.90(b).

(3) Past-due. - An account receivable is past-due if the State has not received payment of it by the payment due date.

(4) Person. - An individual, a fiduciary, a firm, a partnership, an association, a corporation, a unit of government, or another group acting as a unit.

(5) State agency. - Defined in G.S. 147-64.4(4). The term does not include, however, a community college, a local school administrative unit, an area mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse authority, or the General Court of Justice.

(6) Write-off. - To remove an account receivable from a State agency's accounts receivable records. (1993, c. 512, s. 1; 1999-434, s. 1; 2010-31, s. 31.8(a); 2019-177, s. 8.1.)

 

147-86.21. State agencies to collect accounts receivable in accordance with statewide policies.

A State agency to which an account receivable is owed is responsible for collecting the account receivable. In fulfilling this responsibility, a State agency shall establish internal policies and procedures for the management and collection of accounts receivable and shall submit its internal policies and procedures to the State Controller for review.

The State Controller shall examine the policies and procedures submitted by a State agency to determine whether they are consistent with statewide policies and procedures adopted by the State Controller. The statewide policies and procedures shall ensure that a State agency takes all cost-effective and appropriate actions to collect accounts receivable owed to it. If the State Controller determines that a State agency's policies and procedures are not consistent with the statewide policies and procedures, the State Controller shall discuss the inconsistencies with the State agency to determine whether special circumstances, such as a requirement of federal law, justify the inconsistencies. If the State Controller, after consulting with the Office of the Attorney General, finds that no special circumstances justify the inconsistencies, the State Controller shall notify the State agency and the State agency shall conform its policies and procedures to the statewide policies and procedures. If the State Controller finds that special circumstances justify the inconsistencies, the State agency's internal policies and procedures shall reflect the special circumstances. (1993, c. 512, s. 1.)

 

147-86.22. Statewide accounts receivable program.

(a) Program. - The State Controller shall implement a statewide accounts receivable program. As part of this program, the State Controller shall do all of the following:

(1) Monitor the State's accounts receivable collection efforts.

(2) Coordinate information, systems, and procedures between State agencies to maximize the collection of past-due accounts receivable.

(3) Adopt policies and procedures for the management and collection of accounts receivable by State agencies.

(4) Establish procedures for writing off accounts receivable.

(b) Electronic Payment. - Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 147-86.20 and G.S. 147-86.21, this subsection applies to debts owed a community college, a local school administrative unit, an area mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse authority, and the Administrative Office of the Courts, and to debts payable to or through the office of a clerk of superior court or a magistrate, as well as to debts owed to other State agencies as defined in G.S. 147-86.20.

The State Controller shall establish policies that allow accounts receivable to be payable under certain conditions by electronic payment. These policies shall be established with the concurrence of the State Treasurer. In addition, any policies that apply to debts payable to or through the office of a clerk of superior court or a magistrate shall be established with the concurrence of the Administrative Officer of the Courts. The Administrative Officer of the Courts may also establish policies otherwise authorized by law that apply to these debts as long as those policies are not inconsistent with the Controller's policies.

A condition of payment by electronic payment is receipt by the appropriate State agency of the full amount of the account receivable owed to the State agency. A debtor who pays by electronic payment may be required to pay any fee or charge associated with the use of electronic payment. Fees associated with processing electronic payments may be paid out of the General Fund and Highway Fund if the payment of the fee by the State is economically beneficial to the State and the payment of the fee by the State has been approved by the State Controller and State Treasurer.

The State Controller and State Treasurer shall consult with the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations before establishing policies that allow accounts receivable to be payable by electronic payment and before authorizing fees associated with electronic payment to be paid out of the General Fund and Highway Fund. A State agency must also consult with the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations before implementing any program to accept payment under the policies established pursuant to this subsection.

A payment of an account receivable that is made by electronic payment and is not honored by the issuer of the card or the financial institution offering electronic funds transfer does not relieve the debtor of the obligation to pay the account receivable.

(c) Collection Techniques. - The State Controller, in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General, shall establish policies and procedures to govern techniques for collection of accounts receivable. These techniques may include use of credit reporting bureaus, judicial remedies authorized by law, and administrative setoff by a reduction of a tax refund pursuant to the Setoff Debt Collection Act, Chapter 105A of the General Statutes, or a reduction of another payment, other than payroll, due from the State to a person to reduce or eliminate an account receivable that the person owes the State.

The State Controller shall negotiate a contract with a third party to perform an audit and collection process of inadvertent overpayments by State agencies to vendors as a result of pricing errors, neglected rebates and discounts, miscalculated freight charges, unclaimed refunds, erroneously paid excise taxes, and related errors. The third party shall be compensated only from funds recovered as a result of the audit. Savings realized in excess of costs shall be transferred from the agency to the Office of State Budget and Management and placed in a special reserve account for future direction by the General Assembly. Any disputed savings shall be settled by the State Controller. This paragraph does not apply to the purchase of medical services by State agencies or payments used to reimburse or otherwise pay for health care services. (1993, c. 512, s. 1; 1998-212, s. 26.1; 1999-434, s. 3; 2000-140, s. 93.1(a); 2001-424, s. 12.2(b); 2010-31, s. 31.8(b).)

 

147-86.23. Interest and penalties.

A State agency shall charge interest at the rate established pursuant to G.S. 105-241.21 on a past-due account receivable from the date the account receivable was due until it is paid. A State agency shall add to a past-due account receivable a late payment penalty of no more than ten percent (10%) of the account receivable. A State agency may waive a late-payment penalty for good cause shown. If another statute requires the payment of interest or a penalty on a past-due account receivable, this section does not apply to that past-due account receivable. This section does not apply to money owed to the University of North Carolina Health Care System or to East Carolina University's Division of Health Sciences for health care services, to the North Carolina Turnpike Authority for money owed to the Authority for tolls, or to the North Carolina State Health Plan for past-due account receivables related to premiums and claims payments. (1993, c. 512, s. 1; 2007-306, s. 4; 2007-491, s. 44(1)a; 2012-78, s. 14; 2012-194, s. 68(c); 2013-324, s. 6.)

 

147-86.24. Debtor information and skip tracing.

A State agency shall collect from clients and debtors minimum identifying information as prescribed by the State Controller. A State agency shall use all available debtor information to skip trace debtors as prescribed by the State Controller.

The State Controller shall establish procedures to give the State Controller access to information that is in the custody of a State agency and could assist another State agency in the collection of accounts receivable owed to that State agency. A State agency that has this information shall cooperate with the State Controller in giving the State Controller access to the information. If the information is contained in an electronic database, the State agency shall provide the State Controller on-line electronic access upon request. A State agency is not required to give the State Controller access to information when a State or federal law prohibits the disclosure of the information. (1993, c. 512, s. 1.)

 

147-86.25. Setoff debt collection.

The State Controller shall implement a statewide setoff debt collection program to provide for collection of the following accounts receivable by setoff against payments the State owes to debtors, other than payments of tax refunds and payroll:

(1) Accounts receivable submitted to the Department of Revenue by a claimant agency under the Setoff Debt Collection Act, Chapter 105A of the General Statutes.

(2) An overdue tax debt, as defined in G.S. 105-243.1. (1993, c. 512, s. 1; 2010-31, s. 31.8(c).)

 

147-86.26. Reporting requirements.

A State agency shall provide the State Controller a complete report of the agency's accounts receivable at least quarterly or more frequently as required by the State Controller. The State Controller shall use the information provided by a State agency and any additional information available to compile a summary report of the agency. The State Controller shall provide copies of these summary reports annually to the Governor, the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations, and each State agency. Each summary report shall include the following:

(1) The type of accounts receivable owed to the State agency.

(2) An aging of the accounts receivable.

(3) Any attempted collection activity and any costs incurred in the collection process.

(4) Any accounts receivable that have been written off.

(5) Information required by subdivisions (1) through (4) for the previous three years.

(6) Identification of a State agency that is not complying with this Article or Chapter 105A of the General Statutes.

(7) Any additional information the State Controller considers useful. (1993, c. 512, s. 1.)

 

147-86.27. Rules.

A State agency may adopt rules to implement this Article. (1993, c. 512, s. 1.)

 

147-86.28. Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

147-86.29. Reserved for future codification purposes.