116B-8. Employment of persons with specialized skills or knowledge.

The Treasurer may employ the services of such independent consultants, real estate managers and other persons possessing specialized skills or knowledge as the Treasurer deems necessary or appropriate for the administration of this Chapter, including valuation, maintenance, upkeep, management, sale and conveyance of property and determination of sources of unreported abandoned property. The Treasurer may also employ the services of an attorney to perform a title search or to provide an accurate legal description of real property which the Treasurer has reason to believe may have escheated. Persons whose services are employed by the Treasurer pursuant to this section to determine sources and amounts of unreported property are subject to the same policies, including confidentiality and ethics, as employees of the Department of State Treasurer assigned to determine sources and amounts of unreported property. If the Treasurer contracts with any other person to conduct an audit under this Chapter, the audit shall not be performed on a contingent fee basis or any other similar method that may impair an auditor's independence or the perception of the auditor's independence by the public. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, the Treasurer may contract with any other person on a contingent fee basis to conduct audits of life insurance companies where the audit is being conducted for the purpose of identifying unclaimed death benefits or to conduct audits of holders of unredeemed bond funds. Compensation of persons whose services may be employed pursuant to this section on a contingent fee basis shall be limited to twelve percent (12%) of the final assessment. (1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1311, s. 1; 1999-460, ss. 3(b), 5; 2012-152, s. 3; 2012-194, s. 61.5(a), (b); 2015-109, s. 1.)