§ 143C-6-11. Highway appropriation.
(a) General Provisions. - Appropriations made for transportation projects are subject to the provisions in this section. If the provisions in this section conflict with the budget acts, the budget acts prevail.
(b) Cash Flow Management of Transportation Projects. - Transportation Project funds shall be budgeted, expended, and accounted for on a "cash flow" basis. Pursuant to this end, transportation project contracts shall be planned and limited so payments due at any time will not exceed the cash available to pay them.
(c) Appropriations Are for Payments and Contract Commitments to Be Made in the Appropriation Fiscal Year. - The appropriations for transportation projects are for maximum payments estimated to be made during the appropriation fiscal year and for maximum contracting authority for future years. Transportation project contracts shall be scheduled so that the total contract payments and other expenditures charged to projects in the fiscal year for each transportation project appropriation item will not exceed the current appropriations provided by the General Assembly and unspent prior appropriations made by the General Assembly for the particular appropriation item.
(d) Payments Subject to Availability of Funds. - The annual appropriations for transportation projects shall be expended only to the extent that sufficient funds are available in the Highway Fund.
(e) Retainage Fully Funded. - The Department of Transportation shall fully fund retainage from transportation project contracts in the year in which the work is performed.
(f) Seven and One-Half Percent (7.5%) Cash Balance Required. - The Department of Transportation shall maintain an available cash balance at the end of each month equal to at least seven and one-half percent (7.5%) of the total appropriations for the current fiscal year from the Highway Fund and the Highway Trust Fund. In projecting cash balances in future years, the Department shall use the estimated cash flow as specified in the Current Operations Appropriation Act. In the event this cash position is not maintained, no further transportation project contract commitments may be entered into until the cash balance has been regained. Any federal funds on hand shall not be considered as cash for the purposes of this subsection.
(g) Anticipation of Revenues. - In awarding State transportation project contracts requiring payments beyond a biennium, the Director may anticipate revenues as authorized and certified by the General Assembly to continue contract payments for up to seventy-five percent (75%) of the revenues which are estimated for the first fiscal year of the succeeding biennium and which are not required for other budget items. Up to fifty percent (50%) of the revenues not required for other budget items may be anticipated for the second and subsequent fiscal years' contract payments. Up to forty percent (40%) of the revenues not required for other budget items may be anticipated for the first year of the second succeeding biennium and up to twenty percent (20%) of the revenues not required for other budget items may be anticipated for the second year of the second succeeding biennium.
(h) Amounts Encumbered. - Transportation project appropriations may be encumbered in the amount of allotments made to the Department of Transportation by the Director for the estimated payments for transportation project contract work to be performed in the appropriation fiscal year. The allotments shall be multiyear allotments and shall be based on estimated revenues and shall be subject to the maximum contract authority contained in subsection (c) above. Payment for transportation project work performed pursuant to contract in any fiscal year other than the current fiscal year is subject to appropriations by the General Assembly. Transportation project contracts shall contain a schedule of estimated completion progress, and any acceleration of this progress shall be subject to the approval of the Department of Transportation provided funds are available. The State reserves the right to terminate or suspend any transportation project contract, and any transportation project contract shall be so terminated or suspended if funds will not be available for payment of the work to be performed during that fiscal year pursuant to the contract. In the event of termination of any contract, the contractor shall be given a written notice of termination at least 60 days before completion of scheduled work for which funds are available. In the event of termination, the contractor shall be paid for the work already performed in accordance with the contract specifications.
(i) Provision Incorporated in Contracts. - The provisions of subsection (h) of this section shall be incorporated verbatim in all transportation project contracts.
(j) Existing Contracts Are Not Affected. - The provisions of this section shall not apply to transportation project contracts awarded by the Department of Transportation prior to July 15, 1980.
(k) The Department of Transportation shall do all of the following:
(1) Utilize cash flow financing to the extent possible to fund transportation projects with the goal of reducing the combined average daily cash balance of the Highway Fund and the Highway Trust Fund to an amount equal to between fifteen and twenty percent (15-20%) of the total appropriations for the current fiscal year from those funds. In projecting cash balances in future years, the Department shall use the estimated cash flow as specified in the Current Operations Appropriation Act. Any federal funds on hand shall not be considered as cash for the purposes of this subsection. The target amount shall include an amount necessary to make all municipal-aid funding requirements of the Department.
(2) Establish necessary management controls to facilitate use of cash flow financing, such as establishment of a financial planning committee, development of a monthly financing report, establishment of appropriate fund cash level targets, review of revenue forecasting procedures, and reduction of accrued unbilled costs.
(3) Report annually, on October 1 of each year, to the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee on its cash management policies and results.
(l) It is the intent of the General Assembly to (i) prevent the inclusion of duplicative fund codes in the Highway Fund certified budget and (ii) correctly align authorized positions and associated operating costs with the appropriate purposes and definitions as defined in G.S. 143C-1-1. To that end, the Office of State Budget and Management, in consultation with the Department of Transportation, the Office of the State Controller, and the Fiscal Research Division of the General Assembly, shall include, as an appendix to the Highway Fund certified budget, object detail using the North Carolina Accounting System Uniform Chart of Accounts prescribed by the Office of the State Controller to provide a more detailed accounting of the proposed budgets and receipts and actual expenditures and revenue collections. This requirement includes applying object detail at the four-digit level for all accounts to full-time and part-time positions, to operating expenditures and receipts, and to intrafund transfers. Additionally, work order positions shall be budgeted within existing fund codes. (2006-203, s. 3; 2014-100, s. 34.23(a); 2018-5, s. 34.8(b).)