§ 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).)