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CFO Patronis: We Must Identify Chinese-State Owned Businesses that Work with Florida

5/28/2020

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 28, 2020
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

CFO Patronis: We Must Identify Chinese-State Owned Businesses that Work with Florida
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, at the Florida Cabinet meeting Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced that his office is in the process of requesting that private vendors to the state of Florida verify whether they are majority owned by United States interests. This information will be used to better identify businesses that are majority-Communist Party of China owned that do business with the state of Florida. The action comes on the heels of the CFO’s April 23, 2020 demand letter to China, which is available HERE.
 
Florida CFO Patronis said, “Like many states, Florida often uses private sector partners to provide critical services to our citizens. As the Department of Financial Services (DFS) issues payments to these vendors for their services to other state agencies, we think it’s a prudent step to see if some of these businesses may be controlled or owned by the Chinese government. By calling on businesses to self-identify whether they’re majority American-owned, we’ll be able to narrow the scope of our inquiry.

“In April, my office issued a demand letter to the Chinese government for the harm they have caused to our citizens and state finances because of their documented cover-up of COVID-19. Since they’ve chosen to not respond to our official transmission, we’re going to follow through in our commitment of identifying Chinese owned businesses that do business with the State of Florida. This will provide us information should Florida need to withhold payments to these businesses as federal leaders sort out potential financial impacts against the Communist Party of China.”

There are more than 100,000 active vendors registered with the Department of Financial Services that do business with the State of Florida. 
 
COMMUNICATION FROM DFS TO VENDORS    
 
Dear State of Florida Vendor:
 
            Re:       Vendor Ownership Survey
 
Thank you for your continued partnership with the State of Florida, United States of America. The Department of Financial Services (DFS) is attempting to identify state vendors who are owned or controlled by the Communist Party of China. DFS is charged with processing payments on behalf of the State of Florida to its vendors. In furtherance of these duties, the Department is conducting a survey of vendor ownership to determine the extent to which vendors doing business with the state are owned or controlled by United States interests.   

Accordingly, if you are a vendor that is domiciled in the United States and controlled directly or indirectly at all levels (meaning at least fifty percent (50.00%) ownership or more) by United States citizens and entities (“U.S. Interests”), you are hereby requested to respond within 30 days by verifying your status as a company owned and controlled by U.S. Interests, in order to avoid necessary follow up by the Department.
 
If you are not included in the above because you are not owned or controlled by U.S. Interests, your response stating so is also requested.   
 
All responses should be directed to vendorrelations@myfloridacfo.com and refer to “Vendor Ownership Survey.”
 
Departamento de Servicios Financieros
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. El Oficial Principal de Finanzas Patronis trabaja todos los días para luchar contra el fraude de seguros, apoyar a los bomberos de la Florida y garantizar que las finanzas del estado sean estables para respaldar el crecimiento financiero del estado. Siga las actividades del departamento en Facebook (FLDFS) y Twitter (@FLDFS).