Clerk Budgets, Audits and Performance Measures

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Annual Budgets for the Clerk Independent Audit Financial Reports for the Clerk
Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports Popular Annual Financial Reports
Pinellas County Annual Financial Reports Investment Reports
Bonded Debt Reports Performance Measures
Inspector General Reports Inspector General Annual Reports
Inspector General Annual Audit Plans Spending in the Sunshine

As your Chief Financial Officer for the County, it is important for us to demonstrate our commitment to accountability and transparency. You, the citizens of Pinellas County expect accountability in your public officials. I realize that the dollars we spend are your dollars, and we need to be ever diligent to make sure that every dollar we spend is necessary and efficiently used.

I’ve worked to live up to the standards I set for our office. In the time I have been in office, we have significantly increased services we deliver and dealt with a heavier work load both in our courts and accounting offices. Today, despite decreases in personnel we have continued to provide excellent customer service. We have done that through process improvements, better use of technology and better trained personnel.

This past Legislative session, Clerks’ budgets across the state were cut on average 18%. Since 90% of our budget is for personnel expenses, this cut has forced us to make more dramatic reductions in personnel than we had planned. The current financial environment will test and strain our ability to continue to deliver quality and timely services. I can assure you that our personnel are committed to delivering you the highest level of customer service and we are up to the challenge before us.

I am proud of our performance. I am very fortunate to have a great team of employees behind me who make me look good. We believe the more you know about us, the more you appreciate the value you get in our office. We have attached information that will assist you to make an evaluation of our performance. We encourage your review and inspection of our records. Please call if you have any questions or would like additional information.

Budget Process

The Florida Constitution charges the Clerk of Courts with multiple responsibilities. These responsibilities include being the Clerk to the Circuit and County Courts, Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners, County Auditor, Recorder of Official Records, and County Finance Officer. Over time, the funding sources and budgetary approval process for these different responsibilities have evolved and in many cases become specific to the functional responsibility. Therefore, portions of the Clerk’s budget have different revenue sources, different expenditure rules and different approval authorities.

Funding the Office of Clerk of Courts


Budget Adoption: The Clerk of the Circuit Court adopts an annual budget for all funds within the Clerk’s Office. The budget is prepared on a basis consistent with generally accepted accounting principles. The annual budget serves as the legal authorization of expenditures. The budget must be balanced, which means that budgeted expenditures and reserves of each fund (appropriations) will equal the sum of estimated fund balance at the beginning of the fiscal year and revenues expected to be received during the fiscal year (estimated revenues). A line item budget is adopted for revenues and expenditures.

Budgetary Control:
Expenditures may not exceed appropriations at the major object code level within the cost center of the fund. Subsequent amendments increasing the overall total budget approved by the Board of County Commissioners (Board) for the Board fund must be approved by the Board. Subsequent amendments increasing the overall total budget approved by the Clerk of the Court Corporation (CCOC) for the Court fund must be approved by the CCOC. The Clerk may approve budgetary changes within the respective funds. The Chief Deputy Directors of the affected Divisions may approve amendments that do not increase the overall budgets of the respective funds or allocate funds from reserve for contingency.

Fund Names and Descriptions
Number Name Source Excess Fee Distribution
1501 Court Clerk’s Court related fees, fines and forfeitures Remitted to State
1502 Board Transfers from Board Remitted to Board
1503 Recording Recording fees, marriage licenses and passports, etc. Remitted to Board
1505 Public Records Modernization Trust Additional $1 service charge on the lst page and $.50 on each additional page of most recorded instruments Retained by the Clerk
1506 Court Public Records Modernization Trust Additional $1.90 per page service charge on most recorded instruments Retained by the Clerk
1506 10% Fine/Public Records Modernization Trust 10% of fines Retained by the Clerk

Ken Burke, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller
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