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Section 5: Licensed Vendor Responsibilities

5.0 Licensed Vendor Responsibilities

Each Licensed Vendor shall agree to do all of the following:

  1. Perform the necessary duties in connection with the vending facility in accordance with the Division of Blind Services rules and procedures and the terms of their LOFA.
  2. Provide Workers Compensation Insurance as required by law or by contract. 
  3. Operate the vending facility in accordance with all applicable health laws and rules. Licensed Vendors must apply for health licenses when required. Vendors shall submit a copy of their health licenses to the Division when it pertains to Snack Bars and Cafeterias. 
  4. Furnish such reports as the DBS may require from time to time. 
  5. Pay for all merchandise purchased within the terms of credit policies of suppliers.
  6. Licensed Vendors are responsible for related miscellaneous expenses that occur on a day to day basis.
  7. Conform to the hours of operation as fixed by the DBS, after consultation with the Vendor and the agency having charge of the property.
  8. Participate in the in-service training programs provided by the DBS (refer to Continuing Educational Units below)
  9. Make payment of the set-aside fee by the due date.
  10. Maintain appropriate levels of dress and grooming in accordance with community standards.
  11. To accept responsibility for costs associated with normal business operations, including, but not limited to, cleaning supplies and services outside the scope of the Licensor responsibility, replacing light bulbs, restoration of function for jammed mechanisms, and any financial loss due to vandalism or theft.
  12. Product availability of self-service vending machines must be maintained at acceptable levels in order to ensure consistent customer satisfaction. (refer to Vending Machine Compliance' below)
  13. Maintain a reasonable physical presence at the property on which the business is conducted to the extent necessary for the performance of all managerial responsibilities.
  14. Vendors are expected to conduct themselves, on and off the job, in a manner that will not bring discredit or embarrassment to the DBS.  Vendors shall be courteous, considerate, respectful, and prompt in dealing with DBS personnel and in their service to the public.

Vendor Retention of Records

The Licensee must maintain copies of all documentation supporting the information provided on their monthly business reports and make them available, upon request, to duly authorized agents of the Licensor for review. The Licensee must maintain such records for a minimum of seven years to ensure compliance with record retention requirements of other government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service.

5.1 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

BBE licensed vendors are required to earn continuing educational units (CEUs) through participation in continuing education programs for a certain number of hours every two years. Failure to do so may result in the suspension or the revoking of their license. Suspension or Revocation of License {6A-18.0421 FAC}: A vendor shall be removed from a vending facility, or a license shall be suspended or revoked for Failure to successfully complete, every two (2) years, three (3) continuing education units (CEUs) of courses approved by the Division.

One Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is defined as 10 contact hours (1 hour = 60 minutes) of participation in an organized continuing education experience under approved sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction. BBE currently recognizes the following opportunities for CEUs: BBE Biennial Seminar, Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and approved National Conferences, Trade Shows, and other instructional opportunities. Licensed vendors should obtain CEU approval from BBE prior to participation in any program or event. The two year compliance period begins with each BBE Biennial Seminar and concludes prior to the start of the next Biennial Seminar. Up to two CEU credits for certain approved instructional courses, such as Hadley or college courses, may be carried over to the next compliance period. Newly licensed vendors are exempt from the CEU requirement during the reporting period in which they were licensed and are eligible for approved carry-over CEU credits.

5.2 Vending Machine Compliance

To properly provide adequate service for each vending machine, typically the number of sold-out selections should not exceed 20% (2 out of every 10) of the total number of selections on each unit.  Example: A Merchant Six 60 Select Configuration would be considered to be below the 20% rule if of the 60 possible selections, 13 selections were empty.
Operators whose vending machines are repeatedly found to be outside these guidelines are not providing sufficient service to their vending machines.  Excessive duplication of products in a vending machine, or within multiple machines in the same general vicinity, may be regarded as circumventing this rule and result in a violation. Failure of the operator to correct the deficiency will result in an official warning of non-compliance, and if not corrected, removal from the facility.

5.3 Tax Liability and Insurance

The Licensed Vendor is responsible for the payment of Social Security, Income Tax, State Sales Tax, Unemployment and all other taxes applicable to an independent contractor and arising from the operation of the Facility.

The Licensee shall not be insured in any manner by or through the Licensor, in particular the State of Florida, as a result of the LOFA. The vendor must provide annually, as well as at such other times as needed, proof that they have adequate coverage for business liability insurance with the DBS Bureau of Business Enterprise listed as an additional certificate holder on the policy. The Vendor is also responsible to provide proof of any other policies of insurance required by law to protect the Licensed Vendor from claims or actions arising from the Licensed Vendor's operation of the Facility.

5.4 Equipment

Maintenance and Repair: Each Licensed Vendor is responsible for maintaining or causing to be maintained all assigned equipment.  Property Management should be notified of incidental expenses tied to the building.

Repairs refer to the cost of repairing any equipment or purchase of parts used to repair equipment. Repairs will be managed as follows: The Vendor may authorize repairs up to $400.00 without consulting the Consultant and later be reimbursed. If the Vendor is unable to make a repair or if the cost of repair is over $400.00, he/she will contact the Regional Business Enterprise Consultant. After consulting with the Regional Business Enterprise Consultant, the Vendor will follow through with any recommendations.

Note: Light bulbs for vending machines are considered equipment parts and Vendors may be reimbursed for the purchase price. Vendors will not be reimbursed for bulb installation expenses, therefore repairman will not be allowed to charge for the installation of light bulbs on any invoice that is to be submitted to DBS for reimbursement. Expenses not considered as repairs include the purchase of any equipment or small wares (scoops, knifes, pans, etc.). Equipment and small wares should be purchased through the Consultant using a purchase order.

Equipment Transfer: A Vendor shall not transfer equipment between Vendors or facilities. Transferring equipment is the responsibility of the Regional Business Consultant or State Office Staff. If such transfers are needed, the Regional Consultant or State Office Staff should be contacted. Equipment shall only be used in the assigned vending facility. Any equipment purchased by Client Services for a Vendor is the possession of that Vendor.

Equipment Warranties: The primary responsibility for completion and submission of warranty registrations is that of the Regional Business Consultant. Vendors should check with their consultant when scheduling equipment repairs to inquire whether or not warranties are in effect. Most warranties can be verified through the equipment serial number, and service providers should obtain warranty information directly from the manufacturer.

Equipment/Property Disposal: A Vendor shall never dispose of any equipment or other state property. The Regional Business Consultant coordinates the disposal of any state property in accordance with the Department of Education's Property Management Policy and Procedures.

5.5 Reimbursement Process

The following reimbursement process is required for equipment repairs.  All costs associated with services rendered by the service provider must be paid in full by the Vendor before submitting a Reimbursement Request to the Division of Blind Services, Office of the Comptroller, DBS Fiscal Section. It is the responsibility of the Vendor to ensure that all required documents have the necessary information and statements affixed to them. All submissions for repair reimbursements must be received by the Division of Blind Services State Office, Office of the Comptroller, DBS Fiscal Section, before an invoice reaches 60 days old.

Submit the following completed documents to request a reimbursement:

  1. A copy of the MyFlordaMarketPlace registration confirmation page must be submitted with the first reimbursement request of a new Business Enterprise Facility Operator or after any changes have been made to a Business Enterprise Facility Operator's information and their MyFlordaMarketPlace registration has been updated.
  2. Reimbursement Request Form (DBS-702 Rev.07/16)
  3. An original Invoice with qualifying notation statements. (Copies and faxes are not accepted.)
  4. Proof of payment.

E-mail Reimbursement Request System

BBE operators are encouraged to participate in and use the E-mail Reimbursement Request System. To ensure proper processing, the E-mail Reimbursement Request Form should be completed and submitted with every request along with all required documentation. To reduce confusion, include the invoice number in the subject line of the E-mail when submitting a request.

All correspondence related to reimbursement requests should be sent to the following email address: BBE.Reimbursements@dbs.fldoe.org.

MyFloridaMarketPlace Registration:

Before a reimbursement request is submitted, a Business Enterprise Facility Operator must have registered their company on MFMP (My Florida Market Place) at: https://vendor.myfloridamarketplace.com

The information provided on the Reimbursement Request Form 702 must match the registered information at My Florida Market Place to ensure that there is no delay in processing your reimbursement request. The company name must appear in the remittance address when registering on MFMP.

In addition to registering in MFMP, the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) requires vendors to have valid Form W-9s on file before releasing applicable payments. As a new vendor, you must file a W-9 with the Department of Financial Services. Failure to do so could result in the delay of payments for services provided to the state. You can submit/update your Form W-9s electronically on https://flvendor.myfloridacfo.com. For more information, please visit http://www.fldfs.com/aadir/reconciliation/.

Mailing Address to submit a reimbursement request:

Mail all Reimbursement Requests with supporting documentation to:
Department of Education, Division of Blind Services
Office of the Comptroller, DBS Fiscal Section.
924-D Turlington Building
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400

Overview of the Reimbursement Process:

By mail, the reimbursement process usually takes 2 weeks before the Facility Operator can expect to receive a reimbursement warrant, but at times it can take longer. The E-mail Reimbursement System will significantly decrease the time required for operators to receive their refund from the Division of Blind Services

Delays in the reimbursement process occur when a reimbursement request is pulled for an audit and during the State of Florida's fiscal year change over.

The State of Florida's fiscal year is from July 1 to June 30. During the changeover to a new fiscal year's budget the reimbursement process can take 4 to 6 weeks.

General Additional Information:

To avoid delays in the processing of a Reimbursement Request, check that all required documents and additional documentation and notation statements are in compliance. Review the instructions for all specific audit points.

5.6 Monthly Business Reports and Set-Aside Levy

BBE vendors are required to submit a facility business report and set-aside levy payment each month.  The set-aside levy is a payment due to BBE based upon the net proceeds from the operation of the facility.  Both are due no later than the last day of the following month.  Any report or set-aside payment received after the due date is considered late.  If the set-aside payment is not received with the report, or if the set-aside payment is returned for non-sufficient funds, it is incomplete and will be considered late if not received by the due date.

Note: Failure to submit the monthly business report on-time for two consecutive months, or three times within a twelve-month period is considered a breach of contract.

Vendors experiencing technical difficulties with submitting on-line reports, especially in cases that would result in a late report, should immediately contact the DBS computer helpdesk by calling (850) 245-0360 or by sending an email to DBS.HelpDesk@dbs.fldoe.org. You may email or leave a voice message 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. A record will be kept of the time the problem is reported. If a vendor, in good faith, processes and submits a MBR on-line and is unable to meet the deadline through no fault of his/her own, there will be no penalty assessed.

  1. Below is a list of features that online reporting affords the B.B.E. vendor:
  2. Informs you when a new report is due and for which month
  3. Enter monthly reports online in easy to use format
  4. Calculates set aside and profits
  5. Make payment online
  6. Review past reports online
  7. Run comparative reporting scenarios.  You can compare your sales, costs and profits between one month and another, or one year and another.  Example: Compare my sales and costs from January through March, 2012 to January through March of 2013.

Inventory: For the purposes of the monthly report, inventory is defined as goods purchased for sale, and additional items offered at time of purchase such as plastic ware, napkins, and condiments.  Items not considered inventory are such things as other cleaning supplies, insecticides, purchases ordinarily considered as business expenses, or items purchased for personal use such as groceries or alcoholic beverages. Inventory does not include cash on hand or in machines.

5.7 Approved Business Expenses

There are three categories of approved business expenses in addition to purchased goods, wages and payroll taxes. These categories are

  1. Insurance
    • General Liability
    • Worker's Compensation
    • Commercial Vehicle Insurance (for Non-Highway vending routes and Highway vending facilities that do not have on-site storage)
  2. Licenses
    • Federal
    • State
    • County
    • Municipal (Other than County)
  3. Facility Services
    • Utilities paid to the owner of the property on which the business is located.
    • Rent or other payments paid to the facility ownership, or as required by the Agreement, in order to operate a business at the property location.
    • Storage Space Rental (Non-Highway Vending Facilities Only).
    • Pest Control is required at all facilities. Current policy stipulates that the Vendor must engage the services of a licensed pest control contractor for this service if it is not provided by the agency by a blanket agreement.
    • Equipment Rental is the actual amount paid to rent or lease any piece of equipment needed in the operation of the Facility. Equipment rental must be approved by the Consultant in writing prior to expenditure.

If the Vendor has any question about these items the District Representative or Regional Business Consultant should be contacted.

5.8 Repayment Plans

The BBE has the authority to enter into binding Repayment Plans with Licensees and Vendors to recover assets from non-receipt of set aside levies as well as working capital shortages, regardless of the amount involved. Payments shall be made payable to the DBS by Cashier's Check or Money Order.

Non-compliance with the rate or amount agreed upon shall nullify the repayment agreement in its entirety and any remaining balance shall be immediately considered due in full and not subject to a subsequent repayment plan. Such non-compliance shall be considered a violation of Section (II) (A) (4) of any current LOFA held by the involved Vendor. If the balance is not paid, it shall be turned over to DFS for collection.

5.9 Leave of Absence

Since all Vendors are independent contractors and not employees of the Division, the only obligation of the Vendor who needs to be away for any reason, is to provide the BBE with assurances that the Facility will continue to function without service interruption as required by the LOFA. In such instances, the vendor must notify the BBE consultant in writing of the coverage plan and expected length of the absence.

Short-Term Leave of Absence: When a Licensed Vendor finds it necessary to be absent from the facility for a period of three (3) to thirty (30) days, the Regional Consultant must be notified no later than 24 hours prior to the planned absence. The Vendor should state the reason for the absence and provide a contact phone number in case of emergency. It is the responsibility of the Licensed Vendor to ensure that service is provided in accordance with the terms and conditions of the LOFA during such absence. 

Long-Term Leave of Absence: A long-term absence from a location is defined as a period of thirty (30) to ninety (90) days when the Licensee will not be present at the facility. The Licensee must observe the following requirements:

  1. Notify the Regional Business Consultant of the extended leave of absence and arrangements for continued service of the facility.
  2. Make the necessary arrangements to ensure that service is being provided in accordance with the terms and conditions of the LOFA.
  3. Provide a contact phone number in case an emergency arises.

Leave of absence for extended illness or injury: A licensee incapacitated by illness or injury may request a medical leave of absence.  The Agency may grant such request for a period of time not to exceed six (6) months. If at the end of 6 months, the Licensee is not able to return to managerial duties, he or she may request an extension of the medical leave.  Extension of medical leave is contingent upon the Licensee or their personal representative providing the Agency with a reasonable assurance of expected recovery.  If this requirement is met, the Agency may grant up to an additional six (6) month extension of medical leave. After twelve (12) months of absence from a facility, the Division in consultation with the Chairperson of the State Committee of Vendors, will assess the situation to determine whether to grant additional leave of absence or terminate the Licensed Operator Facility Agreement. 

Note: During such leave of absence, and by mutual agreement of the Division, the Chairman of the State Committee of Vendors and the licensee, the licensee may elect to have their facility placed on a month-to-month Type II LOFA.  At such time when the licensee is able to return to work, their LOFA will be reinstated.

Florida Bureau of Business Enterprise

Providing Tools and Support for Legally Blind Vendors in the Food Service Industry