218.76 Improper payment request or invoice; resolution of disputes
(1) In any case in which an improper payment request or invoice is submitted by a vendor, the local governmental entity shall, within 10 days after the improper payment request or invoice is received by it, notify the vendor that the payment request or invoice is improper and indicate what corrective action on the part of the vendor is needed to make the payment request or invoice proper.
(2) In the event a dispute occurs between a vendor and a local governmental entity concerning payment of a payment request or an invoice, such disagreement shall be finally determined by the local governmental entity as provided in this section. Each local governmental entity shall establish a dispute resolution procedure to be followed by the local governmental entity in cases of such disputes. Such procedure shall provide that proceedings to resolve the dispute shall be commenced not later than 45 days after the date on which the payment request 1or proper invoice was received by the local governmental entity and shall be concluded by final decision of the local governmental entity not later than 60 days after the date on which the payment request or proper invoice was received by the local governmental entity. Such procedures shall not be subject to chapter 120, and such procedures shall not constitute an administrative proceeding which prohibits a court from deciding de novo any action arising out of the dispute. If the dispute is resolved in favor of the local governmental entity, then interest charges shall begin to accrue 15 days after the local governmental entity's final decision. If the dispute is resolved in favor of the vendor, then interest shall begin to accrue as of the original date the payment became due.
(3) In an action to recover amounts due under ss. 218.70-218.80, the court shall award court costs and reasonable attorney's fees, including fees incurred through any appeal, to the prevailing party, if the court finds that the nonprevailing party withheld any portion of the payment that is the subject of the action without any reasonable basis in law or fact to dispute the prevailing party's claim to those amounts.
History.--s. 4, ch. 89-297; s. 6, ch. 2001-169.
1Note.--The word "or" was inserted by the editors.