The vendor re-billed the discount I took for timely payment because their payment was offset. What should I do?
If a paying agency meets the terms and conditions required to take the discount, the agency is entitled to that discount. The fact that a third party authority (i.e., court garnishment, IRS levy, state controller offset) withholds all or a portion of that payment will not disturb that agreement. As a matter of fact, written agreements (i.e., state contracts, state purchase orders) contain a specific provision regarding vendor offset. Explain this to the vendor and request a credit for the full amount of the vouchered payment plus the discount taken. Do no pay offset amounts rebilled. Send a copy of the attached letter if necessary.
The vendor has threatened to discontinue service unless we pay. What action should I take?
Explain to the vendor that you have paid them and have done everything you can do. Provide them with a copy of the Sample Letter to Vendors (sent to agency controllers June 9, 1998, by the OSC) and the warrant numbers, warrant dates and invoices paid. In many instances, any further attempt to pay (which of course you should not do) would only result in another offset. Offer to assist the vendor in getting in touch with the claiming agency. This should include only relaying the claiming agency's phone number and/or address. You cannot stop a vendor from discontinuing service. Remember, many vendors service more than one agency, and failure to meet their commitments to one agency will affect their status at others.
The vendor told me they didn't owe the money that was offset. How do I handle this?
This issue is between the vendor and the claiming agency. Assist the vendor in getting the claiming agency's phone number and address. These debts are fully documented and if a refund is due, the claiming agency will make the refund to the vendor.
What notice has the vendor received?
Vendors receive a "Notice of Intent to Offset" letter when the claiming agency adds them to the COFRS file. This letter gives them a claiming agency contact so they can ask questions.
Vendors receive a "Notice of Offset" letter when a payment is offset. This letter gives them a claiming agency contact so they can ask questions.
Vendors receive a notice on the stub of an offset warrant or a zero dollar warrant that refers them to the above letter.
Vendors have notice by way of the terms and conditions of their state contract or state purchase order.
How can I get copies of these notices?
The text of these notices is standard and is included in the Vendor Offset instructions. The vendor may request a copy of the original notice from the claiming agency.
How can I get copies of the instructions?
Vendor Offset instructions are available through our web site, or you may contact Val Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org .
How can I get my vendor exempted from the Vendor Offset process?
Some payments from COFRS are clearly not intended by the law to be offset. Payments to beneficiaries under the law or fixed entitlements are examples of possible exemptions. If you feel your payee should be exempted, please contact Val Smith at email@example.com.
Back to Top
Return to Authoritative Guidance