REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
Collection Services for State University System
Delinquent Student Accounts
I. GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS
On behalf of the universities in the Florida State University System, Florida
International University is requesting proposals from commercial collection
agencies for the collection of delinquent accounts. This proposal is extended to
the collection of delinquent accounts referred by other institutions of the State
University System of Florida, including:
University of Florida, Gainesville; Florida State University, Tallahassee; Florida
A & M University, Tallahassee; University of South Florida, Tampa; Florida
Atlantic University, Boca Raton; University of West Florida, Pensacola;
University of Central Florida, Orlando; University of North Florida,
Jacksonville; Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft. Myers; and the New College,
The purpose of contracting for collection assistance is to increase the collection
of seriously delinquent accounts through the use of professional collection
techniques beyond the capabilities of the staff at the universities, while
maintaining the proper relationship between the University and the borrower.
Proposals shall be submitted for (1) Collection of delinquent student accounts
not involving legal action and (2) those collections involving legal action.
A. Background Information. Approximately accounts per year with
a value of require additional collection activity beyond that
available at the universities.
B. Agency Selection. Recognizing that no one agency will be able to
perform adequately all collection services for all institutions in the State
University System on a continuing basis, it is anticipated that
agreements will be executed with a number of agencies. It shall be the
responsibility of the University Controller at the individual institutions to
select from agencies, which are parties to the agreement, the particular
agency best able to perform the services required by the institution. The
evaluation committee reserves the right to make an on-site visit to the
proposers’ offices, if deemed necessary and appropriate. If an on-site visit
is determined to be necessary, it will be at the expense of the proposer(s).
C. Agency Qualification. It is preferred that the agency have at least five
(5) years experience in the collection of NDSL/Federal Perkins, health
professions/nursing and institutional student loans and other university
receivables, and demonstrates active involvement in national
organizations whose primary purpose involves the collection of student
loans and other university receivables. Agencies desiring to be qualified
under this proposal must include all information specified in Section III
of this RFP.
D. Equal Opportunity. Florida International University, and the other
universities in the State University System believe in equal opportunity
practices that conform to both the spirit and the letter of all laws against
discrimination and is committed to non-discrimination because of race,
creed, color, sex, age or national origin. To be considered for inclusion
under this agreement, the agency will comply with all provisions of
Executive Order 11246, as amended by Executive Order 11375, and of
the rules, regulations and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor and
shall also furnish the institution, upon request, a copy of an affirmative
action compliance program as required by the Office of Federal Contract
Compliance, Department of Labor.
E. Contract. Agencies accepted shall be required to enter into the attached
non-exclusive contract for collection services. Contract execution must
be accomplished by a person legally authorized to sign such agreements.
Contracts resulting from this proposal shall be governed by the laws of
During the term of the contract, Universities shall have the option to
make site visits to any agency awarded a contract as a result of this
Request for Proposal. Annual performance appraisals may be conducted
to ensure agencies’ performance and maximize recovery of accounts.
All rights and remedies conferred under the contract or by any other
instrument or law shall be cumulative and may be exercised singularly
or concurrently. Failure by either party to enforce any contract term shall
not be deemed a waiver of future enforcement of that or any other term.
The provisions of the contract are declared to be severable.
The contract may be unilaterally canceled by the universities for refusal
by the agency to allow public access to all document, papers, letters, or
other material subject to the provisions of Chapter 119, F. S., and made
or received in conjunction with the contract(s).
The response to this Request for Proposal will be incorporated in the
contract document as fully and completely as if set forth therein and
shall be binding upon the agency. The governance of the documents
resulting from this Request for Proposal shall be as follows: Contract
Amendment(s), Contract, Addenda to Request for Proposal, Request for
Any changes or modifications to the contract(s) resulting from this
proposal shall be executed by both parties in the same form as the
The contract(s) can be terminated by either party, without cause, upon
thirty (30) days written notice.
The term of the contract(s) shall be for a period of five (5) years
commencing the 1st day of July, 2002 and ending the 30th day of June,
2007, with an option to renew for two (2) years, subject to the availability
of funds lawfully appropriated for this purpose. The contract(s) may also
be extended for an additional six (6) months upon mutual written
F. Taxes. The universities are tax-immune instrumentalities of sovereignty
and are exempted from the payment of all property, sales, use, or excise
taxes. If, in the future, this tax exempt status should change, the
universities agree to pay any taxes required by law.
G. Payment. Pursuant to Section 215.422(3)(b), Florida Statutes, vendors
providing goods and services to an agency should be aware of the
following time frames. Upon receipt, an agency has five (5) working days
to inspect and approve the goods and services, unless the bid
specifications, purchase order or contract specifies otherwise. An agency
has 20 days to deliver a request for payment (voucher) to the Department
of Banking and Finance. The 20 days are measured from the latter of the
date the invoice is received or the goods or services are received and
If payment is not available within 40 days, a separate interest
established pursuant to Section 55.03(1), Florida Statutes, will be due
and payable to the vendor, in addition to the invoice amount. The
interest penalty provision applies after a 35 day period to health care
providers as defined by rule. Interest penalties of less than one (1) dollar
will not be enforced unless the vendor requests payment. Invoices which
have to be returned to a vendor because of vendor preparation errors will
result in a delay on the payment. The invoice payment requirements do
not start until a properly completed invoice is provided to the agency.
A Vendor Ombudsman has been established within the Department of
Banking and Finance. The duties of this individual include acting as an
advocate for vendors who may be experiencing problems in obtaining
timely payment(s) from a state agency. The Vendor Ombudsman may be
contacted at (904) 488-2924 or by calling the State Comptroller’s hotline,
Invoices must be submitted in detail sufficient for proper pre-audit and
H. Availability of Funds. The State of Florida’s performance and obligation
to pay under this contract is contingent upon an annual appropriation
by the Legislature.
II. SCOPE OF THE AGREEMENT
A. The collection agencies awarded contract(s) resulting from this
proposal shall be responsible for the following activities:
1. Accept for collection, upon terms, conditions and provisions herein
set forth, all amounts which the universities refer to it for
collection including, but not limited to principal, interest, internal
collection costs and legal fees.
2. Promptly undertake, through proper and lawful means, the
collection of all accounts referred to it by the universities without
regard to the amount. It is mandatory that the collection agency
attempt contact within ten (10) working days after placement by
Agency shall not, under any circumstances, use threats,
intimidation, or harassment of the debtor in the collection of
accounts or violate any guidelines established by the Federal Trade
Commission or the State of Florida. The universities are in no way
to be defamed or misrepresented by the agency or its attorneys,
contractors, or subcontractors, and the agency agrees to protect
and indemnify the universities against any and all claims arising
out of agency’s collection procedures or actions of its attorneys,
contractors, or subcontractors, which shall include all attorneys
fees and costs of any damages. Agency shall accept responsibility
for complying with all State and Federal laws relating to collection
services during the term of the (resulting) contract.
The Agency warrants that personnel who work the University’s
accounts will be knowledgeable and comply with all laws, rules,
regulations, guidelines, and policy interpretations governing the
collection of debts including, but not limited to, those particularly
applying to the collection of student loan accounts.
Agency will ensure and warrant that its personnel shall continually
maintain their knowledge of all laws and regulations governing the
collection of debts throughout the term of any resulting contract.
Agency will acknowledge the privacy rights of educational loan
recipients which are expressed in the Federal Family Educational
Rights and Privacy Act (Title 20 United States Code, Section 1232g)
and in any applicable state law(s).
Agency will not release student loan records or information from
student loan records without full compliance with all Federal and
State privacy laws and written approval from the University.
Agency will comply with all applicable statutory provisions of or
applicable to Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as
amended and as set forth in 34 CFR SS 668.25 and 34 CFR 674.
3. Implement through collection procedures in the attempt to achieve
a maximum recovery of debts. Such procedures are to include a
reasonable number of telephone calls and mail efforts. Skip tracing
procedures will be used whenever necessary. Legal action shall be
taken when all other efforts fail, provided written authority is given
by a university. Legal action shall be taken in the name of the
University Board of Trustees, and should be recorded within thirty
(30) days in the county of the debtor’s residence or asset holdings.
Reasonable asset location will be performed by agency, which shall
be deemed to include discovery in aid of execution, to satisfy
judgments. If any legal action is taken, the collection agency shall
furnish in writing to the University within 30 days of issuance, a
report on their efforts in executing and collecting on judgments,
the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of attorneys
assigned to the collections, copies of pleadings and final judgments
filed on behalf of the institution, including the status of the
litigation. The agency shall provide copies of the Summons and
Complaints to the University within 15 days of service, and copies
of judgments within 15 days of such judgment. Agency agrees to
comply with all Federal regulations regarding litigation of Title IV
debts during the term of the (resulting) contract.
When litigation is appropriate, the following guidelines will be
a. The debtor has assets that may cover all or most of the
b. The debtor has no known defense (e.g., statute of
c. The debtor can be located and easily served;
d. The debtor owes more than $200;
e. In those situations where it is deemed in the best interest of
Commission rate shall convert to legal rate when suit is filed.
When it is determined that litigation is not appropriate, a written
explanation shall be provided to the University.
4. Remit to the respective universities, by the 10th of each month, the
full amount collected (including overpayments per each customer
and payments for court costs fronted by agency) on each account
during the prior calendar month along with an invoice for the
collection fee. Agencies shall submit itemized invoices, detailing
returned checks and regular payments. Invoices must be
submitted in detail sufficient for pre-audit and post-audit review.
Note: Universities shall have the option of requiring remittance on
a weekly basis. Agency shall attempt to accommodate special
billing needs at request of University.
5. Supply the respective universities the following reports by 10th of
each month for the prior calendar month.
a. Acknowledgement of accounts assigned (Format-Exhibit 1-A)
b. Status report on all accounts (Format-Exhibit 1-B)
c. List of accounts returned (Format-Exhibit 1-C)
d. Summary report on all accounts (Format-Exhibit 1-D)
e. Report showing contact by notice, letter, telephone, date
account placed, etc. (Format-Exhibit 1-E)
f. New address report for students (Format not prescribed)
The reports submitted by the agencies shall contain the
information on the attached activity reports. In addition, a
payment history of each account shall be submitted to the
University annually or at the request of the University.
6. Return all placed accounts where there have been no collections
for six (6) months, unless specifically requested to continue by the
University. There will be no charge for these accounts. Failure to
return assigned accounts after six months may result in the
cancellation of outstanding commissions, by the University.
7. Litigated accounts, as any other accounts, shall be returned to the
University whenever the University deems it necessary or
appropriate. When accounts are returned to the University, the
agency or its attorneys, contractors, or subcontractors relinquish
future claims and rights to payments.
8. Assignment of accounts shall not be permitted. Any assignment or
attempted assignment of these accounts shall constitute a breach
of the contract and the University shall have the right of immediate
cancellation, as well as the right to take any other remedies
provided by law.
9. Suspend action either temporarily or permanently on the account
referred to it for collection upon notification by the universities.
There will be no collection fee charged on the uncollected portion of
10. Upon request by the University, agencies shall accrue interest at a
set percentage per day on figures provided by the University and
from the date designated by the University. The University shall
provide the rate to the agency.
11. Accounts under contracts established by this RFP shall not be
considered paid in full until the University confirms that all
balances have been paid in full. Agency shall reimburse University
for any amount which becomes uncollectible due to any act or
omission by the agency or its attorneys, contractors, or
subcontractors, and shall not release verification that an account
is paid in full until the university confirms that all balances have
been paid in full. The agency shall verify the balance on all
accounts and contact the University within 10 days of accepting
payment in full and prior to releasing full-payment information.
Agency does not have authority to accept compromise settlements
(i.e., waiving collection costs, etc.) without the prior written
consent of the University. Failure to comply with these provisions
may be basis for cancellation of the contract.
12. Upon request by the University, the agency shall obtain signed
repayment agreements from the defaulter and will exert special
efforts on accounts designated as “cohort default” accounts.
Federal Perkins Student Loan accounts placed with Agency shall
be returned to University after successful rehabilitation by the
borrower, as defined by federal regulation (34 CRF 674.39) and
University rehabilitation policy. Collection agency commissions
shall not exceed 24% on rehabilitated loans. At the University’s
option, if a Perkins loan is successfully rehabilitated, all loans for
that student shall be returned to the University.
13. Provide the University a copy of the collection agency’s annual
financial statement within ninety (90) days after the fiscal year end
of the collection agency. The financial statements submitted shall
be audited by a firm or individual recognized by the American
Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Provide the
University with a written opinion within sixty (60) days after the
end of the agency’s fiscal year, on the agency’s compliance with
conditions (2), (4), (5), (6), (14), and (17) of this section. The opinion
must come from a firm or individual recognized by AICPA.
14. Agency shall establish and maintain a client trust account within
the State of Florida for the universities and provide to the
University the name of the trust account, the trust account
number and the address of the facility. All monies collected by
agency shall be deposited into said Trust Account for the security
of the University. In addition, each agency must register with the
Department of Banking and Finance and renew the registration
annually, in accordance with Sections 559.553 and 559.555,
Florida Statutes. A copy of the registration from the successful
proposers shall be provided to the University prior to the
commencement of rendering services under the resulting
contracts. Failure to provide a copy of the registration within 30
days of contract execution will constitute an event of default.
15. Keep in effect a surety bond in the amount of $400,000 or a
policy/policies for errors and omissions/employee dishonesty bond
in the amount of $400,000 for the period of this contract plus 90
days thereafter to protect the universities against loss through
failure by an agency or any of its employees to reimburse the
University all monies collected. This bond shall be in the form
approved by the University and the surety/insurance company
shall be a company approved and licensed by the Florida
Department of Insurance. The Board of Trustees shall be named as
an additional insured on the insurance policies. (See Exhibit No. 3)
The Agency shall provide certification of such bond on an annual
basis to Florida International University.
16. Agency shall adjust the amount placed on a monthly basis for
collection cost and interest. Agency shall use approved
renegotiated payment agreements to reduce default rates.
Renegotiated agreements will be forwarded to the University
17. Maintain separate bookkeeping records for each individual
University. Agencies are required to deposit collections in a
depository qualified by the Office of the Comptroller, State of
18. At each University’s request, agencies shall report delinquent
accounts to appropriate credit bureaus and agree to comply with
all terms and conditions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
19. Permit the public, University representatives, officers, authorized
employees and agents, the University Internal Auditors, and
Legislative Auditors of the State of Florida to have access to and
the right to examine any pertinent books, records, documents, and
papers of the agency, subject to the provisions of Chapter 119,
Florida Statutes, involving transactions related to this contract
until three years after the effective date of the termination of the
contract. The universities may unilaterally cancel this contract for
failure to comply with this requirement as provided by Section
287.058(1)(c), Florida Statutes.
20. Provide support services as may be required, due to changes in
State or Federal Regulations, during the term of the contract. The
Universities reserve the right to amend contract(s) established by
this proposal, due to changes in laws, rules, or regulations. Any
changes or modifications to the contract(s) shall be executed in the
same form as the original contract(s). Agency agrees to comply with
all applicable federal and state laws and regulations governing
student loans, including the Federal Family Educational Rights
and Privacy Act (Title 20, United States Code, Section 1232G) and
the state counterpart found in Section 228.093, Florida Statutes.
21. The universities have the right, at their own expense, to examine
and/or audit or have examined or audited the records of the
22. In the event of termination of this contract, return to the
universities within thirty (30) days from receipt of notice of
termination all accounts which have been referred for collection.
The reports as required in accordance with Section II(5) of the
request for proposal and Section A-5 of the contract shall be
delivered to the University within thirty (30) calendar days
following the notice of termination by either party.
23. Should agency either fail or refuse to return an account to the
University upon being required to do so by any provision of
agreement(s) resulting from this RFP, agency shall cease any
further collection effort on the account and shall consider the
account under the control of the University. Agency shall be
responsible for all costs, fees, and expenses incurred by the
Universities in their efforts either in or out of court to obtain the
return of accounts. Agency shall also be responsible for any claims
or damages which may arise form its failure or refusal to return
any accounts in a timely fashion.
24. Agency agrees to indemnify, defend, and save harmless the
universities, their officers, agents, and employees from any and all
claims and losses accruing or resulting to any person, firm, or
corporation furnishing of supplying work, services, materials, or
supplies in connection with the performance of this contract, and
from any and all claims and losses accruing or resulting to any
person, firm or corporation who may be injured or damaged by the
agency in the performance of this contract.
25. The agency, and the agents and employees of agency, in the
performance of this agreement, shall act in an independent
capacity and not as officers or agents of the State of Florida.
26. Should Agency be acquired by or merged with another entity,
University shall have the option of terminating this Agreement
upon thirty (30) calendar days notice to the surviving entity,
without any liability whatsoever other than payment for services
provided to University prior to the termination date.
27. The University shall have the right to terminate the Agreement at
any time in the event Successful Vendor files a petition in
bankruptcy; or is adjudicated bankrupt; or if a petition in
bankruptcy is filed against Successful Vendor and not discharged
within thirty (30) days; or if Successful Vendor becomes insolvent
or makes an assignment for the benefit of its creditors or an
arrangement pursuant to any bankruptcy law; or if a receiver is
appointed for Successful Vendor or its business.
B. The universities’ responsibilities under the contract(s) resulting from this
proposal shall be to:
1. Place selected accounts, at the option of the institution, with
agency for collection.
2. Leave accounts placed with agency for six (6) months unless recall
3. Accounts may be recalled from the agency, without cost to the
universities, in the following instances:
a. It is fully determined that the debtor was not delinquent at
the time of placement with the agency.
b. The debtor is entitled to cancellation under the cancellation
c. The debtor is entitled to deferment.
d. The debtor has declared bankruptcy.
e. The accounts were erroneously turned over.
f. When in the best interest of the University.
4. Pay invoices in accordance with Section 215.422(3)(b), Florida
Statues and in accordance with terms and conditions of the
contract between the agency and the University. Refer to Section I.
Paragraph G. of this RFP.
5. Universities may, at their option, accept payment from debtors and
remit fee(s) to Agency upon receipt of an acceptable invoice.
6. The successful bidder agrees the University is under no obligation
to pay a commission fee if a payment to the University is unrelated
to efforts undertaken by the agency.
III. REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL SUBMITTALS
A. Proposals for the Collection of Delinquent Student Accounts of the
universities will be accepted until ____________ at 2:00 p.m. at the
address given below. Any proposals received after this time shall be
rejected and returned unopened.
Florida International University
11200 SW 8 Street
Miami, FL 33199
B. The package containing the proposal must be marked as follows:
Proposal Collection of Delinquent Students Accounts
State University System
Opening date and time:___________at 2:00 p.m.
C. Agencies shall submit 5 copies of their proposal. Failure to submit the
specified number of copies may be basis for rejection of the agency’s
proposal. Proposals and all addenda shall be executed by an individual
legally authorized to bind the proposer.
The University reserves the right to reject any and all proposals received
and to waive any minor irregularities in any proposal, whenever such
rejection or waiver is in the best interest of the State of Florida.
D. Submit your proposal to collect all delinquent accounts whether secured
by a promissory note or not. Schedule A “Mandatory Collection Agency
Proposal Submittal” must be completed and submitted with your
proposal. Agencies are encouraged to provide additional information
describing processes, business practices and other issues that would be
useful to the universities when evaluating the strength of your agency.
IV. SPECIAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS
A. Agency shall be responsible for submitting proposal in the format
prescribed in Section III, Request for Proposal Submittals. Failure to
provide all of the information requested in Section III will result in
disqualification from the RFP process.
B. All inquiries relating to the specifications and terms and conditions of
this proposal shall be in writing. Written inquiries must be received by
the date and time prescribed in the Calendar of Events in order to be
considered. Only written communications from the University shall be
considered duly authorized expressions on behalf of the Sate University
System. Inquiries shall be submitted to the location designated to receive
the proposals. Responses to the written inquiries will be in the form of an
addendum to the request for proposal, which must be executed by an
individual legally authorized to sign on behalf of the Agency.
C. The proposal and cost/fee submissions in response to this request for
proposals are open to the public after the prescribed proposal opening
date and time. Therefore, proposers should not include confidential
information with the proposals.
D. All submittals shall remain valid for 180 days following the deadline date
E. Agency is prohibited from using funds provided under any contract
resulting from this request for proposal for the purpose of lobbying the
Legislature or any official officer, commission, board, authority, council,
committee or department of the executive or judicial branch of state
F. Proposals from agencies that have received unsatisfactory audits while
previously under contract with the Board of Regents of the State
University System will not be considered.
G. In the event of default by the Agency of any terms and conditions of a
contract resulting from this Request for Proposal, the University shall
provide the Agency written notice of such default and the Agency shall
have thirty (30) days from receipt of such notice to cure said default. If
the Agency fails to cure the default within the thirty (30) day period, the
University, at its option, may cancel the contract, issue a new contract to
the next lowest respondent, collect all sums due to the
university/universities and pursue any other remedies available at law or
H. A person or affiliate who has been placed on the convicted vendor list
following a conviction for a public entity crime may not submit a bid on a
contract to provide any goods or services to a public entity for the
construction or repair of a public building or public work, may not
submit bids on leases of real property to a public entity, may not be
awarded or perform work as a contractor supplier, subcontractor, or
consultant under a contract with any public entity, and may not transact
business with any public entity in excess of the threshold amount
provided in Section 287.017, for CATEGORY TWO for a period of 36
months from the date of being placed on the convicted vendor list.
I. The University reserves the right to negotiate terms and conditions with
vendors offering the most favorable proposals. The University reserves
the right to negotiate modifications with other vendors. The University
must request modifications. Unsolicited modifications without prior
request by the university will not be accepted.
V. PROPOSAL EVALUATION
Proposals will be evaluated by an evaluation committee. Proposals will be
evaluated using the following criteria.
A. Collection Fee – Rating Schedule 40
1. Collection of delinquent accounts without legal action
Less than or equal to 20% - 30 points
Less than or equal to 23% - 27 points
Less than or equal to 25% - 25 points
Less than or equal to 27% - 20 points
Greater than 27% or less
than or equal to 35%- 18 points
Greater than 35% 0 points
2. Collection of delinquent accounts with legal action
Less than or equal to 30% - 10 points
Less than or equal to 35% - 5 points
Greater than 35- 0 points
3. Fee for pre-collection services 3
Fee for skip-trace
Fee for asset search
B. Business Experience/Longevity 20
1. Number of years your firm has been in business ____.
2. Years of contracting for collection services with college
and universities _____.
3. Experience – Rating Scale for #1 and #2 above
Greater than or equal to 20 years – 10 points
Greater than or equal to 15 years – 8 points
Greater than or equal to 10 years – 6 points
Greater than or equal to 5 years – 4 points
Less than 5 years – 0 points
C. Capability of supplying/receiving data in a computerized or electronic
form compatible with the universities’ information technology resources
(the universities generally have IBM or IBM compatible hardware). As a
minimum, consideration will be given to the following when evaluating
1. Equipment and software programs currently being
used by the agency.
2. Web-base systems that would be available to the
universities and the debtors to access account information.
3. Other web-based services that would be available
to the universities
4. Agency’s method to accept placements electronically.
5. Agency’s ability to interface with billing agencies.
6. Agency’s method to remit reports electronically
Total points 15
D. Agency may receive five points for each of the following
categories upon satisfactorily demonstrating/
providing documentation with the proposal that it complies:
1. Involvement with national organizations 5
(i.e.) NACUBO, COHEAO, etc.)
2. Extra points for leadership role in national 5
3. Multi-lingual (especially Spanish-speaking) 5
4. Communicate regulation changes and 5
update the University via newsletter, etc.
E. Reference Checks/Site Visit 25
Collection performance based on reference
1. Reference checks will be performed
on agencies scoring sufficient points
on sections A through E.
Rating Scale for Reference Checks:
Outstanding - 25 points
Good - 15 points
Fair - 10 points
Poor - 0 points
NOTE: If deemed necessary and appropriate, the members of the
evaluation committee reserve the right to make an on-site visit to the
proposer’s office(s) to verify that the proposer has the capability to
provide the services specified, herein, based on the proposer’s submittal
and the results of the above evaluation. No points will be assigned for the
on-site visit, as it will be for verification purposes. However, the visit will
be a determining factor in the proposed contract award. Any visit
determined to be necessary and appropriate for verification purposes will
be at the expense of the proposer.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Issue Request for Proposals
Written Inquiries due
Responses to written inquiries to be mailed to proposers
Closing date and time for receipt and opening of proposals
Approximate date for award of proposals after evaluation
Approximate date for execution of contract(s)
Effective date of new contract(s)
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