The department shall have and shall exercise such general and specific powers as are delegated to it by this chapter and other statutes of the state, which powers shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) To adopt and periodically alter, rescind, modify, or amend all proper and necessary rules and orders for the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties under this chapter and other statutes of the state, which rules and orders shall have the force and effect of law when not inconsistent therewith.
(2) To act as the general supervisory authority over the administration and enforcement of this chapter and to exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as may be imposed upon it by other laws of the state.
(3)(a) To pay, or participate in the payment of, premiums for health, accident, and life insurance for its full-time employees, pursuant to such rules as the department may adopt, in addition to the regular salaries of such full-time employees. The payment of such or similar benefits to its employees in foreign countries, including, but not limited to, social security, retirement, and other similar fringe benefit costs, may be in accordance with laws in effect in the country of employment, except that no benefits will be payable to employees not authorized for other state employees, as provided in the Career Service System.
(b) Subject to all applicable rules adopted by the Department of Management Services, the department shall be staffed 5 days per week, 40 hours per week, as necessary to accommodate industry inquiries. However, the executive director, with the commission’s approval, may establish alternative schedules for individual department employees to ensure maximum efficiencies.
(4) To purchase or authorize the purchase of all office equipment and supplies and to incur all necessary expenses in connection with and required for the proper administration of this chapter and other applicable laws.
(5) To investigate violations of this chapter and other laws conferring powers and duties upon the department and to report its findings or recommendations in connection therewith to the Department of Agriculture.
(6) To incur such reasonable obligations and expenses as may be necessary and proper for the discharge of its powers and duties under this or other laws and to have such obligations and expenses paid out of the funds authorized by law to be collected and expended. The department’s executive director, or such other person specifically designated by the commission to act in the event the executive director is either unable or not available to act, is authorized to execute, on behalf of the department, contracts and agreements previously approved by the commission during a regular or special meeting, and the secretary or assistant secretary of the commission is authorized to attest to the signature of the executive director or other designated person.
(7) To adopt, amend or repeal, and enforce rules that establish minimum maturity and quality standards for citrus fruits not inconsistent with existing laws or that regulate and control methods and practices followed or used in harvesting, grading, packing, extracting, canning, concentrating, sectionizing, or otherwise processing citrus fruits or citrus juices or the products thereof for human consumption, including the addition or prohibition of any and all additives, and including application to or use of coloring matter thereon and coloring of fruit by placing in a degreening room with or without use of heat or any form of gas in such process, to the end that such methods and practices as affect the eating and keeping qualities and depreciate the value of citrus fruits or the juices or other food products thereof in any form may be minimized to the greatest extent possible, if not altogether eliminated.
(8)(a) To prepare and disseminate information of importance to citrus growers, handlers, shippers, processors, and industry-related and interested persons and organizations relating to department activities and the production, handling, shipping, processing, and marketing of citrus fruit and processed citrus products. For referendum and other notice and informational purposes, the department may prepare and maintain, from the best available sources, a citrus grower mailing list. Such list shall be a public record available as other public records but is not subject to the purging provisions of s. 283.55. (b) Any information provided to the department which constitutes a trade secret as defined in s. 812.081 is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This paragraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2021, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature. (c) Any nonpublished reports or data related to studies or research conducted, caused to be conducted, or funded by the department under s. 601.13 is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. (9) When, in the opinion of the department, revenues collected pursuant to assessments levied under this chapter, whether allocated for research, advertising or promotion, reserve funds, advertising incentive plans, or other purposes, are not immediately needed for the purpose for which such funds are provided, the Chief Financial Officer is authorized and shall, upon the request and approval of the department, or its executive director if she or he has been given such authority, invest and reinvest the funds designated and for the period of time specified in such request. In the investment of such funds, the Chief Financial Officer has the powers and is subject to the limitations provided for in s. 17.61.
(10) Subject to the concurrence of the Chief Financial Officer, whenever the department contracts with a foreign entity for performance of services or the purchase of materials and such contract requires payment in equivalent foreign currency, the department may, for payment of such contract obligation, deposit sufficient state funds in a foreign bank, or purchase foreign currency at the current market rate, up to an amount not in excess of the contract obligation. All payments from these funds must have prior audit approval from the office of the Chief Financial Officer.
(11) To conduct an annual merchandising and management meeting in this state for department field personnel and to make direct payment, by means of vendor contracts approved by the commission, for all necessary lodging, meals, facilities, and training expenses for department employees attending such annual meeting, in lieu of payment of individual employee per diem allowances as established by s. 112.061.
(12) Notwithstanding part I of chapter 287, to adopt rules for the purpose of entering into contracts that are primarily for promotional and advertising services and promotional events, which may include commodities involving a service. Such rules shall include the authority to negotiate costs with the offerors of such services and commodities who have been determined to be qualified on the basis of technical merit, creative ability, and professional competency. Contracts pursuant to this subsection may provide for advance payments when the department determines that such provision is essential to acquiring the service.
(13) To investigate or address the transportation problems affecting the citrus industry.
(14) To investigate or research the mechanical harvesting of citrus fruit grown in the state.
(15) To provide by rule a list of forms used in conducting its business. The adoption of such rule constitutes sufficient notice to the public of the existence of the forms and negates the need to place specific citation to such list throughout the related chapters of the Florida Administrative Code.