APPLICABILITY OF DISCLOSURE LAW TO INCORPORATED
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT BOARD
To: Name withheld at person's request (Ocala)
Appointed and ex officio members of the board of directors of a regional workforce development board are not subject to the financial disclosure provisions in Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes. The statute which authorized the creation of regional workforce boards does not impose financial disclosure on regional workforce development board members, and as a private, nonprofit corporation, the board is not a local government entity that can utilize the "local option" provision in Section 112.3145(1)(a)2.g., Florida Statutes, to impose the requirement on itself through its by-laws.
Are the appointed members of the Citrus Levy Marion Regional Workforce Development Board, Inc., including its ex officio members, subject to the financial disclosure requirements of Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry, you advise that you represent the Citrus Levy Marion Regional Workforce Development Board, Inc., and that you have been asked to seek an advisory opinion on whether appointed and ex officio members of the Board are considered to be "local officers" who must file financial disclosure pursuant to Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes. In CEO 03-2, we opined that the at-large members of the Board of Directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., were required to file financial disclosure. We reached this conclusion even though Enterprise Florida, Inc., is a private, nonprofit corporation, because the statute which created Enterprise Florida, Inc., specifically imposed the financial disclosure obligation on the members of its Board of Directors. See Section 288.901(10), Florida Statutes. Similarly, we note that the statute which created "Workforce Florida, Inc.," subjects its board members to financial disclosure. See Section 445.004(4)(i), Florida Statutes. However, the statute which authorizes the creation of regional workforce boards—Section 445.007, Florida Statutes, contains no such requirement.
We further note that the By-Laws for the Citrus Levy Marion Regional Workforce Development Board, Inc., contain a number of provisions which reference standards of conduct contained in the Code of Ethics in Chapter 112, Part III, Florida Statutes, or that are similar in effect. On the issue of financial disclosure, Article XI.G. of the By-Laws provides:
CLMRWDB Officers, Members and Employees shall file a Financial Disclosure Form with the Supervisor of Elections in their home county within 30 days of appointment; thereafter, these forms are filed annually in July. After filing this form, a copy should be returned to the CLMRWDB Administrative Office to be kept on file for the CLMRWDB.
Section 112.3145(1)(a)2.g., Florida Statutes, contains a "local option" where the appointing authority for a local government board can require financial disclosure for its appointees, or where the requirement can be imposed by the enabling legislation, ordinance, or resolution creating the board. However, the Citrus Levy Marion Regional Workforce Development Board, Inc., is not a local government board—it is a private, nonprofit corporation that was established in response to the federal government's passage of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and the State's subsequent passage of the Workforce Innovation Act of 2000, codified in Chapter 445, Florida Statutes. There is nothing in Chapter 445, Florida Statutes, that imposes financial disclosure on members of regional workforce boards. Therefore, even though the By-Laws for the Citrus Levy Marion Regional Workforce Development Board, Inc., require its officers, members and employees to file the annual CE Form 1—Statement of Financial Interests, this requirement is not authorized by law and it not enforceable by the Commission on Ethics because members of private, nonprofit corporations are not subject to the disclosure law. See CEO 91-41, CEO 85-88, CEO 84-33, CEO 84-32, CEO 83-66, CEO 82-5, and CEO 77-102A.
We make this pronouncement with regret because the Board's desire to impose ethics provisions on its members and its operations is commendable. However, given the statutory framework in which we operate, as well as our limited resources, we must conclude that neither the appointed nor ex officio members of the Citrus Levy Marion Regional Workforce Development Board, Inc., are subject to the annual filing of a financial disclosure statement under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes.
Your question is answered accordingly.
ORDERED by the State of Florida Commission on Ethics meeting in public session on January 25, 2008 and RENDERED this 30th day of January, 2008.
Albert P. Massey, III, Chairman