CEO 74-12 -- September 25, 1974
CE FORMS 1, 2, AND 3
PROCEDURES AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF COMPLETION
To: R. E. Henderson, Mayor, Melbourne Village
Prepared by: Patricia Butler
Section 112.3145, F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida, requires all public officers and candidates to disclose income, interests, and assets on CE Form 1. The form must be filed even if the answers to all statutorily required information would be "none" or "not applicable." Failure to file CE Form 1 constitutes failure to comply with the law. However, totally negative responses to CE Forms 2 or 3 need not be filed. See also CEO 74-02.
1. Must CE Form 1, the financial disclosure statement, be filed by a candidate or public officer if the answers to all statutorily required information would be "none" or "not applicable"?
2. Must CE Form 2, quarterly statement of disclosure of clients represented before agencies, and CE Form 3, disclosure of conflicts of interest by public officers, public employees, and candidates, be filed if the answers to all statutorily required information would be "none" or "not applicable"?
Your question 1 is answered in the affirmative. Section 112.3145, F. S., requires that "all public officers and candidates shall disclose" their income by source, any interest they may have in certain business enterprises, debts on which they may have been given a preferential rate of interest, and a list of their total assets. A minimum percentage is included below which these items need not be included. The law also makes certain exceptions as to sources of income which need not be disclosed. By ordering the statute in this manner, the Legislature has indicated its desire that the financial disclosure statement be filed even if the response to each question would be "none" or "not applicable."
In addition, there are practical reasons which support our conclusion. Without such a filing, it would be difficult for the Ethics Commission to distinguish between those candidates and officers who had complied with the law but did not meet the minimum percentage requirements and those who simply failed to comply with the law.
Your question 2 is answered in the negative.
It is our opinion that negative reports are not to be filed on CE Forms 2 and 3. The type of disclosure sought by these forms is positive or affirmative in nature. Therefore, if you or, if applicable, any partner or associate of the professional firm of which you are a member have not represented a client, during the quarter, before your own agency, the agency in which you are seeking office, or any agency at the same level of government as the agency in which you hold office or are seeking office, then you are not required to file CE Form 2.
Likewise, if you do not hold any of the positions enumerated in s. 112.313(3), F. S. 1974, as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida, in any business entity which is granted a privilege to operate, or is doing business with the governmental agency of which you are an officer or employee; or you do not own, directly or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the total assets or capital stock of such a business entity, you are not required to file CE Form 3.