CEO 75-31 -- February 21, 1975
APPLICABILITY OF CODE OF ETHICS TO MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION FOR THE PROMOTION OF UNIFORMITY OF LEGISLATION
To: Edward I. Cutler, Commission for the Promotion of Uniformity of Legislation, Tampa
Prepared by: Gene L. "Hal" Johnson
Only members of boards whose functions are solely advisory are excluded from the definition "public officer" set forth in s. 112.312, F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida. See CEO 74-22. Under the authorization of s. 13.10, F. S. 1973, the Commissioners for the Promotion of the Uniformity of Legislation promote the assimilation and uniformity of the laws of the states. The commissioners review and recommend to the Legislature, but make no final decisions; the Legislature may reject, accept, or modify the commission's recommendation. Thus, since the commission serves a solely advisory function, its members are not public officers for purposes of the law.
Are members of the Commission for the Promotion of Uniformity of Legislation public officers within the meaning of that term as found in part III, Ch. 112, F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida?
This question is answered in the negative.
The definition section of the Code of Ethics, s. 112.312, supra, provides that members of governmental commissions are public officers except in those instances in which the commission is advisory in nature. It has been our view in previous opinions that only boards whose functions are solely advisory fall within this exclusion. See CEO 74-22.
The Commissioners for the Promotion of the Uniformity of Legislation serve under the authorization of s. 13.10, F. S. 1973. Their function, as the title indicates, is to promote the assimilation and uniformity of the laws of the states. The commissioners' duties include the consideration and drafting of uniform legislation and the recommendation of courses of action which shall best effectuate the purposes of the commission. Section 13.10(2), F. S.
These duties fall within the "advisory" category. No final decisions are made by the commissioners. Rather, their function is to review and recommend appropriate legislation promoting uniform state laws. The Legislature may accept, modify, or reject the commission's recommendations in whole or in part. Accordingly, it is our opinion that the Commission for the Promotion of Uniformity of Legislation is an advisory body; thus, its members are not public officers within the definition found in the Code of Ethics and need not comply with the disclosure requirements of part III, Ch. 112, supra.