CEO 75-67 -- March 31, 1975
FLORIDA ENERGY COMMITTEE MEMBERS APPOINTED BY GOVERNOR
To: Marvin Rudnick, General Counsel, Florida Energy Committee, Tallahassee
Prepared by: Patricia Butler
The Florida Energy Committee exists merely to conduct a study of energy policies and sources within the state and to provide information and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature on alternative energy policies. It is a solely advisory body and therefore falls within the advisory board exclusion of s. 112.312(7)(b), F. S. (1974 Supp.). The seven gubernatorial appointees to the committee are therefore not deemed to be "public officers" by virtue of their committee membership and are exempt from disclosure requirements applicable to public officers.
Are the seven gubernatorial appointees to the Florida Energy Committee public officers within the meaning of part III, Ch. 112, F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida, and therefore subject to the disclosure provisions applicable to public officers?
This question is answered in the negative.
The Florida Energy Committee, created by Ch. 74-130, Laws of Florida, consists of 15 members, eight of whom are state legislators and seven who are appointed by the Governor. The eight legislative members are deemed to be public officers by virtue of their position in the Legislature. See s. 112.312(7)(a), supra. Whether the remaining seven members are deemed to be public officers on the basis of their appointment to the Energy Committee depends upon the nature of the committee's powers.
The definition of the term "public officer" includes members of nonadvisory boards. Section 112.312(7)(b), supra. If the committee's power is solely advisory, its members are not within the act's coverage. See CEO 74-22.
It appears in this instance that the Florida Energy Committee exists merely to conduct a study of energy policies and sources in this state and to provide information and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature on alternative energy policies. To further its research, the committee has the power to require attendance of witnesses to appear before it and to require production of records and other data for its examination. Section 2(8), Ch. 74-130, Laws of Florida. However, this power is exercised solely in pursuit of its advisory function. Based on the foregoing, it is our opinion that the Florida Energy Committee is within the scope of the "advisory board" exclusion. Accordingly, the gubernatorial appointees on the committee are not deemed to be public officers for purposes of this act and are not subject to the disclosure provisions applicable to public officers.