CEO 75-143 -- July 9, 1975
BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF ____ COUNTY LAW LIBRARY
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Jeff Trammel
Members of a county law library board of trustees whose duties consist of the maintenance and acquisition of legal volumes are not deemed to be public officers because they serve in a solely advisory capacity. No purchases are made directly by the board; rather, recommendations of purchases are submitted by the board to the county commission, which body has final authority to acquire materials. Members of the board of trustees are therefore exempt from the requirement to file financial disclosure, pursuant to the advisory board exclusion of s. 112.321(7)(b), F. S. (1974 Supp.).
Are members of the Board of Trustees of the ____ County Law Library public officers within the meaning of that term as found in part III, Ch. 112, F. S. (1974 Supp.), and therefore subject to financial disclosure requirements?
This question is answered in the negative.
As you state in your letter of inquiry, the board's general duties are to supervise the maintenance and acquisition of various legal volumes for the two ____ County law libraries. The board submits its requests for purchases to the county and does not itself have the authority to make purchases.
In part III, Ch. 112, F. S. (1974 Supp.), the term "public officer" is defined to include:
Members of boards, commissions, authorities, special taxing districts, and the head of each state agency, however selected but excluding advisory board members. (Emphasis supplied.)
We have interpreted the exclusion of advisory boards to apply only to those boards which are solely advisory in nature. An advisory board is one which renders advice or recommendations to an officer or agency, which officer or agency then has the discretion to accept or reject the advice or recommendation presented by the advisory board.
The Board of Trustees of the ____ County Law Library clearly qualifies for advisory status. Consequently, its members are not deemed to be public officers and therefore are not subject to financial disclosure requirements.