CEO 75-188 -- September 25, 1975
ADVISORY COUNCIL TO THE BUREAU OF ELECTRONIC REPAIR DEALER REGISTRATION
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Gene Rhodes
The Advisory Council to the state Bureau of Electronic Repair Dealer Registration serves in a solely advisory capacity, and its members therefore are not subject to financial disclosure pursuant to the advisory board exclusion of s. 112.312(7)(b), F. S. (1974 Supp.). The revised financial disclosure law, which will go into effect on January 1, 1976, however, defines an advisory body as any board whose expenditures constitute less than 1 percent of the budget of each agency it serves or $100,000, whichever is less, and whose authority is solely advisory. Section 112.312(1), F. S., created by Ch. 75-196, Laws of Florida. All boards must examine their status in light of this provision in order to determine the applicability of financial disclosure requirements for the 1976 filing.
Am I, as a member of the Advisory Council to the Bureau of Electronic Repair Dealer Registration, a public officer within the meaning of that term as found in part III, Ch. 112, F. S. (1974 Supp.), and therefore subject to the disclosure provisions relating to public officers?
Your question is answered in the negative.
The meaning of the term "public officer" includes:
Members of boards, commissions, authorities, special taxing districts, and the head of each state agency, however selected but excluding advisory board members. [Section 112.312(7)(b), supra; emphasis supplied.]
We have construed this subsection to mean that only those boards which are solely advisory fall within the exception to public officer status. See CEO 74-22. An advisory board is one which renders advice or recommendations to an officer or agency. This officer or agency then has complete discretion to accept or reject the advice or recommendation presented by the advisory board.
The duties of the Advisory Council to the Bureau of Electronic Repair Dealer Registration are to:
(a) Confer and advise with the division as to how the bureau may best fulfill its functions; and
(b) Consider and make appropriate recommendations in all matters submitted to it by the division. [Section 468.154(2), F. S. 1973.]
It is apparent that these functions are solely advisory. We therefore conclude that you, as a member of the Advisory Council to the Bureau of Electronic Repair Dealer Registration, are not a public officer subject to financial disclosure.
However, a recent revision to the Code of Ethics which takes effect January 1, 1976, defines an advisory body as:
. . . any board, commission, committee, council, or authority, however selected, whose total budget, appropriations, or authorized expenditures constitute less than 1 percent of the budget of each agency it serves or $100,000, whichever is less, and whose powers, jurisdiction, and authority are solely advisory and do not include the final determination or adjudication of any personal or property rights, duties or obligations, other than those relating to its internal operations. [Section 112.312(1), F. S., as amended by Ch. 75-196, Laws of Florida.]
We wish to advise you that if the authorized expenditures of the Advisory Council constitute 1 percent or more of the budget of the Bureau of Electronic Repair Dealer Registration or $100,000 or more, then the Advisory Council would not be considered an advisory body after January 1, 1976. In which case you would be subject to the disclosure provisions relating to public officers.