CEO 76-180 -- October 25, 1976
BUILDING MAINTENANCE SUPERINTENDENT WITH PURCHASING POWER
To: Lloyd F. Gardner, Building Maintenance Superintendent, Department of Transportation, Lake Worth
Prepared by: Roger Merriam
The Code of Ethics requires that each specified employee annually file a statement of financial interests. Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(2)(b)(1975). The code further defines the term "specified employee" to include purchasing agents for any state agency or persons having the power normally conferred upon a purchasing agent, by whatever title. Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(1)(b)5.(1975). Accordingly, a building maintenance superintendent with authority to purchase supplies costing $200 or less constitutes a specified employee pursuant to the above definition and therefore is required to file a statement of financial interests on an annual basis.
Am I, as a building maintenance superintendent with power to authorize or make purchases up to $200, a specified employee subject to the annual filing of financial disclosure?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
Your letter of inquiry, together with additional information you have provided our staff, advises that you are a building maintenance superintendent employed by the Department of Transportation and that you are authorized to obtain supplies costing $200 or less via the local purchase order system. You have further related that under this purchasing system a maintenance engineer must approve the actual expenditure of moneys for the goods you obtain and that such approval may be given several weeks after the purchase has been made.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees requires that each specified employee annually file a statement of financial interests. Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(2)(b)(1975). The code further defines the term "specified employee" to include:
Business managers, purchasing agents, finance and accounting directors, personnel officers, and grants coordinators for any state agency, or persons having the power normally conferred upon such persons, by whatever title. [Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(1)(b)5.(1975); emphasis supplied.]
The italicized language above indicates that a person who has the power normally exercised by a purchasing agent constitutes a specified employee for purposes of financial disclosure. One of the powers of a purchasing agent is to obtain goods or services from others on behalf of his agency. As you have such authority, you constitute a specified employee and therefore are required to file a statement of financial disclosure on an annual basis.
The fact that a maintenance engineer must approve the actual expenditure of funds after the purchase has been made does not modify our finding. One of the primary purposes of financial disclosure is to make a matter of public record the sources of financial interests of persons authorized to obligate public funds. To rule that one who has the power to obtain goods or services for a governmental agency is not a purchasing agent merely because another subsequently must approve payment would, in our opinion, thwart the essential purpose of public disclosure for such an employee.