CEO 76-192 -- October 25, 1976
ART AND CULTURAL BOARD
APPLICABILITY OF DISCLOSURE LAW TO MEMBERS
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Bonnie Johnson
The Code of Ethics requires that all local officers annually file statements of financial disclosure. Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(2)(b)(1975). The term "local officer" is defined to include all appointed members to governmental boards excluding members of advisory bodies. Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(1)(a)2.(1975). "Advisory body" is defined in s. 112.312(1) to include boards which are solely advisory. Where the executive committee of an art and cultural board, appointed by and from the membership of the board, is empowered to supervise and operate the city's art and cultural center in accordance with policies set by the board, the board exercises policymaking responsibilities and its executive committee administrates such policies. By virtue of this authority, members of the art and cultural board constitute local officers subject to the annual filing of financial disclosure.
Are members of my municipality's art and cultural board local officers subject to the annual filing of statements of financial disclosure?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
The material you have provided our staff indicates that the subject art and cultural board is composed of 13 members appointed by the city commission. Section 23-23 of your city code requires that the board select five of its number to serve as an executive committee responsible for the supervision of the art and cultural center pursuant to board policies.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees requires that all local officers annually file statements of financial disclosure. The term "local officer" is defined to include
[a]ny appointed member of a board, commission, authority, community college district board of trustees, or council of any political subdivision of the state, excluding any member of an advisory body . . . . [Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(1)(a)2.(1975).]
The term "advisory body" is defined for purposes of the Code of Ethics as follows:
"Advisory body" means 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. [Fla. Stat. s. 112.312(1)(1975).]
The above definition indicates that, in order to constitute an advisory body within the meaning of the Code of Ethics, a body must have solely advisory functions.
In the instant case, the art and cultural board of your city is described by the city code, s. 23-21, as
the responsible advisory board to the city concerning art and cultural affairs within the city, and shall have the power to conduct art and cultural activities within the city; provided, however, that no obligation, financial or otherwise, may be incurred on behalf of the city unless authorized by the city in the manner provided by law. The conduct and supervision of such activities on public properties shall be with the consent of the city manager. The board shall not charge any amount to be paid by any person attending or using city art and cultural facilities without the consent of the city commission.
It is further provided in s. 23-23, however, that
[t]here is hereby created an executive committee of the art and cultural board, consisting of five (5) members of the board appointed by a majority vote of the members of the art and cultural board, to operate the art and cultural center of the city in accordance with the board policies established by the art and cultural board.
The powers and duties of this executive committee, as set forth in s. 23-23(5) of the city code, include the supervision and operation of the art and cultural center of the city. Although obligations and liabilities incurred by the committee must be formally approved by the city commission, other policy matters, such as the scheduling of events and the decision as to which arts or artists are allowed to perform or exhibit at the center, lie with the board.
It thus appears that the art and cultural board is a policymaking body and the executive committee thereof the administrative arm of that board. By virtue of its broad policymaking authority with respect to the art and cultural center, the art and cultural board may not be deemed an advisory body for purposes of the Code of Ethics. Its members accordingly constitute local officers required to file annually statements of financial disclosure.