CEO 78-23 -- April 20, 1978
COUNTY BUILDING CODES ADVISORY BOARD
APPLICABILITY OF STATUTORY FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW TO MEMBERS
To: Mr. Charles P. Vitunac, Assistant Palm Beach County Attorney, West Palm Beach
Prepared by: Phil Claypool
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that each local officer is required to file financial disclosure annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), F. S. 1977. The term "local officer" is defined to include an appointed member of any board other than an advisory body, which, in turn, is defined in part to mean a board which has no land-planning, zoning, or natural resources responsibilities and whose powers, jurisdiction, and authority are solely advisory. Sections 112.312(1) and 112.3145(1)(a)2., F. S. 1977. A county building codes advisory board whose role is strictly advisory to governmental units in the area of building codes and inspections is deemed to constitute an advisory body whose members, accordingly, are not subject to the financial disclosure requirements of the Code of Ethics.
Are the members of the Palm Beach County Building Codes Advisory Board "local officers" subject to filing financial disclosure annually?
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that each "local officer" is required to file financial disclosure annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), F. S. 1977. The term "local officer" is defined to include:
Any 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. A governmental body with land-planning, zoning, or natural resources responsibilities shall not be considered an advisory body. [Section 112.3145(1)(a)2., F. S. 1977.]
In turn, "advisory body" is defined to mean:
. . . 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. 1977.]
It is our opinion that the county building codes advisory board constitutes an "advisory body" which does not have land planning, zoning, or natural resources responsibilities. Section 10, Ch. 74- 565, Laws of Florida, provides that the purpose of the advisory board is to advise governmental units: How to adopt addenda and administer the building codes applicable in the county; where their addenda may be amended to unify them with other addenda in the county; how their building inspections can be improved; how to prevent the recurrence of disputes; and concerning products that are acceptable for use in construction. Clearly, this authority is solely advisory and does not include the final determination of any personal or property rights, duties, or obligations. Also, under that section of Ch. 74- 565, the county is responsible for supplying the advisory board with a meeting place, office supplies, legal counsel, recording of its minutes, transcripts of the minutes of meetings, secretarial service, and storage space for its records. Thus, as you have confirmed in a telephone conversation with our staff, the advisory board has no budget or appropriations of its own.
Accordingly, since the county building code advisory board constitutes an "advisory body," we find that its members are not "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing financial disclosure. Please note, however, that even members of advisory bodies are deemed to be public officers, required to file Form 3, Disclosure of Specified Business Interests, if applicable under s. 112.313(9), F. S. 1977. Section 112.313(1), F. S. 1977.