CEO 78-89 -- November 15, 1978
SCHOOL BOARD AUDIT COMMITTEE
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW TO MEMBERS
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Phil Claypool
A school board audit committee which has no budget and whose recommendations to the board are solely advisory meets the definition of "advisory body" contained in s. 112.312(1), F. S. 1977. Accordingly, under s. 112.3143(1)(a)2., its members do not constitute "local officers" subject to the annual filing of financial disclosure.
Are the members of the ____ County School Board Audit Committee "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing financial disclosure annually?
Your question is answered in the negative.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that each "local officer" shall file a statement of financial interests. 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.]
In your letter of inquiry you advise that the school board of ____ County has authorized the appointment of a school board audit committee to be comprised of one school board member, two school system administrators, and six private citizens recommended by school board members. You also advise that this committee has no budget, its private members receive no compensation, and its recommendations are advisory only. In a telephone conversation with our staff, ____ the comptroller of the school system, advised that the audit committee will review the various audit reports of the school system made by external auditors and by the auditor general. The committee then will investigate the recommendations of the audit reports, determine which recommendations it believes are feasible, prepare responses to the audit reports, and recommend the implementation of those recommendations which it believes would be feasible.
As the audit committee has no budget and as its powers and authority are solely advisory, we find that the committee constitutes an "advisory body." See CEO's 77-153 and 78-68, in which we found that municipal financial advisory boards with similar functions were "advisory bodies." Accordingly, we find that the members of the ____ County School Board Audit Committee are not "local officers" and are not subject to the requirement of filing financial disclosure annually.