CEO 81-64 -- September 17, 1981
STATE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR ENGAGING IN CONSULTATION
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes, provides that each "specified employee" shall file a statement of financial interests annually. The term "specified employee" includes any full-time state employee who accepts compensation exceeding $250 for consultations with other state agencies or with other governmental or business entities. Under this provision, a full-time state employee who has received more than $250 for consultations is required to file financial disclosure for the year in which those consultations were made. Since financial disclosure generally is based upon the calendar year, with the filing deadline being noon of July 15 of the following year, an employee receiving more than $250 from consultations during 1981 will be required to file a statement of financial interests on or before noon of July 15, 1982.
Are you, a State University professor, a "specified employee" required to file a statement of financial interests for a year in which you did not perform any consultation for an aggregate compensation exceeding $250? Your question is answered in the negative.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that each "specified employee" shall file a statement of financial interests annually. Section 112.3145 (2)(b), Florida Statutes. The term "specified employee" is defined to include:
Any full-time state employee who, in addition to his regular duties, accepts compensation which in the aggregate exceeds $250 for consultations with other state agencies or with other government or business entities. [Section 112.3145(1)(b)8., Florida Statutes (1979).]
Other public positions defined as specified employees are listed within the disclosure law by title or by the nature of the responsibilities performed by the position. Therefore, in our view, the purpose of requiring disclosure by employees who privately engage in consultative activities must be to require the disclosure of the governmental or business entities for which the consultation was performed. Since the disclosure period for most individuals is based upon the preceding calendar year, consultations performed during 1980, for example, would be disclosed on the statement of financial interests for the calendar year 1980 filed on or before noon of July 15, 1981. Section 112.312(8), Florida Statutes.
The purpose of the statute would not be served or enhanced by requiring disclosure of financial interests for years in which no consulting was performed or in which compensation received for consultation did not exceed $250 in the aggregate. If a full-time State employee performed consultations during a given calendar year, therefore, he need not file a disclosure statement -- which would cover the previous year -- by July 15 of that year; however, he must file a disclosure statement covering that year by July 15 of the following year.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that you are a full-time associate professor at a State University and that at one time you performed consultation services for a governmental entity. Although you did not perform any consultations to report on the 1980 financial disclosure statement, you did complete and return the form that year. This year, you also have not performed any consultations to report, you advise.
As we have indicated above, you are not required to file a statement of financial interests for a year in which no consultation was performed or in which compensation for consultations did not exceed $250 in the aggregate. Accordingly, since this was your situation during 1980, we find that you are not required to file a statement of financial interests during 1981, and you simply may disregard the statement of financial interests form you have received this year. If you do receive in excess of $250 from consultations during 1981, you will be required to file a statement of financial interests on or before noon of July 15, 1982.