CEO 83-20 -- April 21, 1983
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
CITY BOARD OF ARCHITECTS MEMBER REPRESENTING CLIENT BEFORE OTHER CITY DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
No prohibited conflict of interest would be created were a member of a city board of architects to represent a private client before city departments and agencies other than the board of architects, in connection with work prepared by other consultants for that client. CEO 79-7 is referenced.
Would a prohibited conflict of interest be created were you, a member of a city board of architects, to represent a private client before city departments and agencies, other than the board of architects, in connection with work prepared by other consultants for the client?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that you are an architect who has been appointed as a member of the City of Coral Gables Board of Architects. You question whether you may represent the interests of a client before City departments and agencies which have the authority to approve work prepared by other consultants for the client. You advise that you would not represent the client or participate in any matter pertaining to the client's interests or work product which could come before the Board of which you are a member. For example, your representation of the client might involve assisting the client in processing construction plans prepared by other consultants through the City Building Department, Planning and Zoning Departments, Public Works Department, and the City Commission. This representation would not include matters which would come before the Board of Architects.
In addition, you advise that construction plans would be reviewed for technical compliance with such codes, ordinances, and resolutions as may be applicable. You advise that any advice given to a client on criteria for approval by the Board of Architects would be the same advice normally given to any member of the community who wishes to understand before submitting a project what might be necessary to comply with the Board's requirements. This would be the same advice that would be given at no charge to any member of the community who requests it.
In a previous opinion, CEO 79-7, we advised that the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees would not prohibit an architect who was a member of a city planning board from representing a private client before other city boards or before the city planning director and planning department. In our view, the rationale of that opinion is applicable to your situation as well. Please note that representations of a client before agencies of the City should be disclosed in accordance with Section 112.3145(4), Florida Statutes, on Commission on Ethics Form 2, Quarterly Client Disclosure.
Accordingly, we find that no prohibited conflict of interest would be created were you to represent a private client before City departments and agencies other than the Board of Architects in connection with work prepared by other consultants for the client.