CEO 83-40 -- June 16, 1983
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW TO MEMBERS OF FLORIDA HOUSING ADVISORY COUNCIL
To: Mr. Clifford B. Hardy, Jr., Chairman, Florida Housing Advisory Council
Members of the Florida Housing Advisory Council created by Section 20.18(7), Florida Statutes, are not subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests annually, as the Council is an "advisory body" as defined in Section 112.312(1), Florida Statutes.
Are you, a member of the Florida Housing Advisory Council, a "state officer" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests annually? Your question is answered in the negative.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees requires each "state officer" to file a statement of financial interests annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), Florida Statutes (1981). The term "state officer" is defined to include:
An appointed member of each board, commission, authority, or council having statewide jurisdiction, excluding a member of an advisory body. [Section 112.3145(1)(c)2, Florida Statutes (1981).]
For purposes of this law, an "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), Florida Statutes (1981).]
The Florida Housing Advisory Council has been created within the Department of Community Affairs by Section 20.18(7), Florida Statutes, to advise and assist the Department in carrying out its duties relating to housing. The Council consists of fifteen members appointed by the Governor who serve without compensation but are entitled to reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses. The Department provides administrative and staff support services for the Council. In a telephone conversation with our staff, a representative of the Department advised that the Council has no budget, appropriations, or authorized expenditures, and that when money has been appropriated to pay for Council members' travel and per diem, the appropriation has been made to the Department rather than to the Council.
As the Council performs a solely advisory function, and as it meets the budgetary tests set out in the definition of "advisory body," we find that the Council is an "advisory body" under the financial disclosure law. Accordingly, we find that the members of the Florida Housing Advisory Council are not "state officers" subject to the requirement of filing a Statement of Financial Interests (Commission on Ethics Form 1) annually. However, even members of advisory bodies are "public officers" for purposes of the Code of Ethics, and therefore the members of the Council are subject to the requirement of filing a Disclosure of Specified Business Interests (Commission on Ethics Form 3) as required by Section 112.313(9), Florida Statutes.