CEO 91-2 -- January 30, 1990
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW TO
MEDICAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF H.R.S. FACILITY
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
The Medical Executive Director of Gulf Coast Center, District 8, Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, is required to file a statement of financial interests under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes, not because his position is classified as "Selected Exempt Service," but because his position with the Department is at least the equivalent of an assistant bureau chief, a "specified state employee" pursuant to Section 112.3145(1)(b)3., Florida Statutes.
Are you, the Medical Executive Director of Gulf Coast Center, a mental health facility operated by District 8, Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, a "specified employee" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests annually?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
In your letter of inquiry you indicate that you are the Medical Executive Director of Gulf Coast Center, a mental health facility operated by District 8 of the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. You inquire whether you must file a statement of financial interests (Commission on Ethics Form 1), as you are unable to see how your position can be considered included in the category of "specified state employees" listed in Section 112.3145(1)(b)3., Florida Statutes. The term "specified state employee" is defined to include:
Each appointed secretary, assistant secretary, deputy secretary, executive director, assistant executive director, or deputy executive director of each state department, commission, board, or council; unless otherwise provided, the division director, deputy director, bureau chief, and assistant bureau chief of any state department or division; or any person having the power normally conferred upon such persons, by whatever title.
In a telephone conversation with our staff, a Personnel Services Specialist in the headquarters offices of the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services indicated you were included in the list of "specified state employees" the Department submits to our office for two reasons. First, as a physician, you are a member of the "Selected Exempt Service" created pursuant to Chapter 110, Part V, Florida Statutes, and by virtue of your being "appointed" to the Selected Exempt position of Medical Executive Director, you are included in the list of "specified state employees" described above.
Second, it also is the opinion of the Department's Personnel Services Specialist that your position at Gulf Coast Center has as much or more responsibility as that of an assistant bureau chief, and for that reason as well you are required to file a financial disclosure statement.
We find that you are required to file a statement of financial interests, not because your position is considered Selected Exempt, but because the responsibilities associated with your position make it comparable to that of an assistant bureau chief or higher. Concerning the Selected Exempt Service System, the Florida Legislature created the S.E.S. by enacting legislation in 1985, which primarily affected attorneys and doctors employed by state agencies. Persons who previously had been classified as Career Service or Senior Management were now to be considered Selected Exempt. The purpose for this change creating a new system of personnel management is stated in Section 110.601, Florida Statutes, as ensuring
to the state the delivery of high quality performance in select exempt classifications by facilitating the state's ability to attract and retain qualified personnel in these positions, while also providing sufficient management flexibility to ensure that the work force is responsive to agency needs.
Section 112.3145(2)(b)3., Florida Statutes, does not list Selected Exempt employees among those who must file annually a statement disclosing their financial interests. Although this section of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees has been amended since 1985 when the Selected Exempt Service System was first created, the Legislature has not seen fit to amend Section 112.3145(2)(b), Florida Statutes, to include all persons appointed to Selected Exempt positions with State agencies. Therefore, it is our opinion that only S.E.S. employees who fill positions specifically designated under Section 112.3145(2)(b), Florida Statutes, are required to file financial disclosure statements.
Concerning your position at Gulf Coast Center, we recognize that the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services is not structured by divisions and bureaus, as are most State departments, and we previously have advised that persons holding positions within the department which are the equivalent of bureau chiefs and assistant bureau chiefs are "specified employees." See CEO 80-74 and CEO 78-50. From the position description you included with your letter of inquiry, it appears that you report directly to the Superintendent of Gulf Coast Center, a mental health facility serving over 400 residents. Further, you advise that your position is accountable for a budget which exceeds $2.5 million and that you directly oversee a staff of professionals which includes four physicians, a dentist, a pharmacy manager, the executive nursing director, as well as support personnel. Additionally, you plan, implement, monitor, review, and supervise medical services provided to Gulf Coast Center residents and prepare budgetary proposals and arrange and monitor all medical contracts. It is apparent that you have significant responsibilities in your position as Medical Executive Director at Gulf Coast Center.
Your position description also references Section 20.19, Florida Statutes, as the statute which establishes or defines the work performed by your position. Section 20.19(7), Florida Statutes, establishes eleven districts and indicates that the district administrator for each of the service districts shall have the same standing within the department as an assistant secretary. The duties of the district administrator are enumerated in Section 20.19(7)(c), Florida Statutes, to include "appointing district program managers, program supervisors, and the superintendent of each institution within the district." It therefore would appear that if the district administrator is the equivalent of an assistant secretary, then the superintendent of an institution would be at least the equivalent of bureau chief or higher and that your position as Medical Executive Director reporting directly to the Superintendent would be at least the equivalent of assistant bureau chief.
Accordingly, as your position and the responsibilities incumbent therein are at least the equivalent of those of an assistant bureau chief, we find that you are a "specified state employee" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests annually.