CEO 74-88 -- December 23, 1974
MEMBERS APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS
To: Phyllis J. Holvey, City Clerk, Maitland
Prepared by: Gene L. "Hal" Johnson
Reference is made to CEO 74-36. Under the broad definition set forth in s. 112.312(7)(b), F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida, members of the Maitland Public Library Board are, by virtue of their status as board members, public officers. As such, board members are subject to provisions for public officers set forth in part III, Ch. 112, supra. Section 112.312(7)(j), supra, includes in the definition of the term "public officer" all purchasing agents, or persons having similar powers, for any agency. Since the Maitland Library Board is empowered to manage and operate the library, which is owned by the city, and is responsible for reporting budget matters to the city council, the library is a department of the city and thus is an agency within the definition of s. 112.312(1), supra. The purchasing agent for the library is thereby a public officer subject to all provisions of part III, Ch. 112, F. S., applicable to public officers.
1. Are the members of the Maitland Public Library Board within the definition of the term public officers, as used in part III, Ch. 112, F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida, and therefore subject to the disclosure provisions of this law as required of public officers?
2. Is the purchasing agent for the Maitland Public Library a public officer within the meaning of part III, Ch. 112, supra, and therefore subject to the disclosure provisions required of public officers?
Please find enclosed a copy of a previous opinion of this commission, CEO 74-36, which, we believe, answers your inquiry in the affirmative.
Your second question is answered in the affirmative.
A public officer is defined in s. 112.312(7)(j), supra, to include "[p]urchasing agents for any agency or persons having the power normally conferred to purchasing agents by whatever title." (Emphasis supplied.) Whether the purchasing agent of the Maitland Public Library comes within the purview of this definition hinges on whether the library is an agency within the definition of that term as set forth in s. 112.312(1), supra.
>Agency= means any state, county, local or municipal governmental entity, whether executive, judicial, or legislative, and therein any department, division, bureau, commission, authority...
As specified in your request for an advisory opinion, the city owns the library and has placed the power and responsibility for its management and operation in the hands of the library board. Substantial amounts of money are provided by the city for the operation of the library, and the library board renders an annual audit of the financial affairs of the library to the city. Additionally, the board submits a proposed budget to the city council yearly for approval, and the city furnishes operating funds to the library on a monthly basis.
Based upon this information, it is our opinion that the library is a department of the city and thus is an agency within the definition of s. 112.312(1), supra. Therefore, the library's purchasing agent is a public officer within the definition of s. 112.312(7)(j), supra, and is subject to all provisions of part III, Ch. 112, F. S., applying to public officers.