CEO 75-3 -- January 6, 1975
DISCLOSURE OF DIRECTORSHIP OF CORPORATION AND CONSULTATION FEES
To: F. le Grand, Professor, University of Florida, Gainesville
Prepared by: Patricia Butler
As a full-time state employee who accepts compensation for consultation with other state agencies or with other government or private entities, United States or foreign, Professor le Grand is a public officer as defined in part III, Ch. 112, F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida; and as such he is subject to the financial disclosure provisions of s. 112.3145(1)(a),supra. Disclosure is not required of consultation activities but of the source of all fees representing 10 percent or more of the professor's gross annual taxable income. Disclosure provisions do not extend to the professor's directorship in a corporation which is not a business entity granted a privilege to operate or is not doing business with the university by which Professor le Grand is employed even though stock in that corporation is owned by the professor's wife and one other person. Section 112.313(3),supra.
1. Am I, as a full-time state employee who consults for a fee with foreign governments in tropical agriculture, a public officer within the definition of part III, Ch. 112, F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida, and therefore subject to the disclosure provisions required of public officers?
2. Must I disclose my directorship in a corporation, Three Dots, Inc., whose stock is held by my wife and one other person?
Question 1 is answered in the affirmative.
The definition of a "public officer" includes:
All fulltime state employees who, in addition to their regular duties, accept compensation for consultations with other state agencies or with other government or private entities. [Section 112.312(7)(h), supra.]
Even though your consultation services are for the benefit of foreign governments in Latin America and Africa, there is no limitation placed on the language of this section which restricts its scope to governmental entities of or within the United States. Thus, any full-time state employee who engages in consultation for a fee with any governmental entity, whether domestic or foreign, comes within the purview of this section.
You appear to meet all of the requirements of the above quoted section: You are a full-time state employee; you consult with governmental entities; and you accept compensation for such consultations. Therefore, it is our opinion that you are a public officer under the terms of this law and are required to file the applicable disclosure forms.
As a public officer, you are required to complete and file a financial disclosure statement. Section 112.3145(1)(a), supra. This requirement may be met either by filing CE Form 1: Financial Disclosure Statement, or by filing Federal Reserve Form CB-110A, a copy of your federal income tax return for the last taxable year, and the first page of CE Form 1. You are not required to disclose your consultation activities outside the United States. However, you are required to disclose the consultation fees on your financial disclosure statement, CE Form 1, if they represent 10 percent or more of your gross income for the preceding taxable year. Section 112.3145(1)(a), supra. Copies of these forms are enclosed for your use.
Question 2 is answered in the negative.
As to your wife's corporation, you would be required to disclose your directorship only if it was a business entity which is granted a privilege to operate or is doing business with the agency of which you are an officer or employee. Section 112.313(3), supra. This corporation does not come within the definition of "person or business entities provided a grant of privilege to operate" which includes:
. . . state and federal chartered banks, state and federal savings and loan associations, cemetery companies, insurance companies, mortgage companies, credit unions, small loan companies, alcoholic and spirituous liquor businesses, whether retail or wholesale, pari-mutuel wagering companies, utility companies, and any entity controlled by the public service commission or granted a franchise to operate by either a city or county government. This definition shall not apply to persons and entities so categorized merely for purposes of public notice or to certify the quality of professional or occupational services. [Section 112.312(6), supra.]
Neither is this corporation doing business with your agency, i.e., the University of Florida. Thus, there is no requirement that you disclose your directorship in Three Dots, Inc.