CEO 77-112 -- July 21, 1977
COUNTY OVERALL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW TO MEMBERS
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Phil Claypool
A county Overall Economic Development Committee which develops recommendations to be presented to units of local government for possible action is deemed to constitute an advisory body within the definition of that term contained in s. 112.312(1), F. S. Accordingly, pursuant to s. 112.3145(1)(a)2., members of the committee do not constitute "local officers" for purposes of the annual filing of financial disclosure.
Will the members of the Overall Economic Development Committee for Hillsborough County be "local officers" subject to filing financial disclosure annually?
Your question in answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry you have stated that the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners proposes to establish an Overall Economic Development Committee for the county. The committee, the members of which will be appointed by the board of county commissioners as representatives of various socio-economic groups in the area, will be charged with the responsibility of formulating an Overall Economic Development Program (OEDP) which is a prerequisite for receiving federal assistance under the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965. The purpose of the OEDP is to create employment opportunities, foster a more stable economy with diversified industry, and provide a comprehensive mechanism for guiding and coordinating the overall economic development of the county. The committee will have no power or authority to undertake the developed recommendations -- the plan will be presented to the units of local government and to the Economic Development Administration for formal approval and acceptance. At that time it will become the responsibility of the committee to update the plan annually and to assist and coordinate the various local activities undertaken to stimulate the economy. However, the committee will have no authority to regulate development efforts, allocate resources, or make applications for funds.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that each "local officer" must file financial disclosure annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), F. S. 1975. The term "local officer" is defined to include:
Any appointed member of a board, commission, authority, community college district board of trustees, or council of any political subdivision of the state, excluding any member of an advisory body. A governmental body with land-planning, zoning, or natural resources responsibilities shall not be considered an advisory body. [Section 112.3145(1)(a)2., F. S. 1975.]
As we find that the responsibilities of the committee do not lie in the areas of land planning, zoning, or natural resources, we must look to the definition of "advisory body" contained in s. 112.312(1), F. S. (1976 Supp.), to reach a determination. That section provides:
‘Advisory body’ means 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.
In your letter of inquiry you have stated that the committee's budget will fall below the above limits. In addition, it is clear that the committee's 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.
Accordingly, we find that the Overall Economic Development Committee will be an advisory body and that its members therefore will not be "local officers" subject to the annual filing of financial disclosure.