CEO 77-131 -- August 24, 1977






To:      Caroline Coleman, President, District III Mental Health Board, Inc., Gainesville


Prepared by:   Phil Claypool




Reference is made to CEO 75-2. It has been determined previously that the functions of a district mental health board are not solely advisory. Accordingly, such boards do not meet the definition of "advisory body" contained in s. 112.312(1), F. S., so as to exempt members from the definition of "local officer" for purposes of financial disclosure. See s. 112.3145(2)(b). Members of a district mental health board therefore are deemed to constitute local officers subject to the statutory financial disclosure law.




Are members of the District III Mental Health Board, Inc., "local officers" for purposes of filing financial disclosure?


Your question is answered in the affirmative.


In your letter of inquiry you have stated that the District III Mental Health Board, Inc., is a private, nonprofit corporation organized pursuant to s. 394.71, F. S. 1975. You also advise that the board has been chartered to carry out the duties set forth in that section as well as in Rule 10E-4.09, F.A.C. These duties include the review and evaluation of mental health needs, services, and facilities of the board's 16-county district and the receipt and disbursement of public and private funds for mental health services.

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.]


In turn, "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), F. S. 1975.]


We have previously found that the functions of a district mental health board are not solely advisory. See CEO 75-2, a copy of which is enclosed. Since the rendition of that opinion, the phrase "advisory body" was given the above statutory definition by Ch. 75- 196, Laws of Florida.

Accordingly, we now find under the revised law that the District III Mental Health Board is not an "advisory body" and therefore that the members of its governing board are "local officers" who are subject to filing financial disclosure annually.