CEO 80-43 -- May 21, 1980






To:      James H. Siesky, Collier County School Board Attorney, Naples


Prepared by: Phil Claypool




Reference is made to CEO's 78-54 and 77-89. A public school principal who is empowered to authorize purchases exceeding $100 constitutes a "purchasing agent" under s. 112.3145(1)(a)3., F. S. As such, he is a "local officer" required to file financial disclosure annually.




Are public school principals within the Collier County School District "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing financial disclosure annually?


Your question is answered in the affirmative.


The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that each "local officer" shall file a statement of financial interests annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), F. S. The term "local officer" is defined to include:


Any person holding one or more of the following positions, by whatever title, including . . . a purchasing agent having the authority to make any purchase exceeding $100 for any political subdivision of the state or any entity thereof. [Section 112.3145(1)(a)3., F. S.]


In your letter of inquiry you advise that principals of the Collier County School District are authorized to expend funds from two sources. They may spend internal funds up to a limit of $300, and they may spend petty cash funds up to $300 under certain circumstances. In a previous advisory opinion, CEO 75-57, we found that a public school principal having the power to authorize purchases was a "purchasing agent." See also CEO's 78-54 and 77-89.

Accordingly, as principals of Collier County public schools are authorized to make purchases in excess of $100, we find that they are "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing financial disclosure annually.