CEO 84-106 -- October 18, 1984
APPLICABILITY OF DISCLOSURE LAW TO MEMBERS OF COUNTY HEAD START POLICY COUNCIL
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
The members of the Orange County Head Start Policy Council are "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes, as the Council's responsibilities are not solely advisory.
Are the members of the Orange County Head Start Policy Council "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually?
This 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), Florida Statutes (1983). The term "local officer" is defined to mean:
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, Florida Statutes (1983).]
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), Florida Statutes (1983).]
In your letter of inquiry you advise that the Head Start Policy Council is composed of 13 parents of children enrolled in the Head Start program selected from each Head Start center and eight representatives of the general community appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. Federal law requires the creation of the Council in order for the County to receive Head Start grants. Among other responsibilities, the Council must approve or disapprove the goals of the programs, criteria for the selection of children for the program, personnel policies for Head Start staff, and the hiring and firing of staff.
In our view, these responsibilities are not solely advisory. Although the Council is required by federal law for participation in a federal program, once the County has established the Council it becomes a council of the County (a political subdivision of the State).
Accordingly, we find that the members of the Head Start Policy Council are "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually.