CEO 88-60 -- September 8, 1988
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW TO
MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION NOMINATING COUNCIL
To: The Honorable S. Curtis Kiser, Chairman, Public Service Commission Nominating Council (Tallahassee)
The Public Service Commission Nominating Council has statewide jurisdiction and is not an advisory body. Therefore, members of the Council are state officers and are required to comply with the financial disclosure requirements of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees. CEO 74-11 and CEO 76-161 are referenced.
Are members of the Public Service Commission Nominating Council subject to the financial disclosure requirements of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
Under Section 112.3145(2)(b), Florida Statutes, "state officers" are subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests. Section 112.3145(1)(c)2, Florida Statutes, defines a "state officer" as
An appointed member of each board, commission, authority, or council having statewide jurisdiction, excluding a member of an advisory body.
An "advisory body" is defined as
[a]ny 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 (1987).]
The members of the Public Service Commission Nominating Council are appointed under Section 350.031(1), Florida Statutes, and pursuant to Section 350.031(3) the Council is responsible for recommending individuals to fill vacancies on the Public Service Commission. As the Public Service Commission has statewide jurisdiction, the Public Service Commission Nominating Council does as well. See Section 350.011, Florida Statutes. Members of the Council therefore are "state officers" as defined in Section 112.3145(1)(c)2.
The Council cannot be said to be merely an advisory body. Under Section 350.031(4), the Governor must fill a vacancy on the Public Service Commission with an individual recommended by the Council. The Council is therefore analogous to a judicial nominating commission. We previously have found that judicial nominating commissions are not advisory bodies because they have the authority to limit the Governor's options in making judicial appointments. See CEO 74-11 and CEO 76-161. Under Section 350.031(4), Florida Statutes, the Public Service Commission Nominating Council not only can limit the Governor's appointment options, but actually can appoint persons to the Public Service Commission under specific circumstances. Therefore, the Council is not merely an advisory body, and members must comply with the financial disclosure requirements of Section 112.3145.
To comply with Section 112.3145 all members of the Council must file Commission on Ethics Form 1, Statement of Financial Interests, annually; Commission on Ethics Form 2, Quarterly Client Disclosure, should be filed when applicable. Pursuant to 112.3145(7), however, if a member previously filed financial disclosure for a given disclosure period, duplicate filing is not required. As public officers, members of the Council also are subject to the requirement of filing Commission on Ethics Form 3, Disclosure of Specified Business Interests, in order to comply with Section 112.313(9), Florida Statutes. Members of the Council may contact our staff for additional information on which forms to file and applicable filing deadlines.
Accordingly, we find that members of the Public Service Commission Nominating Council are state officers who must file statements of financial interests annually in accordance with Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes.