CEO 76-116 -- June 17, 1976






To:      (Name withheld at the person's request.)


Prepared by: Gene Rhodes




A municipal welfare board which is charged with the duty to investigate welfare matters and to distribute all welfare benefits within the city cannot be deemed an advisory body for purposes of the Code of Ethics, for its responsibilities are not solely advisory in nature. See Fla. Stat. s. 112.312(1)(1975). Accordingly, welfare board members are local officers subject to the filing of financial disclosure pursuant to Florida Statute s. 112.3145(1)(a)2.(1975).




Are the members of my city's welfare board "local officers" within the meaning of that term as it is defined in the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees and, therefore, required to file statements of financial disclosure on an annual basis?


This question is answered in the affirmative.


The Code of Ethics requires that each local officer annually file a statement of financial disclosure. Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(2)(b)(1975). The term "local officer" is defined to include


[a]ny 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. [Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(1)(a)2.(1975).]


As you can see, members of the welfare board are local officers unless that board can be deemed an advisory body. An advisory body is defined as


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. [Fla. Stat. s. 112.312(1975).]


The welfare board is charged with the duty of investigating all welfare matters in the city and distributing all welfare benefits for the city. ____ Code, s. 2-19. These duties are of a nonadvisory nature. Consequently, the welfare board is not an advisory body and its members, as local officers, must each file a statement of financial disclosure on an annual basis.