CEO 76-141 -- July 26, 1976
PERSONNEL BOARD CHAIRMAN
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW
To: Donald J. Seps, City Attorney, Ormond Beach
Prepared by: Bonnie Johnson
Pursuant to Florida Statute s. 112.3145(2)(1975), all appointed board members constitute local officers subject to financial disclosure unless that board may be deemed an advisory body for purposes of the Code of Ethics. The term "advisory body" is defined in the code as, among others, one whose duties are "solely advisory." Fla. Stat. s. 112.312(1)(1975). A municipal personnel board which is charged with the duty to establish a rating system to apply to all employees in the classified service, to prescribe forms to be used and fix dates for reports and periods to be covered, and to hear appeals on efficiency ratings is more than advisory in nature. The chairman of said personnel board therefore constitutes a local officer subject to the annual filing of financial disclosure.
Is the chairman of my city's personnel board a local officer subject to the annual filing of financial disclosure?
This question is answered in the affirmative.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides 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).]
The Code of Ethics further defines "advisory body" as follows:
"Advisory body" means 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(1)(1975).]
You enclosed with your letter of inquiry a copy of your municipality's charter laws, s. 151 of which sets forth the powers and duties of the personnel board. In addition to its duties of advising the city board of managers and the personnel director as to personnel administration and standards, the personnel board is also charged to:
(3) Make any investigation which it may consider desirable concerning the administration of personnel in the municipal service, and report to the city board of managers, at least once each year, its findings, conclusions and recommendations;
(4) Hear appeals in case any officer or employee in the classified service is suspended, reduced or removed, and report in writing to the city board of managers its findings and recommendations;
(5) Perform duties required by section 8 [section 152 of this compilation];
(6) Perform such other duties with reference to personnel administration, not inconsistent with this Act, as the city board of managers may require by ordinance.
Section 152 of the charter laws, in relation to (5) of the above, states as follows:
The personnel board shall establish a uniform efficiency rating system which shall apply to all employees in the classified service and shall prescribe forms to be used and fix the dates for the reports and periods to be covered. Appeals from efficiency ratings shall be made to the personnel board.
Those duties of the personnel board quoted above cannot be deemed to be solely advisory but, rather, relate to the determination and adjudication of municipal employees' rights, duties, and obligations. Accordingly, the personnel board is not an advisory body within the meaning of that term as it is defined for purposes of the financial disclosure law. Members of the board therefore are deemed to constitute local officers subject to the filing of financial disclosure statements on an annual basis.