CEO 84-96 -- October 18, 1984






To:      Ms. Julie Morris, Member, Nongame Wildlife Advisory Council, Sarasota




The members of the Nongame Wildlife Advisory Council created by Section 372.992, Florida Statutes, are not "state officers" subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually, as the Council serves solely an advisory function.




Are you, a member of the Nongame Wildlife Advisory Council, a "state officer" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests annually?


Your question is answered in the negative.


The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that each "state officer" shall file a statement of financial interests annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), Florida Statutes (1983).

The term "state officer" is defined to include:


An appointed member of each board, commission, authority, or council having statewide jurisdiction, excluding a member of an advisory body. [Section 112.3145(1)(c)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).]


The Nongame Wildlife Advisory Council consists of nine members appointed by the Governor and is responsible for recommending to the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission policies, objectives, and specific actions for nongame wildlife research and management. Section 372.992, Florida Statutes (1983). In a telephone conversation with our staff, the Assistant Director of the Commission's Division of Wildlife advised that the Council has no budget, appropriations, or authorized expenditures. He also advised that although the Council may recommend to the Commission how to spend money available in the nongame wildlife trust fund established by Section 372.991, Florida Statutes, the Council has no authority to authorize expenditures from that fund.

It is apparent that the Council serves only an advisory function and meets the budgetary tests of being an "advisory body." Accordingly, we find that as a member of the Nongame Wildlife Advisory Council you are not a "state officer" and therefore are not subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests annually.