2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)
112.312 Definitions.—As used in this part and for purposes of the provisions of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) “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.
(2) “Agency” means any state, regional, county, local, or municipal government entity of this state, whether executive, judicial, or legislative; any department, division, bureau, commission, authority, or political subdivision of this state therein; any public school, community college, or state university; or any special district as defined in s. 189.012.
(3) “Breach of the public trust” means a violation of a provision of the State Constitution or this part which establishes a standard of ethical conduct, a disclosure requirement, or a prohibition applicable to public officers or employees in order to avoid conflicts between public duties and private interests, including, without limitation, a violation of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or of this part.
(4) “Business associate” means any person or entity engaged in or carrying on a business enterprise with a public officer, public employee, or candidate as a partner, joint venturer, corporate shareholder where the shares of such corporation are not listed on any national or regional stock exchange, or co-owner of property.
(5) “Business entity” means any corporation, partnership, limited partnership, company, limited liability company, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, self-employed individual, or trust, whether fictitiously named or not, doing business in this state.
(6) “Candidate” means any person who has filed a statement of financial interest and qualification papers, has subscribed to the candidate’s oath as required by s. 99.021, and seeks by election to become a public officer. This definition expressly excludes a committeeman or committeewoman regulated by chapter 103 and persons seeking any other office or position in a political party.
(7) “Commission” means the Commission on Ethics created by s. 112.320 or any successor to which its duties are transferred.
(8) “Conflict” or “conflict of interest” means a situation in which regard for a private interest tends to lead to disregard of a public duty or interest.
(9) “Corruptly” means done with a wrongful intent and for the purpose of obtaining, or compensating or receiving compensation for, any benefit resulting from some act or omission of a public servant which is inconsistent with the proper performance of his or her public duties.
(10) “Disclosure period” means the calendar year, if disclosure is required for the entire year, or the portion of a calendar year ending with the last day of the period for which disclosure is required.
(11) “Facts materially related to the complaint at issue” means facts which tend to show a violation of this part or s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution by the alleged violator other than those alleged in the complaint and consisting of separate instances of the same or similar conduct as alleged in the complaint, or which tend to show an additional violation of this part or s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution by the alleged violator which arises out of or in connection with the allegations of the complaint.
(12)(a) “Gift,” for purposes of ethics in government and financial disclosure required by law, means that which is accepted by a donee or by another on the donee’s behalf, or that which is paid or given to another for or on behalf of a donee, directly, indirectly, or in trust for the donee’s benefit or by any other means, for which equal or greater consideration is not given within 90 days, including:
1. Real property.
2. The use of real property.
3. Tangible or intangible personal property.
4. The use of tangible or intangible personal property.
5. A preferential rate or terms on a debt, loan, goods, or services, which rate is below the customary rate and is not either a government rate available to all other similarly situated government employees or officials or a rate which is available to similarly situated members of the public by virtue of occupation, affiliation, age, religion, sex, or national origin.
6. Forgiveness of an indebtedness.
7. Transportation, other than that provided to a public officer or employee by an agency in relation to officially approved governmental business, lodging, or parking.
8. Food or beverage.
9. Membership dues.
10. Entrance fees, admission fees, or tickets to events, performances, or facilities.
11. Plants, flowers, or floral arrangements.
12. Services provided by persons pursuant to a professional license or certificate.
13. Other personal services for which a fee is normally charged by the person providing the services.
14. Any other similar service or thing having an attributable value not already provided for in this section.
(b) “Gift” does not include:
1. Salary, benefits, services, fees, commissions, gifts, or expenses associated primarily with the donee’s employment, business, or service as an officer or director of a corporation or organization.
2. Except as provided in s. 112.31485, contributions or expenditures reported pursuant to chapter 106, contributions or expenditures reported pursuant to federal election law, campaign-related personal services provided without compensation by individuals volunteering their time, or any other contribution or expenditure by a political party or affiliated party committee.
3. An honorarium or an expense related to an honorarium event paid to a person or the person’s spouse.
4. An award, plaque, certificate, or similar personalized item given in recognition of the donee’s public, civic, charitable, or professional service.
5. An honorary membership in a service or fraternal organization presented merely as a courtesy by such organization.
6. The use of a public facility or public property, made available by a governmental agency, for a public purpose.
7. Transportation provided to a public officer or employee by an agency in relation to officially approved governmental business.
8. Gifts provided directly or indirectly by a state, regional, or national organization which promotes the exchange of ideas between, or the professional development of, governmental officials or employees, and whose membership is primarily composed of elected or appointed public officials or staff, to members of that organization or officials or staff of a governmental agency that is a member of that organization.
(c) For the purposes of paragraph (a), “intangible personal property” means property as defined in s. 192.001(11)(b).
(d) For the purposes of paragraph (a), the term “consideration” does not include a promise to pay or otherwise provide something of value unless the promise is in writing and enforceable through the courts.
(13) “Indirect” or “indirect interest” means an interest in which legal title is held by another as trustee or other representative capacity, but the equitable or beneficial interest is held by the person required to file under this part.
(14) “Liability” means any monetary debt or obligation owed by the reporting person to another person, entity, or governmental entity, except for credit card and retail installment accounts, taxes owed unless reduced to a judgment, indebtedness on a life insurance policy owed to the company of issuance, contingent liabilities, or accrued income taxes on net unrealized appreciation. Each liability which is required to be disclosed by s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution shall identify the name and address of the creditor.
(15) “Material interest” means direct or indirect ownership of more than 5 percent of the total assets or capital stock of any business entity. For the purposes of this act, indirect ownership does not include ownership by a spouse or minor child.
(16) “Materially affected” means involving an interest in real property located within the jurisdiction of the official’s agency or involving an investment in a business entity, a source of income or a position of employment, office, or management in any business entity located within the jurisdiction or doing business within the jurisdiction of the official’s agency which is or will be affected in a substantially different manner or degree than the manner or degree in which the public in general will be affected or, if the matter affects only a special class of persons, then affected in a substantially different manner or degree than the manner or degree in which such class will be affected.
(17) “Ministerial matter” means action that a person takes in a prescribed manner in obedience to the mandate of legal authority, without the exercise of the person’s own judgment or discretion as to the propriety of the action taken.
(18) “Parties materially related to the complaint at issue” means any other public officer or employee within the same agency as the alleged violator who has engaged in the same conduct as that alleged in the complaint, or any other public officer or employee who has participated with the alleged violator in the alleged violation as a coconspirator or as an aider and abettor.
(19) “Person or business entities provided a grant or privilege to operate” includes state and federally chartered banks, state and federal savings and loan associations, cemetery companies, insurance companies, mortgage companies, credit unions, small loan companies, alcoholic beverage licensees, pari-mutuel wagering companies, utility companies, and entities controlled by the Public Service Commission or granted a franchise to operate by either a city or county government.
(20) “Purchasing agent” means a public officer or employee having the authority to commit the expenditure of public funds through a contract for, or the purchase of, any goods, services, or interest in real property for an agency, as opposed to the authority to request or requisition a contract or purchase by another person.
(21) “Relative,” unless otherwise specified in this part, means an individual who is related to a public officer or employee as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister, grandparent, great grandparent, grandchild, great grandchild, step grandparent, step great grandparent, step grandchild, step great grandchild, person who is engaged to be married to the public officer or employee or who otherwise holds himself or herself out as or is generally known as the person whom the public officer or employee intends to marry or with whom the public officer or employee intends to form a household, or any other natural person having the same legal residence as the public officer or employee.
(22) “Represent” or “representation” means actual physical attendance on behalf of a client in an agency proceeding, the writing of letters or filing of documents on behalf of a client, and personal communications made with the officers or employees of any agency on behalf of a client.
(23) “Source” means the name, address, and description of the principal business activity of a person or business entity.
(24) “Value of real property” means the most recently assessed value in lieu of a more current appraisal.
History.—s. 2, ch. 67-469; ss. 11, 12, ch. 68-35; s. 8, ch. 69-353; s. 2, ch. 74-177; s. 1, ch. 75-196; s. 1, ch. 75-199; s. 3, ch. 75-208; s. 4, ch. 76-18; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 2, ch. 82-98; s. 1, ch. 83-282; s. 2, ch. 90-502; s. 2, ch. 91-85; s. 3, ch. 91-292; s. 699, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 96-328; s. 1, ch. 2000-243; ss. 28, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 75, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 1, ch. 2013-36; s. 3, ch. 2014-22; s. 2, ch. 2019-97.