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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title X
PUBLIC OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND RECORDS
Chapter 112
PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES: GENERAL PROVISIONS
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F.S. 112.3148
112.3148 Reporting and prohibited receipt of gifts by individuals filing full or limited public disclosure of financial interests and by procurement employees.
(1) The provisions of this section do not apply to gifts solicited or accepted by a reporting individual or procurement employee from a relative.
(2) As used in this section:
(a) “Immediate family” means any parent, spouse, child, or sibling.
(b)1. “Lobbyist” means any natural person who, for compensation, seeks, or sought during the preceding 12 months, to influence the governmental decisionmaking of a reporting individual or procurement employee or his or her agency or seeks, or sought during the preceding 12 months, to encourage the passage, defeat, or modification of any proposal or recommendation by the reporting individual or procurement employee or his or her agency.
2. With respect to an agency that has established by rule, ordinance, or law a registration process for persons seeking to influence decisionmaking or to encourage the passage, defeat, or modification of any proposal or recommendation by such agency or an employee or official of the agency, the term “lobbyist” includes only a person who is required to be registered as a lobbyist in accordance with such rule, ordinance, or law or who was during the preceding 12 months required to be registered as a lobbyist in accordance with such rule, ordinance, or law. At a minimum, such a registration system must require the registration of, or must designate, persons as “lobbyists” who engage in the same activities as require registration to lobby the Legislature pursuant to s. 11.045.
(c) “Person” includes individuals, firms, associations, joint ventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations.
(d) “Reporting individual” means any individual, including a candidate upon qualifying, who is required by law, pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3145, to file full or limited public disclosure of his or her financial interests or any individual who has been elected to, but has yet to officially assume the responsibilities of, public office. For purposes of implementing this section, the “agency” of a reporting individual who is not an officer or employee in public service is the agency to which the candidate seeks election, or in the case of an individual elected to but yet to formally take office, the agency in which the individual has been elected to serve.
(e) “Procurement employee” means any employee of an officer, department, board, commission, council, or agency of the executive branch or judicial branch of state government who has participated in the preceding 12 months through decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, preparation of any part of a purchase request, influencing the content of any specification or procurement standard, rendering of advice, investigation, or auditing or in any other advisory capacity in the procurement of contractual services or commodities as defined in s. 287.012, if the cost of such services or commodities exceeds or is expected to exceed $10,000 in any fiscal year.
(f) “Vendor” means a business entity doing business directly with an agency, such as renting, leasing, or selling any realty, goods, or services.
(3) A reporting individual or procurement employee is prohibited from soliciting any gift from a vendor doing business with the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency, a political committee as defined in s. 106.011, or a lobbyist who lobbies the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency, or the partner, firm, employer, or principal of such lobbyist, where such gift is for the personal benefit of the reporting individual or procurement employee, another reporting individual or procurement employee, or any member of the immediate family of a reporting individual or procurement employee.
(4) A reporting individual or procurement employee or any other person on his or her behalf is prohibited from knowingly accepting, directly or indirectly, a gift from a vendor doing business with the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency, a political committee as defined in s. 106.011, or a lobbyist who lobbies the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency, or directly or indirectly on behalf of the partner, firm, employer, or principal of a lobbyist, if he or she knows or reasonably believes that the gift has a value in excess of $100; however, such a gift may be accepted by such person on behalf of a governmental entity or a charitable organization. If the gift is accepted on behalf of a governmental entity or charitable organization, the person receiving the gift shall not maintain custody of the gift for any period of time beyond that reasonably necessary to arrange for the transfer of custody and ownership of the gift.
(5)(a) A vendor doing business with the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency; a political committee as defined in s. 106.011; a lobbyist who lobbies a reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s agency; the partner, firm, employer, or principal of a lobbyist; or another on behalf of the lobbyist or partner, firm, principal, or employer of the lobbyist is prohibited from giving, either directly or indirectly, a gift that has a value in excess of $100 to the reporting individual or procurement employee or any other person on his or her behalf; however, such person may give a gift having a value in excess of $100 to a reporting individual or procurement employee if the gift is intended to be transferred to a governmental entity or a charitable organization.
(b) However, a person who is regulated by this subsection, who is not regulated by subsection (6), and who makes, or directs another to make, an individual gift having a value in excess of $25, but not in excess of $100, other than a gift that the donor knows will be accepted on behalf of a governmental entity or charitable organization, must file a report on the last day of each calendar quarter for the previous calendar quarter in which a reportable gift is made. The report shall be filed with the Commission on Ethics, except with respect to gifts to reporting individuals of the legislative branch, in which case the report shall be filed with the Office of Legislative Services. The report must contain a description of each gift, the monetary value thereof, the name and address of the person making such gift, the name and address of the recipient of the gift, and the date such gift is given. In addition, if a gift is made which requires the filing of a report under this subsection, the donor must notify the intended recipient at the time the gift is made that the donor, or another on his or her behalf, will report the gift under this subsection. Under this paragraph, a gift need not be reported by more than one person or entity.
(6)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (5), an entity of the legislative or judicial branch, a department or commission of the executive branch, a water management district created pursuant to s. 373.069, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, a county, a municipality, an airport authority, or a school board may give, either directly or indirectly, a gift having a value in excess of $100 to any reporting individual or procurement employee if a public purpose can be shown for the gift; and a direct-support organization specifically authorized by law to support a governmental entity may give such a gift to a reporting individual or procurement employee who is an officer or employee of such governmental entity.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (4), a reporting individual or procurement employee may accept a gift having a value in excess of $100 from an entity of the legislative or judicial branch, a department or commission of the executive branch, a water management district created pursuant to s. 373.069, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, a county, a municipality, an airport authority, or a school board if a public purpose can be shown for the gift; and a reporting individual or procurement employee who is an officer or employee of a governmental entity supported by a direct-support organization specifically authorized by law to support such governmental entity may accept such a gift from such direct-support organization.
(c) No later than March 1 of each year, each governmental entity or direct-support organization specifically authorized by law to support a governmental entity which has given a gift to a reporting individual or procurement employee under paragraph (a) shall provide the reporting individual or procurement employee with a statement of each gift having a value in excess of $100 given to such reporting individual or procurement employee by the governmental entity or direct-support organization during the preceding calendar year. Such report shall contain a description of each gift, the date on which the gift was given, and the value of the total gifts given by the governmental entity or direct-support organization to the reporting individual or procurement employee during the calendar year for which the report is made. A governmental entity may provide a single report to the reporting individual or procurement employee of gifts provided by the governmental entity and any direct-support organization specifically authorized by law to support such governmental entity.
(d) No later than July 1 of each year, each reporting individual or procurement employee shall file a statement listing each gift having a value in excess of $100 received by the reporting individual or procurement employee, either directly or indirectly, from a governmental entity or a direct-support organization specifically authorized by law to support a governmental entity. The statement shall list the name of the person providing the gift, a description of the gift, the date or dates on which the gift was given, and the value of the total gifts given during the calendar year for which the report is made. The reporting individual or procurement employee shall attach to the statement any report received by him or her in accordance with paragraph (c), which report shall become a public record when filed with the statement of the reporting individual or procurement employee. The reporting individual or procurement employee may explain any differences between the report of the reporting individual or procurement employee and the attached reports. The annual report filed by a reporting individual shall be filed with the financial disclosure statement required by either s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or s. 112.3145, as applicable to the reporting individual. The annual report filed by a procurement employee shall be filed with the Commission on Ethics. The report filed by a reporting individual or procurement employee who left office or employment during the calendar year covered by the report shall be filed by July 1 of the year after leaving office or employment at the same location as his or her final financial disclosure statement or, in the case of a former procurement employee, with the Commission on Ethics.
(7)(a) The value of a gift provided to a reporting individual or procurement employee shall be determined using actual cost to the donor, less taxes and gratuities, except as otherwise provided in this subsection, and, with respect to personal services provided by the donor, the reasonable and customary charge regularly charged for such service in the community in which the service is provided shall be used. If additional expenses are required as a condition precedent to eligibility of the donor to purchase or provide a gift and such expenses are primarily for the benefit of the donor or are of a charitable nature, such expenses shall not be included in determining the value of the gift.
(b) Compensation provided by the donee to the donor, if provided within 90 days after receipt of the gift, shall be deducted from the value of the gift in determining the value of the gift.
(c) If the actual gift value attributable to individual participants at an event cannot be determined, the total costs shall be prorated among all invited persons, whether or not they are reporting individuals or procurement employees.
(d) Transportation shall be valued on a round-trip basis unless only one-way transportation is provided. Round-trip transportation expenses shall be considered a single gift. Transportation provided in a private conveyance shall be given the same value as transportation provided in a comparable commercial conveyance.
(e) Lodging provided on consecutive days shall be considered a single gift. Lodging in a private residence shall be valued at the per diem rate provided in s. 112.061(6)(a)1. less the meal allowance rate provided in s. 112.061(6)(b).
(f) Food and beverages which are not consumed at a single sitting or meal and which are provided on the same calendar day shall be considered a single gift, and the total value of all food and beverages provided on that date shall be considered the value of the gift. Food and beverage consumed at a single sitting or meal shall be considered a single gift, and the value of the food and beverage provided at that sitting or meal shall be considered the value of the gift.
(g) Membership dues paid to the same organization during any 12-month period shall be considered a single gift.
(h) Entrance fees, admission fees, or tickets shall be valued on the face value of the ticket or fee, or on a daily or per event basis, whichever is greater.
(i) Except as otherwise specified in this section, a gift shall be valued on a per occurrence basis.
(j) The value of a gift provided to several individuals may be attributed on a pro rata basis among all of the individuals. If the gift is food, beverage, entertainment, or similar items, provided at a function for more than 10 people, the value of the gift to each individual shall be the total value of the items provided divided by the number of persons invited to the function, unless the items are purchased on a per person basis, in which case the value of the gift to each person is the per person cost.
(k) The value of a gift of an admission ticket shall not include that portion of the cost which represents a charitable contribution, if the gift is provided by the charitable organization.
(8)(a) Each reporting individual or procurement employee shall file a statement with the Commission on Ethics not later than the last day of each calendar quarter, for the previous calendar quarter, containing a list of gifts which he or she believes to be in excess of $100 in value, if any, accepted by him or her, for which compensation was not provided by the donee to the donor within 90 days of receipt of the gift to reduce the value to $100 or less, except the following:
1. Gifts from relatives.
2. Gifts prohibited by subsection (4) or s. 112.313(4).
3. Gifts otherwise required to be disclosed by this section.
(b) The statement shall include:
1. A description of the gift, the monetary value of the gift, the name and address of the person making the gift, and the dates thereof. If any of these facts, other than the gift description, are unknown or not applicable, the report shall so state.
2. A copy of any receipt for such gift provided to the reporting individual or procurement employee by the donor.
(c) The statement may include an explanation of any differences between the reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s statement and the receipt provided by the donor.
(d) The reporting individual’s or procurement employee’s statement shall be sworn to by such person as being a true, accurate, and total listing of all such gifts.
(e) Statements must be filed not later than 5 p.m. of the due date. However, any statement that is postmarked by the United States Postal Service by midnight of the due date is deemed to have been filed in a timely manner, and a certificate of mailing obtained from and dated by the United States Postal Service at the time of the mailing, or a receipt from an established courier company, which bears a date on or before the due date constitutes proof of mailing in a timely manner.
(f) If a reporting individual or procurement employee has not received any gifts described in paragraph (a) during a calendar quarter, he or she is not required to file a statement under this subsection for that calendar quarter.
(9) A person, other than a lobbyist regulated under s. 11.045, who violates the provisions of subsection (5) commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 and by a prohibition on lobbying, or employing a lobbyist to lobby, before the agency of the reporting individual or procurement employee to which the gift was given in violation of subsection (5), for a period of not more than 24 months. The state attorney, or an agency, if otherwise authorized, may initiate an action to impose or recover a fine authorized under this section or to impose or enforce a limitation on lobbying provided in this section.
(10) A member of the Legislature may request an advisory opinion from the general counsel of the house of which he or she is a member as to the application of this section to a specific situation. The general counsel shall issue the opinion within 10 days after receiving the request. The member of the Legislature may reasonably rely on such opinion.
History.s. 2, ch. 89-380; s. 8, ch. 90-502; s. 9, ch. 91-85; s. 7, ch. 91-292; s. 6, ch. 94-277; s. 1411, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 96-328; s. 8, ch. 98-136; s. 4, ch. 2000-243; s. 32, ch. 2000-258; s. 8, ch. 2003-159; s. 6, ch. 2006-275; s. 4, ch. 2012-51; s. 12, ch. 2013-36; s. 29, ch. 2013-37; s. 3, ch. 2013-235.