....75 2- z
January 9, 1975 f4 / 1
MEMORANDUM N 3 1397
TO: BOBBY LASETER, DEPUTY FOR OPERATIONS .
FROM: JAY T. AHERN, STAFF ATTORNEY
RE: District Paying Cost for Annual Awards Dinner
Your request for my opinion on the legality of the District expending funds
for the cost of an awards dinner has been reviewed by the writer.
My opinion is the cost could be expended under two provisions of 373 F.S.
In particularly, Section 373.079(4) permits the Governing Board to employ
...other personnel and assistants...under such terms and conditions as
it may determine. Herein the Board could provide that employees who have
been in the employ of the District for a certain number of years shall be
recognized for their dedication and allegiance to the District. This
recognition could take the form of a dinner and award of a pin or District
Another -area the cost could be expended is under Section 373.103(5) F.S.
Under this provision, they could expend a yearly sum not to exceed one
fourth of one percent for purposes of promotion, advertisement and improve-
ment of the program and objectives of the District. I interpret this
section as permitting award dinners for its employees as a form of promotion
and improvement of the Districts' objectives.
My research as to interpretation of these provisions lead to the conclusion
that there is a lack of guidance on the subject matter. There is an Attorney
General's Opinion No. 068-12 reviewing the entertainment expenses of'the
Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District and the Southwest Florida
Water Management District. It was concluded that specific statutory provision
authorizing the use and expenditure for hospitality and other specific pur-
poses exist for other state agencies and political entities and it does not
exist in the two districts enabling acts.
The Attorney General opinion, without directly answering the question on the
legality of hospitality expenditure by the District, but advised it must be
a judgment decision based upon the information submitted in support of it.
Accordingly, I am of the opinion that facts can be shown that justifies the
expenditure of District funds for employee award dinners as permitted under
Sections 373.079(4) F.S. and 373.103(5) F.S.
cc: Myron G. Gibbons, Esquire
L. M. Blain, Esquire