Florida League of Cities

Fiduciary Duty of Care for Appointed Public Officials and Executive Officers (Oppose) – FAILED 

SB 508 (Diaz) establishes standards of conduct and a mandatory five hours of training relating to the "fiduciary duty of care" for appointed local public officers and executive officers of local government entities. In addition, the bills impose restrictions on legal representation by government attorneys. The fiduciary duty and training requirements apply to appointed officials of various local boards and committees, including code enforcement boards, planning and zoning boards, land use boards and community redevelopment agency boards. The requirements do not apply to pension board members. The bill provides that each appointed public official and executive officer has a fiduciary duty of care to the governmental entity served and has a duty to act in accordance with laws and terms governing the office or employment, act with the care and competence normally exercised by private business professionals, act only within the scope of authority and refrain from conduct likely to damage the economic interests of the governmental entity. Further, such persons must become reasonably informed in connection with any decision-making function and keep reasonably informed concerning the performance of a governmental entity's officers, agents and employees. The bill imposes training requirements on appointed public officers and executive officers that require completion of at least five hours of board governance training per term served. The bill specifies the minimum content of such training programs, including board governance best practices and fiduciary duty of care and liabilities imposed by the new law. The bill provides that all legal counsel employed by a governmental entity must represent the legal interest and position of the governing body of the governmental entity and not the interest of any individual or employee of the governmental entity. (Cruz)