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Florida Ethics Training Requirement
Florida law requires that all constitutional officers, elected municipal officers, commissioners of Community Redevelopment Agencies, and certain others, receive 4 hours of ethics training each calendar year which addresses, at a minimum, the “Ethics in Government” amendment (Art. II, s. 8, Fla. Const.), the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees (Part III, Ch. 112, F.S.), and the public records (Ch. 119, F.S.) and public meetings laws (Ch. 286, F.S.). Further, these individuals must certify on their annual financial disclosure forms that they have completed the required training.
Beginning January 1, 2024, all elected members of Independent Special Districts (and those appointed to fill a vacancy for the unexpired term of such an office) must also satisfy the annual ethics training requirement.
Pursuant to the requirements of s. 350.041(3), F.S., members of the Public Service Commission must also complete such a training annually. Further, members of the governing bodies of commercial service airports are required by s. 332.0075(4), F.S., to complete four hours of ethics training each calendar year.
Public officials assuming a new office or new term of office on or before March 31 must complete the annual training on or before December 31 of that year. However, if the individual takes office after March 31, he or she is not required to complete the training until the next calendar year. To ensure compliance with this requirement, officials should complete the required training as close as possible to the date they assume office. Failure to take the annual ethics training or certify the completion thereof on the required financial disclosure filing may subject the public official to an ethics complaint filing and concomitant investigation.
The Florida Ethics Institute provides an array of educational services including in-person and on-line trainings in satisfaction of the State mandated annual ethics training requirement. FEI’s on-line 4 Hour Ethics in Government Course is led by an attorney specializing in ethics law education and available on demand, 24/7 for three (3) months after the date of purchase. The training allows participants to stop and start the material at their convenience and provides attendees with a personalized Certificate of Completion once done. FEI’s courses are updated annually to ensure that attendees receive the most up-to-date ethics education available and highlights recent developments in ethics regulations.
Alternatively, if your organization would like to schedule an in-person or virtual training, of any length, with tailor-made presentations to meet the needs of the participants, please contact us at email@example.com to schedule an on-site or remote training session.