Section 288.1226, Florida Statutes 2004
288.1226 Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation; use of property; board of directors; duties; audit.--
(1) DEFINITIONS.--For the purposes of this section, the term "corporation" means the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation.
(2) ESTABLISHMENT.--The Florida Commission on Tourism shall establish, no later than July 31, 1996, the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation as a direct-support organization:
(a) Which is a corporation not for profit, as defined in s. 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, that is incorporated under the provisions of chapter 617 and approved by the Department of State.
(b) Which is organized and operated exclusively to request, receive, hold, invest, and administer property and to manage and make expenditures for the operation of the activities, services, functions, and programs of this state which relate to the statewide, national, and international promotion and marketing of tourism.
(c) Which the Florida Commission on Tourism and the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, after review, have certified whether it is operating in a manner consistent with the policies and goals of the commission and its long-range marketing plan.
(d) Which shall not be considered an agency for the purposes of chapters 120, 216, and 287; ss. 255.21, 255.25, and 255.254, relating to leasing of buildings; ss. 283.33 and 283.35, relating to bids for printing; s. 215.31; and parts I, II, and IV-VIII of chapter 112.
(e) Which shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 119, relating to public meetings, and those provisions of chapter 286 relating to public meetings and records.
(3) USE OF PROPERTY.--The commission:
(a) Is authorized to permit the use of property and facilities of the commission by the corporation, subject to the provisions of this section.
(b) Shall prescribe conditions with which the corporation must comply in order to use property and facilities of the commission. Such conditions shall provide for budget and audit review and for oversight by the commission.
(c) Shall not permit the use of property and facilities of the commission if the corporation does not provide equal employment opportunities to all persons, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or religion.
(4) BOARD OF DIRECTORS.--The board of directors of the corporation shall be composed of 31 tourism-industry-related members, appointed by the Florida Commission on Tourism from its own membership. The vice chair of the commission shall serve as chair of the corporation's board of directors.
(5) POWERS AND DUTIES.--The corporation, in the performance of its duties:
(a) May make and enter into contracts and assume such other functions as are necessary to carry out the provisions of the Florida Commission on Tourism's 4-year marketing plan and the corporation's contract with the commission which are not inconsistent with this or any other provision of law.
(b) May develop a program to provide incentives and to attract and recognize those entities which make significant financial and promotional contributions towards the expanded tourism promotion activities of the corporation.
(c) May commission and adopt, in cooperation with the commission, an official tourism logo to be used in all promotional materials directly produced by the corporation. The corporation may establish a cooperative marketing program with other public and private entities which allows the use of this logo in tourism promotion campaigns which meet the standards of the commission and the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development for which the corporation may charge a reasonable fee.
(d) May sue and be sued and appear and defend in all actions and proceedings in its corporate name to the same extent as a natural person.
(e) May adopt, use, and alter a common corporate seal. However, such seal must always contain the words "corporation not for profit."
(f) Shall elect or appoint such officers and agents as its affairs shall require and allow them reasonable compensation.
(g) Shall hire and establish salaries and personnel and employee benefit programs for such permanent and temporary employees as are necessary to carry out the provisions of the Florida Commission on Tourism's 4-year marketing plan and the corporation's contract with the commission which are not inconsistent with this or any other provision of law.
(h) Shall provide staff support to the Florida Commission on Tourism. The president and chief executive officer of the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation shall serve without compensation as the executive director of the commission.
(i) May adopt, change, amend, and repeal bylaws, not inconsistent with law or its articles of incorporation, for the administration of the provisions of the Florida Commission on Tourism's 4-year marketing plan and the corporation's contract with the commission.
(j) May conduct its affairs, carry on its operations, and have offices and exercise the powers granted by this act in any state, territory, district, or possession of the United States or any foreign country. Where feasible, appropriate, and recommended by the 4-year marketing plan developed by the Florida Commission on Tourism, the corporation may collocate the programs of foreign tourism offices in cooperation with any foreign office operated by any agency of this state.
(k) May appear on its own behalf before boards, commissions, departments, or other agencies of municipal, county, state, or federal government.
(l) May request or accept any grant, payment, or gift, of funds or property made by this state or by the United States or any department or agency thereof or by any individual, firm, corporation, municipality, county, or organization for any or all of the purposes of the Florida Commission on Tourism's 4-year marketing plan and the corporation's contract with the commission that are not inconsistent with this or any other provision of law. Such funds shall be deposited in a bank account established by the corporation's board of directors. The corporation may expend such funds in accordance with the terms and conditions of any such grant, payment, or gift, in the pursuit of its administration or in support of the programs it administers. The corporation shall separately account for the public funds and the private funds deposited into the corporation's bank account.
(m) Shall establish a plan for participation in the corporation which will provide additional funding for the administration and duties of the corporation.
(n) In the performance of its duties, may undertake, or contract for, marketing projects and advertising research projects.
(o) In addition to any indemnification available under chapter 617, the corporation may indemnify, and purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of, directors, officers, and employees of the corporation against any personal liability or accountability by reason of actions taken while acting within the scope of their authority.
(6) ANNUAL AUDIT.--The corporation shall provide for an annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981. The annual audit report shall be submitted to the Auditor General; the Office of Policy Analysis and Government Accountability; and the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development for review. The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability; the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development; and the Auditor General have the authority to require and receive from the corporation or from its independent auditor any detail or supplemental data relative to the operation of the corporation. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall annually certify whether the corporation is operating in a manner and achieving the objectives that are consistent with the policies and goals of the commission and its long-range marketing plan. The identity of a donor or prospective donor to the corporation who desires to remain anonymous and all information identifying such donor or prospective donor are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Such anonymity shall be maintained in the auditor's report.
(7) The corporation shall provide a quarterly report to the commission which shall:
(a) Measure the current vitality of the visitor industry of this state as compared to the vitality of such industry for the year to date and for comparable quarters of past years. Indicators of vitality shall be determined by the commission and shall include, but not be limited to, estimated visitor count and party size, length of stay, average expenditure per party, and visitor origin and destination.
(b) Provide detailed, unaudited financial statements of sources and uses of public and private funds.
(c) Measure progress towards annual goals and objectives set forth in the commission's 4-year marketing plan.
(d) Review all pertinent research findings.
(e) Provide other measures of accountability as requested by the commission.
(8) The identity of any person who responds to a marketing project or advertising research project conducted by the corporation in the performance of its duties on behalf of the commission, or trade secrets as defined by s. 812.081 obtained pursuant to such activities, are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
History.--s. 7, ch. 92-299; s. 6, ch. 94-136; s. 877, ch. 95-148; s. 1, ch. 95-369; s. 1, ch. 96-297; s. 53, ch. 96-320; s. 140, ch. 96-406; s. 41, ch. 97-100; s. 18, ch. 99-251; s. 1, ch. 2001-69; s. 91, ch. 2001-266; s. 2, ch. 2004-274.