From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej
PUBLIC OFFICIAL – a legal term as defined in the penal code. This provision states that p.o. is the President of the Republic of Poland; MP/deputy, senator, councillor; member of the European Parliament; judge, juror, prosecutor, financial officer of the preparatory body or superior body to the financial preparatory body, notary, bailiff, court curator, receiver/trustee, court supervisor and administrator, adjudicator in disciplinary bodies acting under the law; a person who is an employee of the government administration, other state body or local government, unless he/she is exclusively engaged in service activities, and also other person to the extent that he/she is entitled to issue administrative decisions; a person who is an employee of the state inspection body or of a local-government inspection body, unless he/she performs only service activities; a person holding a managerial position in another state institution; an officer of a body established for the protection of public safety or an officer of the Prison Service; a person in active military service, except for territorial military dispositional service; a member of an international criminal tribunal, unless it is only a service. According to the above list set forth in the code, p.o. can perform tasks in various segments of public administration. However, the scope of performed tasks is important – p.o. certainly will not be service workers employed in the public administration structures. As emphasized in the literature, service activities should be understood as having no direct connection with the substantive competence of the body, but may serve to accomplish those tasks. Such activities are carried out by secretariat staff, messengers, drivers, cleaners or operators. It is clear from the provisions of the penal code that the list of public officials is limited to employees, which should be understood as their being in the employment relationship as referred to in the labour law. From this point of view, p.o. are not: persons who provide services to entities form government or local government sphere, based on civil law contracts, such as casual work contracts, contracts to perform a specified task, or agency contracts [ K. Mroczka ].
Literature: P. Bachmat, Pojęcie osoby pełniącej funkcję publiczną – analiza dogmatyczna i praktyka stosowania (na przykładzie przestępstw z art. 228 i 229 k.k.), Warszawa 2013 ■ P. Daniluk, Funkcjonariusz publiczny, [w:] Leksykon prawa karnego – część ogólna. 100 podstawowych pojęć, red. P. Daniluk, Warszawa 2011 ■ R. Krajewski, Funkcjonariusz publiczny i osoba pełniąca funkcję publiczną jako kategorie prawa karnego istotne z perspektywy funkcjonowania administracji publicznej, „Studia z Zakresu Prawa, Administracji i Zarządzania UKW” 2012, t. 1.