Open Meeting Law
Typically, open meeting laws include provisions mandating that governments give advance notice to the public of when and where its meetings will be held and the agenda. Additionally, the laws often mandate that the government entity publish a record after the fact of what transpired at the meeting in question.
Open meeting laws are essential to the maintenance of a transparent government where public business will be performed in an open and public manner. Citizens who are fully aware of and free to observe the performance of public officials and listen to the deliberations are in a much better position to ensure that their government is operating in an honest, cost effective and prudent manner.
Websites and open meetings
The Transparency Checklist recommends that government websites at a minimum include:
- Time and place of meeting;
- Tentative agenda of an open meeting;
- Agendas archived for 3-5 years; and
- Minutes of all meetings are recorded and posted online for past 3-5 years.
- Whether the meeting is open or closed.
- If the meeting is videotaped, the video should be made available online.
- Two weeks notice of the meeting and place of meeting.
- Whether public input is allowed at the meeting and, if so, what the rules are that govern public input.
- Example of proactively disclosed meetings: Anderson County, SC