Changes to the Open Meetings Act Allow Inspection of Closed Session Records
Effective June 30, 2016, the Open Meetings Act (OMA) has been amended to allow elected board members, or those appointed to fill vacancies on the board, to access closed session recordings and minutes. Access must be granted to the board members in the public body’s main office or official storage location, in the presence of a records secretary, an administrative official, or any elected official of the public body. At the same time, the amendment prohibits board members from recording or removing the recordings or minutes from the public body’s main office or official storage location, except by vote of the public body or by court order. The amendment also specifically states that nothing in this particular section is intended to limit the Public Access Counselor’s access to the records necessary to address a request for review of an alleged OMA violation.
A board’s policies and procedures should be reviewed immediately to ensure compliance with the OMA.