Oklahoma Open Meetings Act
DATE OF ADOPTION:
Following are sections of the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act, as of close of the Forty-First Oklahoma Legislature, first regular session, 1987, which have a direct bearing on the meetings of Seminole State College and other higher education institutions
Section 303. Times and places—Advance Notice
“All meetings of public bodies, as defined hereinafter, shall be held at specified times and places which are convenient to the public and shall be open to the public, except as hereinafter specifically provided. All meetings of such public bodies shall be preceded by advance public notice specifying the time and place of each such meeting to be convened as well as the subject matter or matters to be considered at such meeting, as hereinafter provided.”
Section 304. Definitions—As used in this act:
- “ “Public body” means the governing bodies of all municipalities located within the State of Oklahoma, boards of county commissioners of the counties in the State of Oklahoma, boards of public and higher education in the State of Oklahoma and all boards, bureaus, commissions, agencies, trusteeships, authorities, councils, committees, public trusts, task forces or study groups in the State of Oklahoma supported in whole or in part by public funds or entrusted with the expending of public funds, or administering public property, shall include all committees or subcommittees of any public body. It shall not mean the state judiciary or the State Legislature or administrative staffs of public bodies, including, but not limited to, faculty meetings and athletic staff meetings of institutions of higher education, when said staffs are not meeting with the public body or entry-year assistance committees, as defined in Section 6-152 of Title 70 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
- “Meeting” means the conducting of business of a public body by a majority of its members being personally together.
- “Regularly scheduled meeting” means a meeting at which the regular business of the public body is conducted.
- “Special meeting” means any meeting of a public body other than a regularly scheduled meeting or emergency meeting.
- “Emergency meeting” means any meeting called for the purpose of dealing with an emergency. For purposes of this act, an emergency is defined as a situation involving injury to persons or injury and damage to public or personal property or immediate financial loss when the time requirements for public notice of a special meeting would make such procedure impractical and increase the likelihood of injury or damage or immediate financial loss.
- “Continued or reconvened meeting” means a meeting which is assembled for the purpose of finishing business appearing on an agenda of a previous meeting. For the purposes of this act, only matters on the agenda of the previous meeting at which the announcement of the continuance is made may be discussed at a continued or reconvened meeting.”
POLICY NUMBER: II-2-2
Section 305. Recording of votes.
In all meetings of public bodies, the vote of each member shall be publicly cast and recorded.
Section 306. Circumvention of act.
No informal gatherings or any electronic or telephonic communications among a majority of the members of a public body shall be used to decide any action or to take any vote on any matter.
Section 307. Executive sessions.
No public body shall hold executive sessions unless otherwise specifically provided for herein.
Executive sessions of public bodies will be permitted only for the purpose of discussing the employment, hiring, appointment, promotion, disciplining or resignation of any individual salaried public officer or employee, or for the purpose of confidential communications between a public body and its attorney concerning a pending investigation, claim, or action if the public body, with the advice of its attorney, determines that disclosure will seriously impair the ability of the public body to process the claim or conduct of pending investigation, litigation, or proceeding in the public interest.
No executive session by a public body shall occur except on a vote by a majority of a quorum of the members present.
Section 311. Public bodies—Notice
Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, all regularly scheduled, continued or reconvened, special or emergency meetings of public bodies shall be preceded by public notice as follows:
1. All public bodies shall give notice in writing by December 15 of each calendar year of the schedule showing the date, time and place of
the regularly scheduled meetings of such public bodies for the following calendar year.
Items 2., 3., 4, and 5. discuss notice of meetings for other types of state agencies.]
- All governing boards of state institutions of higher education, and committees and subcommittees thereof, shall give such notice to the Secretary of State.
- The Secretary of State…shall keep a record of all notices received in a register open to the public for inspection during regular office hours, and, in addition, shall make known upon any request of any person the contents of said register.
- If any change is to be made of the date, time or place of regularly scheduled meetings of public bodies, then notice in writing shall be given to the Secretary of State or county clerk or municipal clerk, as required herein, not less than ten (10) days prior to the implementation of any such change.
- In addition to the advance public notice in writing required to be filed for regularly scheduled meetings, all public bodies shall, at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to such meetings, display public notice of said meeting, setting forth thereon the date, time, place and agenda for said meeting, such twenty-four (24) hours prior to public posting shall exclude Saturdays and Sundays and holidays legally declared by the State of Oklahoma; provided, however, the posting of an agenda shall not preclude a public body from considering at its regularly scheduled meeting any new business. Such public notice shall be posted in prominent public view at the principal office of the public body or at the location of said meeting if no office exists. “New business,” as used herein, shall mean any matter not known about or which could not have been reasonably foreseen prior to the time of posting.
- In the event any meetings to be continued or reconvened, public notice of such action, including date, time and place of the continued meeting, shall be given by announcement at the original meeting. Only matters appearing on the agenda of the meeting which is continued may be discussed at the continued or reconvened meeting.
- Special meetings of public bodies shall not be held without public notice being given at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to said meetings. Such public notice of date, time and place shall be given in writing, in person or by telephonic means to the Secretary of State…. The public body also shall cause written notice of the date, time and place of the meeting to be mailed or delivered to each person, newspaper, wire service, radio station, and television station that has filed a written request for notice of meetings of the public body with the clerk or secretary of the public body or with some other person designated by the public body. Such written notice shall be mailed or delivered at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the special meeting. The public body may charge a fee up to Eighteen Dollars ($18.00) per year to persons or entities filing a written request for notice of meetings, and may require such persons or entities to renew the request for notice annually. In addition, all public bodies shall, at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to such special meetings, display public notice of said meeting, setting forth thereon the date, time, place and agenda for said meeting. Only matters appearing on the posted agenda may be considered at said special meeting. Such public notice shall be posted in prominent public view at the principal office of the public body or at the location of said meeting if no office exists. Twenty-four (24) hours prior public posting shall exclude Saturdays and Sundays and holidays legally declared by the State of Oklahoma.
- In the event of an emergency, an emergency meeting of a public body may be held without the public notice heretofore required. Should an emergency meeting of a public body be necessary, the person calling such a meeting shall give as much advance public notice as is reasonable and possible under the circumstances existing, in person or by telephonic or electronic means.
POLICY NUMBER: II-2-3
Section 312. Minutes of Meetings.
The proceedings of a public body shall be kept by a person so designated by such public body in the form of written minutes which shall be an official summary of the proceedings showing clearly those members present and absent, all matters considered by the public body, and all actions taken by such public body.