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Can a study session be a meeting subject to the Open Public Meetings Act?

Can a study session be a meeting subject to the Open Public Meetings Act?

(Executive Sessions) Permanent link

1. Is an unscheduled, unannounced study session with an attorney present a special meeting (therefore a public meeting) if the entire board of a public agency is present? 2. Should minutes be recorded during special meetings? 3. Should minutes reflect more than a list of the agenda topics? 4. Should an executive session's purpose be announced during a scheduled public meeting and should the public meeting continue after the announced duration of the executive session?

RCW 42.30.020(4) defines a “meeting” as a meeting at which action is taken.  The definition of “action” is very broad and is the transaction of official business by a governing body, including but not limited to receipt of public testimony, deliberations, discussions, considerations, reviews, evaluations, and final actions.  RCW 42.30.020(3).  Therefore, the consideration of official business by a quorum of the governing body may include a study session or training on the legal requirements of the Public Records Act.  Consideration of official business does not require interaction by members of the governing body.

Posted by Open Government Ombudsman at 07/15/2009 02:57:27 PM 

DISCLAIMER: The "Unredacted" webpage and its content is not intended or offered to provide legal advice or legal representation by the Office of the Attorney General. The attorney general's office provides information, technical assistance, and training on the provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act pursuant to RCW 42.30.210 and provides information to records requestors and state and local agencies about "best practices" for complying with the Public Records Act consistent with the adoption of model rules pursuant to RCW 42.56.570. Send Feedback
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