• Introduction to Video Presentation

    This presentation has been recorded by the Attorney General’s Division of Open Government to serve as a resource to members of the public and public bodies seeking to understand the requirements of the Open Meeting Law. The presentation is divided up into six videos, and is current as of March 1, 2012. The run time for all six videos together is about one hour.  You may view the six videos in succession to cover the entire presentation, or you may select specific videos on topics of interest. While this presentation is meant to provide an overview of the requirements of the Open Meeting Law, specific questions should be addressed to the Division of Open Government at 617-963-2540 or at openmeeting@state.ma.us.

    All of the following videos may also be viewed on our YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/MassAttorneyGeneral

Video #1: Introduction and Open Meeting Law Definitions

This video introduces the Open Meeting Law, explains the Attorney General’s role in enforcing the law, and provides an overview of the entire training presentation contained in the six videos. The video also explains the Open Meeting Law’s definitions of “public body”, “deliberation,” and “meeting.”

Video #2: Meeting Notices

This video describes the requirements for creating and posting meeting notices.  The video explains the different requirements for local, state, regional, district, and county public bodies, as well as alternative notice posting methods, such as posting to a website. The video also covers common questions asked by public bodies related to posting notices.

Video #3: Accessibility of Meetings; Remote Participation; and Public Participation in Meetings

This video explains that public bodies are required to hold meetings that are open to the public and accessible to persons with disabilities. The video also describes the process for adopting the practice of remote participation, and the rules and requirements public bodies must follow when using remote participation in a meeting. Finally, the video describes the chair’s power to control meetings, and the rights of the public to attend and record open meetings.

Video #4: Executive Sessions

This video describes the procedures public bodies must follow before entering executive, or closed, sessions. The video also discusses the 10 purposes for executive session and when a public body may use each purpose.

Video #5: Meeting Minutes and Records

This video covers the Open Meeting Law’s requirements for keeping meeting minutes and records. The video explains the requirements for creating and approving meeting minutes, for both open and executive sessions, and the process for providing minutes to members of the public following a request. The video also describes the requirements for retaining and publicly releasing records used by a public body during a meeting, and describes specific public records exemptions found in the Open Meeting Law.

Video #6: Public Body Member Certification; Open Meeting Law Complaint Process; Resources and Contact Info

This video covers the Open Meeting Law’s requirements for public body member certification and the Open Meeting Law complaint process.  The video describes the certification form that members of public bodies must sign within two weeks of taking office and the materials public body members must review before signing the form. The video also describes the process whereby any member of the public may file a complaint alleging that a public body has violated the Open Meeting Law, the process for investigation and resolution of complaints, and the remedies that the Attorney General may order. Finally, the video explains what resources are available to members of the public and public bodies, and provides contact information for the Attorney General’s Division of Open Government.