For Immediate Release - October 12, 2011

AG Coakley’s Office Launches Open Meeting Law Determination Lookup Feature on AG Website

Interactive Database Makes Open Meeting Law Determinations More Accessible

BOSTON – In an effort to provide greater transparency and access to the office’s decisions, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today that all of the Division of Open Government’s Open Meeting Law (OML) determinations will now be available through an interactive online database.

The Open Meeting Law Determination Lookup is a new feature on the AG’s website and is part of a comprehensive effort by the AG’s Office to provide more online access to information about the OML for members of public bodies, government employees and the public.  The database contains all OML determinations issued since July 1, 2010, the date on which the Attorney General’s Office assumed responsibility for enforcement of the OML with respect to local, regional, district, county and state public bodies.  Determinations are organized by year and decision date, with the most recent decisions appearing at the top.  Users can also search the determinations for a specific public body that was the subject of an Open Meeting Law complaint, as well as by action ordered by the Attorney General, by key word, and by other criteria.

“Since assuming enforcement of the Open Meeting Law, our office has made continual efforts to educate and inform public bodies and members of the public about the new law and its provisions,” said AG Coakley.  “By making our determinations available online, we hope that this resource will ensure transparency and clarity in the law for all public bodies, the news media, and members of the public.”

On July 1, 2010, following the passage of the Ethics Reform Act of 2009, Attorney General Coakley’s Office assumed responsibility for interpretation and enforcement of the OML from the state’s District Attorneys.  To ensure a continued and consistent focus on the Open Meeting Law, AG Coakley created the Division of Open Government which provides education about the OML’s requirements, enforces the OML, and acts as a readily accessible resource for members of public bodies, members of the public, government officials, and the press.  In its first year of enforcement , Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Division of Open Government responded to thousands of inquiries, conducted 47 statewide trainings and issued dozens of determinations.  For more information, please visit the Open Meeting Law section of the Attorney General’s website.