For Immediate Release - March 04, 2013

Attorney General’s Office to Hold Regional Open Meeting Law Educational Forums Throughout State

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office will hold four educational forums on the Open Meeting Law throughout the state during the months of March, April and May. On July 1, 2010, the Attorney General’s Office assumed responsibility for enforcement of the Open Meeting Law from the state’s District Attorneys, who previously enforced the law as it pertains to municipal and regional public bodies. 

The forums are part of a broad effort by the AG’s Office to assist public bodies in understanding and complying with the requirements of the Open Meeting Law. State, local, regional, and county public bodies are required to comply with the Open Meeting Law. The Open Meeting Law educational forums will be conducted by attorneys and staff from the AG’s Division of Open Government and are open to the public. To date, the AG’s Office has conducted 11 regional education forums on the Open Meeting Law, reaching more than 660 attendees.

The regional educational forums on the Open Meeting Law will be held at the dates and times below:

Ayer
Thursday, March 28, 2013
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Ayer Town Hall
1 Main Street
Ayer, MA

Waltham
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Arthur J. Clark Government Center
119 School Street
Waltham, MA

Springfield
Thursday, May 9, 2013
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
60 Congress Street
Springfield, MA

Greenfield
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
John Olver Transportation Center
12 Olive Street
Greenfield, MA

The educational forums are being offered free of charge. All members of public bodies, municipal employees, and members of the general public are encouraged to attend. Individuals interested in attending an educational forum are asked to register in advance by calling 617-963-2925 or by emailing OMLTraining@state.ma.us, and providing: 1) their first and last names; 2) town of residence; 3) the public body/organization they represent, if appropriate; and 4) the location of the educational forum they will attend.

Since assuming responsibility for enforcement of the Open Meeting Law, AG Coakley’s Division of Open Government has responded to thousands of inquiries about the law’s requirements, conducted or participated in 81 trainings across the state, and issued more than 200 determinations. In October 2011, in an effort to provide greater transparency and access to the office’s decisions, all of the AG’s Open Meeting Law determinations became available online through an interactive database, the Open Meeting Law Determination Lookup.

For more information on the Open Meeting Law, visit the Attorney General's website at www.mass.gov/ago/openmeeting.

Media are welcome to attend.

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