Oklahoma Open Meeting Act

 

§ 301. Citation. — This act shall be known as the

Oklahoma Open Meeting Act.

§ 302. Public policy. — It is the public policy of the

State of Oklahoma to encourage and facilitate an informed

citizenry’s understanding of the governmental processes

and governmental problems.

§ 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, except for executive sessions of the State Banking

Board and Oklahoma Savings and Loan Board, 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.

304. Definitions.

As used in the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act:

1. "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, and shall

include all committees or subcommittees of any

public body. It shall not mean the state judiciary, the

Council on Judicial Complaints when conducting,

discussing, or deliberating any matter relating to a

complaint received or filed with the Council, 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. Furthermore, it shall not

mean the multidisciplinary team provided for in subsection

B of Section 1-502.2 of Title 63 of the

Oklahoma Statutes or any school board meeting for

the sole purpose of considering recommendations of

said multidisciplinary team and deciding the placement

of any child who is the subject of such recommendations.

Furthermore, it shall not mean meetings

conducted by stewards designated by the Oklahoma

Horse Racing Commission pursuant to Section

203.4 of Title 3A of the Oklahoma Statutes when the

stewards are officiating at races or otherwise enforcing

rules of the Commission;

2. "Meeting" means the conduct of business of

a public body by a majority of its members being

personally together or, as authorized by Section

307.1 of this title, together pursuant to a teleconference;

3. "Regularly scheduled meeting" means a

meeting at which the regular business of the public

body is conducted;

4. "Special meeting" means any meeting of a

public body other than a regularly scheduled meeting

or emergency meeting;

5. "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;

6. "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;

and

Text of Open Meeting Act

Title 25, Oklahoma Statutes §§ 301-314

(As Amended Through Close of Forty-Seventh Oklahoma Legislature, Second Regular Session and First Extraordinary Session, 2000)

[Editor’s Note: Bold face, italics and underlines were added for emphasis and clarity.

Comments and explanations not part of the act are enclosed in brackets.]

7. "Teleconference" means a conference

among members of a public body remote from one

another who are linked by interactive telecommunication

devices permitting both visual and auditory

communication between and among members of the

public body and members of the public.

§ 305. Recording of votes. — In all meetings of public

bodies, the vote of each member must be publicly cast and

recorded.

§ 306. Circumvention of act — Teleconferences

excepted. — No informal gatherings or any electronic or

telephonic communications, except teleconferences as

authorized by Section 3 of this act, 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.

§ 307. Executive sessions.

A. No public body shall hold executive sessions

unless otherwise specifically provided in this section.

B. Executive sessions of public bodies will be

permitted only for the purpose of:

1. Discussing the employment, hiring,

appointment, promotion, demotion, disciplining

or resignation of any individual salaried public

officer or employee;

2. Discussing negotiations concerning

employees and representatives of employee

groups;

3. Discussing the purchase or appraisal of

real property;

4. 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

a pending investigation, litigation, or proceeding

in the public interest;

5. Permitting district boards of education to

hear evidence and discuss the expulsion or suspension

of a student when requested by the student

involved or his parents, attorney or legal

guardian;

6. Discussing matters involving a specific

handicapped child;

7. Discussing any matter where disclosure

of information would violate confidentiality

requirements of state or federal law; or

8. Engaging in deliberations or rendering a

final or intermediate decision in an individual

proceeding pursuant to Article II of the

Administrative Procedures Act.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection

B of this section, the following public bodies may

hold executive sessions:

1. The State Banking Board, as provided

for under Section 306.1 of Title 6 of the

Oklahoma Statutes;

2. The Oklahoma Industrial Finance

Authority, as provided for in Section 854 of

Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes;

3. The Oklahoma Development Finance

Authority, as provided for in Section 5062.6 of

Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes;

4. The Oklahoma Center for the

Advance-ment of Science and Technology, as

provided for in Section 5060.7 of Title 74 of the

Oklahoma Statutes;

5. The Oklahoma Savings and Loan

Board, as provided for under subsection A of

Section 381.74 of Title 18 of the Oklahoma

Statutes;

6. The Oklahoma Health Resource

Commit-tee for purposes of conferring on matters

pertaining to research and development of

products, if public disclosure of the matter discussed

would interfere with the development of

patents, copyrights, products, or services;

7. A review committee, as provided for in

Section 855 of Title 62 of the Oklahoma

Statutes;

[A "review committee" may be appointed

by a city, town, or county to study and recommend

action on proposed projects for such

things as neighborhood renewal, economic

development and other plans. It determines

project eligibility, appropriateness, and financing.

Financial statements, marketing plans,

trade secrets or other proprietary information

submitted to the committee are confidential,

except where the person submitting the material

consents to disclosure.]

8. The Child Death Review Board for

pur-poses of receiving and conferring on matters

pertaining to materials declared confidential

by law; and

9. All nonprofit foundations, boards,

bureaus, commissions, agencies, trusteeships,

authorities, councils, committees, public trusts,

task forces or study groups supported in whole

or part by public funds or entrusted with the

expenditure of public funds for purposes of conferring

on matters pertaining to economic

development, including the transfer of property,

financing, or the creation of a proposal to entice

a business to locate within their jurisdiction if

public disclosure of the matter discussed would

interfere with the development of products or

services or if public disclosure would violate

the confidentiality of the business; and

10. The Oklahoma Indigent Defense

System Board for purposes of discussing negotiating

strategies in connection with making

possible counteroffers to offers to contract to

provide legal representation to indigent criminal

defendants and indigent juveniles in cases

for which the System must provide representation

pursuant to the provisions of the Indigent

Defense System Act, Section 1355 et seq. of

Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

D. An executive session for the purpose of discussing

the purchase or appraisal of real property

shall be limited to members of the public body, the

attorney for the public body, and the immediate staff

of the public body. No landowner, real estate salesperson,

broker, developer, or any other person who

may profit directly or indirectly by a proposed transaction

concerning real property which is under consideration

may be present or participate in the executive

session.

E. No public body may go into an executive session

unless the following procedures are strictly

complied with:

1. The proposed executive session is noted

on the agenda as provided in Section 311 of this

title;

2. The executive session is authorized by a

majority vote of a quorum of the members present

and the vote is a recorded vote; and

3. Except for matters considered in executive

sessions of the State Banking Board and the

Oklahoma Savings and Loan Board, and which

are required by state or federal law to be confidential,

any vote or action on any item of business

considered in an executive session shall be

taken in public meeting with the vote of each

member publicly cast and recorded.

F. A willful violation of the provisions of this

section shall:

1. Subject each member of the public body

to criminal sanctions as provided in Section 214

of this title; and

2. Cause the minutes and all other records

of the executive session, including tape recordings,

to be immediately made public.

§ 307.1. Teleconferences.

A. No public body shall hold meetings by teleconference

except:

1. Oklahoma Futures;

2. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher

Education;

3. The Oklahoma Board of Medical

Licensure and Supervision;

4. The State Board of Osteopathic

Examiners;

5. The Board of Dentistry;

6. The Variance and Appeals Boards created

in Sections 1021.1, 1697 and 1850.16 of

Title 59 of the Oklahoma Statutes;

7. A public trust whose beneficiary is a

municipality; however, no more than twenty

percent (20%) of a quorum of the trustees may

participate by teleconference and during any

such meetings all votes shall be roll call votes;

8. The Native American Cultural and

Education Authority;

9. The Corporation Commission; and

10. The State Board of Vocational and

Technical Education.

B. No public body authorized to hold meetings

by teleconference shall conduct an executive session

by teleconference.

§ 308. Meeting between Governor and majority of

members of public body. — Any meeting between the

Governor and a majority of members of any public body

shall be open to the public and subject to all other provisions

of this act.

§ 309. Legislature. — The Legislature shall conduct

open meetings in accordance with rules to be adopted by

each house thereof.

§ 310. Legislative committee members attending

executive sessions. — Any member of the Legislature

appointed as a member of a committee of either house of

the Legislature or joint committee thereof shall be permitted

to attend any executive session authorized by the

Oklahoma Open Meeting Act of any state agency, board or

commission whenever the jurisdiction of such committee

includes the actions of the public body involved.

§ 311. Public bodies — Notice.

A. 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.

2. All state public bodies, including, but

not limited to, public trusts and other bodies

with the state as beneficiary, shall give such

notice to the Secretary of State.

3. All county public bodies, including, but

not limited to, public trusts and any other bodies

with the county as beneficiary, shall give

such notice to the county clerk of the county

wherein they are principally located.

4. All municipal public bodies, including,

but not limited to, public trusts and any other

bodies with the municipality as beneficiary,

shall give such notice to the municipal clerk of

the municipality wherein they are principally

located.

5. All multicounty, regional, areawide or

district public bodies, including, but not limited

to, district boards of education, shall give

such notice to the county clerk of the county

wherein they are principally located, or if no

office exists, to the county clerk of the county or

counties served by such public body.

6. All governing boards of state institutions

of higher education, and committees and

subcommittees thereof, shall give such notice to

the Secretary of State. All other public bodies

covered by the provisions of this act which exist

under the auspices of a state institution of higher

education, but a majority of whose members

are not members of the institution’s governing

board, shall give such notice to the county clerk

of the county wherein the institution is principally

located.

7. The Secretary of State and each county

clerk or municipal clerk 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.

8. 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.

9. 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 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.

10. In the event any meeting is 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.

11. 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 or to the

county clerk or to the municipal clerk by public

bodies in the manner set forth in paragraphs 2,

3, 4, 5 and 6 of this section. 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 of 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.

12. 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.

B. 1. All agendas required pursuant to the provisions

of this section shall identify all items of business

to be transacted by a public body at a meeting,

including, but not limited to, any proposed executive

session for the purpose of engaging in deliberations

or rendering a final or intermediate decision in an

individual proceeding prescribed by the

Administrative Procedures Act.

2. If a public body proposes to conduct an executive

session, the agenda shall:

a. contain sufficient information for the public

to ascertain that an executive session will be

proposed;

b. identify the items of business and purposes

of the executive session; and

c. state specifically the provision of Section

307 of this title authorizing the executive

session.

§ 312. Minutes of meetings —

Recording of Proceedings.

A. 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. The minutes of each meeting shall

be open to public inspection and shall reflect the

manner and time of notice required by this act.

B. In the written minutes of an emergency meeting,

the nature of the emergency and the proceedings

occurring at such meeting, including reasons for

declaring such emergency meeting, shall be included.

C. Any person attending a public meeting may

record the proceedings of said meeting by videotape,

audiotape, or by any other method; provided, however,

such recording shall not interfere with the conduct

of the meeting.

§ 313. Actions taken in willful violation of act.

Any action taken in willful violation of this act shall be

invalid.

§ 314. Violations — Misdemeanor — Penalty. — Any

person or persons willfully violating any of the provisions

of this act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction

shall be punished by a fine not exceeding Five

Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or by imprisonment in the

county jail for a period not exceeding one (1) year or by

both such fine and imprisonment.

 

Comments and explanations not included in the open meeting act are enclosed in brackets [...]

Some bolding and italics have been added to formatting.

 

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