DCHA Compliance with the Open Meetings Act: Complaint #OOG-2021-0003-M

On February 2, 2022, the Director of Open Government (Director) issued an Advisory Opinion resolving an Open Meetings Act Complaint concerning the District of Columbia Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, Complaint #OOG-2021-0003-M. The Complaint alleged that the DC Housing Authority Board of Commissioners (DCHA) violated the OMA by improperly following emergency meeting procedures and meeting in closed session without providing the proper public notice. The complaint was in regard to an emergency meeting held on May 27, 2021. The Office of Open Government’s legal staff investigated the matter. Based on their findings and analysis, the Director concluded that DCHA’s Emergency Meeting notice violated the OMA because: (1) it failed to state that DCHA would enter a closed session; and (2) the meeting notice did not state the reason for closure under D.C. Official Code § 2-575(b). The Director found that their Emergency Meeting did not comply with D.C. Official Code § 2-577(d) because: (1) the DCHA Chairman did not state how the emergency meeting notice was circulated to the public; and (2) the DCHA Chairman also failed to state the nature of the emergency in the beginning of the meeting. Last, the Director found that DCHA's primary reason for its closed session was statutorily permissible under OMA’s “personnel exemption,” so DCHA did not violate the OMA when it met in closed session to appoint an interim Director and form a committee to search for its new executive director.

Public Body: 
Housing Authority Board of Commissioners