Guidance for Remote Meetings after the Public Health Emergency

The attached document provides guidance regarding and the best practices for conducting electronic meetings after expiration of the public health emergency (“PHE”) for coronavirus (COVID-19). Administrative Points of Contact for public bodies (“APC”) should use this document to advise members of public bodies regarding electronic meetings. During the PHE, the District of Columbia government (the “District”) required all public bodies to conduct their meetings electronically. On July 25, 2021, the PHE ended for the District and many public bodies have asked the Office of Open Government whether they may continue to conduct electronic meetings after the PHE. Generally, the answer is yes. Public bodies may continue to conduct electronic meetings unless otherwise directed by Mayor’s Order, statute, or their by-laws to meet in person. The Open Meetings Act’s policy provides that “all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the actions of those that represent them.” D.C. Official Code § 2-572. As such, public bodies must follow the requirements below to comply with this policy by ensuring that members of the public have access and the ability to attend public bodies’ electronic meetings. 

NOTE: On October 5, 2021, the D.C. Council passed legislation extending the authority for public bodies to meet virtually. Read the legislation here: https://lims.dccouncil.us/Legislation/B24-0384