Historic Preservation Review Board’s Compliance with the Open Meetings Act (#OOG-2021-0007-M)

On January 5, 2022, the Director of Open Government issued advisory opinion #OOG-2021-0007-M_8.10.21, concerning the Historic Preservation Review Board’s (“HPRB”) compliance with the OMA. The complaint alleged the HPRB violated the “Record of meetings” provision because the HPRB’s “Record of Action” summaries for its July 1, 2021, and July 24, 2021, public meetings differed from the findings and recommendations made during the public meetings. The complaint asked the Director of Open Government to investigate and issue a formal finding and stay the HPRB’s decisions rendered on July 1, 2021, and July 24, 2021. Prior to making the findings, the Director of Open Government reviewed the July 1, 2021, and July 22, 2021, public recordings and its corresponding “Record of Action” summaries. The Director reviewed notes from the OOG’s October 6, 2021, meeting with the HPRB and DC Office of Planning to discuss the complaint and the HPRB’s regulations. The Director found that the Record of Action is a summary prepared by HPRB and is not required by the OMA. The summaries are not meeting minutes or transcripts, nor does HPRB adopt the Record of Action into its official record. The Director also found the inconsistencies between the Record of Action summaries and HPRB’s on the record findings made during the July 1, 2021, and July 24, 2021 meetings, permissible and not a violation of OMA. The Director advised the complainant of her statutory authority, which does not permit her to stay a public body’s proceedings, and that she would not take any court action regarding the matter.            

Public Body: 
Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB)