Open Meetings Act
The Open Meetings Act (OMA) requires that any gathering of a quorum of a public body where members consider, conduct or advise on public business offer the opportunity for the public to attend and offer input. The public must be given proper notice of such meetings and afforded the opportunity to review recordings of public meetings upon request. The OOG is responsible for training agencies, employees, the Council of the District of Columbia and nearly than 190 boards and commissions on the requirements of the OMA. Read the entire OMA.
What are the requirements of OMA?
The OMA is triggered anytime there is a gathering of a quorum of a public body, including hearings, roundtables, regular, special, or emergency where members consider, conduct or advise on public business. (DC Official Code §2-574(1))
Who is excluded from OMA?
A public body does not include District of Columbia courts; governing bodies of public charter schools; The Mayor’s cabinet; Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANC). (DC Official Code §2-574 (3)(A-F)). Private, not-profit, not-for-profit organizations are not considered public bodies as contemplated by the Open Meetings Act. (Find your ANC)
How much notice is required?
All regularly scheduled meetings must be published in the District of Columbia Register. If a public body schedules a special or emergency meeting, notice must be provided 48 hours or two business days (whichever is greater) in advance of the meeting. Notice must include date, time, location and the planned agenda. View a list of all boards and commissions meetings here.
How do I file and OMA complaint?
Complaints may be submitted via the OMA Complaint Form in person, or via U.S Postal Service at the Office of Open Government, 441 4th Street, Suite 830 South. Complaints submitted by mail should be marked on the outside of the envelope "Open Meetings Complaint. Complaints may also be submitted by electronic mail at email@example.com. The submission of complaints via the Website is encouraged so that information is complete, but is not required. The Director will confirm receipt of a complaint withing five (5) business days upon receipt of the complaint.
Complaints should include details (1) details of the meeting complained of; (2) the public body, date, and if possible the provisions of the OMA allegedly violated. You may also submit supporting records and/or the location of those records, including audio and video files if applicable. Complaint Form.