Open Meeting Law
Effective July 1, 2010, responsibility for the state-wide enforcement of the Open Meeting Laws, relative to local, county, regional, and state public bodies has been centralized in the office of the Attorney General. The Open Meeting Law supports the principle that the democratic process depends on the public having knowledge about the considerations underlying governmental action. The Open Meeting Law requires that most meetings of governmental bodies to be held in public. There are some exceptions, which are designed to ensure that, public officials are not "unduly hampered" by having every discussion among public officials open to the public. As a result, the Open Meeting Law provides for particular circumstances under which a meeting may be held in executive, or closed, session. You may also contact the Division of Open Government, within the Office of Attorney General Martha Coakley, at (617) 963-2540 or by email.
The Massachusetts Division of Open Government has published a series of training videos on 6 aspects of the Open Meeting Law. See Open Meeting Law Videos. Visit the Massachusetts State website for additional resources, including frequently asked questions and additional information related to the Open Meeting Law.
ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE HELD A REGIONAL OPEN MEETING LAW EDUCATIONAL FORUM IN PROVINCETOWN MAY 14, 2014
Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office held a free educational forums on the Open Meeting Law throughout the state this spring, with a forum conducted in Provincetown on May 14, 2014 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm in Town Hall. See PowerPoint presentation (PDF). The forum was a part of a broad effort by the AG's Office to assist public bodies in understanding and complying with the requirements of the Open Meeting Law. State, local, regional, and county public bodies are required to comply with the Open Meeting Law. View the Open Meeting Law Forum online!