Open Meeting Act

 

Title 25, Oklahoma Statutes §§ 301-314

(As Amended Through Close of Forty-Seventh Oklahoma Legislature, Second Regular
Session and First Extraordinary Session, 2000)

[Editor’s Note: Bold face, italics and underlines were added for emphasis and clarity.
Comments and explanations not part of the act are enclosed in brackets.]

7. “Teleconference” means a conference among members of a public body
remote from one another who are linked by interactive telecommunication
devices permitting both visual and auditory communication between and
among members of the public body and members of the public.

§ 305. Recording of votes. — In all meetings of public bodies, the vote of
each member must be publicly cast and recorded.

§ 306. Circumvention of act — Teleconferences excepted. — No informal
gatherings or any electronic or telephonic communications, except teleconferences
as authorized by Section 3 of this act, among a majority of the members of a public
body shall be used to decide any action or to take any vote on any matter.

§ 307. Executive sessions.

A. No public body shall hold executive sessions unless otherwise specifically
provided in this section.

 

B. Executive sessions of public bodies will be permitted only for the purpose of:

1. Discussing the employment, hiring, appointment, promotion, demotion,
disciplining or resignation of any individual salaried public officer or employee;
2. Discussing negotiations concerning employees and representatives of employee groups;
3. Discussing the purchase or appraisal of real property;
4. Confidential communications between a public body and its attorney concerning
 a pending investigation, claim, or action if the public body, with the advice of its attorney,
determines that disclosure will seriously impair the ability of the public body to process
the claim or conduct a pending investigation, litigation, or proceeding in the public interest;
5. Permitting district boards of education to hear evidence and discuss the expulsion or
suspension of a student when requested by the student involved or his parents, attorney or legal guardian;
6. Discussing matters involving a specific handicapped child;
7. Discussing any matter where disclosure of information would violate confidentiality
requirements of state or federal law; or
8. Engaging in deliberations or rendering a final or intermediate decision in an
individual proceeding pursuant to Article II of the Administrative Procedures Act.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection
B of this section, the following public bodies may hold executive sessions:

1. The State Banking Board, as provided for under Section 306.1 of Title 6 of the Oklahoma
Statutes;

2. The Oklahoma Industrial Finance Authority, as provided for in Section 854 of
Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes;

3. The Oklahoma Development Finance Authority, as provided for in Section
5062.6 of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes;

4. The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, as provided for in
Section 5060.7 of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes;

5. The Oklahoma Savings and Loan Board, as provided for under subsection A of Section 381.74
of Title 18 of the Oklahoma Statutes;

6. The Oklahoma Health Resource Committee for purposes of conferring
on matters pertaining to research and development of products, if public
disclosure of the matter discussed would interfere with
the development of patents, copyrights, products, or services;

7. A review committee, as provided for in Section 855 of Title 62 of the Oklahoma Statutes;
 [A “review committee” may be appointed by a city, town, or county to study and recommend
action on proposed projects for such things as neighborhood renewal, economic development
and other plans. It determines project eligibility, appropriateness, and financing. Financial
statements, marketing plans, trade secrets or other proprietary information submitted to the
committee are confidential, except where the person submitting the material consents to disclosure.]

8. The Child Death Review Board for purposes of receiving and conferring on matters
pertaining to materials declared confidential by law; and

9. All nonprofit foundations, boards, bureaus, commissions, agencies, trusteeships,
authorities, councils, committees, public trusts, task forces or study groups supported
 in whole or part by public
funds or entrusted with the expenditure of public funds for purposes of conferring on matters
pertaining to economic development, including the transfer of property, financing, or the creation
of a proposal to entice a business to locate within their jurisdiction if public disclosure of the matter
discussed would interfere with the development of products or services or if public disclosure would
violate the confidentiality of the business; and

 

10. The Oklahoma Indigent Defense System Board for purposes of discussing negotiating strategies
in connection with making possible counteroffers to offers to contract to provide legal representation to
indigent criminal defendants and indigent juveniles in cases for which the System must provide r
epresentation pursuant to the provisions of the Indigent Defense System Act, Section 1355 et seq. of
Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

D. An executive session for the purpose of discussing the purchase or appraisal of real property
shall be limited to members of the public body, the attorney for the public body, and the immediate
staff of the public body. No landowner, real estate salesperson, broker, developer, or any other person who
may profit directly or indirectly by a proposed transaction concerning real property which is under
consideration may be present or participate in the executive session.

E. No public body may go into an executive session unless the following procedures are strictly complied with:

1. The proposed executive session is noted on the agenda as provided in Section 311
of this title;

 

2. The executive session is authorized by a majority vote of a quorum of the
members present and the vote is a recorded vote; and

3. Except for matters considered in executive sessions of the State Banking Board and the Oklahoma Savings and Loan Board, and which

are required by state or federal law to be confidential, any vote or action on any item of business considered in an executive session shall be

taken in public meeting with the vote of each member publicly cast and recorded.

F. A willful violation of the provisions of this section shall:

1. Subject each member of the public body to criminal sanctions as provided in
Section 214 of this title; and

2. Cause the minutes and all other records of the executive session, including
tape recordings, to be immediately made public.

§ 307.1. Teleconferences.

A. No public body shall hold meetings by teleconference except:

1. Oklahoma Futures;

2. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education;

 

3. The Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision;

4. The State Board of Osteopathic Examiners;

5. The Board of Dentistry;

6. The Variance and Appeals Boards created in Sections 1021.1, 1697 and
1850.16 of Title 59 of the Oklahoma Statutes;

7. A public trust whose beneficiary is a municipality; however, no more than
twenty percent (20%) of a quorum
of the trustees may participate by teleconference and during any such meetings
all votes shall be roll call votes;

8. The Native American Cultural and Education Authority;

9. The Corporation Commission; and

10. The State Board of Vocational and Technical Education.

B. No public body authorized to hold meetings by teleconference shall conduct an executive session by teleconference.

 

§ 308. Meeting between Governor and majority of members of public body.
 Any meeting between the
Governor and a majority of members of any public body shall be open to the public
and subject to all other provisions of this act.

§ 309. Legislature. — The Legislature shall conduct open meetings in accordance
with rules to be adopted
by each house thereof.

§ 310. Legislative committee members attending executive sessions.
Any member of the Legislature
 appointed as a member of a committee of either house of the Legislature or joint
committee thereof shall be
permitted to attend any executive session authorized by the Oklahoma Open Meeting
Act of any state agency, board or
commission whenever the jurisdiction of such committee includes the actions of the
public body involved.

§ 311. Public bodies — Notice.

A. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, all regularly scheduled, continued or
reconvened, special or
emergency meetings of public bodies shall be preceded by public notice as follows:

1. All public bodies shall give notice in writing by December 15 of each calendar
year of the
schedule showing the date, time and place of the regularly scheduled meetings of
such public
bodies for the following calendar year.

 

2. All state public bodies, including, but not limited to, public trusts and other bodies
with the state
as beneficiary, shall give such notice to the Secretary of State.

3. All county public bodies, including, but not limited to, public trusts and any other
bodies with the county a
s beneficiary, shall give such notice to the county clerk of the county wherein they are
 principally located.

4. All municipal public bodies, including, but not limited to, public trusts and any other
bodies with the
municipality as beneficiary, shall give such notice to the municipal clerk of the municipality
wherein they
are principally located.

5. All multicounty, regional, area wide or district public bodies, including, but not limited to, district
boards of education, shall give such notice to the county clerk of the county wherein they are principally
located, or if no office exists, to the county clerk of the county or counties served by such public body.

 

6. All governing boards of state institutions of higher education, and committees and subcommittees
thereof, shall give such notice to the Secretary of State. All  other public bodies covered by the provisions
of this act which exist under the auspices of a state institution of higher education, but a majority of whose members
are not members of the institution’s governing board, shall give such notice to the county clerk of the county
wherein the institution is principallylocated.

7. The Secretary of State and each county clerk or municipal clerk shall keep a record of all notices
received in a register open to the public for inspection during regular office hours, and, in addition, shall
make known upon any request of any person the contents of said register.

8. If any change is to be made of the date, time or place of regularly scheduled meetings of public
 bodies, then notice in writing shall be given to the Secretary of State or county clerk or municipal clerk,
as required herein, not less than ten (10) days prior to the implementation of any such change.

 

9. In addition to the advance public notice in writing required to be filed for regularly scheduled meetings,
all public bodies shall, at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to such  meetings, display public notice of said
meeting, setting forth thereon the date, time, place and agenda for said meeting, such twenty-four (24)
hours prior public posting shall exclude Saturdays and Sundays and holidays legally declared by the
State of Oklahoma; provided, however, the posting of an agenda shall not preclude a public body from
considering at its regularly scheduled meeting any new business. Such public notice shall be posted in
prominent public view at the principal office of the public body or at the location of said meeting if no
office exists. “New business,” as used herein, shall mean any matter not known about or which could
not have been reasonably foreseen prior to the time of posting.

10. In the event any meeting is to be continued or reconvened, public notice of such action,
including date, time and place of the continued meeting, shall be given by  announcement at the
original meeting. Only matters appearing on the agenda of the meeting which is continued may be
discussed at the continued or reconvened meeting.

 

11. Special meetings of public bodies shall not be held without public notice being given at least
forty-eight (48) hours prior to said meetings. Such public notice of date, time and place shall be given
in writing, in person or by telephonic means to the Secretary of State or to the county clerk or to the
municipal clerk by public bodies in the manner set forth in paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of this section.
The public body also shall cause written notice of the date, time and place of the meeting to be mailed
or delivered to each person, newspaper, wire service, radio station, and television station that has filed
a written request for notice of meetings of the public body with the clerk or secretary of the public body
or with some other person designated by the public body. Such written notice shall be mailed or
delivered at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the special meeting. The public body may charge
a fee of up to Eighteen Dollars ($18.00) per year to persons or entities filing a written request for
notice of meetings, and may require such persons or entities to renew the request for notice annually.
In addition, all public bodies shall, at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to such special meetings,
display public notice of said meeting, setting forth thereon the date, time, place and agenda for
said meeting. Only matters appearing on the posted agenda may be considered at said special meeting.


Such public notice shall be posted in prominent public view at the principal office of the public body
or at the location of said meeting if no office exists. Twenty-four (24) hours prior public posting shall
exclude Saturdays and Sundays and holidays legally declared by the State of Oklahoma.

12. In the event of an emergency, an emergency meeting of a public body may be held without the
public notice heretofore required. Should an emergency meeting of a public body be necessary, the
person calling such a meeting shall give as much advance public notice as is reasonable and possible
under the circumstances existing, in person or by telephonic or electronic means.

B. 1. All agendas required pursuant to the provisions of this section shall identify all items of business
to be transacted by a public body at a meeting, including, but not limited to, any proposed executive
session for the purpose of engaging in deliberations or rendering a final or intermediate decision in an
individual proceeding prescribed by the Administrative Procedures Act.

2. If a public body proposes to conduct an executive session, the agenda shall:

a. contain sufficient information for the public to ascertain that an executive session will be proposed;

b. identify the items of business and purposes of the executive session; and

 

c. state specifically the provision of Section 307 of this title authorizing the executive session.

§ 312. Minutes of meetings —

Recording of Proceedings.

A. The proceedings of a public body shall be kept by a person so designated by such public body in the
form of written minutes which shall be an official summary of the proceedings showing clearly those members
present and absent, all matters considered by the public body, and all actions taken by such public body.
The minutes of each meeting shall be open to public inspection and shall reflect the manner and time of notice
required by this act.

B. In the written minutes of an emergency meeting, the nature of the emergency and the proceedings
occurring at such meeting, including reasons for declaring such emergency meeting, shall be included.

C. Any person attending a public meeting may record the proceedings of said meeting by videotape,
audiotape, or by any other method; provided, however, such recording shall not interfere with the
conduct of the meeting.

 

§ 313. Actions taken in willful violation of act.

Any action taken in willful violation of this act shall beinvalid.

§ 314. Violations — Misdemeanor — Penalty. — Any person or persons willfully violating any of the
provisions of this act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine
not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not
exceeding one (1) year or by both such fine and imprisonment