Implementing the Open Meetings Law during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Aug 6, 2019

Stay Compliant with Open Meetings Law

As businesses and organizations adapt to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, complying with the Open Meetings Law can seem like a daunting task. However, with the right strategies and a comprehensive understanding of the regulations, you can ensure that your organization continues to uphold transparency and accountability.

What is the Open Meetings Law?

The Open Meetings Law, also known as the Sunshine Law, is a set of regulations designed to ensure that meetings of government agencies, boards, and other entities are accessible to the public. These laws aim to promote transparency, foster public trust, and protect the democratic process.

Challenges in Implementing Open Meetings Law during COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak has created unprecedented challenges for organizations that are required to hold public meetings in compliance with the Open Meetings Law. With social distancing guidelines and restrictions on gathering sizes, traditional in-person meetings have become impractical and potentially unsafe.

Adapting to Virtual Meetings

To overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, many organizations are turning to virtual meetings as an alternative to in-person gatherings. Virtual meetings provide a safe and convenient way to comply with the Open Meetings Law while ensuring public access and participation.

Choosing the Right Technology

Selecting the appropriate technology platform for your virtual meetings is crucial. Look for secure and reliable solutions that offer features such as video conferencing, screen sharing, and chat functionality. It's important to invest in technology that can handle high-quality audio and video to ensure that all participants can actively engage in the meeting.

Ensuring Public Access and Participation

One of the key aspects of the Open Meetings Law is public access to meetings. When transitioning to virtual meetings, it's essential to ensure that the public can easily join and observe the proceedings. Providing clear instructions on how to access the virtual meeting, including any necessary login credentials or meeting links, is crucial to facilitating public participation.

Meeting Documentation and Record Keeping

In addition to facilitating public access, maintaining accurate records of all virtual meetings is essential for Open Meetings Law compliance. Keeping detailed minutes, recording the meetings (where permitted), and documenting important decisions and actions taken during the meetings will help ensure transparency and accountability.

Transparency in Meeting Documentation

When documenting virtual meetings, it's important to provide clear and comprehensive records. Include details such as meeting date and time, names of all participants, agenda items, and actions taken. Make these records easily accessible to the public by publishing them on your organization's website or other official channels.

Recording and Archiving Meetings

Recording virtual meetings can be valuable for future reference and verification of discussions and decisions. However, it's crucial to be aware of any legal restrictions or privacy concerns surrounding the recording and archiving of meetings. Consult with legal professionals to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

Public Notice Requirements

Even during the COVID-19 outbreak, organizations must still meet the public notice requirements of the Open Meetings Law. Properly notifying the public about upcoming virtual meetings is vital to ensure transparency and allow interested individuals to participate.

Timely and Comprehensive Public Notices

When announcing virtual meetings, provide clear and timely public notices that include the date, time, and platform of the meeting. Clearly state how members of the public can access the meeting and any requirements for participation. Consider utilizing multiple communication channels, such as your organization's website, social media platforms, and local news outlets, to ensure broad public awareness.


Implementing the Open Meetings Law during the COVID-19 outbreak presents unique challenges for organizations. By adapting to virtual meetings, selecting the right technology, ensuring public access and participation, documenting meetings, and meeting public notice requirements, you can navigate these challenges while maintaining transparency and accountability.

At SEO in Sydney, we understand the importance of complying with Open Meetings Law regulations. As a leading provider of business and consumer services, including SEO services, we are continuously monitoring the evolving landscape and adapting our strategies to help organizations effectively implement the Open Meetings Law during the COVID-19 outbreak. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you!

💡 Stay transparent and compliant!
Oct 9, 2023