Public Access Opinion 20-001

Duty to Approve Meeting Minutes Within OMA Time Period

Open Meetings Act - OMA
Case: Public Access Opinion 20-001
Date: Monday, February 10, 2020

The Village of Sauk Village (Village) violated OMA by failing to approve minutes of three meetings within the time periods required by OMA.

At its regular meeting on November 12, 2019, the Village approved minutes from its September 10, 2019 regular meeting, its September 10, 2019 special meeting, and its September 17, 2019 Committee of the Whole meeting. Section 2.06(b) of OMA requires that public bodies “approve the minutes of its open meeting within 30 days after that meeting or at the public body’s second subsequent regular meeting, whichever is later.” Section 2.06(b) further requires that approved minutes be made available for public inspection within 10 days after approval by the public body.

Responding to the PAC’s inquiry, the Village admitted it had failed to approve minutes during the time period required by Section 2.06(b), but argued that it was “impossible to meet the tenets of OMA relative to completing minutes within a thirty (30) day period” due to a “significant increase in meetings” and staffing shortages. The PAC found that the plain language of Section 2.06(b) was clear and that it contained no exception that authorizes a public body to delay approval of minutes. The PAC ordered the Village to develop protocols to ensure that it approves all meeting minutes within 30 days of those meetings or at its second subsequent regular meeting, whichever is later.

This opinion is binding only to the parties involved and may be appealed pursuant to State law.