New Open Meeting Training Requirements For Local Governments

A September 28 Kent County News article summarizes new Open Meetings Act requirements for local governments that took effect on October 1.

In a nutshell, if any public body receives a finding of violation from the Open Meetings Compliance Board, they must report it to the public. The changes require training in the law, alter fines for violations, and allow OMCB opinions to be entered as evidence in court cases.  …

Required training is something new.  …

At least one “employee, officer or member” of every public body must be designated after Oct. 1 to take, and complete, a training course by the end of March 2014.

It can be the online training course at the University of Maryland Institute for Governmental Service and Research. Or it can be courses from the Maryland Municipal League or the Maryland Association of Counties, which have been given for many years.

After the first round of trainees, the time limit to take the training decreases to 90 days for future training.

Conduit Street has previously reported on how local governments can comply with the new training requirements and in addition MACo will provide compliance information at its October 9 Administrators and Attorneys Conference and December 11-13 Winter Conference.