When must minutes of an open meeting be made available to the public?

The Open Meeting Law, applicable to public bodies such as select boards for towns, is enforced by the Office of the Attorney General, Division of Open Government. Any questions regarding the content of minutes, requirements to keep minutes or any procedural aspects of the Open Meeting Law should be addressed to the Division of Open Government.

Minutes of open meetings, regardless of form, are public and must be made available in a timely fashion.

There is no requirement that the minutes be transcribed or approved before they are made public. An RAO should clearly mark all such minutes “unofficial.”

Pursuant to the Open Meeting Law, minutes of prior open meetings, regardless of form, must be reviewed and accepted promptly. Copies of the minutes of all open meetings should be readily available. Many public bodies are required to post minutes of meetings on the public body’s website. RAOs are strongly encouraged to waive all fees associated with the minutes of open meetings.

Minutes of executive session meetings must be reviewed and released regularly and promptly. Executive session minutes must be released to the public as soon as the stated purpose for the executive session protection has ceased.

Show All Answers

1. What is the difference between the federal Freedom of Information Act and the Massachusetts Public Records Law?
2. Who can help me with questions regarding the Public Records Law?
3. What is a “public record”?
4. How do I find the records I seek?
5. Does the Division of Public Records have my records?
6. Does the Public Records Law apply to court, legislative or federal records?
7. What is a Records Access Officer?
8. What is a records custodian?
9. How do I obtain copies of public records?
10. What do I do if my request is denied?
11. May I also go to court to seek public records?
12. My appeal was closed because I did not provide the necessary information. What do I do now?
13. What are the requirements for an RAO response to a public records request?
14. Does my request need to be in writing, and do I need to use a specific form?
15. May I appeal a failure to answer a question?
16. What is the cost for copies of public records; what about electronic records?
17. Is an RAO required to provide a fee estimate?
18. May the RAO charge a fee for search and segregation of records?
19. When must minutes of an open meeting be made available to the public?
20. Does a requester have greater right of access to records if he is the subject of a record?
21. Is a requester required to disclose the intended use of the public record requested?
22. How should an RAO respond to an unclear request?
23. What if a records custodian claims that it is not subject to the Public Records Law?
24. Are RAOs required to forward a request for records not in their possession?