In another advisory PAC opinion shared by a reader, the PAC reviewed a complaint that two committees of a public body violated the OMA where committee members discussed public business outside of a properly noticed meeting. 2023 PAC 75602.
The PAC found one committee in violation of the OMA while finding the other committee did not violate the OMA. Although the topic of discussion between the respective committee members was the same, the reason for the distinction was the nature of the respective committee’s jurisdiction. In one case, the PAC determined that the committee’s jurisdiction included the topics discussed by the members so a majority of a quorum of that committee discussing that topic outside of a properly noticed meeting violated the OMA. With respect to the other committee, however, the PAC determined that this committee’s jurisdiction had nothing to do with the topic discussed by the committee members, so their discussion outside of a meeting did not trigger the OMA.
This is a good reminder to members of public bodies to be careful not to discuss with a majority of a quorum of their public body any topics related to the business of the public body of which they are a member outside of a properly noticed meeting.