Following our earlier summary
of the 2023 PAC binding opinions on FOIA, today we focus on the PAC’s four binding
opinions issued on OMA matters in 2023, which are linked below.

PAC Op. 23-014 (no final
action in closed session)

In PAC Op.
, the PAC determined that a public body voting to approve its closed
session meeting minutes from a prior board meeting in closed session violated
the OMA because it constituted a “final action” that public bodies are prohibited from
taking in closed session. The PAC rejected the argument that OMA section
2(c)(21) authorizes approving closed session minutes in closed session, noting
that this section only allows a discussion of whether to approve closed
session minutes, but does not authorize final action on those minutes, which
must be taken in open session under an agenda item that identifies the final
action to be taken.

PAC Op. 23-013 (improperly
restricting public comment on personnel matters)

In PAC Op.
, the PAC concluded that a public body violated the OMA by restricting the content of a public comment about the board’s hiring

PAC Op. 23-004 (requirement to
state general subject matter of item subject to final action)

In PAC Op.
, the PAC found that a public body violated the OMA by
failing to indicate the general subject matter on the agenda of the proposed final action on a severance agreement after the public body returned from executive

PAC OP. 23-003 (improper

In PAC Op.
, the PAC determined that a public body violated the OMA by holding
an improper meeting without posting advance notice of the meeting and complying
with other OMA requirements. Specifically, the PAC found that an informal “Meet
and Greet” gathering that was attended by a majority of a quorum of a board to collect
information and answer questions from staff on substantive public business
matters qualified as a “meeting” under the OMA, even if no formal action was
taken by the board at the gathering.

Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink