Member Groups

The Public Servant
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Government Lawyers

September 2005, vol. 7, no. 1

New amendments to the Open Meetings Act require Web site posting

Public Act 94-028, effective January 1, 2006, amends the Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120/1 et seq.) to require that:  (1) notices; (2) agendas; and (3) minutes of regular meetings of a public body be posted on the public body’s Web site. The new posting requirements are applicable only to a public body that has a Web site maintained by the fulltime staff of the public body. New language within the Act also provides that a public body’s failure to post the notice or agenda of any meeting shall not invalidate the meeting or any actions taken during the meeting.

Under subsection 2.02(b) of the revised Act, a public body must post notice of all meetings of its governing body on its Web site in addition to posting the notice at the public body’s principal office or at the building where the meetings are to be held. The posted notice must remain on the Web site until the meetings are concluded. Otherwise, if the posted notice is an annual schedule of a public body’s meetings, the notice must remain posted on the Web site until a new notice of the regular schedule of meetings is approved by the public body. Additionally, subsection 2.02(a) of the revised Act requires a public body to post the agenda of any regular meetings of its governing body on the Web site at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting. The agenda must remain posted on the Web site until the regular meeting is concluded.

Beginning July 1, 2006, subsection 2.06(b) will require a public body to post on its Web site the minutes of its governing body’s regular meetings that were open to the public within seven (7) days of the approval of those minutes. The minutes must remain posted on the Web site for at least 60 days after their initial posting pursuant to this subsection. Public bodies should note that the revised language of subsection (b) provides the Web site posting requirement for minutes is triggered “at the time [a public body] complies with the other requirements of this subsection.” Under subsection 2.06(f), minutes of meetings closed to the public are required to be made available to the public upon the public body’s determination that the minutes no longer require confidential treatment. Therefore, in reading subsection (f) in light of the revised language within subsection (b), a public body also must post on its Web site the minutes of any closed meeting within (7) days of the public body’s determination that those minutes no longer require confidential treatment.