Open Meetings Act
Maryland's Open Meetings Act is a statute that requires many State and local public bodies to hold their meetings in public, to give the public adequate notice of those meetings, and to allow the public to inspect meetings minutes. The Act permits public bodies to discuss some topics confidentially. The Act's goals are to increase the public's faith in government, ensure the accountability of government to the public, and enhance the public's ability to participate effectively in our democracy.
The Open Meetings Compliance Board issues advisory opinions in response to written complaints about violations of the Act. The Compliance Board is an independent State entity, and its three members are appointed by the Governor. Although the Compliance Board is not part of the Office of the Attorney General, this Office provides it with administrative staff and legal advice and also publishes its opinions and notices on this website. The Compliance Board has no office or budget of its own.
For an overview of the Act, including information on when the Act applies and how the complaint procedure works, see Open Meetings FAQs - A Quick Guide to Maryland's Open Meetings Act.
For in-depth information on the Act, see the Open Meetings Act Manual (2015).
Before submitting a complaint to the Open Meetings Compliance Board, please read the Compliance Board's Complaint Procedures.
For the steps that a public body must take when a meeting is subject to the Act, see the Compliance Checklist and other forms in the "Forms and Checklist" box below.
The Compliance Board's opinions can be researched through the topical index or searched here:
Meeting information: The Compliance Board holds its annual meeting in August or September. When necessary, the Board meets specially during the General Assembly's session to respond to legislative requests for comments on legislation. Special meetings during a session (generally, mid-January through early April) must sometimes be called on short notice. All meeting notices will be posted below. Members of the public may also sign up for e-mail notifications. Those requests should be made to OpenGov@oag.state.md.us.
The Open Meetings Compliance Board will meet at 2 p.m. on February 12, 2016, to discuss any legislation that is pending in the General Assembly as of that date or expected to be introduced after the bill introduction deadlines. A tentative agenda will be posted on this website by February 11. The meeting will be held in Room 161 of the Arundel Center, 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, MD. Members of the public are advised to check this website on the day of the meeting, as it may be canceled if there is no legislation to discuss.
Annual meeting: September 24, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Minutes
Contact information for Public Information Act requests:
Ms. Deborah Spence
Office of the Attorney General, 200 St. Paul PL., Baltimore, MD 21202
Compliance Board's email: OpenGov@oag.state.md.us
Important note: The Board lacks the authority to address alleged violations of the Public Information Act or the open meetings laws pertaining to condominium and homeowners associations. The Maryland Condominium Act provision appears at sec.11-109.1 of the Real Property Article. The Maryland Homeowners Association Act provision appears at sec.11B-111 of the Real Property Article.