Training Requirement for Public Bodies
Training requirement: Effective October 1, 2013, each public entity subject to the Open Meetings Act must designate a member, officer, or employee to receive training on the requirements of the Act. The designated person must receive the training within 90 days of the designation. Because the legislation also specifies that the training must be completed “within 6 months after the effective date,” training received before October 1 will not satisfy the requirement.
The legislation requires each public body to send a list of its designees to the Open Meetings Compliance Board. That can be done by an e-mail to OpenGov@oag.state.md.us, with a subject line specifying “Open Meetings training designee(s) of [name of public body].”
The designee can receive the training either through (1) the online class “offered by the Office of the Attorney General and the University of Maryland’s Institute for Governmental Service and Research,” or (2) “a class on the requirements of the Open Meetings law offered by the Maryland Association of Counties or the Maryland Municipal League through the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance.” The online class is posted at http://www.igsr.umd.edu/VLC/OMA/class_oma_intro1.php , and the designee can print out a certificate of completion. Note: Each public body should retain its own records of compliance with the training requirement. Those records should not be sent to the Compliance Board unless the Compliance Board requests them.
The text of the legislation is posted at: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2013RS/chapters_noln/Ch_351_hb0139E.pdf.