New Law Allows Board Members to Access Closed Session Recordings

On June 30, 2016, the Governor signed HB4630, amending the Open Meetings Act to require public bodies to allow board members to access closed session minutes and verbatim recordings. Access must be granted in the main office of the public body or official storage location, and in the presence of a records secretary, an administrative official, or any elected board member. The new OMA provision prohibits removal of closed session recordings and minutes from the main office or official storage location, except by vote of the public body or by court order; but this provision is not intended to limit the Public Access Counselor’s access to such records. The amendment does not change the OMA’s provision on closed session recordings that it does not supersede the privacy or confidentiality provisions of State or federal law. Thus, a board member’s access to closed session recordings under the OMA may need to be balanced against other laws (e.g., the Illinois School Student Records Act) in specific cases.

Please contact Bob Kohn or Heather Brickman with your inquiries regarding the Open Meetings Act. To read more about new developments in the OMA and FOIA, please click HERE.

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