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Open Meetings Act Website Notice Requirement
School officials are reminded that, in December 2012, the Michigan Legislature amended the Open Meetings Act to add a website notice requirement for special and rescheduled regular board meetings.
The OMA’s website notice requirement applies to public bodies (including boards of school districts, PSAs, and ISDs) that “directly or indirectly [maintain] an internet presence that includes monthly or more frequent updates of public meeting agendas or minutes.” The website notice must appear on either: (1) the public body’s homepage, or (2) a separate webpage dedicated to public notices for special and rescheduled regular meetings. If the latter, the separate webpage must be accessible from the public body’s homepage via a “prominent and conspicuous link” that “clearly describes its purpose.”
Importantly, the website notice must contain OMA required information for meeting notices regardless of whether the website notice is posted on a public body’s homepage or on a separate webpage. The following details must be included to satisfy OMA requirements:
- The public body’s name, address, and phone number; and
- The date, time, and location of the meeting.
The OMA does not require that the meeting’s purpose or the meeting agenda be included in the meeting notice. Local policies and bylaws, however, should be consulted to determine if such information must be included, as well as any other local requirements related to meeting notices.
The website notice is in addition to, and does not substitute for, the OMA’s requirement to post a physical meeting notice “in a prominent and conspicuous place at . . . the public body's principal office.” Both the physical meeting notice and the website notice must be posted at least 18 hours before the special or rescheduled regular meeting.
To document that the website notice was posted in a timely fashion and with the information required by the OMA, we recommend printing a screenshot of the notice as it appears on the website immediately after it is posted. If the notice is posted on a dedicated webpage for meeting notices, screenshots of both that separate webpage, and the website’s homepage (to show the “prominent and conspicuous link” to the notice webpage), should be printed.
A suggested meeting notice form can be found by clicking here. We recommend using this form for both the website and physical meeting notice.