The training requirement is set forth in § 3-213 of the General Provisions Article. It applies to entities that meet the Act's definition of a “public body." It has four elements:
(1) Each public entity subject to the Open Meetings Act must designate at least one employee, officer, or member to receive training on the requirements of the Act. When a sole designee retires, resigns, or otherwise loses his or her position with the public body, the public body must designate a new trainee.
(2) The designee must take the training within 90 days of the designation. Training taken after October 1, 2013 satisfies the requirement. The training must be taken in one of three ways:
(3) As of October 1, 2017, a public body may not meet in a closed session that is subject to the Act unless the public body has designated a member to take the training. A designated member must attend the open meeting at which the public body votes to hold the closed session, or, otherwise, the public body must complete the Compliance Checklist and attach it to the open-session minutes.
(4) Each public body should retain its own records of compliance with the training requirement. As of July 1, 2017, designees' names are not to be submitted to the Compliance Board unless the Compliance Board requests them. Public bodies should maintain records of the designation and of the designee's completion of a course. Particularly, the online class does not collect trainees' names, so the only record of completion of that class is the certificate that trainees may print out at the end of the class.
(5) For the Compliance Checklist, a link to the online class, and a model closing statement with instructions on the new closed-meeting procedures, go to: http://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/Pages/OpenGov/Openmeetings/default.aspx.
Note: As of July 1, 2017, the training requirement does not apply to a public body that is “in the Judicial Branch of State government" or that is “subject to governance by rules adopted by the Court of Appeals."
(Rev. July 2017)
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