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, the Office provides the Board with administrative staff and legal advice and also publishes its opinions and notices on the Office of Attorney General 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.
Open Meetings Act FAQs for meetings held during the COVID-19 Emergency
For in-depth information on the Act, see the Open Meetings Act Manual (Revised June 2017)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.
Compliance checklist for meetings (Rev'd Effective Oct. 1, 2018)
Statement for closing a meetingMS Word | PDF (Effective Oct. 1, 2018)
Statement for closing a meeting (with instructions) MS Word | PDF(blank) (Effective Oct. 1, 2018)
Statement for closing a meeting (example)
Template for closed session summary for use in open session minutes PDF | MS Word
Members and Staff
Opinions index, by topic
Topic Index Outline
Procedures for Public Bodies in Violation
Open Meetings FAQ - A Quick Guide (Rev'd Sept. 2018)
Online Class on the Open Meetings Act (updated September 2018)
Outline of Open Meetings Act issues
Links to the Open Meetings Act:
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.
Rules for Attendance at Meetings of the Open Meetings Act Compliance Board (Adopted 08/09/18)
Email notifications: Members of the public may sign up for e-mail notifications. Those requests should be made to OpenGov@oag.state.md.us.
The Open Meetings Compliance Board usually holds its annual meeting in late summer. The meeting notice will be posted here after the date has been determined.
Ms. Janice Clark Office of the Attorney General, 200 St. Paul PL., Baltimore, MD 21202 Telephone: 410-576-7033 Fax: 410-576-7003 Email: OpenGov@oag.state.md.usCompliance Board's email: OpenGov@oag.state.md.us
Important notes: The Board does not address Public Information Act issues. Information on that law is here. The board also does not address alleged violations of the meetings laws applicable to private condominium and homeowners associations. Information on those laws can be found here.
200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202
410-576-6300 / En español 410-230-1712 / 1-888-743-0023 toll-free / TTY: Dial 7-1-1 or 800-735-2258