Q&A: Meeting minutes and memoranda


From the Lebanon Reporter:

Q: What is included in the state access law that stipulates what must be listed in meeting minutes? The closest thing I’m finding is that the memoranda must include the date and time, members attending, record of votes and general substance of matters. We’re finding that some of our officials’ minutes are lacking.

A: Minutes are not required under the Access to Public Records Act, so there are no requirements as to specifics in minutes.

That’s one of the reasons why I recommend reporters ask to inspect or copy the memoranda. The memoranda must be taken during the meeting and is the least filtered account of what transpired.

Another advantage to memoranda is that since it’s created during the meeting, it should be available for inspection or copying the next business day, where minutes may not be prepared for weeks.

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.