Q&A: Is training session a meeting?

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From the Perry County News:

Q: Your response to a question regarding the Pulaski County commissioners in the May 9 Indiana Publisher inspired a question. The HSPA Hotline response was that an iPad training session “didn’t fit the definition of a meeting under the Open Door Law because its purpose was not to take ‘official action upon public business.’”  

IC 5-14-1.5-2(d)(1) includes receiving information atop a list of actions considered to be official business, and at the bottom we find “… or” “take final action.” 

Since any training event is all about receiving information, can you explain how such a session would not be subject to the Open Door Law?

A: You are correct about official action, but where the iPad training would fall outside the definition is that the official action isn’t “public business.”

While they surely will use the iPad for government business, I would contend that learning how to use the iPad would not create a “meeting” under the Open Door Law.

For example, let’s say a council is doing a skit for the Christmas event sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Rehearsal would include receiving information – their lines – but I don’t think the rehearsal would be a meeting.

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

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