Open Meeting Law

The public the right to attend meetings of public bodies, listen to the debates and watch the decision making process


The Open Meetings Law applies to "public bodies." That term is defined to include entities consisting of two or more people that conduct public business and perform a governmental function for New York State, for an agency of the state, or for public corporations, such as cities, counties, towns, villages and school districts. Committees and subcommittees of these entities are also included within the definition. Consequently, city councils, town boards, village boards of trustees, school boards, commissions, legislative bodies, and committees and subcommittees consisting of members of those groups all fall within the framework of the Law.

Your Right to Know

“Your Right to Know” is a publication of the Committee on Open Government providing an overview of both the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and the Open Meetings Law (OML).  It offers practical guidance with regard to obtaining records under FOIL including the time and manner in which an agency must respond to a FOIL request and the remedies available if it fails to do so.  The publication includes sample language of a FOIL request and, if necessary, on appeal of an agency’s denial of access.