Oregon Revised Statutes
(1) “Decision” means any determination, action, vote or final disposition upon a motion, proposal, resolution, order, ordinance or measure on which a vote of a governing body is required, at any meeting at which a quorum is present.
(2) “Executive session” means any meeting or part of a meeting of a governing body which is closed to certain persons for deliberation on certain matters.
(3) “Governing body” means the members of any public body which consists of two or more members, with the authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a public body on policy or administration.
(4) “Public body” means the state, any regional council, county, city or district, or any municipal or public corporation, or any board, department, commission, council, bureau, committee or subcommittee or advisory group or any other agency thereof.
(5) “Meeting” means the convening of a governing body of a public body for which a quorum is required in order to make a decision or to deliberate toward a decision on any matter. “Meeting” does not include any on-site inspection of any project or program. “Meeting” also does not include the attendance of members of a governing body at any national, regional or state association to which the public body or the members belong. [1973 c.172 §2; 1979 c.644 §1]
192.620 Policy. The Oregon form of government requires an informed public aware of the deliberations and decisions of governing bodies and the information upon which such decisions were made. It is the intent of ORS 192.610 to 192.690 that decisions of governing bodies be arrived at openly. [1973 c.172 §1]
192.630 Meetings of governing body to be open to public; location of meetings; accommodation for person with disability; interpreters. (1) All meetings of the governing body of a public body shall be open to the public and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting except as otherwise provided by ORS 192.610 to 192.690.
(2) A quorum of a governing body may not meet in private for the purpose of deciding on or deliberating toward a decision on any matter except as otherwise provided by ORS 192.610 to 192.690.
(3) A governing body may not hold a meeting at any place where discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age or disability is practiced. However, the fact that organizations with restricted membership hold meetings at the place does not restrict its use by a public body if use of the place by a restricted membership organization is not the primary purpose of the place or its predominant use.
(4) Meetings of the governing body of a public body shall be held within the geographic boundaries over which the public body has jurisdiction, or at the administrative headquarters of the public body or at the other nearest practical location. Training sessions may be held outside the jurisdiction as long as no deliberations toward a decision are involved. A joint meeting of two or more governing bodies or of one or more governing bodies and the elected officials of one or more federally recognized Oregon Indian tribes shall be held within the geographic boundaries over which one of the participating public bodies or one of the Oregon Indian tribes has jurisdiction or at the nearest practical location. Meetings may be held in locations other than those described in this subsection in the event of an actual emergency necessitating immediate action.
(5)(a) It is discrimination on the basis of disability for a governing body of a public body to meet in a place inaccessible to persons with disabilities, or, upon request of a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, to fail to make a good faith effort to have an interpreter for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing provided at a regularly scheduled meeting. The sole remedy for discrimination on the basis of disability shall be as provided in ORS 192.680.
(b) The person requesting the interpreter shall give the governing body at least 48 hours’ notice of the request for an interpreter, shall provide the name of the requester, sign language preference and any other relevant information the governing body may request.
(c) If a meeting is held upon less than 48 hours’ notice, reasonable effort shall be made to have an interpreter present, but the requirement for an interpreter does not apply to emergency meetings.
(d) If certification of interpreters occurs under state or federal law, the Oregon Health Authority or other state or local agency shall try to refer only certified interpreters to governing bodies for purposes of this subsection.
(e) As used in this subsection, “good faith effort” includes, but is not limited to, contacting the department or other state or local agency that maintains a list of qualified interpreters and arranging for the referral of one or more qualified interpreters to provide interpreter services. [1973 c.172 §3; 1979 c.644 §2; 1989 c.1019 §1; 1995 c.626 §1; 2003 c.14 §95; 2005 c.663 §12; 2007 c.70 §52; 2007 c.100 §21; 2009 c.595 §173]
192.640 Public notice required; special notice for executive sessions, special or emergency meetings. (1) The governing body of a public body shall provide for and give public notice, reasonably calculated to give actual notice to interested persons including news media which have requested notice, of the time and place for holding regular meetings. The notice shall also include a list of the principal subjects anticipated to be considered at the meeting, but this requirement shall not limit the ability of a governing body to consider additional subjects.
(2) If an executive session only will be held, the notice shall be given to the members of the governing body, to the general public and to news media which have requested notice, stating the specific provision of law authorizing the executive session.
(3) No special meeting shall be held without at least 24 hours’ notice to the members of the governing body, the news media which have requested notice and the general public. In case of an actual emergency, a meeting may be held upon such notice as is appropriate to the circumstances, but the minutes for such a meeting shall describe the emergency justifying less than 24 hours’ notice. [1973 c.172 §4; 1979 c.644 §3; 1981 c.182 §1]
192.650 Recording or written minutes required; content; fees. (1) The governing body of a public body shall provide for the sound, video or digital recording or the taking of written minutes of all its meetings. Neither a full transcript nor a full recording of the meeting is required, except as otherwise provided by law, but the written minutes or recording must give a true reflection of the matters discussed at the meeting and the views of the participants. All minutes or recordings shall be available to the public within a reasonable time after the meeting, and shall include at least the following information:
(a) All members of the governing body present;
(b) All motions, proposals, resolutions, orders, ordinances and measures proposed and their disposition;
(c) The results of all votes and, except for public bodies consisting of more than 25 members unless requested by a member of that body, the vote of each member by name;
(d) The substance of any discussion on any matter; and
(e) Subject to ORS 192.410 to 192.505 relating to public records, a reference to any document discussed at the meeting.
(2) Minutes of executive sessions shall be kept in accordance with subsection (1) of this section. However, the minutes of a hearing held under ORS 332.061 shall contain only the material not excluded under ORS 332.061 (2). Instead of written minutes, a record of any executive session may be kept in the form of a sound or video tape or digital recording, which need not be transcribed unless otherwise provided by law. If the disclosure of certain material is inconsistent with the purpose for which a meeting under ORS 192.660 is authorized to be held, that material may be excluded from disclosure. However, excluded materials are authorized to be examined privately by a court in any legal action and the court shall determine their admissibility.
(3) A reference in minutes or a recording to a document discussed at a meeting of a governing body of a public body does not affect the status of the document under ORS 192.410 to 192.505.
(4) A public body may charge a person a fee under ORS 192.440 for the preparation of a transcript from a recording. [1973 c.172 §5; 1975 c.664 §1; 1979 c.644 §4; 1999 c.59 §44; 2003 c.803 §14]
192.660 Executive sessions permitted on certain matters; procedures; news media representatives’ attendance; limits. (1) ORS 192.610 to 192.690 do not prevent the governing body of a public body from holding executive session during a regular, special or emergency meeting, after the presiding officer has identified the authorization under ORS 192.610 to 192.690 for holding the executive session.
(2) The governing body of a public body may hold an executive session:
(a) To consider the employment of a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent.
(b) To consider the dismissal or disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent who does not request an open hearing.
(c) To consider matters pertaining to the function of the medical staff of a public hospital licensed pursuant to ORS 441.015 to 441.063 including, but not limited to, all clinical committees, executive, credentials, utilization review, peer review committees and all other matters relating to medical competency in the hospital.
(d) To conduct deliberations with persons designated by the governing body to carry on labor negotiations.
(e) To conduct deliberations with persons designated by the governing body to negotiate real property transactions.
(f) To consider information or records that are exempt by law from public inspection.
(g) To consider preliminary negotiations involving matters of trade or commerce in which the governing body is in competition with governing bodies in other states or nations.
(h) To consult with counsel concerning the legal rights and duties of a public body with regard to current litigation or litigation likely to be filed.
(i) To review and evaluate the employment-related performance of the chief executive officer of any public body, a public officer, employee or staff member who does not request an open hearing.
(j) To carry on negotiations under ORS chapter 293 with private persons or businesses regarding proposed acquisition, exchange or liquidation of public investments.
(k) If the governing body is a health professional regulatory board, to consider information obtained as part of an investigation of licensee or applicant conduct.
(l) If the governing body is the State Landscape Architect Board, or an advisory committee to the board, to consider information obtained as part of an investigation of registrant or applicant conduct.
(m) To discuss information about review or approval of programs relating to the security of any of the following:
(A) A nuclear-powered thermal power plant or nuclear installation.
(B) Transportation of radioactive material derived from or destined for a nuclear-fueled thermal power plant or nuclear installation.
(C) Generation, storage or conveyance of:
(ii) Gas in liquefied or gaseous form;
(iii) Hazardous substances as defined in ORS 453.005 (7)(a), (b) and (d);
(iv) Petroleum products;
(v) Sewage; or
(D) Telecommunication systems, including cellular, wireless or radio systems.
(E) Data transmissions by whatever means provided.
(3) Labor negotiations shall be conducted in open meetings unless negotiators for both sides request that negotiations be conducted in executive session. Labor negotiations conducted in executive session are not subject to the notification requirements of ORS 192.640.
(4) Representatives of the news media shall be allowed to attend executive sessions other than those held under subsection (2)(d) of this section relating to labor negotiations or executive session held pursuant to ORS 332.061 (2) but the governing body may require that specified information be undisclosed.
(5) When a governing body convenes an executive session under subsection (2)(h) of this section relating to conferring with counsel on current litigation or litigation likely to be filed, the governing body shall bar any member of the news media from attending the executive session if the member of the news media is a party to the litigation or is an employee, agent or contractor of a news media organization that is a party to the litigation.
(6) No executive session may be held for the purpose of taking any final action or making any final decision.
(7) The exception granted by subsection (2)(a) of this section does not apply to:
(a) The filling of a vacancy in an elective office.
(b) The filling of a vacancy on any public committee, commission or other advisory group.
(c) The consideration of general employment policies.
(d) The employment of the chief executive officer, other public officers, employees and staff members of a public body unless:
(A) The public body has advertised the vacancy;
(B) The public body has adopted regular hiring procedures;
(C) In the case of an officer, the public has had the opportunity to comment on the employment of the officer; and
(D) In the case of a chief executive officer, the governing body has adopted hiring standards, criteria and policy directives in meetings open to the public in which the public has had the opportunity to comment on the standards, criteria and policy directives.
(8) A governing body may not use an executive session for purposes of evaluating a chief executive officer or other officer, employee or staff member to conduct a general evaluation of an agency goal, objective or operation or any directive to personnel concerning agency goals, objectives, operations or programs.
(9) Notwithstanding subsections (2) and (6) of this section and ORS 192.650:
(a) ORS 676.175 governs the public disclosure of minutes, transcripts or recordings relating to the substance and disposition of licensee or applicant conduct investigated by a health professional regulatory board.
(b) ORS 671.338 governs the public disclosure of minutes, transcripts or recordings relating to the substance and disposition of registrant or applicant conduct investigated by the State Landscape Architect Board or an advisory committee to the board. [1973 c.172 §6; 1975 c.664 §2; 1979 c.644 §5; 1981 c.302 §1; 1983 c.453 §1; 1985 c.657 §2; 1995 c.779 §1; 1997 c.173 §1; 1997 c.594 §1; 1997 c.791 §9; 2001 c.950 §10; 2003 c.524 §4; 2005 c.22 §134; 2007 c.602 §11; 2009 c.792 §32]
192.670 Meetings by means of telephone or electronic communication. (1) Any meeting, including an executive session, of a governing body of a public body which is held through the use of telephone or other electronic communication shall be conducted in accordance with ORS 192.610 to 192.690.
(2) When telephone or other electronic means of communication is used and the meeting is not an executive session, the governing body of the public body shall make available to the public at least one place where, or at least one electronic means by which, the public can listen to the communication at the time it occurs. A place provided may be a place where no member of the governing body of the public body is present. [1973 c.172 §7; 1979 c.361 §1; 2011 c.272 §2]
192.672 State board or commission meetings through telephone or electronic means; compensation and reimbursement. (1) A state board or commission may meet through telephone or other electronic means in accordance with ORS 192.610 to 192.690.
(2)(a) Notwithstanding ORS 171.072 or 292.495, a member of a state board or commission who attends a meeting through telephone or other electronic means is not entitled to compensation or reimbursement for expenses for attending the meeting.
(b) A state board or commission may compensate or reimburse a member, other than a member who is a member of the Legislative Assembly, who attends a meeting through telephone or other electronic means as provided in ORS 292.495 at the discretion of the board or commission. [2011 c.272 §1]
Note: 192.672 was enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but was not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 192 or any series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.
192.680 Enforcement of ORS 192.610 to 192.690; effect of violation on validity of decision of governing body; liability of members. (1) A decision made by a governing body of a public body in violation of ORS 192.610 to 192.690 shall be voidable. The decision shall not be voided if the governing body of the public body reinstates the decision while in compliance with ORS 192.610 to 192.690. A decision that is reinstated is effective from the date of its initial adoption.
(2) Any person affected by a decision of a governing body of a public body may commence a suit in the circuit court for the county in which the governing body ordinarily meets, for the purpose of requiring compliance with, or the prevention of violations of ORS 192.610 to 192.690, by members of the governing body, or to determine the applicability of ORS 192.610 to 192.690 to matters or decisions of the governing body.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, if the court finds that the public body made a decision while in violation of ORS 192.610 to 192.690, the court shall void the decision of the governing body if the court finds that the violation was the result of intentional disregard of the law or willful misconduct by a quorum of the members of the governing body, unless other equitable relief is available. The court may order such equitable relief as it deems appropriate in the circumstances. The court may order payment to a successful plaintiff in a suit brought under this section of reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal, by the governing body, or public body of which it is a part or to which it reports.
(4) If the court makes a finding that a violation of ORS 192.610 to 192.690 has occurred under subsection (2) of this section and that the violation is the result of willful misconduct by any member or members of the governing body, that member or members shall be jointly and severally liable to the governing body or the public body of which it is a part for the amount paid by the body under subsection (3) of this section.
(5) Any suit brought under subsection (2) of this section must be commenced within 60 days following the date that the decision becomes public record.
(6) The provisions of this section shall be the exclusive remedy for an alleged violation of ORS 192.610 to 192.690. [1973 c.172 §8; 1975 c.664 §3; 1979 c.644 §6; 1981 c.897 §42; 1983 c.453 §2; 1989 c.544 §1]
192.685 Additional enforcement of alleged violations of ORS 192.660. (1) Notwithstanding ORS 192.680, complaints of violations of ORS 192.660 alleged to have been committed by public officials may be made to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission for review and investigation as provided by ORS 244.260 and for possible imposition of civil penalties as provided by ORS 244.350.
(2) The commission may interview witnesses, review minutes and other records and may obtain and consider any other information pertaining to executive sessions of the governing body of a public body for purposes of determining whether a violation of ORS 192.660 occurred. Information related to an executive session conducted for a purpose authorized by ORS 192.660 shall be made available to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission for its investigation but shall be excluded from public disclosure.
(3) If the commission chooses not to pursue a complaint of a violation brought under subsection (1) of this section at any time before conclusion of a contested case hearing, the public official against whom the complaint was brought may be entitled to reimbursement of reasonable costs and attorney fees by the public body to which the official’s governing body has authority to make recommendations or for which the official’s governing body has authority to make decisions. [1993 c.743 §28]
192.690 Exceptions to ORS 192.610 to 192.690. (1) ORS 192.610 to 192.690 do not apply to the deliberations of the Oregon Health Authority conducted under ORS 161.315 to 161.351, the Psychiatric Security Review Board, the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision, state agencies conducting hearings on contested cases in accordance with the provisions of ORS chapter 183, the review by the Workers’ Compensation Board or the Employment Appeals Board of similar hearings on contested cases, meetings of the state lawyers assistance committee operating under the provisions of ORS 9.568, meetings of the personal and practice management assistance committees operating under the provisions of ORS 9.568, the county multidisciplinary child abuse teams required to review child abuse cases in accordance with the provisions of ORS 418.747, the child fatality review teams required to review child fatalities in accordance with the provisions of ORS 418.785, the peer review committees in accordance with the provisions of ORS 441.055, mediation conducted under ORS 36.250 to 36.270, any judicial proceeding, meetings of the Oregon Health and Science University Board of Directors or its designated committee regarding candidates for the position of president of the university or regarding sensitive business, financial or commercial matters of the university not customarily provided to competitors related to financings, mergers, acquisitions or joint ventures or related to the sale or other disposition of, or substantial change in use of, significant real or personal property, or related to health system strategies, or to Oregon Health and Science University faculty or staff committee meetings.
(2) Because of the grave risk to public health and safety that would be posed by misappropriation or misapplication of information considered during such review and approval, ORS 192.610 to 192.690 shall not apply to review and approval of security programs by the Energy Facility Siting Council pursuant to ORS 469.530. [1973 c.172 §9; 1975 c.606 §41b; 1977 c.380 §19; 1981 c.354 §3; 1983 c.617 §4; 1987 c.850 §3; 1989 c.6 §18; 1989 c.967 §§12,14; 1991 c.451 §3; 1993 c.18 §33; 1993 c.318 §§3,4; 1995 c.36 §§1,2; 1995 c.162 §§62b,62c; 1999 c.59 §§45a,46a; 1999 c.155 §4; 1999 c.171 §§4,5; 1999 c.291 §§25,26; 2005 c.347 §5; 2005 c.562 §23; 2007 c.796 §8; 2009 c.697 §11; 2011 c.708 §26]
192.695 Prima facie evidence of violation required of plaintiff. In any suit commenced under ORS 192.680 (2), the plaintiff shall be required to present prima facie evidence of a violation of ORS 192.610 to 192.690 before the governing body shall be required to prove that its acts in deliberating toward a decision complied with the law. When a plaintiff presents prima facie evidence of a violation of the open meetings law, the burden to prove that the provisions of ORS 192.610 to 192.690 were complied with shall be on the governing body. [1981 c.892 §97d; 1989 c.544 §3]
Note: 192.695 was added to and made a part of ORS chapter 192 by legislative action but was not added to any smaller series therein. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.
192.710 Smoking in public meetings prohibited. (1) No person shall smoke or carry any lighted smoking instrument in a room where a public meeting is being held or is to continue after a recess. For purposes of this subsection, a public meeting is being held from the time the agenda or meeting notice indicates the meeting is to commence regardless of the time it actually commences.
(2) As used in this section:
(a) “Public meeting” means any regular or special public meeting or hearing of a public body to exercise or advise in the exercise of any power of government in buildings or rooms rented, leased or owned by the State of Oregon or by any county, city or other political subdivision in the state regardless of whether a quorum is present or is required.
(b) “Public body” means the state or any department, agency, board or commission of the state or any county, city or other political subdivision in the state.
(c) “Smoking instrument” means any cigar, cigarette, pipe or other smoking equipment. [1973 c.168 §1; 1979 c.262 §1]
192.990 Penalties. Violation of ORS 192.710 (1) is a Class D violation. [1973 c.168 §2; 2011 c.597 §169]