National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Quorum court takes aim at FOIA

Faulkner County Quorum Court opened a new year Tuesday night with a whammy. In 10-3 vote, the court resolved to “encourage the State Legislature to clarify the FOI (Freedom of Information) statute of Arkansas to allow off the record conversations between members of a public body.”

That means Faulkner County court members are possibly pushing an agenda for secret meetings to discuss county business without the knowledge or presence of the public, or maybe not.

As it stands, the FOI Act requires governmental bodies to give 24-hour notice of public meetings. A public meeting is described in the state statute (Act 93 or 1967 general summary) as “Any meeting, formal or informal, regular or special, of a governing body including sub-bodies. A quorum of the governing body need not be present for the meeting to be subject to the FOIA. If two members meet informally to discuss past or pending business, that meeting may be subject to the FOIA. This question will turn on the facts of each case.” Continue>>>