Oklahoma Open Meetings Act
The Oklahoma Open Meetings Act legislates the method by which public meetings are conducted. Statutes 301-314 of the Oklahoma Statutes defines the law. The law states that a meeting is any conduct of business by the majority of a public body which has gathered for the purpose of conducting business. The act only permits the use of teleconferencing technology for the purpose of holding electronic meetings and explicitly prohibits the use of other technologies for gathering consensus decisions outside of public meetings. The following boards are permitted to use teleconferencing technologies:
● Oklahoma Futures
● Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
● Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision
● The State Board of Osteopathic Examiners
● The Board of Dentistry
● Variance and Appeals Boards
● A public trust whose beneficiary is a municipality
● Native American Cultural and Education Authority
● Corporation Commission
● The State Board of Vocational and Technical Education
If the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act is violated, the court may void any action taken during a meeting in violation of law and assess fines of up to $500 and jail time of up to one year.
Open Meetings Act Title 25, Oklahoma Statutes §§ 301 et seq.
Closed: Executive sessions of the State Banking Board and Oklahoma Savings and Loan Board; state judiciary, legislative, or administrative staffs meetings of public bodies; and some meetings of institutions of higher education and certain school board meetings.
Oklahoma Open Records Act
The Oklahoma Open Records Act is a series of laws designed to guarantee that public has access to all public records of governmental bodies. Section 24A.2 defines records as “all documents, including, but not limited to, any book, paper, photograph, microfilm, data files created by or used with computer software, computer tape, disk, and record, sound recording, film recording, video record or other material regardless of physical form or characteristic, created by, received by, under the authority of, or coming into the custody, control or possession of public officials, public bodies, or their representatives in connection with the transaction of public business, the expenditure of public funds or the administering of public property.” This specifically includes all records of the transfer of public funds.
According to the Oklahoma Open Records Act, anyone may request public records and no statement of purpose is required. However, if the purpose is commercial, fees will be charged for document collection. There is no restriction on the use of records and the law does not specify a time limit for responses to requests.
Open Records Act Title 51 Oklahoma Statutes § 24A.1 et seq.
Exempt: If protected by state evidentiary privilege; real estate appraisals; personnel records; registration files of sex offenders; public officials’ personnel notes; business-related bids; computer programs; medical market research; and certain educational records including student records.
Visit, Oklahoma Sample FOIA Request, to view a sample FOIA request for the state.