Open Meeting Law & Ethics
Open Meeting Law and Ethics Requirements for Public Body Members
Before attending their first meeting as a voting member, all public body officials must:
- Be sworn in by the Town Clerk's Office
- Complete Public Body Member Certification of Open Meeting Law each time they are elected or appointed to any position. Please follow the instructions here.
- Summary of the Conflict of Interest Law must be provided by our office and the Acknowledgement of Receipt must be submitted yearly. Visit here for information from mass.gov or view a PDF. Please return the Acknowledgement of Receipt to the Town Clerk's Office.
- Complete Ethics Training every two years. Follow the online training program here. Please complete as soon as possible and send a copy of the completed certificate to our office.
Please contact the Town Clerk's Office with any questions at email@example.com or 978-369-6155.
Open Meeting Law
The purpose of the Open Meeting Law is to ensure transparency in the deliberations on which public policy is based. Because the democratic process depends on the public having knowledge about the considerations underlying governmental action, the Open Meeting Law requires, with some exceptions, that meetings of public bodies be open to the public. It also seeks to balance the public’s interest in witnessing the deliberations of public officials with the government’s need to manage its operations efficiently.
View a PDF of the Guide to Open Meeting Law and Educational Materials
For further details about OML, see here. If you have a concern about a public body's compliance with OML, please let our office know or follow the process through the Commonwealth.
Executive Order relaxing the requirements of the Open Meeting Law during the state of emergency including the rules of remote participation is available HERE.
The State Ethics Commission serves the public by fostering integrity in government. The independent agency provides free advice to all public employees on the conflict of interest law, and civilly enforces this law. See the Commission's webpage to obtain legal advice, file a complaint, obtain a statement of financial interest or conflict of interest law disclosure form, or complete statutory conflict of interest law requirements.
Every 2 years, all state, county and municipal employees must complete a conflict of interest law online training program. Newly elected or appointed public employees must complete this training within 30 days of beginning public service, and every 2 years thereafter.
In addition, every year all state, county and municipal employees must be provided with the summary of the conflict of interest law. Newly elected or appointed public employees should be provided with the summary within 30 days of election or appointment, and on an annual basis thereafter. All public employees are required to sign a written acknowledgment that they have been provided with the summary.
For other details, see here