In March 2021, the Personnel Committee of the Board of Directors of the South Central Illinois Mass Transit District closed a portion of the meeting to the public, according to the Attorney General’s Public Opinion 21-006. A Request for Review to the Public Access Counselor alleged that the Committee violated OMA because of its failure to record a verbatim recording. The Committee provided a draft of the closed session minutes, an affidavit and a written answer, but admitted that they did not have a verbatim recording of the closed session because the recorder was inadvertently not turned on for that session.
Section 2.06(a) of the Open Meetings Act provides in part, “all public bodies shall keep written minutes of all their meetings, whether open or closed and a verbatim record of all their closed meetings in the form of an audio or video recording.” The AG’s Office issued an opinion on July 7, 2021, finding that the Committee violated Section 2.06(a) when they failed to make a verbatim recording; the draft of the closed session minutes did not suffice. The Committee was ordered to adopt procedures to ensure that all of their closed sessions are properly recorded by audio or video.