Description: TO PASS S. 5, PROVIDING THAT MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
Bill summary: (Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 94-1441)
Government in the Sunshine Act - Declares that it is the policy of Congress that the public is entitled to the fullest practicable information regarding the decision-making process of the Federal Government and that providing such information is the purpose of this Act.
Provides that members of a Federal agency shall not jointly conduct or dispose of agency business in a meeting other than in accordance with this Act. Requires every protion
of every meeting of an agency to be open to public observation except under enumerated conditions.
Requires that a meeting shall be closed only after a majority of the entire embership of the agency votes to take such action.
Directs the agency to make a public announcement, at least one week before the meeting, of the time, place, and subject matter of the meeting, whether it is to be open or closed to the public, and the name and phone number of the official designated by the agency to respond to requests for information about the meeting.
Requires the General Counsel or chief legal officer of the agency to publicly certify that, in his or her opinion, the meeting may be close to the public and to state each relevant exemptive provision.
Directs the agency to make a verbatim transcript or electronic recording of each meeting or portion closed to the public. Requires that such transcript, recording, or minutes of such meeting be made promptly available to the public.
Requires each agency subject to this Act to promulgate regulations to implement this Act. Authorizes civil actions in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to require an agency to promulgate such regulations. Authorizes proceedings to be brought in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to set aside agency regulations issued pursuant to this Act that are not in accord with the requirements of this Act.
Grants jurisdiction to the district of the United States to enforce the requirements of this Act by declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, or other appropriate relief.
Permits the court to assess against any party reasonable attorney fees and other litigation costs incurred by the prevailing party.
Requires all agencies to report to Congress annually regarding compliance with this Act.
States that nothing in this Act authorizes an agency to withhold information it is otherwise required to provide to an individual, the public, or Congress. Adds 5 U.S.C. 552b
Prohibits ex parte communication with any individual who is or is reasonably expected to be involved in a decision-making proceeding by anyone interested in such proceeding. Amends 5 U.S.C. 551, 556, and 557.
Sets forth conforming amendments.
Makes this Act effective 180 days after its enactment.
Click to hide full description.
Bill titles: An Act to provide that meetings of Government agencies shall be open to the public, and for other purposes.; A bill to provide that meetings of Government agencies and of congressional committees shall be open to the public, and for other purposes.
Original source documents: Digest of the Congressional Record vol. 121-164, p. S19445;
Links for more info on the vote: congress.gov