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OML-AO-4833

EMAIL

From: Jobin-Davis, Camille (DOS)
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2009 10:42 AM
To:
Subject: Open Meetings Law - agricultural society

Dear

This is in response to your email question of September 17, 2009 “Are Agricultural Societies (i.e. county fair boards) subject to Open Meetings Law?”.

Please be advised that after reviewing Not-for-Profit Corporation Law §1409, and Agriculture and Markets Law §290, it is the opinion of the Committee on Open Government that boards of agricultural societies are not public bodies because they do not perform a “government function” as is required by OML §101(2). Therefore, the OML would not apply to require open meetings of boards of directors of agricultural societies.

We recommend that you consult the bylaws of an organization that is not subject to the Open
Meetings Law, in order to ascertain whether there is a self-imposed requirement to hold public meetings. And, we note that when an agricultural society files an annual report to the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets, such report would be a “record” subject to a FOIL request made to the Department.

I hope that this is helpful to you. Should you have any further questions, please advise.

Camille

Camille S. Jobin-Davis, Esq.
Assistant Director
NYS Committee on Open Government
Department of State
99 Washington Ave, Suite 650
Albany NY 12231
Tel: 518-474-2518
Fax: 518-474-1927