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From: dos.sm.Coog.InetCoog
Sent: Monday, September 12, 2011 9:00 AM
To:
Subject: RE: question

Dear

As you are likely aware, the Open Meetings Law includes provisions that permit meetings of
public bodies to be conducted by means of videoconferencing that enables members of a public body,
as well as any others who may be present at a location in which a member is participating, to observe
and hear the participants. Further, ยง104(4) of that statute states that:

"If videoconferencing is used to conduct a meeting, the public notice for the meeting
shall inform the public that videoconferencing will be used, identify the locations for
the meeting, and state that the public has the right to attend the meeting at any of the
locations."

Although there are no judicial decisions concerning the use of Skype, it is our view that if all of
the conditions described in the Open Meetings Law are met, Skype serves as a method of
videoconferencing that would be valid to comply with the Open Meetings Law.

I hope that I have been of assistance.

 

Robert J. Freeman
Executive Director
Committee on Open Government
Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
Suite 650
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231
Phone: (518)474-2518
Fax: (518)474-1927
Website: www.dos.state.ny.us/coog/index/html