A&A: Availability of agendas

Q: What is the obligation of a body that is required to comply with the Brown Act with regards to informing the public of how to access their agendas and minutes? Direct requests to the body for agendas and minutes has been ignored.  Is there a procedures or process that public citizens should be aware of?

A: The Brown Act does not require government bodies to keep minutes. However, under section 54957.5 of the Brown Act, the body must make agendas and “any other writings” concerning public sessions available “upon request without delay.”  The body can charge a copying fee, but not if you just want to inspect (and not copy) the records. You should be able to walk into the agency’s office and request to see copies of the agendas and, if they are kept, the minutes of any public sessions.  Alternatively, you could submit a written request under the Brown Act (Government Code section 54957.5) and the California Public Records Act (Government Code section 6250).