Public Funds and the CPRA
Q: Are organizations that put on state fairs with public money subject to the CPRA, especially considering their authorization in law?
A: There is authority for the proposition that agencies that are subject to the Brown Act are subject to the PRA, as well. The definition of “local agency” under Government Code Section 6252 includes “nonprofit entities that are legislative bodies of a local agency pursuant to subdivisions (c) and (d) of Section 54952 [the Brown Act].” Section 54952(c) defines “legislative body” to include “[a] board, commission, committee, or other multimember body that governs a private corporation, limited liability company, or other entity that (A) is created by the elected legislative body in order to exercise authority that may lawfully be delegated by the elected governing body to a private corporation, limited liability company, or other entity[; or] (B) receives funds from a local agency and the membership of whose governing body includes a member of the legislative body of the local agency appointed to that governing body as a full voting member by the legislative body of the local agency.”
A 2002 Attorney General opinion decided that a private, nonprofit corporation formed for the purpose of providing programming for a cable television channel set aside for educational use by a cable operator pursuant to its franchise agreement with a city and subsequently designated by the city to provide the programming services was subject to the Brown Act, pursuant to Section 54952(c)(A). 85 Ops. Cal. Atty. Gen. 55 (March 14, 2002). And because the corporation was “a nonprofit entity whose board of directors constitutes a ‘legislative body’ pursuant to section 54952, subdivision (c),” the corporation “[met] the test for being a local agency as that term is defined in section 6252. The PRA therefore applied to the corporation in question.