Welcome to FAC’s Open Meeting resources. In California, the key opening meeting law is the Ralph M. Brown Act, which requires legislative entities of local governments and agencies—for example, city councils and school boards— to conduct business in a way that enables the public to scrutinize government decision-making.
On this page you will find links to all of our resources for the Brown Act including Brown Act questions answered by our attorneys and information on the the Bagley-Keene Act, the open meeting law that governs the state agencies and commissions in CA.
Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act applies to California State agencies, boards, and commissions to assure that “the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny.” The act facilitates accountability and transparency of government activities and protects the rights of citizens to participate in State government deliberations. It differs from California’s Brown Act, which applies to open meetings at the county and local government level.
The act also reaffirms, “The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”
Each of the links in the menu opens a targeted search of our Asked & Answered database to help you quickly find authoritative answers provided by FAC attorneys to questions submitted by people like you. This list does not exhaust the Asked & Answered resource, consisting of over 1,000 questions and answers. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, use the Google search box on the Asked & Answered homepage.
The California Public Records Act (CPRA) is the Freedom of Information law for California. It provides a right of access to records in the possession of state and local governments (but excluding the state Legislature and the courts). The CPRA Essentials video is a great introduction for anyone looking to access government records and an excellent refresher for journalists and government FAC General Counsel. (37:00 minutes)