Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin will host the 14th annual Open Government Summit, to educate and inform public officials and the public about the state's Open Meetings Act (OMA) and the recently amended Access to Public Records Act (APRA).
The Summit, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for July 27, 2012, 9:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. at Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, RI.
The presentation will include a 2011/2012 case law and legislative update and examples of frequent trouble areas. The summit will close with a panel discussion on "Open Government Requirements and Obligations" and a Q&A session.
This year's summit will be held in the wake of the newly passed APRA amendments. The Act will make public various records that were not previously public and will hold public bodies more accountable for producing records. Coming into law September 1st, the changes will require public officials to certify annually to the Attorney General that they have received APRA training. Discussion of APRA at the summit will explore and explain these new laws and will help attendees better understand new statutory requirements.
"Rhode Island's Open Meetings Act and Access to Public Records Act are critical to ensuring that our government remains open and accountable to the public. I am pleased that the General Assembly passed, and the Governor signed, amendments to the APRA that will further enhance a citizen's access to public records, yet limit the additional burdens imposed upon public bodies. It is my hope that these changes will lead to an increased understanding of government operations as well as facilitating a citizen's access to public records," said Attorney General Kilmartin, whose office drafted and submitted the APRA legislation to the General Assembly and worked with Senator Sheehan and Representative Marcello on the final Act.
"I am committed to public outreach and education concerning the requirements of the OMA and the APRA. It is my hope that the Summit will lead to a wider understanding of open government laws, especially the recent changes to APRA. When implemented in September, it will be key for elected officials, public employees and the general public to have an understanding of these changes. I am confident that the thoughtful discussion and debate at this year's Summit will strengthen that knowledge."
Individuals who would like to attend the Open Government Summit at Roger Williams University School of Law need to register with the Office of Attorney General, to register please call 274-4400, ext 2101, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals may submit questions in advance that will be answered during the Q&A portion of the Summit at email@example.com. Check-in takes place from 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.