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Advisory Opinion OMA 16-01 In Re: Coventry School Committee

The School Committee sought guidance as to whether the participation of a School Committee member in the audience of a subcommittee meeting convened a "meeting" of the School Committee within the meaning of R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-2(a). Although we found insufficient information to offer an opinion on the precise situation at hand, this Department generally opined that quorums of a committee at a subcommittee meeting do not constitute a "meeting" of the committee under the OMA if the subcommittee restricts its discussion and/or actions to matters exclusive to subcommittee business. See In Re Bristol Warren Regional School Committee, ADV OM 07-01. We further cautioned that due care must be taken to easily distinguish subcommittee business from committee business by clearly defining the subcommittee's role and scope of authority.

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