By Julie Johansen
Johnnie Miller from the Utah County Insurance Indemnity Pool instructed Emery County elected or appointed officials and employees about the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) and Ethics Act on Tuesday. This is an annual training required for these individuals.
Miller’s presentation began by identifying those bodies that are subject to these legislative actions. These are all elected or appointed government officials as well as service districts and committees established by these entities. The intent of the legislature is for these bodies to have open deliberations and take action in a public forum.
The presentation included the definitions of the terms included in OPMA, including meeting, public body, quorum and convening. Miller also spoke about the notice requirements for public meetings and public hearings, which includes posting on the public notice website within a specific timeframe. Rules and procedures for each were then discussed and it was explained that electronic meetings following prescribed policy of the entity are also allowed according to Miller’s instruction.
Miller continued by explaining that GRAMA states that all records are open to the public. This has four main features, including the retention schedule for all records, class of the records, provided access and the appeal process.
Finally, the Ethics Act for municipalities and employees describes a conflict of interest (use of office for personal gain) and the required annual disclosure statements for each individual in these positions. During the training, Miller answered several questions from the audience.
The training was offered on Tuesday afternoon at both 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. in the Emery County administration building.