Changes effective 24 Aug 1971 by session law 1971, 327. Prior version was effective 26 Aug 1967 by session law 1967, 251.

91-A:1 Definition of Public Proceedings.

The term "public proceedings" as used in this chapter means the transaction[s] of any functions affecting any or all citizens of the state by any of the following:

I. The general court including executive sessions of committees;

II. The governor's council;

III. Any board or commission of any state agency or authority[,];

IV. A[and all meetings of a]ny board, commission, agency, or authority, of any county, town, municipal corporation, school district, or other political subdivision.

91-A:2 Meetings Open to the Public.

All public proceedings shall be open to the public, and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meetings of those bodies or agencies. Minutes of all such meetings, including names of members, persons appearing before the bodies or agencies, and a brief description of the subject matter discussed and final decisions shall be promptly recorded and open to public inspection within seventy-two hours of the public meeting, except as provided by section 5 of this chapter, and shall be treated as permanent records of any body or agency, without exception. Except in an emergency or when there is a meeting of a legislative committee, a notice of the time and place of each such meeting shall be posted in two appropriate public places or shall be printed in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or town at least twenty-four hours, excluding Sundays and legal holidays, prior to such meetings. An emergency shall mean a situation where immediate undelayed action is deemed to be imperative and the minutes of the meeting shall clearly spell out the need for the emergency meeting. When a meeting of a legislative committee is held, publication made pursuant to the rules of the house of representatives shall be sufficient notice. If the charter of any city or guide lines set down by the appointing authority requires a broader public access to official meetings and records than herein described, such charter provisions or guide lines shall take precedence over the requirements of this chapter.

91-A:3 Executive Sessions.

I. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to prevent these bodies or agencies from holding executive sessions for conducting deliberations, but, subject to the provisions of paragraph II, all sessions at which information, evidence or testimony in any form is received shall be open to the public. Decisions made during any executive session as provided in paragraph II must be made available to the public at the termination of the session unless divulgence of the information would be likely to affect adversely the reputation of any person or impair the effectiveness of the action. No ordinances, orders, rules, resolutions, regulations, contracts, appointments or other official actions shall be finally approved in executive session except as provided in paragraph II. The record of all actions shall be available for public inspection promptly, except as provided for in paragraph II.

II. Exceptions. A body, or agency, may exclude the public when it is considering or acting upon the following matters:

(a) The dismissal, promotion, or compensation of any public employee or the disciplining of such employee, or the investigating of any charges against him, unless the employee affected requests an open meeting.

(b) The hiring of any person as a public employee.

(c) Matters which, if discussed in public, would be likely to affect adversely the reputation of any person, other than a member of the body itself.

(d) Consideration of the acquisition, sale, or lease of land which, if discussed in public, would be likely to benefit a party, or parties, whose interests are adverse to those of the general community.

(e) Matters being discussed by a legislative committee sitting in executive session, which should not be made public, as determined by a three-fifths vote of the members present and voting at such meeting.