Does your County’s Personnel Agenda Comply with the Open Governmental Proceedings Act?

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As we wind down from another busy personnel season, a question that seems to come up often concerns the listing of individual employee names on county board of education agendas. Many administrators are, understandably, concerned about revealing the names of employees who are recommended for various personnel actions, such as reductions in force (“RIF”) and transfers, while still complying with the West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act.

As we all know, the RIF and transfer process in particular is a difficult and scary experience for many employees, and publicizing it, even if legally required, may seem to add insult to injury for some. In order to spare their employees the embarrassment associated with some personnel actions, many boards provide employees’ names only to board members, with the public board agenda only stating the actions recommended, minus individual names.

A pertinent provision of the Act, West Virginia Code 6-9A-8(a), provides:

Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, the members of a public agency may not deliberate, vote, or otherwise take official action upon any matter by reference to a letter, number or other designation or other secret device or method, which may render it difficult for persons attending a meeting of the public agency to understand what is being deliberated, voted or acted upon. However, this subsection does not prohibit a public agency from deliberating, voting or otherwise taking action by reference to an agenda, if copies of the agenda, sufficiently worded to enable the public to understand what is being deliberated, voted or acted upon, are available for public inspection at the meeting.

Please see full article below for more information.

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Published In: Administrative Agency Updates, Education Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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