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Texas Register

Frequently Asked Questions

Open Meetings

The Open Meetings Act (Government Code, Chapter 551) provides that meetings of governmental bodies must be open to the public (except for expressly authorized executive sessions). Both state and regional agencies file notices of open meetings with the Secretary of State's office. State agencies are governmental bodies with statewide jurisdiction. Regional agencies are agencies with jurisdiction of four or more counties.

Originally, these notices of open meetings were published in the print version of the Texas Register. In November, 1998, these notices were removed from the print Texas Register and published through the Secretary of State's web site only. Agencies now submit their notices of open meetings to the Secretary of State's office through a secure internet site. These notices are added to the Secretary of State's web site within five minutes of filing.

Notices of open meetings can be viewed at http://www.sos.state.tx.us/open. Access to this site is free and available to the general public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A computer terminal is available at the Secretary of State's office during normal business hours for public use to view open meetings as well.

The Secretary of State is not responsible for the information or content that is contained in open meeting notices. Nor does the SOS make any representations as to sufficiency or accuracy of the posted information. The postings contained in the Texas Register are submitted electronically by parties outside the control of the SOS and any questions about a particular posting should be directed to that entity. Contact information is included in each posted document.

How does the open meeting system work?
Open meetings are posted by both state and regional agencies via a secure link to the Texas Register's internet site. Agencies may post their meetings at any time and are not limited to posting during normal business hours. Meetings are added to the open meetings portion of the Texas Register internet site within five minutes of being posted by the agency.

What if we are off-line?
IMPORTANT: Please make a note or save the following link with your Favorites. If the Texas Register website is down due to scheduled maintenance or unexpected service problems, you can still view a list of pending open meeting notices on this alternative site. It contains a "snapshot" of all posted meeting notices that we have received at approximately 6:00 p.m. each day. It does not duplicate all the features of the Open Meeting Viewer, but it serves as a temporary alternative if this site is off line. If you forget to make a note of the link, you may find it with an Internet search for "Texas Register Archive open meetings"

http://texinfo.library.unt.edu/texasregister/openmeetings/