True or False: Minutes from municipal council meetings are public records subject to immediate access without the need for a written Freedom of Information Act request.
Political subdivisions of the state, including municipalities, are public bodies subject to the S.C. FOIA. Meeting minutes of public bodies for the preceding six months must be made available for immediate inspection and copying.
An individual may make an in-person request for this material during normal business without being required to submit the request in writing. This requirement applies to minutes of a municipal council, commission or board of public works meeting, or any committee, subcommittee or advisory committee of the municipality, in which the meeting was set up by the governing body.
To help elected officials become knowledgeable about public records requirements and other areas of local governance, the SC Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government offers training intended for all levels of experience in municipal office.
The institute offers both in-person and online courses. Elected officials who complete all of the required coursework graduate from the institute. Register for the May 23 “Freedom of Information Act in S.C.” and “Municipal Economic Development” courses through the Association's website (keyword: MEOI).