Zoom for Public Meetings

“Meetings” of public boards, commissions, and other “public bodies” (as such terms are defined in RIGL 42-46-2) may only be held in accordance with the Open Meetings Act and any applicable Executive Orders issued by the Governor. Executive Order 21-72 authorizing virtual meetings under the Open Meetings Act expired on July 23, 2021. Any questions about whether virtual meetings are permitted at any given time should be directed to your solicitor/legal counsel and/or the Attorney General′s Office.

While public boards, commission, and other public bodies are not allowed to convene meetings virtually under current law, some information in this Guide may still be useful to those entities choosing to livestream or provide virtual public participation. The Guide also includes information on holding hearings under the Administrative Procedures Act, which may not be subject to the Open Meetings Act.

Reference Guide — UPDATED 9/22/20

The Department of Business Regulation, with the support of the Division of Information Technology, has prepared a reference guide on Holding Public Meetings via Video Conference. This guide focuses on Zoom functionality as a result of DBR’s contract with Zoom for Enterprise Licenses, however many of the best practices may be applicable to other video conferencing platforms.

Webinar: Holding Successful Virtual Public Meetings

Panelists from state and municipal entities discussed lessons learned about adapting in-person public meetings to virtual or hybrid public meetings. Viewers will gain information on methods the panelists have found useful in various scenarios as public meeting hosts on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms.