Governing Legislation: The Communications Act provides as follows:
Nothing contained in this paragraph shall be construed to prevent any such board, committee, or body from holding closed sessions to consider matters relating to individual employees, proprietary information, litigation and other matters requiring the confidential advice of counsel, commercial or financial information obtained from a person on a privileged or confidential basis, or the purchase of property or services whenever the premature exposure of such purchase would compromise the business interests of any such organization.
If any such meeting is closed pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph, the organization involved shall thereafter (within a reasonable period of time) make available to the public a written statement containing an explanation of the reasons for closing the meeting. §396 (k)(4)
The term ‘meeting’ means the deliberations of at least the number of members of a governing or advisory body, or any committee thereof, required to take action on behalf of such body or committee where such deliberations determine or result in the joint conduct or disposition of the governing or advisory body’s business, or the committee’s business, as the case may be, but only to the extent that such deliberations relate to public broadcasting.” §397(5)
When may a meeting be closed? The Act allows stations to hold Closed Meetings, or to close an Open Meeting, when discussing any of the following:
- matters concerning individual employees;
- proprietary information;
- litigation and other matters requiring confidential advice of counsel;
- commercial or financial information obtained from a person on a privileged or confidential basis; or
- purchase of property or services, if the premature disclosure of the transaction would compromise the station’s business interests. §396(k)(4)
- Closed Meeting Documentation: The Act requires stations to document and make available to the public the specific reason(s) for closing a meeting within a reasonable time after the meeting. CPB also requires that the written statement be made available for inspection, either at the CSG recipient’s central office or posted on its station website, within 10 days after each closed meeting.