Attorney General Issues Opinion on Brown Act Requirements in the Face of Technical Difficulties
February 5, 2016
Attorney General Kamala Harris recently issued an opinion on the question of whether or not the Brown Act would be violated if a local agency is unable to post a meeting agenda online within the required timeline in the case of technical difficulties, such as a power failure, cyber-attack, or other third-party interference.
The conclusion is good news for counties that may have experienced technical issues: it is not necessarily a violation of the Brown Act if the agency has otherwise substantially complied, and the meeting may go on. In the official words, the opinion holds that “if technical difficulties prevent a local agency’s legislative body from posting a regular meeting agenda on the local agency’s website for a continuous 72-hour period before the scheduled regular meeting, but the legislative body has otherwise substantially complied with the Brown Act’s agenda-posting requirements, the legislative body may lawfully hold its regular meeting as scheduled.”