Access to Records During a Board Meeting

If a board of education (board) member refers to a document during a meeting a copy does not have to be made public at the meeting.

If a member of the public wishes to have a copy of a record, the party can be asked to provide a written request for the record, either by using the form provided in the LAFOIP Regulations or by providing similar information describing the request. The board will then have 30 days to respond to the request.

If the document is one that must be disclosed the board will be required to do so. If the record is one that the board has the discretion to disclose then the board can decide whether or not to exercise that discretion.


Notes taken by employees or board members during board meetings are subject to LAFOIP and must be released unless they fit an exemption under LAFOIP. If they are merely a record of what was said during an open meeting they will not be protected from disclosure.


Minutes of all board meetings are public documents and must be made available.

Section 16 of LAFOIP provides that advice from officials can be exempt from disclosure in certain circumstances such as deliberations involving employees, and proposals and recommendations developed for the board. It should be noted that if a proposal or recommendation is directly referred to in a board minute it may be seen as being incorporated into the minute and may become subject to disclosure.

Minutes of Closed Session

Access to the minutes taken during a closed session can be refused pursuant to section 15(1)(b) of LAFOIP. It provides that access may be refused to a record that discloses the substance of deliberations of a meeting if an Act authorizes holding the meeting in the absence of the public.

The only type of non-public meeting authorized by section 80(2) of The Education Act, 1995 is a closed session meeting. Therefore, access to the agenda and to minutes taken during the closed session can be refused.

The Education Act, 1995 does not address “committee of the whole” meetings or “in camera” sessions. If these types of meetings are held by the board their minutes will be accessible to the public unless there is another specific exemption available under LAFOIP.

It may also be possible for a board to argue that “committee of the whole” meetings or “in camera” sessions operate in exactly the same manner as a closed session and thus be eligible for the exemption. This will only be possible if the same procedure is followed as for a closed session. The onus will be on the board to show this.