Q:

How can you find out the date of upcoming federal meetings?

A:

Quick Answer

The dates of upcoming federal meetings are posted in the notices section of the Federal Register as required by law. Those interested generally can also find that information on the websites of specific agencies, on public announcement boards, in local newspapers, through mailing lists or in online digests.

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Full Answer

The Government in Sunshine Act, more commonly referred to as the Sunshine Act, requires federal agencies to post public notice of meetings at least one week in advance. The posting also must state the time and place of the meeting, what the meeting is about and whether it is open to the public. The agency must announce as soon as possible any changes in time, place or agenda.

The Federal Register is published daily and contains routine notices about the federal government. It is available online at FederalRegister.gov. The website provides notices of not only meetings but also hearings, investigations, grants and funding, information collections, and other announcements.

The Sunshine Act only pertains to meetings in which there is a quorum. In other words, the meeting must include at least the minimum number of agency heads necessary for the agency to take legal action. For instance, a meeting of two officials would not be announced. Also, all or parts of some meetings might be closed to the public for reasons such as national security or for internal personnel discussions.

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