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Events | May 12, 2020
1 minute read

Webinar: Gaining Access to Government Data During COVID-19 with FOIA and OMA

Hosted By: Warner

Warner attorneys, Kristina Araya, Daniel Ettinger and Brian Wassom presented a webinar focused on two key legal tools for gaining access to government data: the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Open Meetings Act (OMA). We shared tips, tricks and recent developments from a legal insider’s perspective along with a background on the Michigan and federal FOIAs. We discussed the circumstances under which accepting public money subjects private entities to FOIA, and how to approach FOIA requests – both when seeking information and when trying to protect confidential information shared with a public body. We also addressed FOIA exemptions used to withhold information and the process to appeal a public body’s FOIA response.

Additionally, we addressed the basics of the OMA, including public notice, the right of the public to attend and participate in meetings, closed sessions, quorums, requirements for decisions and the legal consequences of violating the OMA.
Finally, we addressed FOIA and OMA issues that have arisen as a result of COVID-19, including the Governor’s executive orders which have temporarily altered the requirements of those statutes. Please click on the links below to access the presentation materials and to listen to the webinar recording.