Maintaining a course for more effective and transparent governance, Senator Joanne Brown, along with Speaker Therese Terlaje and Senator Telo Taitague, introduced a measure that will require all government agency meetings, deliberations, and decision-making sessions to be broadcast live via a government-designated channel or online platforms.
Additionally, the measure will require agencies to publish detailed agenda items as part of their already-required public meeting notices.
“The Covid-19 pandemic revealed that we can rely on new technologies to conduct sensitive business meetings, transactions, and a whole host of activities critical to daily governance and commerce. It’s time we use those same technologies to step up government transparency laws,” Senator Brown said. “If we can use Zoom to make decisions like shutting down bars and restaurants, we can certainly use it to broadcast government meetings and allow the public to participate in these decision-making processes.”
The bi-partisan measure will enhance GovGuam transparency laws by mandating that:
· All regular and special meetings of a public agency shall be broadcast live on the agency’s official website or designated government channel (except for executive sessions and other meetings expressly authorized by law to be closed).
· Any action taken by a public agency not in compliance with this law will be void and of no effect.
· All public notices of scheduled meetings must include a list of detailed agenda items so as to allow ample time for the public and members of the media to prepare for, and participate in, meetings of their interest.
“There’s a pervasive sense of mistrust in government– whether it’s the pandemic and the avalanche of challenges we’re struggling through today or the widespread mistrust felt throughout the community regarding the timing of the distribution of stimulus payments, PUA checks and tax refunds, I think it’s time we go back to the basics and refine the way we conduct government business. The past year makes it clear that we have no more excuses when it comes to making our government more open, transparent, and trustworthy,” said Senator Brown.
Bill 102-36 has been referred to the Committee on General Government Operations, Appropriations, and Housing, chaired by Senator Joe S. San Agustin.
(Senator Joanne Brown Release)