ITEM 116-103-R0902                                                                September 19-20, 2002

 

 

SUBJECT:  GOVERNANCE AND ORGANIZATION

Policy              - Prohibition Against Conducting Board Business Via Electronic Mail

 

Constitutional authority:

 

            No person shall be deprived of the right to examine documents or to observe the deliberations of all public bodies or agencies of state government…(Article II, Section 9, Montana Constitution). 

 

            The public has the right to expect governmental agencies to afford such reasonable opportunity for citizen participation in the operation of the agencies prior to the final decision as may be provided by law. (Article II, Section 8, Montana Constitution).

 

            WHEREAS, the ever expanding use and convenience of electronic mail provides a means whereby board business may be discussed and determined through the exchange of electronic mail;

 

            AND WHEREAS, the discussion and determination of board business via electronic mail violates the constitutional right of the public to participate and their constitutional right to observe deliberations;

 

            AND WHEREAS, the discussion and determination of board business via electronic mail destroys the fundamental principle of a deliberative body by eliminating the meeting of the board in a manner that allows for simultaneous aural communication among all participates as set forth in Robert’s Rules of Order;

 

            AND WHEREAS, the board desires to encourage and enable the participation and observation by all citizens, students, faculty and staff in all board business, except where prohibited by the demands of individual privacy;

 

            AND WHEREAS, the use of electronic mail to discuss and determine board business prevents the participation and observation by all citizens, students, faculty and staff in board business.

 

Board Policy:

 

            The discussion and determination of board business via electronic mail is expressly prohibited.