Choosing how to record public meetings is a policy decision typically left to the organization’s governing board. Many local governments achieve transparency by posting audio/video recordings, and meeting agendas/minutes. Ensuring that information is easily accessible, accurate, and complete is the primary focus.
Listed below are some publications to help guide policy makers in the organization toward a decision to make meetings both transparent and efficient.
1. The Institute for Local Government published “Good Governance Checklist: Good and Better Practices” to help answer questions like these. On page 13 under the Website Content section the “Better” practice mentions posting meeting agendas, meeting minutes, and live video/audio streams. It makes no mention of transcribing entire meetings.
2. The PATimes also published an article about a “Best Practices Model for Transparency in Government.” In their example, the St. Johns County Website contains meeting minutes and agendas, but does not mention full transcriptions of meetings.
3. The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) also has “Highlighted Best Practices for Open and Accountable Government” which recommends that information be easily searchable online (3 clicks or less). Users should also be able to search by multiple criteria (i.e. meeting dates, names of attendees/speakers, agenda items).