The Act applies to any member of any governing body. "Governing body" is defined as "members of any public body which consists of two (2) or more members, with the authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a public body on policy or administration and also means a community action agency which administers community action programs under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 2790." T.C.A. § 8-44-102(b). Specifically excluded from the ambit of "governing body" are administrative officers who do not formulate policies for a governing body. Fain v. Faculty of the College of Law of the University of Tennessee, 552 S.W.2d 752 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1977) (holding that law school dean was not a governing body and faculty and committee meetings of law school were not subject to the Act); Mid-South Publishing Co. v. The Tennessee State University, 1990 WL 207410 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1990) (holding that university chancellor was not governing body and that his meetings with advisory committee were not subject to the Act).
The Act does not define the term "member." According to an Attorney General opinion, an individual becomes a member of a governing body when he or she has completed all the requirements necessary to qualify to perform the official duties of a member and his or her term of office has begun. Op. Att'y Gen. No. 99-043 (Feb. 25, 1998). More specifically, in the case of an elected official, the electee is not qualified to serve until his or her term has begun and he or she has taken the oath of office. Id. (holding that meetings of the Memphis Center City Development Corporation are subject to the Act). A governing body also specifically includes any nonprofit corporation authorized by state law to act on behalf of any local government other than Nashville for the purpose of Resource Recovery and Solid Waste Disposal or Energy Production Facilities. T.C.A. § 8-44-102(b)(1)(C).
Also, the Act provides that it applies to the board of directors of any non-profit corporation that provides Nashville with heat, steam or incineration of refuse, T.C.A. § 8-44-102(b)(1)(D), or the board of directors of any non-profit corporation or association authorized to obtain coverage for government employees in the Tennessee consolidated retirement system. T.C.A. § 8-44-102(b)(1)(E).