Federal Open Meetings Laws

Six years after passing the Freedom of Information Act, Congress enacted the Federal Advisory Committee Act to open up to public oversight the advisory process of executive branch agencies. Since 1972, FACA has legally defined how advisory committees operate and has a special emphasis on open meetings. In 1976 Congress followed with the Government in the Sunshine Act, which requires that certain government agency meetings be open to the public. Modeled after FOIA, the Sunshine Act was intended to promote a transparent government and increase agency accountability.