Open Meetings Act

The Open Meetings Act (OMA) and its companion statute the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) constitute New Mexico’s fundamental Sunshine Laws. The OMA statute declares that “a representative government is dependent on an informed electorate” and that the public is entitled to ‘information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of public officers and employees who represent them.” Whereas IPRA addresses access to public records, OMA ensures that public policy is made in meetings that are open to the public, where members of the public are “permitted to attend and listen to the deliberations and proceedings.”

OMA is an essential tool in our Office’s work to promote good government in New Mexico. To that end, our Office both enforces OMA and provides guidance and training on OMA compliance.

Enforcing OMA

The Attorney General and district attorneys have the primary authority to file suits alleging violations of OMA in New Mexico district courts. Private members of the public can also file suits to enforce OMA but must first give written notice to the affected governmental entity. In addition to these formal enforcement actions, our Office has established a complaint system for New Mexicans to refer potential OMA violations to our Government Counsel & Accountability (GCA) team. GCA attorneys review and investigate constituent complaints regarding OMA. When they find violations, GCA attorneys are often able to resolve these issues informally by helping governmental entities take corrective action and remediate errors in following OMA’s requirements. This intervention also provides important guidance to governmental entities, helping them improve their OMA compliance practices. If an informal resolution cannot be reached and GCA attorneys have found an OMA violation, they can file a lawsuit to enforce OMA.

Use the button below if you would like to submit a complaint about a potential OMA violation.

Training on OMA

Our GCA attorneys provide counsel regarding OMA to dozens of boards, commissions, and governmental entities throughout New Mexico. Leveraging this vast experience, GCA attorneys have created an OMA Compliance Guide that both serves government officials in there OMA practices and informs members of the public of their rights under OMA. This OMA Guidance has been relied upon by New Mexicans for almost 20 years.

In addition to producing the OMA Compliance Guide, GCA attorneys conduct educational presentations throughout the state on OMA and IPRA, New Mexico’s other significant Sunshine Law. This outreach emphasizes the importance of transparency and compliance in government and informs the public of their rights of under New Mexico’s sunshine laws. These training are offered at no cost and are open to all interested officials and employees of state and local governments, school boards, and public bodies, as well as the media and general public.

Upcoming OMA/IPRA trainings are listed below. Click on each event to learn more and to register for the training.

9:00 am

 to 

1:00 pm

Española Plaza, Misión y Convento

706 E Bond St, Española, NM 87532

9:00 am

 to 

1:00 pm

Clovis Community College Town Hall

417 Schepps Blvd, Clovis, NM 88101

The New Mexico Department of Justice may also consider individual requests for trainings on a case-by-case basis.  Our office will consider public bodies with noncompliance issues and training requests when deciding areas of the state to conduct future trainings. 

Request a Training