Slider
Slider

|

Slider

Bill to allow videoconference in government meetings

Local
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

REPRESENTATIVE Luis John Castro last week prefiled House Bill 21-127, which will allow the use of videoconference, teleconference and other electronic means of communication in official meetings.

Castro wants all government departments, agencies, boards and commissions to hold meetings via virtual platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

“In the times we’re in now, conducting business as usual is not part of the ‘new normal,’” he said. “We have bodies such as the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. and the Commonwealth Development Authority, which have had difficulties holding meetings due to ‘lack of available inter-island flights’ or other complications this pandemic has brought on.”

Right now, Castro said, the Open Government Act prohibits government meetings from being conducted online.

Rep. Luis John Castro, left, presides over a committee meeting in the House chamber on Monday. Also in photo is House legal counsel Joe Taijeron. Photo by K-Andrea Evarose S. Limol

The bill was based on the recommendation of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers amid the “complications” caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This measure is long overdue,” the bill stated. “It will save thousands of dollars in unnecessary travel and improve the efficiency of virtually every board and commission.”

The bill will also allow a government entity to promulgate its own rules and regulations regarding online or virtual appearances.

Castro said, “Rather than draft  separate bills to amend policies for each board or commission, this [bill] aims to bring them all under one umbrella by amending the Open Government Act.”

He added, “I hope we can get this legislation passed because it will greatly benefit these entities, which can conduct business even when quorum can’t be constituted physically, especially when there [are] critical issues that need to be addressed by them.”

 

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider

Read more articles

Visit our Facebook Page

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider