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Advisory Body Meeting Guidance

The Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) benefits from advice on policy and program development from several statutorily created bodies including the: Disability Advisory Committee; Assistive Technology Advisory Committee; Blind Advisory Committee; Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Committee; California Vendors Policy Committee; State Rehabilitation Council; and California Committee on Employment of Persons with Disabilities. The DOR may have additional formal bodies who provide advice on specific policy and program development as needed.

During these times of fiscal constraint, preservation of the public confidence in the administration of government is paramount and requires administrators to be diligent in the utilization of tax payer funds. Toward that end, the DOR is committed to assisting our advisory bodies in clearly identifying the need to convene a meeting, particularly when a meeting requires travel and high costs. Complying with the requirements of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act is essential in this regard. For example, an agenda that reflects only information sharing and reporting does not provide adequate notice to the public as to the reason to convene. In determining whether an advisory committee or subcommittee should be convened, the following guidelines apply:

  1. The agenda, as required by Bagley-Keene for both open and closed meetings, is reflective and supportive of the advisory body's statutory mandate.
  2. The agenda content clearly reflects an outcome of the meeting that supports the advisory bodies' purpose, i.e. providing policy and/or program development guidance as requested by DOR.
  3. The volume of business that requires action or discussion is sufficient to support the meeting, its format and length.
  4. Agenda item descriptions are sufficient to inform the members and public at large of the nature, scope, and desired outcome of the committee's consideration and/or action. Interested parties should be able to determine whether they would want to address the committee prior to their action.
  5. The agenda is compliant with the Bagley-Keene requirements including identification of the body's intent to act on the agenda topic and allowing for public comment prior to action.

Agendas should be developed jointly between program management and advisory committee leadership to insure the relevance and timeliness of input by members. Questions should be directed to the liaison for each advisory body.