Sec. 608 text - Pittsburgh Open Government Amendment

Open government = better government!

Sec. 608

608.  Public meetings, hearings, proceedings, etc.


Any government activity to which the state's Sunshine Law guarantees the public access will be online, where it can be viewed and heard as it happens and at any later time.

a.       All meetings, hearings, proceedings, and other official activities of City Council, the administration, units of government, agencies, and other entities under the jurisdiction of the Charter which by law are to be open to the public shall be available to and accessible by the public for remote viewing, listening, and monitoring via webcast and such other means as may be appropriate.


It is also possible to make both written and verbal comment online whenever comment is taken and to participate online in question and answer sessions.

b.       In such instance where the submission of public comment, questions, etc. is applicable under Sec. 608(a), reasonable provision shall be made for direct participation online, including but not limited to interactive communications integrated as part of an original webcast and/or via such other telecommunications as may be appropriate, to offer an opportunity for both oral and text transmission.  A person submitting text comment prior to or during the public comment session shall be permitted to request a specific, willing individual to read the text comment (or a portion thereof if reading the entire text would exceed the time allotted each individual for comment); the submitter may alternatively defer that selection to the chair, who may choose to read the text.  Public discussion or question and answer sessions, if any, shall also be open to remote participation as provided herein via such means as may be appropriate.


Participation shall be securely verifiied to ensure th correct identy of participants. /p>

c.       The City shall establish a registry through which individuals and groups may obtain verifiable identification for the purpose of participation in remote comment, questioning, and discussion.  The City shall further implement security measures to protect the integrity of the associated communications and to assure accurate, verified identification of participants during their participation.


Meeting records comply with the City's unified information standards.

d.       Meeting transcripts, exhibits, recordings and any other record, if made or provided, shall be maintained in compliance with Sec. 604.


When City Council assembles as a body for any official purpose, it shall be cablecast in addition to being webcast.

e.       In addition, all Council regular, committee, special, and post agenda meetings; all City Council public hearings; all presentations made to Council, and all other instances where Council assembles as an official body shall also be cablecast.