Q Our board has created an independent advisory panel to gather information about the use of anesthesia and advise our board as to recommended rule changes. Can this advisory panel conduct its work in private?

A The Open Meetings Act defines a “public body” as “any executive or administrative board, commission, . . . or committee thereof . . .”The Mississippi Supreme Court has said that an advisory panel or sub-committee created by official action of a public body is subject to the Open Meetings Act. As such, the advisory panel must comply with the mandates of the Open Meetings Act, including, but not limited to, the keeping of minutes. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Hutchinson, May 10, 2019)