Sunshine Laws – Definition

Cite this article as:"Sunshine Laws – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated December 2, 2019, last accessed October 20, 2020,


Sunshine Laws Definition

Sunshine laws refer to policies that promote openness in government or organization. Such laws offer public access for meetings, votes, records, and several corporate actions so that they can also observe, validate and participate in them. These laws also ensure that government meetings need to be held at places that are easily accessible to the general public. Also, they need to be scheduled in advance for the comfort of public’s access. However, emergency meetings can stand out to be an exception in this case.

A Little More on What are Sunshine Laws

There are times when a document like a legal topic that is being investigated, that can be accessed by the general public is closed. However, it is the duty of sunshine laws for reducing or limiting such exceptional cases. Sunshine laws help in differentiating between organizations that follow such laws from the ones that don’t. For instance, a firm that has the power to establish such irrevocable laws is supposed to follow the law. However, an advisory committee that doesn’t have such power may not be governed by sunshine laws, even if it dealt with government-based matters.

Sunshine laws are subject to minimum transparency levels as there are companies that participate in organizational activities or government institutions that take part in bureaucratic process. Sunshine laws can be enforced at federal or provincial level. Such laws enable the decision making process in finance and economics that can further be applied to other areas.

The Purpose of Sunshine Laws

Sunshine laws make sure that specific activities are carried out in a lawful manner. This gives public members the authority to have proof for specific activities or to have information about records on specific matters. Sunshine laws aim to minimize corruption in the organization, and enhance public confidence with a sense of transparency.

Exceptions to Sunshine Laws

There are specific activities that are said to be exceptions for sunshine laws irrespective of the implications. It is applicable to lawful events such as taking specific actions for government officers that would involve matters of intense privacy.

The Freedom of Information Act as a sunshine law

The Freedom of Information Act in the US offers protection to the rights of a citizen so as to have access to information from the official government authorities, similar to the sunshine laws. However, matters related to the national security or enforcement of policies cannot be fully accessed under the Freedom of Information Act. Also, it protects trade secrets of the financial and commercial entities, or any other insights secured by federal laws.

Sunshine laws in the Medical Field

In the medical industry, sunshine laws ask specific manufacturers like pharmaceutical organizations, to inform about the items that have been supplied to an organization or clinic physician, followed by the concerned price of the items. This helps in making transactions more transparent, and enhance their accessibility and traceability.

References for “Sunshine Laws › Insights › Laws & Regulations

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