Minnesota Secretary Of State - Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

What are Open Appointments?

The Open Appointments process is used as a clearinghouse for public openings on state agencies, boards, commissions and councils. It is administered by the Secretary of State, who announces vacancies to the public, hosts the application database for agencies to make appointments, and maintains records of the memberships on the various state boards and councils.

Why does Minnesota have Open Appointments?

The Minnesota Open Appointments Act was authorized by the Legislature in 1978 to simplify and open up the appointment process. Information about the functions of the various state boards and councils and their membership is made available to the public. All persons have an equal opportunity to apply and be considered for appointment. Through participation on state boards and councils, individuals can get directly involved in the policies and services of state government. The Minnesota Open Appointments process has become a nationwide model for citizen participation.

How do I find out about openings?

You can come to this website at any time and see what positions are currently open for application. If you would like to receive a notice when new positions are posted, you can sign up for email updates.

Will I be paid?

The vast majority of positions listed in the Open Appointments notice are volunteer positions. Many boards and councils do pay a small per diem and expenses for attending meetings and conducting authorized activities.  Any information about compensation is listed on each board's page under the "DETAILS" dropdown menu.

How are appointments made?

All applications submitted to the Secretary of State (on this site) are forwarded to those who make the appointments by the board staff contacts. These Appointing Authorities (such as the Governor, Minnesota State Department Commissioners, or Agency Directors) may contact applicants for further information or interviews.

Although vacancies are required to remain open for at least three weeks after they are announced, they can remain open longer. If appointed, the applicant will be contacted by the Appointing Authority for that board or council. (All appointees will also submit an oath of office, provided by either the board’s contact or the Governor’s office, which can be filed with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office).