DOVER, Del. — The attorney general’s office says a state panel established to help build strong families and communities in Delaware is not a public body and can conduct its work in secret.

In an opinion this week, the AG’s office said the Family Services Cabinet Council is not a public body because its membership is restricted to Cabinet officials, the governor and senior staff. As such, the opinion says its meetings are staff meetings for the governor and not open to the public.

The council was first established in 1993 by Gov. Tom Carper and re-established this year by Gov. John Carney. After an initial executive order re-establishing the council, Carney issued a second order stating that the work of the council would be confidential, based on the common law privilege protecting executive communications.