February 04, 201604 February 2016
The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Municipality of St.-Charles to discuss audit reports and individual staff performance. The meeting was closed under the personal matters exception. The Ombudsman found that the audit reports contained municipal financial information and its findings did not reveal personal information about staff members. The fact that the municipality has a small staff and personal information about individual employees could be inferred from the auditor’s findings does not bring the discussion within the personal matters exception. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion about individual employee conduct and performance did fit within the personal matters exception because staff members were identified by name. The Ombudsman found that council could have been parsed and the audit report could have been considered in open session, separate from the employee performance matters, because the two topics were distinct.