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Public Access Opinion 15-003

Open Meetings Act Closed Session Exemptions

Administrator Contracts
Case: Public Access Opinion 15-003
Date: Friday, March 20, 2015

For the second time, the PAC has told public bodies they cannot discuss budgetary matters even when they directly or indirectly affect employees during a closed meeting pursuant to Section 2(c)(1) of OMA.

To the extent that a public body is required to discuss the relative merits of individual employees as a result of its fiscal decision, such discussion may properly be closed to the public under section 2(c)(1) of OMA. But, the underlying budgetary discussions leading to those decisions may not be closed to the public. (Emphasis added). See PAO 12-011. The bottom line here is that public bodies may not use an OMA exemption to get at underlying budget issues.

This opinion is binding only to the parties involved and may be appealed pursuant to State law.