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In confidence Chair: Storm Westmaas Principal Legal Adviser, the Standards Board for England Speakers: Bernadette Livesey Chief Law and Administration.

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Presentation on theme: "In confidence Chair: Storm Westmaas Principal Legal Adviser, the Standards Board for England Speakers: Bernadette Livesey Chief Law and Administration."— Presentation transcript:

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2 In confidence Chair: Storm Westmaas Principal Legal Adviser, the Standards Board for England Speakers: Bernadette Livesey Chief Law and Administration Officer, Calderdale Council Lynne Shackley Data Protection Practice Manager, ICO

3 In confidence Bernadette Livesey Chief Law and Administration Officer, Calderdale Council

4 Paragraph 4 You must not: a)disclose confidential information Confidential information = information given in confidence, or information which you ought to know is Confidential.

5 Exceptions (i)consent; (ii) law requires; (iii) professional advice with undertaking; or

6 The public interest defence (iv) the disclosure is:  reasonable  in the public interest  in good faith  in accord with procedure

7 Some key concepts  What is confidentiality?  Who has an expectation of confidence?  Who has an expectation of privacy?

8 Who?  Standards committee and sub committees?  Members?  Members of the public?  Chief executive and senior managers?  Monitoring officer?  Deputy monitoring officer?  Investigating staff /external contractor?  Staff?  Whistleblowers?  Other agencies?

9 How far does this go ? How far does this confidentiality extend?  statutory protection  Freedom of Information issues  litigation issues  legal/profession privilege  effective conduct of public affairs

10 Let’s do this Worked example – person makes a complaint that AB allegedly told someone else something confidential.  What does the Code of Conduct say?  What does the law say?  Any criminal activities?  Powers/duties of monitoring officer.

11 What does in confidence mean?  So – where does the complaint go?  Who gets to know about the complaint? - political considerations - local knowledge - information made available

12 Confidential information?  Who prepares the summary?  To what standard?  Duties and rights of Assessment Sub Committee and Review Sub Committee.  What does the Decision Notice say?  Expectations of confidence.

13 Tricky issues “I thought you ought to know....” “Little brown envelopes” “Everybody knows that Councillor X does....” “I don’t want to go on record” “If I tell you this – who gets to know?”

14 Statutory information  Information regime  Access to information regime - When does this apply?  Data Protection - Information from Information Commission -  Freedom of Information  Environmental Information Regulations  How do these affect you?

15 Other information  Case law on confidence  Catherine Zeta Jones  Max Mosley  Relationship with the police  Cases on this – Woolgar and 1999 case of A Police Authority In The Midlands and A County Council In The Midlands, Ex Parte L M

16 In confidence Lynne Shackley Data Protection Practice Manager, ICO

17 Purpose  To explain how to identify and safeguard confidential information.  To offer case studies to illustrate the consequences of poor information security.  To offer an opportunity for questions and discussion.

18 Who we are and what we do  regulator for the DPA and FOIA  guidance and advice  assessments  investigations  prosecutions

19 Isn’t everything a secret?  What is the information about?  Why was it offered to me?  What were the circumstances?  What damage would be caused by disclosure?  The need for clear policies and procedures.

20 Conflicting duties  Disclosures required by law.  Balancing the right of the public to know against the individual’s right to privacy.  DP or FOI.

21 Information security breaches  Central government breaches.  The immediate effects and reactions.  The long term effects.  Professional views.  How the public see this.  What this means for your every day work.

22 Breach statistics  January to March 61  April to date 41  Public 55  Private 47

23 New powers  Requirement for collaboration on Codes of Practice.  Power to fine organisations for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act.  ‘Spot checks’ on public sector bodies.  Potential for custodial penalties to be introduced for the illegal trade in personal information if practices persists.

24 Case studies  Local authorities and planning: Both FOI and DP.  Subject access requests: Complex confidentiality.

25 Help and advice or

26 In confidence Chair: Storm Westmaas Principal Legal Adviser, the Standards Board for England Speakers: Bernadette Livesey Chief Law and Administration Officer, Calderdale Council Lynne Shackley Data Protection Practice Manager, ICO

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