Occasionally, as a representative for Council, you will have access to information that is considered confidential by the Government or the Directorate. However, as a Council representative you have a duty to report back to Council on the issues and outcomes of meetings. Balancing the two obligations can be tricky but isn't impossible.
Some general guidelines for dealing with confidentiality boundaries and constraints:
- Be clear about exactly what information is not to be shared - ask and clarify if necessary.
- Be clear to others in the room that you will be sharing the general outcomes and important information from the meeting with Council. Get agreement over any confidential or sensitive information and the level at which it can be shared within Council, for example, will only be told to President, or to Executive Officer, or Executive Committee. Think about who will need to know what in order for Council to respond properly. In most cases, you will not need to reveal confidential information in a broad discussion of the issue at Council.
- If you deem confidential information to be necessary for a useful discussion with Council, but the Government or the Directorate is unwilling to have this happen, decline to receive it. In other words, if you are not permitted to share relevant information in order for Council to be properly informed, do not participate in discussion about confidential matters.
- If you are asked to sign a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement, please contact our office for our information and advice before you sign.