Drawing the Line Between Privacy and Transparency

Public bodies struggle to draw the line between respecting the privacy of individuals and being transparent, and the line keeps moving. Take the example of where a concern of harassment has been raised against a public office holder (e.g., a Registrar or a member of a Council/Board of Directors of a Regulator). Such investigations and resolutions are almost always done with a promise of confidentiality to the person raising the concern, at least to the greatest extent possible. However, should the matter become public in some way, the organization can easily be accused of “censoring” the information or protecting itself unless it discloses the information. Political columnist Martin Regg Cohn argues that in the recent controversy involving Premier Kathleen Wynne, silence was the right response. Any regulators faced with a similar situation should think seriously about how to strike the right balance between public accountability and protecting the privacy of the individuals involved. https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2016/05/12/how-to-deal-with-mpps-accused-of-sexual-assault-cohn.html

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