Policy – Confidentiality Requirements at Meetings

Purpose

Meetings are necessary to govern ACIPC efficiently under its constitution. Wide consultation with all stakeholders and with different points of view and wide discussion of basic issues are a necessary support for good decision-making and should be encouraged within meeting structures. ACIPC is committed to openness, transparency, and accountability. Its policies shall reflect its wish to release all public information as far as this is consistent with the protection of individual privacy, the effective management of its business, and relevant legislation. ACIPC is also committed to private information in a confidential manner.

Background

ACIPC has been established as a company that functions using a combination of remunerated positions (contractors, and some designated committee positions) as well as a voluntary service capacity.

Scope

  • This policy applies to, and is binding on, all members and people employed by or representing the college in any capacity; including volunteers, employees, contractors and consultants (hereafter called ‘members and staff’) who are employed by, or undertake activities on behalf of the College.
  • The exceptions are: Nil

Objectives

This confidentiality policy is intended to regulate the conduct of members during meetings and control the release or retention of confidential material.

Definitions

EC: Executive Council.
College or The College: Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control (ACIPC).

Policy Statement

The Chair of the Executive Council (EC) and other standing committees of the college are elected and/ or appointed positions which confer a wide discretion on Chair to ensure that the conduct of business runs smoothly. The President and appointed Chairs of standing committees shall chair the meetings according to the standing orders of the college, taking account efficiency and accountability. In the absence of the President the Immediate Past President may Chair the meeting of the EC. The appointed Chairs of the Standing Committees may appoint a member to run the meeting if unable to attend. The secretary shall maintain a record of the Committee meetings and decisions. The secretary shall prepare the agenda for the EC and standing committees in consultation with the chairs and shall circulate the agenda and any meeting papers to committee members before the meeting. Agenda items that are carried over must be addressed within a suitable timeframe to ensure there is continued momentum progressing projects and discussion. Conflicts of interest shall be identified and managed using the Conflict of Interest Checklist.

Confidentiality

Members of the EC and standing committees shall be authorised to release to any person any material other than material that is identified as confidential obtained during their service as a committee member. Noting release of such information shall be in accordance with the requirements of any applicable legislation and/or the colleges policy for release of information to the public through the media or other avenues.

Determination of level of confidentiality:

  • The EC shall determine whether any or all of ACIPC agendas, minutes, or papers, or those of its sub-committees (not otherwise required by legislation, regulation, or its rules to be made public) shall be made public or retained as confidential.
  • Where no express decision has been recorded the assumption shall be that the material is not
    confidential.

Responsibility:

  • It is responsibility of the Executive Chair to ensure that EC materials are appropriately classified as confidential or open to release.
  • Where appropriate, information identifying individuals may be removed by the chair from material before its consideration by the Executive.

Individual member responsibilities:
On those occasions and for those matters that the EC elects not to make public, EC members shall respect the confidentiality of those documents and of any deliberations in the EC on those matters. In particular, EC members shall not:

  • Disclose to any member of the public any confidential information acquired by virtue of their position as an Executive member;
  • Use any confidential information acquired by virtue of their position on the Executive for their personal financial or other benefit or for that of any other person;
  • Disclose to any member of the public any confidential information related to the interests of individuals, groups or organisations acquired by virtue of their position on the Executive;
  • Make statements to the media in the name of the organisation except as specified in the Executive’s Media Relations policy; or
  • Permit any unauthorised person to inspect or have access to any confidential documents or other information.
  • The obligation to protect such confidential matters from disclosure continues even after the individual Executive member is no longer serving on the EC.

Observers and other non committee members attending meetings
Occasionally observers and other non committee members may be invited to attend a meeting.
Attendance of observers and other non committee members may be admitted subject to their undertaking to maintain confidentiality in accordance with sections 7.3.1 to 7.3.6.

Breach of Confidentiality

In the event a breach of confidentiality does occur; then the matter will be referred to the EC for
investigation, risk assessment and action.

Relevant Documents and References

  • Complaints & Appeals Policy & Procedure;
  • Complaint Action Record;
  • Complaints Register;
  • Code of Conduct;
  • ACIPC Constitution.