Date Produced/Agreed by Chairman/Committee: November 2016
Date of Next Review: July 2020
1. AIM OF POLICY & OBJECTIVES OF POLICY
2. POLICY STATEMENT
3. POLICY PRINCIPLES
5. PROCEDURE FOR DEALING WITH BREACHES OF THIS POLICY
6. CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN THE CONFIDENTIALITY COULD BE CONSIDERED TO BE BREACHED
7. EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY
8. MONITORING AND REVIEW
- Aim of Policy:
The Tendring Twinning Association (TTA) is committed to maintaining high standards of confidentiality in all aspects of our conduct. The association holds some confidential information. This is provided by members, community organisations and, on occasions by third parties.
1.1 To ensure that confidential records are properly managed.
1.2 To ensure that confidential information is only released in accordance with legislative considerations, best practice and strict guidelines of the organisation.
1.3 To ensure that information is only disclosed with the informed consent of the person or the organisation to whom the information relates, with the following exceptions:
- when, by law, we must share information, for example with the Council Tax Office and the Inland Revenue;
- in an emergency, when public safety is at risk and when information is required by the police to prevent or detect crime.
1.4 To promote a policy that respects commercial sensitivity
2. Policy Statement:
2.1 The use of information that the Tendring Twinning Association collects and processes will be used to provide information to assist the efficient operation of the organisation.
2.2 The TTA will not sell, trade, rent, or lend confidential information to anyone.
2.3 The TTA does use specified information to provide a Directory of Voluntary/ Community Organisations where only permitted contact details and essential information to delivering the service will be included.
2.4 The TTA may become privy to certain business information, which will be treated in the same confidential manner as person specific information.
2.5 Confidentiality is essential because we recognise:
- The possible consequences for the association or individual if it is breached;
- The rights of associations and individuals to have control over information about them;
- The duties placed on us whereby breaches of confidentiality could lead to formal complaints, grievance or disciplinary actions, or even legal action against us;
- Good practice and our standards for the care of our membership.
- Policy Principles
3.1 Justify the purpose: every proposed use or transfer of information will be clearly defined and scrutinised, with continuing uses regularly reviewed by an appropriate person.
3.2 Not give association specific data to a third party.
3.3 Not use person-specific information (unless absolutely necessary). Person-specific information will not be used unless there is no alternative.
3.4 Allow access to information on a strict need to know basis. Only those who need access to organisational, personal and commercially sensitive information will have access to it, and they will only have access to the information items that they need to see.
3.5 Ensure everyone in the Tendring Twinning Association is aware of their responsibilities. That procedure is in place to ensure that those handling information are aware of their responsibilities and obligations.
3.6 Understand and comply with the law – the Tendring Twinning Association complies with the Data Protection Act 1998 in processing information. This policy will be reviewed regularly, ensuring that the organisation complies with all legal requirements.
3.7 Hold all confidential and personal information under secure and restricted conditions within the organisation. All data is currently held electronically and backed up regularly on an external hard drive. Hard copies of information are held in a file by the Chairman and the Membership Secretary.
The three main principles of the confidentiality policy are ‘informed consent’, ‘need to know’ and ‘third party disclosure’. These principles apply both to members of the public, members of the Executive Committee and members of the Association.
4.1 Informed Consent
- We will inform members of the public/membership of our Confidentiality Policy at the first point of contact / or as soon as is appropriate and ask them to give their consent to permit the passing on of any personal information given, if necessary, on a ‘need to know’ basis.
- We will state clearly that the information given may need to be shared with others in order to be able to provide the service requested and that non-disclosure could mean that a person would not gain access to a service or to support to which they might otherwise have been entitled.
- Disclosure of personal information will only take place with the informed consent of that person. For consent to be informed, we will tell the member concerned why there is a need to share information, with whom it will be shared and the likely consequences of agreeing or not agreeing to disclosure.
4.2 Need to Know:
- The transfer of personal information relating to a member of the association will be kept to a minimum on a ‘need to know’ basis. Only those officers who have a need to know, in order to provide relevant services, will share information and only after informed consent has been given.
4.3 Disclosure to Third Parties
- Personal information will only be disclosed to third parties with the express written or oral consent of the person(s) who is (are) the data subject(s). Disclosure will only be considered and consent sought where there are clear reasons why this should happen.
- We will ensure that the recipient understands the need for confidentiality and that disclosure only takes place on the terms agreed with the person it concerns.
- On any occasion when confidential information is provided by way of a written or an oral response, we will state that the information provided is CONFIDENTIAL and should be respected as such.
5. Procedure for Dealing with Breaches of this Policy
Any breach of this policy, whether intended or accidental, is not acceptable. Infringements of this policy will be dealt with seriously as a disciplinary matter and may involve the Tendring Twinning Association taking either formal or informal action depending on the seriousness of the case.
5.1 The Policy in Practice: The Tendring Twinning Association, if requested information regarding a member will inform the person of the TTA Confidentiality Policy, but could offer to take a message, and should the person be known to the Association, the message will be transmitted to them.
6. Circumstances when the confidentiality could be considered to be breached
6.1 The Tendring Twinning Association works in accordance with Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults and Safeguarding Children and will share information according to these policies. It is unlikely that the Safeguarding of Children is to become an issue, because the TTA does not take responsibility for any person under the age of 18 years old, although a member of the Executive Committee is qualified in this respect.
6.2 In certain circumstances the Tendring Twinning Association is legally and ethically obliged to say whether or not a member is known to the Association. For example i) where police have reasonable suspicion that a member is connected to a crime under investigation; ii) where a member discloses a violent history.
6.3 The policy on confidentiality exists to protect the member. In certain circumstances keeping confidentiality may result in harm to a member. If this occurs, the Executive Committee will agree an appropriate course of action.
6.4 All concerns and subsequent actions regarding the necessary breach of confidentiality shall be recorded on the appropriate form and retained.
7. Equality and Diversity
We aim to be an organisation that values, recognises and responds to the diversity of its members and to all those with whom we have a partnership and welcome to our district. We adhere to the Equality Act 2010 and will not discriminate against any person with particular reference to the protected characteristics.
8. Monitoring and Review
The Executive Committee will regularly monitor and review this policy.