making local government more ethical

You are here

Confidential Information

This is the place to discuss how best to deal with the problem of an official using confidential information for his or her own gain, or disclosing confidential information for others' gain. A principal issue is how to define "confidential information."

100(8). Confidential Information

An official or employee*, a former official or employee, a contractor* or a consultant* may not disclose any confidential information obtained formally or informally as part of his or her work for the city or due to his or her position with the city, or use any such confidential information to further his or her own or any other person or entity's personal* or financial interests*.

Comment: Some cities will want to define "confidential information" more exactly. Here is possible definition language, based on the IMLA Model Code:

"Confidential information" means information obtained in the course of holding public office or employment, or as a contractor to the city, which is not available to members of the public and which the official or employee* is not authorized to disclose, except to designated individuals or bodies, including written and non-written information. When such information is also available through channels open to the public, officials and employees* are not prohibited from disclosing the availability of those channels.

The IMLA Model Code states explicitly, in its confidential information provision, that an ethics commission is, effectively, considered a designated body.

Story Topics: