1. General principles
KMM Services Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as KMM) recognizes that colleagues (employees and others who work within our organization) gain information about individuals and organization during the course of their work or activities. In most cases such information will not be stated as confidential and colleagues may have to exercise common sense and discretion in identifying whether information is expected to be confidential.
This policy aims to give guidance but if in doubt, seek advice from your line manager.
- Information received by KMM as part of the services it provides, will be considered to be information for KMM to share with colleagues and use to deliver its aims and objectives.
- Colleagues should inform groups, organizations or individuals why they are requesting information and explain the purpose of storing and using this information. Colleagues should ask permission to keep and use this information.
- Colleagues are able to share information with their Line Manager in order to discuss issues and seek advice. Colleagues will not disclose to anyone, other than their line manager, any information considered sensitive, personal, financial or private without the knowledge or consent of the individual, or an officer, in the case of an organization.
- Colleagues should avoid exchanging personal information or comments (gossip) about individuals with whom they have a professional relationship.
- Colleagues should avoid talking about organization or individuals in social settings.
- There may be circumstance where colleagues would want to discuss difficult situations with each other to gain a wider perspective on how to approach a problem.
- If colleagues receive information from individuals outside KMM regarding the conduct of a colleague or group, then this should be dealt with sensitively. The appropriate colleague should tell the individual about the Complaint Procedure and advise them accordingly.
- If employees are dissatisfied with the conduct of a colleague, and have sensitive information that could be evidenced through investigation, they should discuss it with the appropriate line manager. Any allegation, which is found to be malicious, or ill-founded, will be dealt with by KMM action under the Disciplinary Procedure.
- Where there is a legal duty on KMM to disclose information, the person that is affected will be informed that disclosure has or will be made.
2. Why information is held
- Most information held by KMM relates to Individuals or service users, members, employees, trustees, and volunteers.
- Information is kept to enable KMM colleagues to understand the needs of individuals or service users in order to deliver the most appropriate services.
- Information about users may be kept for the purposes of monitoring our equal opportunities policy and also for reporting back to funders.
3. Access to information
- Information is confidential to KMM as an organizations and may be passed to colleagues, line managers or trustees to ensure the best quality service for users.
- Where information is sensitive, i.e. it involves disputes or legal issues, it will be confidential to the employee dealing with the case and their line manager. Such information should be clearly labelled ‘Confidential’ and should state the names of the colleagues entitled to access the information and the name of the individual or group who may request access to the information.
- Colleagues will not withhold information from their line manager unless it is purely personal to them and not business related.
- Users may see KMM records which relate to them or their organization. The request must be in writing to the Director giving 14 days’ notice. The letter must be signed by the individual, or in the case of an organization records, by the Chair or Executive Officer or Manager.
- Sensitive information as outlined in point 3.2 will only be made available to the person or organization named on the file.
- Employees may see all of their personnel records by giving 14 days’ notice in writing to the Director /Manager.
- When photocopying or working on confidential documents, colleagues must ensure they are not seen by people in passing. This also applies to information on computer screens.
4. Storing information
- General non-confidential information about organizations is kept in unlocked filing cabinets that are available to all KMM colleagues.
- Information about volunteers, interns and other individuals will be kept in filing cabinets by the colleague directly responsible. Colleagues must ensure line managers know how to gain access.
- Employees’ personnel information will be kept in lockable filing cabinets by line managers and will be accessible to the Director / Manager.
- Files or filing cabinet drawers bearing confidential information should be labelled ‘confidential’.
- In an emergency situation, the Director may authorize access to files by other people.
- Ensure confidential documentation or personal data is shredded before putting in the recycling bins.
5. Duty to disclose information
KMM has a legal duty to disclose some information including:
- Child abuse will be reported to the Children’s Services / Social Services Department.
- Drug trafficking, money laundering, acts of terrorism or treason will be disclosed to the police.
- In addition colleagues believing an illegal act has taken place, or that a user is at risk of harming themselves or others, must report this to the Director who will report it to the appropriate authorities.
- KMM should inform the users of this disclosure.
6. Data Protection
- Information about individuals, whether on computer or on paper, must comply with the data protection principles. These are that personal data must be:
- Obtained and processed fairly and lawfully
- Held only for specified purposes
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive
- Accurate and up to date
- Not kept longer than necessary
- Kept secure and protected
7. Breach of confidentiality
- Colleagues who are dissatisfied with the conduct or actions of other colleagues or KMM should raise this with their line manager using the grievance procedure, if necessary, and not discuss their dissatisfaction outside KMM.
- Colleagues accessing authorize files or breaching confidentially may face disciplinary action. Ex-employees breaching confidentiality may face legal action.