FAQ – Non-Disclosure Agreements and Confidentiality
As a general concept, non-disclosure agreements, often referred to as NDAs, are agreements between parties that are used to ensure that certain information will remain confidential. This FAQ provides general information regarding the concepts of NDA and confidentiality as it relates to OSIC processes.
Could a non-disclosure agreement impact a person’s ability to submit a Report or Complaint to the OSIC?
The existence of an NDA does not prevent a Report or Complaint from being admissible to the OSIC. The OSIC’s Jurisdiction and Authority to address any such Report or Complaint is determined in accordance with the relevant OSIC Policies and Procedures.
What are the obligations of Program Signatories & UCCMS Participants in this regard?
Under the Abuse-Free Sport program Service Agreement, Signatories must adopt the UCCMS on a standalone basis and ensure that all of their organizational policies and procedures are interpreted and applied in a manner consistent with the UCCMS.
The UCCMS contains a number of provisions intended to ensure appropriate response by Participants to alleged incidents of maltreatment and discrimination:
- It is a violation of the UCCMS for a Participant to directly or indirectly interfere with or manipulate an investigation or disciplinary review process by: […] (b) attempting to discourage or prevent a person’s proper participation in or use of the processes and/or (c) harassing or intimidating any person involved in the processes before, during, and/or following any proceedings […] (see section 5.13)
- It is considered retaliation for a Participant to take an adverse action against any person for making a good faith Report of possible Prohibited Behaviour or for participating in any UCCMS enforcement process (see section 5.14)
- It is also a violation of the UCCMS for an adult UCCMS Participant who knew or ought to have known of a Participant’s Prohibited Behaviour toward another person to fail to Report such conduct (see section 5.11)
Any contract, policy, procedure or other action, relating to an NDA or otherwise, that would restrict a person’s ability to exercise their rights, protections or responsibilities under the UCCMS is fundamentally incompatible with the commitments and obligations of UCCMS Participants and Adopting Organizations.
What is the potential enforceability of an NDA outside of the OSIC processes?
Given that the OSIC is not a party to NDAs between individuals and organizations and that any such agreements would fall outside of the OSIC’s jurisdiction, the OSIC cannot provide legal advice regarding the enforceability or implications of a specific NDA outside of OSIC processes.
How does the OSIC handle confidentiality?
The confidentiality parameters of the OSIC Complaint Management Process and information received in the context of this process are established in the OSIC Confidentiality Policy. These parameters balance protecting the identity of those involved (in particular victims/survivors and impacted/vulnerable persons) with the need to ensure procedural fairness. It is important to note that these confidentiality rules apply to information that a person receives through their participation in the process and do not extend to pre-existing knowledge, such as personal or lived experiences.
Under the OSIC Complaint Management Process, concerns can be raised to the OSIC, either anonymously (in the form of a Report) or by providing name and contact information (in the form of a Report or Complaint). Both Complaints and Reports can be filed with the OSIC by submitting a secure, interactive online intake form.
With regard to Sport Environment Assessments, under the OSIC Guidelines Regarding Sport Environment Assessments (section 8), victims, survivors and other impacted persons can choose to request and/or participate in a potential Assessment anonymously if they prefer.