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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Confidentiality Agreement

I am glad that the board is finally going public with the events that led to my membership being revoked and being banned from the Saints. Some of you may feel that you didn't have the whole story about the confidentiality agreement. I will post a copy of it under comments on this site.

I have nothing against a proper confidentiality agreement and have signed one every year that I've been a coordinator. In fact, I offered to sign the previous year's confidentiality statement. But I had concerns, as did two other board members, about the revised one which was presented to us only a few days before the "Appreciation Luncheon."

On several occasions, I offered to sign the "old" confidentiality statement however the new one is poorly written, vague and most likely unenforceable. I am not alone in my opinion, and a written advisory letter from an attorney was provided to the board. The Board majority said that they didn't care what the letter said and they were unwilling to discuss it further. In addition, the Saints President was unwilling to accept my written offer to sign a copy of the old confidentiality agreement.


  1. Below is a copy of the text of the revised confidentiality agreement. I agree that contact information of our membership should be protected from use by third parties, and that we should not use your contact information for purposes unrelated to the Saints.

    I do not, however, believe that the revised statement is enforceable, nor do I think that this statement is specific. It did not go through the usual process of board discussion, and the directors were not encouraged to have input into it.

    In addition, no explanation of the reasons for these changes were provided to us.


    In my volunteer work on behalf of The Saints, I may have the privilege to access or obtain a variety of information about The Saints’ organization and its members. I understand that this information is strictly confidential to The Saints’ organization and I am required to protect this information from misuse. I also understand that I may not copy, alter or delete this information and may not release, disseminate, share or use this information for purposes other than those for which I am specifically authorized.

    As a volunteer on behalf of The Saints, I may also have the privilege of access to a variety of The Saints’ assets and privileged means of communication. I understand that I am required to protect these assets and means of communication from misuse and they are to be used strictly on behalf of The Saints’ organization for the purposes for which I am specifically authorized to use them or authorized to communicate with others, within The Saints’ organization or otherwise.

    I agree that if I violate any of the above requirements to any extent, such a violation is sufficient cause for the Board of Directors to take disciplinary actions against me, including, but not limited to, relieving me of my responsibilities within the organization and terminating my membership in The Saints.




  2. Regarding the Confidentiality Agreement

    The Board has an obligation to protect the personal information of the members from inappropriate use. For those not well versed in confidentiality agreements, the Board’s normally is often helped along by confidentiality agreements – written for a limited purpose, for a limited time, most often to protect non-organizational use of information, such as unrelated commercial or political purposes.

    After reading the agreement, and conferring with my attorney, I refused to sign the confidentiality agreement because it was too broad, too vague, and was most likely unenforceable. Rather than not protecting member information, I refused to sign this document for precisely the opposite reason. Signing it would have concurred that it provided the protection that the Board is responsible to provide. However, due to the aforementioned problems, this newly drafted version clearly does NOT provide that protection.

    This agreement was pushed out at the last minute by Sharon McLean shortly before the annual coordinator’s meeting and appreciation luncheon. It was put out for the coordinators, and for a parallel purpose to the chairs and board. Even though this meeting happens every year with plenty of notice, the board was not given a chance to give input, nor did the Board approve it. Coordinators who were polled hadn’t read it before signing; one who signed later showed it to her husband, an attorney, who was shocked by it.

    The possible use I can think of for a confidentiality statement that is unenforceable is intimidation, restriction, and a ‘weapon’ to wield against dialogue. We can do better than this – well, maybe not the current board, but the membership has lots and lots of talent and it can, and should be, done better than this.

  3. Very interesting... One of the board members, who had over 80 Saints on his Facebook, shut it down today. I, however, have a printout of this individual's list of facebook names dated 6/22/09. We are all adults and I don't see any harm in inviting individuals to be a "friend" on facebook. However, the board's current interpretation of "Privileged Information" which was used to ban Deborah Granite makes one question why she was banned and this board member was not. Perhaps others are asking this question too. Perhaps that is why the facebook page has been shut down. What do you all think?

  4. Reportchecker: You're not the only one that has the records from said board members Facebook page. 86 friends/76 of them saints. I think we need a clear answer from the board if this constitutes misuse of the the members list. RC.(not the same RC who was so nasty in the Reader Article comments, I hope) Hope you are coming to the board meeting Monday Night.