What is it about transparency that the Hawkes Bay Regional Council doesn’t get? Following your article ‘Criticism of old boss unfounded say staff ‘ (10/9/13) I contacted HBRC requesting a copy of the anonymous staff survey which supported the executive teams assertion that everything was honky dory within the HBRC. I received in part the following response: “Our legal advice is that we should not release the information to protect the privacy of natural persons. Further, we have assured the staff that their involvement in the survey was completely confidential and we feel that any release of the full results would conflict with that assurance as it would identify individual work sections.”
Now I’m confused. How can a survey be anonymous when it identifies individual work sections and therefore cannot be released because of a need “to protect the privacy of natural persons”? Surely anonymity means that no one who responded in the staff survey could be identified by any means. To my mind this contradicts the reason the survey has been withheld and begs the question, was the survey as anonymous as claimed?
Submitted 2/10/13. Published 7/9/13