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Confidentiality - Common Law Protection?

(6 Posts)
NameChangeNellie Tue 05-Jan-16 22:18:20

I provide services as freelancer/contractor (self-employed not Ltd Co) to a local charity which is funded through a number of different grants for different bits of their work - under SLA/Funding agreements. All my work for this Charity is for just one of their project and so is funded by one funder.

That funder has asked that the Charity provide a "transaction list" of every item of expenditure for the last 15 months. This is not requirement of the origional funding agreement between the charity and the funder, and the request has been made, by email, to each of the charities that the funder supports - it is not linked to any suspected wrongdoing or fraud. Future funding payments have been threatened if the Charity does not comply within three weeks.

The list requested will include the value of each of my invoice payments (I invoice the charity monthly in arrears). I'm not particularly happy with the details of how much I have been paid being handed over to the funder and shared within their organisation, particuarly as the funder is subject to the Freedom of Information Act and once they have received it, they could subsequently be requested to release it to the public.

The Charity are conflicted - on the one hand, they don't really want to hand the information over, but on the other hand, they don't want to lose the funding, and they also trust the funder (imo misplaced) not to ask for anything they really shouldn't.

Do I have an expectation of confidentality under Common Law, or is this just one of the things I have to accept if I do work for an organisation that is ultimately funded by the public sector?

Choughed Tue 05-Jan-16 22:24:50

I have no idea about the legalities but I suspect the charity will comply.

This information would not be subject to FOI as it is information about another organisation, or they could redact it.

Why are you concerned about them knowing how much you invoice out of interest?

NameChangeNellie Tue 05-Jan-16 22:35:21

Thanks choughed.

I live in a small community - and the staff working for the funder have a reputation for indiscretion; it's quite possible that the landlord of my local pub will know how much I got paid from this contract by the end of the week!

Penfold007 Tue 05-Jan-16 22:38:17

The charity need to be open and transparent so will release details. I would get, in writing, an agreement where your name will be redacted.

Life after Kids charity has really moved the goal posts.

NameChangeNellie Tue 05-Jan-16 22:46:18

penfold - I totally agree, although I personally think it would be better for the funder to renegotiate the current funding arrangement to include a requirement to provide this info, rather than demand something that they are not contractually entitled to and threaten to withdraw funding if the charity does not comply. I suspect that at least one of the other organisations being funded may challenge this request, but the charity I work for is a small one and unlikely to want to rock the boat.

Requesting that the Charity redacts the names of all the contractors is a good one - I oversee the other contractors as part of my own role, so could put in the request on their behalf to protect the confidentiality of all of us.

Penfold007 Tue 05-Jan-16 22:49:57

OP I agree and suspect the end result will be contractors declining contracts.

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