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Confidentiality

The ombuds holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence. The ombuds does not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so by the visitor during the visit, and even then at the sole discretion of the ombuds.

The ombuds will take specific action related to a visitor’s issue only with the visitor’s express permission and only to the extent permitted, unless such action can be taken in a way that safeguards the identity of the visitor.

The only exception to this pledge of confidentiality is where there appears to be an imminent risk of serious harm.

The Ombuds Office asserts a privilege against compelled disclosure of confidential communications in legal proceedings. The privilege belongs to the ombuds and the Ombuds Office, rather than to any party to the issue. Others cannot waive this privilege.