The OIE faces potentially conflicting obligations of ensuring public access to information (transparency) and safeguarding confidentiality of information that the OIE holds in its role as international regulatory organisation (see also the OIE Policy on the Protection of Legitimate Confidentiality available on the OIE website at: http://www.oie.int/en/about-us/key-texts/experts-obligations/).
Within the framework of the OIE Procedure for Registration of Diagnostic Kits, the respect of confidentiality is an essential part of maintaining a good relationship and balance between the OIE, industry and other parties. The OIE recognises that its staff, the Biological Standards Commission (BSC) and the Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission (AAHSC) members, and reviewers may have access to confidential information related to intellectual property or of commercial concern. For this reason, they are all required to sign a confidentiality undertaking with the obligation to respect confidentiality of information in all circumstances and even after their current assignments/contract.
OIE staff members are subject to a general duty of confidentiality under the Staff Regulations. The attention of new members of staff is drawn to the relevant provisions contained in the Staff Regulations. They acknowledge in writing that they have read and understood the relevant articles on the confidentiality provisions in the Staff Regulations and the related disciplinary measures. Staff members are required to repeat this acknowledgement on renewal of contract.
OIE staff and other individuals involved in the OIE Procedure for Registration of Diagnostic Kits are advised to exercise care when answering questions so as not to supply information to competitors or other interested parties regarding specific products where such information does not belong to the public domain. Discretion should be exercised within or outside the OIE.
Where there is doubt about the management of information, OIE staff members and other individuals involved in the OIE Procedure for Registration of Diagnostic Kits seek guidance from the Director General of the OIE.
Members of the OIE Specialist Commissions, reviewers and staff have a life-long duty of confidentiality even after they have ceased their relationship with the OIE.