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Guide: Making a Complaint about a Devon County Councillor

Part 8

Complainant confidentiality

The subject member will, in normal circumstances, be told from the outset who has complained about them.

If a complainant asks for their identity to be withheld their request will be considered by the monitoring officer prior to the member being notified that a complaint has been made.

Each request for confidentiality will be considered on its merits and in determining such a request the following will be considered:

  • Whether the complainant reasonably believes that they, or those connected to them, will be at risk of harm if their identity is disclosed.
  • Whether the complainant is alleging harassment, bullying, or victimisation.
  • That the complainant is reasonably concerned about the consequences to their employment, or those connected to them if their identity is disclosed.
  • That the complainant, or somebody closely connected to them, suffers from a medical condition and there is evidence of medical risks associated with their identity being disclosed or confirmation from an appropriate medical professional that that is the case.
  • The public interest – in some cases the public interest in proceeding with the complaint may outweigh the complainant’s wish to have their identity withheld.

If it is not considered appropriate to grant a request for confidentiality the complainant will be offered the opportunity to withdraw the complaint rather than proceed with it.

Complainants must recognise that maintaining confidentiality may hinder the effectiveness of any investigation.