9/20/2007

Confidentiality Agreement

I posted a while back about the Great Falls International Airport Authority's consideration of a "Confidentiality Agreement" over the objection of Cascade County Attorney, Brant Light.

The Airport ultimately adopted the agreement, wrongly in my opinion.

At the meeting where the Airport considered the Agreement, Board Members were first given a copy of this letter by the Board's attorney, Mick Taleff. Mr. Taleff's letter states that the "Confidentiality Agreement" only "applies to documents and materials which are legally entitled under Montana law to confidentiality in the first place." I think such a statement begs the question.

In other words, as I noted earlier, the Great Falls Tribune case requires a specific procedure to determine what is confidential and what is not. The Airport's "Confidentiality Agreement" contains no such procedure.

Anyway, I have now received a copy of Brant Light's response to Mr. Taleff. I think Mr. Light's analysis is proper, and that the "Confidentiality Agreement" should not have been adopted by the Board, and should not be signed by Board Members.

(By the way, kudos to Cascade County and attorney Mick Taleff. No confidentiality there; I asked for the letters and they were given to me.)

1 comment:

dickm said...

Article 8 and 9 of MT Constitution provide the public with the right to know and participate in public meetings. MCA 2-3-203 requires that meetings of any agency which receives public funds "...must be open to the public". The only reason for closing a public meeting is "individual privacy". When the Commission or any agency tells you that a Confidentiality Agreement over-rides the Constitution and statutes, they are lying and violating the law.
Dick Motta