Should you be responsible for confidential information after you have left a firm or organization and no longer have control of the appraisal work file?
The Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) Third Exposure Draft public hearing was held in Washington DC on 17 October 2014. The meeting was well attended by state regulators who expressed their concerns over some of the current changes. Nonetheless, and much to my surprise, there was a collegial atmosphere and were some sincere moments of joviality.
The meeting was convened by ASB Chairman Barry Shea. I was impressed not only by the testimony of those attending the hearing, but the manner in which the ASB received and processed commentary with clarifying questions and discussion.
The hot topics were confidentiality and changes to Report Writing, Report Drafts and the RECORD-KEEPING RULE.
Confidentiality: Regarding changes to the Confidentiality section of the ETHICS RULE, there was general consensus, by the board and regulators attending the hearing, that the current iteration of the changes in the Third Exposure Draft “required further revision.
The following are two of the Draft changes to confidentiality that received considerable attention at the hearing:
412 An appraiser must ensure that employees, coworkers, subcontractors, or others who may
413 have access to confidential information or assignment results, are aware of the prohibitions
414 on disclosure of such information or results.
What does “ensure” mean and who are “others”?
415 An appraiser must maintain confidentiality of information within the organization
416 that employs the appraiser. This requirement applies to the appraiser even after
417 his or her association with that firm or organization ends.
How does an appraiser control others from a firm s/he is no longer associated with?
As appraisers most of us have an idea about confidentiality, because we have maintained some sort of standard throughout our careers. The ASB is actively seeking your opinion. The three or four sentences that you share may make a significant difference in the future of your career and the careers of your peers!
In our next “Food for Thought “we’ll explore the changes to the Definitions of a Report, a Report Draft and the RECORD KEEPING RULE.
Could these changes promote undue influence and damage the public trust?