November 14, 2011

New York State Ombuds for Developmentally Disabled Routinely Breached Whistleblowers' Confidentiality

The NY Times is reporting that the Ombudsman for the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities has been revealing the names of whisleblowers. The state agency that oversees thousands of group homes advertises that its Ombuds are required by law, “receive and keep confidential any complaint” from parents, advocates and anyone else, including state employees. However, agency officials now concede that their internal policy has for years been to encourage Ombuds to turn over the names of whistleblower employees when they report abuse or neglect.

Later this year, the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities Ombuds program will be transferred to the NY State Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons With Disabilities. Roger Bearden, the agency’s commissioner, told the Times that the program would change under his watch. “We intend to preserve confidentiality for people who communicate with client advocates or ombudspersons,” he said. (NY Times.)

1 comment:

  1. This is outrageous. Confidentiality is the primary duty of an ombudsman, whether classical, advocate or organizational. Very disappointing.