The letter states:
Such confidentiality is not based on a subversive desire to mislead or hide matters from institutions or the public. Rather, confidentiality exists as a dutiful commitment to the people the ombudsman serves, and for all those who might consider contacting an ombuds, to not disclose private discussions without permission. Ombuds provide this commitment to confidentiality except in the very rare case where there appears to be an imminent risk of serious harm.(COFO Letter to Dept of Ed.)
* * *The COFO Executive Committee recognizes that the Department of Education is ultimately responsible for promulgating implementation guidance. However, we strongly encourage ED to consider engaging in additional dialogue with stakeholders (e.g. campus ombuds) on this important matter.
Updated 8/2/16: The second sentence was revised to remove a reference that COFO was endorsing IOA's position. Federal employees are not allowed to endorse or show preference to a non-federal entity and COFO's letter does not.
Related posts: CoFO Continues Work on Thorny Issues Facing Government Ombuds; COFO Collaborating With Federal Agencies Creating New Ombuds Programs; Coalition of Federal Ombuds Eyes Strategic Initiatives; Coalition of Federal Ombuds Offers Advice to National Archives on Disposition of NSA Ombuds Materials; Coalition of Federal Ombuds Announces Executive Officers IOA Releases Memo Providing Legal Grounds for Ombuds Confidentiality in Title IX Matters; U.S. Department of Education Suggests University Ombuds Should Report Crime Statistics; IOA Pushes Back on Department of Education's Stance on Clery Act.