Letter: IOG concerned about confidentiality breach

Practice of providing draft decisions to be abandoned

Dear sir,

The Independent Oversight Group has two concerns about the article which appeared on 28 August under the heading "Draft ruling says Telecom targeted competitive threat".

The first concern is that the draft copy of the decision referred to by you was released to the two complainants and Telecom for factual vetting on the grounds that its terms were kept confidential. The confidentiality undertaking given by the recipients has obviously been breached. This will inevitably lead to the practice of draft considerations being made available to complainants being abandoned. The IOG considered that there was benefit to the complainants in such a practice but is not prepared to continue it when confidentiality undertakings are breached.

The second concern is that the IOG's report is the final report and not the draft report. Draft reports are submitted so that the parties may check on various factual matters. On reconsidering the draft, it was determined that certain changes should be made to it and the final report which reflects these changes is the report of the IOG.

Yours faithfully

B J Paterson

Chairman of IOG

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