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Code of Ethics      
 
Code of Ethics:
  Confidentiality

An IPSIG may disclose confidential information it receives during an assignment only as required by law or as agreed among the parties to the assignment.

To that end, an IPSIG, unless otherwise agreed between the parties to a particular assignment, shall cooperate in efforts to resist attempts by third parties to obtain confidential information acquired by it in the performance of its work.

When the circumstances of the particular assignment preclude the operation of otherwise generally available privileges or other professional standards protecting the confidentiality of client information, an IPSIG shall ensure that its client is made aware of the non-availability of such privileges and standards, and is informed of the implications of such non-availability, prior to the commencement of the assignment.

Notes:

  1. This paragraph covers the general duty of confidentiality with respect to client information. The general language in the first paragraph permits the disclosure of information for the purpose of fulfilling dual reporting responsibilities.

  2. The second paragraph requires an IPSIG to cooperate in opposing attempts by third parties to obtain copies of documents produced by the IPSIG, such as investigative reports, for the purpose of litigation against the host organization or otherwise. Such opposition might include asserting the self-evaluative privilege, the "limited waiver" theory and the law enforcement privilege.

  3. The third paragraph requires the IPSIG to ensure that the host organization is fully informed and understands the implications of the loss of any privileges (including the loss of any attorney-client and work product privileges) when an IPSIG report is communicated to the reporting entity. The non-applicability of any other standards relating to confidentiality, e.g., AICPA Professional Standards, AU §§ 316.29, 317.23 should likewise be communicated, depending upon the circumstances. Ideally, this should be included in the IPSIG's retainer agreement with the client.

  4. Under Federal and certain state laws, a private citizen with unique knowledge of fraud against the government can bring an action in the name of the government (known as a "qui tam" action) and, in return, receive a share of the proceeds. (31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq. (Federal False Claims Act); e.g., Fla. Stat. Ann. § 68.081-092 (Supp. 1995) (Florida False Claims Act).) If an IPSIG or its members, in the course of an assignment, uncovers information indicating the commission of fraud against the government by the host organization, it would be improper, and would constitute a breach of confidentiality, for the IPSIG or any of its members to bring a qui tam action, or to provide that information to another for the purpose of bringing a qui tam action.
 
Preamble
Introduction
Independence
Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts with Existing Professional Codes and Laws
IPSIG Skills and Methodology
Confidentiality
Withdrawal of Services
Cooperation with Colleagues and Professional Development
Reporting Violations of this Code
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