Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Confidentiality Provisions Inapplicable

In a case involving the revocation of a nursing license, the Oregon Court of Appeals held that confidentiality provisions relating to such proceedings do not deprive the accused of an opportunity to review the files of the investigation or to cross-examine witnesses in the proceeding.

The Court held:

Given the text, context, and manifest purpose of the statutory scheme as a whole, we conclude that the legislature did not intend the requirements that the board "keep confidential" and "not disclose to the public" any information obtained in the course of its investigation of an applicant or licensee to limit the board's disclosure of that information to the applicant or licensee in the course of a contested case hearing. Rather, in light of its apparent objective, an applicant or licensee who is facing a disciplinary sanction in a contested case proceeding is not, for the purposes of that statute, a member of "the public."

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