[council] GNSO Council meet and greet?

Philip Sheppard philip.sheppard at aim.be
Thu Sep 17 14:40:48 UTC 2009

Council should bear in mind that there is sometimes an inherent conflict between
transparency and freedom to dialogue.
For an individual, or small business there is likely to be no such conflict.
For an employee of a publicly quoted company or other organisation of
reputation, there is a high likelihood of this conflict.
Typically an employee of such a company in the knowledge their comments may be
publically archived in oral or written form will be constrained in what they are
able to say by internal guidelines or practise. These guidelines will typically
be established to protect the corporation from legal suit, to protect reputation
or to protect the share price.
Given the choice of continual checking with in-house legal counsel and silence,
they may choose silence.
If therefore Council has an ambition to have a frank exchange of views, separate
from its central role of policy development, it should bear in mind the conflict
that some Council members may be under through no fault of their own other than
their choice of employer.
So expression of outrage and calls of "Vive la transparence" may make good
rhetoric but will lead to poorer dialogue.
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