When deciding whether or not to disclose certain information, companies should consider the following:
- Adopt a ‘presumption in favour of disclosure’. According to the International Finance Corporation, this means ‘being forthcoming with information whenever possible, especially if there is no compelling reason not to share it’. However, beware of providing so many details that it becomes difficult for communities to discern critical information.
- Ensure that the provision of information does not violate privacy or put stakeholders at risk. Discuss with communities whether there is information that they want to remain confidential.
- Weigh considerations for non-disclosure against the need for communities and other stakeholder groups to have adequate information in order to protect their interests. As explained by the International Finance Corporation, ‘lack of information can lead to the spread of misinformation about a project that can be damaging to a company’s reputation […] and undermine efforts to engage in an informed dialogue with stakeholders’. This could consequently lead to security risks.