I hesitated to discuss the Kavanaugh hearings as an information governance teaching case, due to the raw political nerves. Another case presented itself.
“A Sexual-Assault Claim Spotlights National Dilemma,” The Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2018 A1. A state employee in New Jersey promptly reported an assault to the police, and even wrote to the governor and his wife. The alleged assailant also works for the state. The matter was investigated, but the state did not prosecute the alleged assailant.
How does the victim document and prove an assault? What evidence, beyond her word, is required to secure a conviction? Immediate outcry? DNA results? Video? Is the absence of information itself information?
How does the alleged assailant establish his or her innocence? How does the state investigate and how does it decide whether to prosecute? How does the judge or the jury decide, based on what evidence? What documents and policies govern the process? How do we protect the privacy of the complainant and the defendant until a verdict is rendered (and beyond)?
I know this may seem to have wandered rather far afield from the focus of this blog. But this involves serious questions around Information, and Compliance, and Governance. If we agree the system isn’t working, how do we propose to fix it? What controls can we put in place, beyond talking to our sons and daughters? How do we establish a process that protects the rights of everyone?