Code of the District of Columbia

§ 4–1303.54. Access to information and confidentiality.

(a) The Panel shall have access to data on children and families maintained by District government agencies, including the Agency, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Health, the Department of Mental Health, the Metropolitan Police Department, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and the D.C. Public Schools. The Panel shall also have access to data kept by any private agency or organization that provides or arranges for services or out-of-home placements for children residing in the District of Columbia.

(b) For the purposes of specific case review, the Panel shall have access to:

(1) Police investigative data;

(2) Autopsy records and other medical examiner investigative data;

(3) Hospital, public health, or other medical records of the child;

(4) Hospital and other medical records of the child’s parent that relate to prenatal care;

(5) Records created by human or social service agencies, including the Agency, that provided or provide services to the child or family; and

(6) Personnel data related to an employee’s performance in discharging child protection responsibilities.

(c)(1) All information and records generated by the Panel, including statistical compilations and reports, and all information and records acquired by, and in the possession of, the Panel are confidential.

(2) Panel information and records may be disclosed only as necessary to carry out the Panel’s duties and purposes.

(3) Statistical compilations and reports of the Panel that contain information that would reveal the identity of any person, other than a person who has consented to be identified, are not public records or information.

(4) Each person attending a Panel meeting shall sign a confidentiality agreement at the beginning of each meeting of the Panel.

(d) Findings and recommendations on the child welfare system required by § 4-1303.51(d) shall be available to the public on request.

(e) Except as permitted by this section, information and records of the Panel shall not be disclosed voluntarily, pursuant to a subpoena, in response to a request for discovery in any adjudicative proceeding, or in response to a request made under subchapter II of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-531 et seq.], nor shall it be introduced into evidence in any administrative, civil, or criminal proceeding.

(f)(1) Whoever discloses, receives, makes use of, or knowingly permits the use of information in violation of this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000.

(2) Violations of this section shall be prosecuted by the Attorney General, or his or her designee, in the name of the District of Columbia.

(3)(A) The Mayor may remove any of his or her appointees from the Panel for violating this section.

(B) The Council may remove, by resolution, any of its appointees from the Panel for violating this section.