Determining what information should be disclosed to local stakeholders

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Companies agree that some security plans should be disclosed to local stakeholders while other security information should be protected. Determining where the line is drawn can present a challenge. One firm found that the answer to this challenge lies in a formal designation between those components of the security plan that are external versus internal.

Some examples of the company’s external security plan components included its overall human rights policy, curfews, restricted roads and areas, access rights and controls, non-retaliation policy, preventative and defensive rules of engagement (see Annex H), incident reporting protocols (see Annex K), and investigative processes and procedures. The firm trained and retrained both public and private security forces on these external components and shared them directly with the local community, concerned civil society, and the local government. Furthermore, the communication of the external security message was part of a more comprehensive community relations program that included open door monthly sessions. The sessions provided a forum where the community could openly voice complaints and perceived transgressions.

Based on a formal review, the firm deemed that the internal components of the security plan should include the number of security guards, names and details of security guards, guard shifts, arms and weaponry, electronic or technical security measures, and other operationally sensitive information. To date, the proper communication of the external program has raised community awareness and prevented any inquiries into more confidential security measures.