The desirability or otherwise of keeping staff reports confidential has been a subject of controversy for many years. The Reporting Officer was free from the constraint of having to guard against possible criticisms from the person reported on. The only check on fairness by the Reporting Officers was the need for the report to be approved by the Countersigning Officer, who might have intimate knowledge of the work of some officers under his command, but probably not of all. Most organisations have reached the point of showing a man the section of his report relating to performance, on the grounds that assessment of performance is relatively objective and is a suitable topic for discussion at appraisal interview. The development of appraisal interviews has had two effects upon the movement towards greater openness. The Post Office has favoured closed reporting, but some of their unions, notably the CPSA and the PO Engineering Union, have been pressing for open reporting.