The following is a list of some of the most recent postings on the website, including Orders, Investigation Reports, news releases and resources. The dates below correspond to the date that each item was posted on the website.
The Commissioner released an investigation report that looked into the use of the “public interest override” provision (section 32) by public bodies under Alberta’s FOIP Act. Section 32 requires a public body to disclose information if it is in the public interest. The report includes an analysis of the public interest override in Alberta, survey results of Alberta public bodies regarding section 32, and a review of public interest disclosures in Canadian jurisdictions.
This investigation looked into the use of the “public interest override” provision (section 32) by public bodies under FOIP Act. The report includes an analysis of the public interest override in Alberta, survey results of Alberta public bodies regarding section 32, and a review of public interest disclosures in Canadian jurisdictions. The investigation found that Alberta public bodies understand and take seriously the requirement to disclose “information about a risk of significant harm to the environment or to the health or safety of the public” (section 32(1)(a)), but rarely turn their minds to disclosing information proactively when it is “clearly in the public interest” (section 32(1)(b)).
An applicant made an access request to the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) seeking records it obtained from an RCMP file. The applicant wanted to use the information to lay an information under the Criminal Code. EPS withheld all responsive records in their entirety citing disclosure harmful to intergovernmental relations (section 21(1)(b)). After later releasing portions of the records to the applicant, EPS continued to withhold information citing disclosure harmful to personal privacy (section 17(1)) and section 21(1)(b). The Adjudicator found that section 21(1)(b) did not apply to the records at issue. The information in the records was collected by the RCMP acting a provincial police service under the Police Act. As a provincial police service, the RCMP are considered a representative of the Government of Alberta. The Adjudicator found that EPS properly applied section 17(1) to information that is personal information, but ordered the disclosure of some information that had been withheld. In reaching this finding the Adjudicator concluded that the exemption to a presumption against disclosure in order to continue an investigation (section 17(4)) does not include investigating by private individuals. The Adjudicator also concluded that a fair determination of an applicant's rights (section 17(5)(c)) does not include laying an information under the Criminal Code.
Two applicants made access requests to a law firm for their personal information contained in a client file that had been created by the law firm in the course of representing a client was opposed in interest to the applicants during legal proceedings. The Adjudicator held that some of the information was excluded from PIPA by reference to information in court files (section 4(3)(k)) and some of it was subject to solicitor-client privilege (section 24(2)(a)).
The Calgary Police Service (CPS) requested authorization to disregard five access requests submitted by an applicant. CPS also requested authorization to disregard any future requests of a similar nature. The Commissioner determined that CPS met its burden to prove that the applicant’s access requests were vexatious, and was authorized to disregard all five access requests. The Commissioner also authorized CPS to disregard future access requests for the same information.
Alberta Justice and Solicitor General (JSG) requested authorization to disregard an access request submitted by an applicant. The Commissioner determined that JSG met its burden to prove that the applicant’s access request was systematic in nature, unreasonably interfered with the operations of JSG in part, amounted to abuse of the right to make a request and was vexatious. JSG was authorized to disregard the applicant's access request.
Livingstone Range School Division No. 68 (LRSD) requested authorization to disregard 10 access requests submitted by an applicant. LRSD also requested authorization to disregard all future access that may be submitted by the applicant. The Commissioner determined that LRSD met its burden to prove that the applicant’s access requests were repetitious or systematic in nature, and that they amounted to an abuse of the right to make those requests. LRSD was authorized to disregard the applicant's 10 access requests. LRSD was also authorized to disregard future access requests, with certain limitations.
BP Canada Energy Group ULC (BP) requested authorization to disregard an access request from an individual. The Commissioner determined that BP provided insufficient evidence and argument to supports it application to disregard the applicant's access request. The organization is required to respond to applicant in accordance with PIPA.
Alberta’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton issued a statement on the recent passing of Robert C. Clark, Alberta’s first Information and Privacy Commissioner.
An individual made a request to the City of Calgary for the Calgary Fire Department Workplace Review conducted by a consultant. Initially, the City of Calgary responded that it did not find any records responsive to the applicant’s request. However, after conducting a subsequent search, it located a PowerPoint slideshow prepared by the consultant and an employee of the Calgary Fire Department, which was responsive to the applicant’s request. The applicant asserted that the consultant had created and provided the City of Calgary with a written report and the City of Calgary was not being truthful about having the report. The City of Calgary provided evidence to rebut the applicant's assertion that the consultant had created and provided the City of Calgary with a written report. The Adjudicator determined that the City of Calgary's subsequent search was adequate, and it had met its duty to assist the applicant under section 10(1) of the FOIP Act.
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