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 applicant requested information about him in the possession of the City of Calgary's Prosecution Branch. The city withheld some information citing sections related to disclosure harmful to personal privacy and advice from officials. The Adjudicator found that the city properly applied the section related to disclosure harmful to personal privacy to the information on page 29 of the records at issue with the exception of the first part of the first sentence. The Adjudicator also found that the city properly applied the section on advice from officials to the information on page 30 but not to the first half of the first sentence severed by the city on page 29 of the records at issue, and ordered that information to be disclosed.
The applicant requested copies of the University of Calgary's legal bills associated with a judicial review application, an appeal and a leave to appeal action in which he and the university were adverse parties. The university provided copies of the billings but severed some information citing the section related to solicitor-client privilege. The Adjudicator determined that the affidavit evidence submitted by the university did not meet the burden of proving that the information in the statements was privileged. The Adjudicator ordered disclosure of the records.
The applicant requested copies of two reports created for the City of Calgary by an outside consultant in 2014. The records at issue consisted of a document described by the City of Calgary as a legal opinion (pages 1-22) and a Whistleblower Investigative Report (pages 23-32). The City of Calgary refused to disclose the reports citing sections related to invasion of third party privacy, confidential source of law enforcement information and privileged information. Prior to the start of this inquiry that was requested by the applicant, the City of Calgary also applied sections related to local public body confidences and advice from officials to the whistleblower report. The Adjudicator upheld the City of Calgary's claim of solicitor-client privilege. The City of Calgary submitted two in camera affidavits sworn by individuals with direct knowledge of the legal opinion (pages 1-22). The Adjudicator noted it was helpful that the City of Calgary provided sworn statements from individuals with direct knowledge of the records, especially the source of the claimed legal advice, to satisfy the Adjudicator that pages 1-22 of the records at issue were a legal opinion subject to solicitor-client privilege. The Adjudicator did not, however, accept the City of Calgary's claim of public interest privilege over any of the information in the whistleblower report. The Adjudicator determined that local public body confidences did not apply to any of the information in the records at issue, as it did not reveal the substance of in camera deliberations of the Calgary City Council. While the whistleblower report appeared to have been discussed by city council, revealing only the subject matter of a discussion is not the same as revealing the substance of the discussion. The Adjudicator found that the City of Calgary properly withheld some advice from officials but did not apply to background facts. The Adjudicator determined that the section pertaining to invasion of third party privacy required the City of Calgary to withhold information of subjects of the investigations, complainants and witnesses. Finally, the Adjudicator determined that the information that could reveal a confidential source of law enforcement information was properly withheld as an invasion of third party privacy. The Adjudicator ordered the City of Calgary to disclose some additional information in the whistleblower report to the applicant.
On November 29, 2017, the City of Edmonton requested authorization to disregard an access request made by an individual. The individual requested records that related to their name or home address from all departments, including the offices of the Mayor and a named councillor, from October 11 to October 31, 2011. Of 25 access requests made by the applicant since 2016, four of which had similar wording as the request at issue in this request for authorization to disregard. Further, the applicant preferred response to similar requests on a monthly basis, all with different time periods, while the City of Edmonton preferred to respond on a quarterly basis. Considering this and previous requests covered different time periods, there was no time overlap between the requests that were of a similar nature. As a result, the Commissioner did not grant the City of Edmonton authorization to disregard the request at issue. It did not appear as though the City of Edmonton was requesting authorization to disregard the specific request at issue; rather, it appeared that the City of Edmonton was requesting to respond to this and similar requests on a quarterly, instead of the monthly or ad hoc basis requested by the applicant. Although the Commissioner decided not to authorize the City of Edmonton's request to disregard the request at issue, the decision does not prevent the City of Edmonton from making future requests for authorization to disregard, if it believes that the applicant's pattern of requests meets the threshold at that time.
An individual complained that the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) had collected her personal information in contravention of the FOIP Act when it obtained a court order to access her bank account information from Servus Credit Union as part of an investigation in relation to her husband. The Adjudicator found that the WCB's collection of the complainant's personal information was authorized by the FOIP Act as her the information was collected for the purpose of law enforcement, as defined in the FOIP Act.
An individual complained that the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) had collected his personal information in contravention of the FOIP Act when it obtained a court order to access his bank account information and that of his wife from Servus Credit Union as part of an investigation as to whether he had received an overpayment in contravention of the Workers' Compensation Act or the Criminal Code. The Adjudicator found that the WCB's collection of the complainant's personal information was authorized by the FOIP Act as his information was collected for the purpose of law enforcement, as defined in the FOIP Act.
Maryann Hammermeister was recognized for advancing access to information in Alberta. She was presented the Robert C. Clark Award at an Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB) meeting. Ms. Hammermeister, the District FOIP Coordinator for EPSB, was selected unanimously by an independent, three-person panel of experts in the field of access to information.
The applicant made a request to Alberta Health for all records related to a new laboratory model as referenced in a media article by the Minister of Health. The request was submitted on October 20, 2016. Alberta Health did not respond to the access request. Alberta Health indicated that its FOIP Office had inadequate staff and experience to be able to respond to the request before August 31, 2018. Alberta Health asked that an order not be made, as it believed this would mean that it would take longer to respond to the access requests from other requestors that it had received prior to the applicant's access request. The Adjudicator noted that the duty to make reasonable efforts to respond to an applicant lies with the head of a public body, in this case, the Minister of Health, rather than a FOIP Office. The Adjudicator required the Minister of Health to comply with the duty to make all reasonable efforts to respond to the applicant's access request. The Adjudicator also outlined examples of reasonable efforts in this case. Finally, the Adjudicator noted that Alberta Health had engaged in a late consultation process, and that it had not obtained the Commissioner's approval to extend the time for responding to engage in consultation.
The applicant made an access request to Alberta Human Services (now Alberta Community and Social Services) for all guidelines and policies for determining funding for Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped and Persons with Development Disabilities. The request was submitted on October 11, 2016. The public body acknowledged that it had received the access request and estimated a $250 fee for processing the request. On November 22, 2016, the applicant requested a fee waiver claiming the records related to a matter of public interest. On December 20, 2016, the public body granted the fee waiver. Among other developments, the Commissioner granted the public body an extension to the time for responding to the access request to March 27, 2017. However, the applicant did not receive a response to the access request. On September 13, 2017, the applicant requested a review by the Commissioner of the public body's failure to respond to the access request. The Adjudicator ordered Alberta Community and Social Services to respond to the access request.
Alberta Justice and Solicitor General submitted three requests to disregard a total of 13 access requests received from an individual between August 9, 2017 and November 8, 2017. The public body was authorized to disregard parts of or in their entirety four of the 13 access requests. The Commissioner did not authorize Alberta Justice and Solicitor General to disregard the remaining access requests of the applicant.
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