Draft rules of procedure
The amendments to The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP), provide that the Information and Privacy Commissioner can develop rules of procedure. When I was first appointed, I heard people saying or asking, “Just be clear in what you require”. One step in that direction was to develop an IPC Guide to Exemptions for FOIP and LA FOIP which can be found on our website. My office has also developed the IPC Guide to HIPA, which relates to The Health Information Protection Act (HIPA). Another step was to update our resources. Those resources have been updated and were further reviewed and updated to take into account the amendments that came into force on January 1, 2018. The third step was to develop a Rules of Procedure so that citizens, FOIP coordinators or lawyers would know the procedure that our office uses in a review of an access to information request or investigation of a breach of privacy. I started with a draft that was circulated to staff and then to a number of commissioners across Canada. This draft was posted on January 31, 2018 on our website.
I received feedback regarding that draft and have made changes. I posted a second draft on April 25, 2018.
Since then, I have received further input and I thank those who took the time to give me comments. As of June 19, 2018, I have posted a third draft of The Rules of Procedure. A major change is splitting up the processes for FOIP and LA FOIP from the processes for HIPA. The processes are similar but HIPA uses slightly different wording at times. See Parts 2 to 7. Also the Court of Appeal rendered a decision on May 16, 2018 regarding solicitor-client privilege. This decision can be found here. The procedure to accommodate this decision has been incorporated in Parts 2 and 3 of The Rules of Procedure. There are other minor changes which attempt to make the rules clear but do not substantially change the procedure.
I would invite practitioners to take a look at the amended draft and make any suggestions as to how The Rules of Procedure might be made clearer. I want The Rules of Procedure to be clear as to the process and parties to know what is expected of them and what they can expect of my office.
The draft will remain on our website until July 31, 2018. I will take your comments into account and then post The Rules of Procedure in a final form at the beginning of August 2018.
Of course, nothing is ever final and when my office receives ideas to improve our process, I will certainly be open to changes in the future.
Please give me your comments at email@example.com.