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Update to the Rules of Procedure

December 15, 2021 - Ron Kruzeniski, Information and Privacy Commissioner

It has been some time since I have updated the Rules of Procedure. That tells me they are working fairly well, but I have discovered a couple of items that deserve clarification, i.e. when a public body or trustee would provide the record to my office. When a Citizen makes an access request, the public body or trustee has 30 days to write the citizen a letter (we call it a section 7 letter) indicating what records the public body or trustee will provide to the citizen and which records they will not provide or what redactions they are making to the records provided. The citizen if not pleased with the response from the public body or trustee can appeal to my office. In order to do our work, we need the record in the form provided to the citizen and in a form with no redactions. In our notification letter, we ask for these records within 30 days. If a public body or trustee refuses to provide the record to my office, I can rely on section 54 of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP), section 43 of The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (LA FOIP) or section 46 of The Health Information Protection Act (HIPA). The important thing is that my office needs the record to do its work. Thus, we are amending the Rules of Procedure to make it clear that the record is to be provided in 30 days.

Regarding a representation (submission), my office asks for that in the notification letter. A public body or trustee has the choice of providing one or not. The representation is the public body or trustee’s opportunity to make its case as to why it withheld certain records or made certain redactions. The representation is optional. If a public body or trustee decides not to make a submission, my office will proceed to do its analysis and prepare a report, but to do that it will insist on receiving the record. The Rules of Procedure have been amended to request the representation (submission) within 60 days. A public body or trustee will get a reminder request, but since the submission is optional, no response will cause the office to assume the public body or trustee is choosing not to provide one.

Please take a look at rules 2.4 and 3.4, which has these changes.

I have also adjusted Parts 4 5, 6, and 7 to reflect providing my office with a representation within 60 days.

I have added the Notice to Produce Records (Form C) and the Subpoena Duces Tecum (Form D).

Also, where a public body is claiming solicitor-client privilege, the public body has the choice of providing either the redacted record and the unredacted record or an Affidavit of Records (with schedule) (Form B) and the redacted record. You can see this change at Part 9.

Finally, wherever possible references to other documents have been made live links (in blue) I hope this makes it easier for you to get to where you want.

If you have any comments, please let me know.

 

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