Updates to the IPC Guide to Exemptions

January 10, 2018 - Alyx Larocque, Analyst

Today our office posted an updated version of its resource, IPC Guide to Exemptions (Guide).  It is dated January 5, 2018.  The updates reflect some of the amendments recently made to The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP) and The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (LA FOIP). The changes to the Guide include the following:

  • New sections added:
    • Exercise of Discretion;
    • Application to Disregard Requests;
  • Re-ordered headings under “Other Tests” to reflect order of provisions in Act;
  • Re-set all hyperlinks;
  • Holders added for new FOIP/LA FOIP provisions – more guidance to follow soon:
    • Subsections 15(1)/14(1) – (k.1), (k.2), (k.3);
    • Subsection 22(a)/21(a);
    • Subsections 50(2)/39(2) – (a.1), (a.2), (a.3), (a.4), (a.5), (a.6) and (a.7);
    • Duty to Assist;
    • Subsection 32(1)(c)/31(1)(b);
  • Changes to Fees section:
    • Changed title of section from ‘Fee Estimates’ to ‘Fees’;
    • $50 changed to $100 to reflect amendment;
    • Addition of Commissioner’s recommendations from Review Reports to:
      • complete fee estimates early in process (first 3-10 days) (Review Report 261-2015 & 284-2016);
      • not charge applicants for work that has already been completed (Review Report 146-2015 and 147-2015 and 115-2016);
    • Addition to test for search – 3 minutes to search active email accounts (Review Report 010-2017 to 014-2017);
    • Addition of section titled, Reviews involving Fee Estimates to clarify what our office needs in such a review (page 84);
  • Changes to Fee Waiver section:
    • Subsections 9(1)/8(1)(a),(b), (c) of Regulations changed to reflect amendments;
  • Addition to “reasonable search” definition based on Ontario IPC resource – “reasonable effort” (page 77);
  • Additions to subsection 17(1)(a) based on Newfoundland (NFLD) & Labrador IPC resource:
    • Addition to description of provision (page 43);
    • Addition to definition of ‘advice’ (page 44);
    • Addition to commentary on drafts & redrafts from court decision (page 44);
  • Change to wording of description of subsection 13(1) to include a government’s “agencies and its institutions” (see Review Report 051-2017);
  • Additions to Right of Correction section (page 94) based on NFLD & Labrador IPC Report:
    • New definition for ‘professional’, ‘opinion’ and ‘observation’.

To assist you, our office will continue to post a blog alerting you to any new updates that come in the Guide.  Please continue to send any feedback to our office.  It is our goal to continue to make this resource helpful to applicants and public bodies.

Please note that our office intends to follow the new amendments, wherever practical, for reviews going forward.  However, if a public body has strong feelings or arguments that the provisions under the old Act(s) are appropriate for a particular file, our office is willing to receive those arguments and consider them.

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