September 23, 2014
BC government “going backward” on FOI performance-Commissioner’s report
VANCOUVER, September 23, 2014–In a scathing report released earlier today, Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham calls out the BC government on historic delays in responding to Freedom of Information requests.
Entitled A Step Backwards, the Commissioner’s report indicates the BC government’s FOI performance has dropped dramatically. Some of the lowlights include:
- More than a quarter of FOI requests are delayed
- One in five requests comes back with no records whatsoever
- Average delay of 47 days is the highest since OIPC started measuring delay
- Media and individual requests suffer the worst performance
“It’s disgraceful,” said FIPA Executive Director Vincent Gogolek. “This type of backsliding is not acceptable, and the government has to act immediately to remedy this situation.”
The worst performing ministry by far is the Ministry of Children and Family Development, with only 52 percent of FOI requests being answered on time. Commissioner Denham said “a significant cause of MCFD’s timeliness problems appears to lie with its difficulty in retrieving records from the relatively new Integrated Case Management system (‘ICM’)”, and that she found “numerous closed MCFD files that were overdue by as much as a year.”
The $182 million ICM has been the subject of repeated failures, including a complete shutdown earlier this year.
Vincent Gogolek, Executive Director
BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association
Email: Vincent (at) fipa.bc.ca