BC Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has announced that she will be launching an investigation into a widespread failure by public bodies to comply with section 25 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. That section requires heads of public bodies to release information relevant to public health and safety or environmental risks even without a Freedom of Information request.
In a news release posted Monday morning, Denham says that the investigation will commence in August and conclude with the release of a public report.
The investigation comes in response to a report submitted to the Commissioner by the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Victoria on behalf of FIPA. That report found that public bodies around BC have routinely disregarded section 25
We at FIPA hope that this investigation will promote proactive disclosure of important information to the public and improve transparency across the province. Ultimately, Commissioner Denham’s report could have a major positive effect, helping to protect British Columbians from future environmental and health risks.