Key Recommendations for Reform of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

BC FIPA has published a list of key recommendations for reform to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act).

FIPA calls for a number of improvements:

  • reinforcing the ‘public interest’ provision under s. 25;
  • limiting what the government can do without consent;
  • increasing the responsibility of public bodies to respond fully to requests and in a timely fashion;
  • introducing whistleblower protections;
  • improving the rules regarding retention and destruction of documents;
  • narrowing the exceptions under s. 14 and 15;
  • extending the scope of coverage of the Act to the Legislative Assembly;
  • reviewing all the statutory exceptions from the Act; and,
  • revisiting the budget of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Read the full recommendations (pdf).

BC FIPA makes submission on Draft Community Charter

Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services released a draft of the proposed Community Charter on May 28, 2002. At the time the Minister invited submissions by “all groups and individuals who wish to do so.”

Today FIPA presented its submission to the Minister which is critical of several aspects of the Draft.

[A] declared objective of the Community Charter [is] to provide “strengthened accountability
to citizens.” FIPA applauds this goal, which is shared on every side … However,
while the Charter contains many positive measures, it also contains some that fall short of
the standard of openness that is expected of modern local governments, and a few that pose a
serious threat to the openness and accountability that is the government’s stated aim.

Download the full submission.

BC FIPA letter to Senate Committee regarding Bill C-27 and quasi-governmental bodies – 17 May 2002

BC FIPA has sent a letter to Senator Nicholas W. Taylor, Chair of the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources regarding the creation of a quasi-governmental body if Bill C-27 is enacted.

BC FIPA is concerned that this body has significant power over decisions that affect the public, responsibility for enormous spending decisions, and as currently defined would be fundamentally unaccountable to Parliament or to the Canadian public. BC FIPA urges the Committee to propose an amendment to Bill C-27 that would extend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act to the Waste Management Organization.

BC FIPA believes that democracy is both degraded and diminished when large sectors of government authority are placed beyond the accountability and openness measures of these Acts.

Read the full letter (doc).