The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) is conducting an investigation and consultation into the practice of proactive disclosure of information by BC public bodies. The investigation was prompted by a FIPA complaint about BC Ferries’ controversial policy of posting records obtained through FOI requests on their website, along with the names of FOI requesters. FIPA says this policy is actually designed to discourage FOI requesters.
FIPA has responded to an OIPC “consultation questionnaire” with a wide-ranging 13-page response.
FIPA criticizes the disclosure policy used by BC Ferries and points to several sections of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act which show how public bodies can be proactive in releasing material while still upholding their duty to assist requesters.
“FIPA has long supported actual proactive disclosure of information and records by public bodies,” said FIPA Executive Director Vincent Gogolerk. “But we denounce and have formally complained about the “faux transparency” practiced by public bodies like BC Ferries, which do not put up any information except what is dragged out of them by FOI requesters.”
Read FIPA’s formal complaint to the Commissioner about how BC Ferries handles FOI requests.
FIPA News: “BC Ferries FOI policy designed to thwart public interest and media requests