BC FIPA has responded to the questions posed by the Information Commissioner of Canada in relation to the consultation on needed reforms to the Access to Information Act (ATIA) The consultation is being undertaken in the context of the 30th anniversary of the passage of the ATIA.
BC FIPA proposes multiple amendments to the ATIA including expanding the scope of application (to Parliament for example), adopting a open definition of what bodies are covered, improving access for those with disabilities and those with literacy issues, eliminating the fees to file a request, introducing penalties for non-compliance, reducing the time-limit for responses and imposing a limit on time extensions, changing the exceptions for policy advice and Cabinet confidences, and improving the oversight of the ATIA by giving the Commissioner order-making powers.
Read all the responses (pdf).
BC FIPA presented its submissions to the House of Commons Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics (ETHI) regarding Information Commissioner Robert Marleau’s 12 reform proposals.
FIPA’s view [is] that we now have in this country a consensus that Commissioner Reid’s draft bill, with the addition of full Order making power for the Information Commissioner, is the way to proceed, and that time is of the essence.
[The committee has] the opportunity to make a real difference by bringing forward this proposal, which has widespread support. Many of Commissioner Marleau’s proposals are useful, valuable even. FIPA does not believe that it is necessary to settle for half measures. The small steps may be needed, but the big step is no less necessary. And if you don’t take the big step, Canada will be left further and further behind
Read the full submission (pdf).