cover image: Implementing investigation report F15-03



Implementing investigation report F15-03

14 Dec 2015

In addition, I urge government, as it moves forward with implementation of the Information Management Act, to seize the opportunity to ensure that sufficient resources are devoted in the medium term to implementation of that law, and in the long term to sound information management program and practices. [...] These objectives are expressly recognized in FIPPA, one of the stated purposes of which is to “make public bodies more accountable to the public” by “giving the public a right of access to records”.3 These objectives, and the rights of access, to a degree overlap with the objectives of records and information management. [...] These include ensuring that the administration of public affairs is in accordance with the law, enhancing the quality and efficiency of public administration, supporting prudent operation of institutions, protecting the legal interests of institutions and the legal rights of citizens, and preserving the historical record. [...] The right of access to records is an individually-exercised right, but it is a public right, aimed at achieving FIPPA’s goals of openness and accountability by “giving the public a right of access” to any “record” in the custody or under the control of a public body.11 This is not a right of access to unrecorded information, as FIPPA’s definition of the term “record” makes clear: “record" includes [...] The minister’s overall responsibility under FIPPA remains, and this is symbolically important in the case of the duty to assist, which has aspirational connotations in light of FIPPA’s explicit statutory objectives of openness and accountability.17 The duty to assist has an overarching aspect, i.e., the duty to “make every reasonable effort to assist applicants”.
freedom of information government information public records privacy, right of


Loukidelis, David

Published in
Ottawa, Ontario

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