The FOIP Act Review and Records Management in Alberta


Introduction

Role of the FOIP Act

Historical Controversies

A Selection of Submissions made to the Standing Committee on Health

Issue 1: Municipal Government Records

Issue 2: Treatment of Electronic Records

Issue 3: Records and Social Networking Websites

Issue 4: Concept of "Custody" vs. "Control"

Issue 5: Harmonization with Other Privacy Legislation

Review by the Standing Committee on Health

Conclusion

References

Reflection


Review by the Standing Committee on Health

The Standing Committee on Health concluded its discussions and hearings, and issued a review of the FOIP Act with multiple recommendations in November 2010. Some of the major recommendations in the report include:

  • explicit inclusion of sexual orientation as part of the definition of “personal information”,
  • the need for a clear legislative framework regarding charter schools,
  • amendments which would see FOIP policies more closely aligned with other privacy legislation, and
  • that the FOIP Act receive another review in no more than six calendar years (Standing Committee on Health, 2010).

One of these recommendations reflects the submission brought forward by the Alberta Teachers’ Association, which pointed out how the special case of charter schools could potentially put information privacy at risk (Shane, 2010b). In response to this serious concern, the Standing Committee on Health recommended that Service Alberta and Alberta Education should consult in order to determine the most appropriate legislative framework in regards to charter schools (Standing Committee on Health, 2010).

However, several of the other areas of concern which were brought to light in the submissions gathered in the public consultation process were not included in the final review document. This includes concerns surrounding fees, and more importantly, concerns regarding the treatment of electronic information. The disappointing fact that so many proposals were not addressed was noted by MLA Laurie Blakeman in a Minority Report letter. Blakeman insisted that these concerns and proposals deserved to have been recorded, and that they will hopefully be reflected in a future review (Blakeman, 2010). When the Standing Committee on Health’s review of the FOIP Act is considered by members of the Alberta Legislature, it will not reflect the submissions and concerns which were not officially included in the review. Unfortunately, many of these relevant issues will likely go unaddressed for the time being as a result.

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This assignment was originally created in the Fall Term 2010 for LIS 594 - Records Management.
This website was created by Leah Townsend, as a requirement for graduation from the Masters of Library and Information Studies program at the University of Alberta.