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


Conclusion

The duality of the FOIP Act is part of what makes it both important and complex. To balance the demands of access and privacy of information held by public bodies in a single piece of legislation is a challenging task. Although the FOIP Act has had multiple reviews and revisions in the past, it is absolutely necessary that it continues to receive regular reviews. This becomes even more necessary as technology changes and we learn how to effectively manage electronic and online information and resources. Public organizations, government bodies and individuals have all expressed their concerns about the FOIP Act in written submissions to the Standing Committee on Health. Many of these concerns dealt with how to best manage records under the FOIP Act. Some suggested that uniform records management policies across municipalities may simplify FOIP request interactions. Others debated the need to harmonize the FOIP Act with other privacy legislation in order to ensure that no information is inappropriately handled. But one of the greatest concerns is how to adjust the FOIP Act to reflect the deluge of electronic records which must be treated with the same care and attention as traditional record formats. Clearly, with all of these points to be considered, the Standing Committee on Health’s review of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act was a necessary act, even if it did not completely address all of the concerns expressed by stakeholders.

Next

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.