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


Introduction

The rights of privacy and access to information are very highly valued in our society. Issues surrounding these rights are regularly chronicled in the media and are also a part of our everyday lives. The sanctity of these rights is enshrined in both provincial and federal legislation. In Alberta, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP Act) came into force in 1995. This act specifically focuses on the access and protection of information records which are in the custody or control of a public body. The FOIP Act has a powerful impact on information and records management, not only in regards to access and privacy, but in other realms such as retention policies. Although originally only applied to government bodies, this legislation has since been extended to include school boards, post-secondary institutions, local governments and other public institutions (Access and Privacy Service Alberta, 2006). There have been many concerns surrounding the FOIP Act since it was introduced, and despite extensions and amendments, many concerns remain. Recently, the FOIP Act was reviewed by the Standing Committee on Health. This committee had many issues to address, while taking into consideration previous amendments, cases of precedence and the concerns of many different organizations and private citizens, which were submitted for the consideration of the committee. Some of the topics included in the submissions include concerns about fees and many records management issues including the treatment of electronic documents and the creation of harmonized privacy regulations. Any change that is made to FOIP will affect the records management policies of public bodies all over the province.

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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.