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


Reflection

As many library school graduates will be working in the public sector, it is important to be aware of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and how it impacts the day-to-day operations of a library or other institution. While expertise in the FOIP Act is not necessary or expected of most librarians, it is only proper diligence to assure that in situations where it is appropriate (for example, obtaining permission to use patron photos taken in a library program) that the FOIP Act is correctly followed. It is therefore also imperative to stay abreast of changes in the legislation and reviews when they take place, and to understand how this may impact one’s work.

I personally have taken an interest in the FOIP Act as a result of my practicum placement at the Provincial Archives of Alberta. I received instruction and training in regards to the content of the FOIP Act, and was given the opportunity to evaluate a request for information and make my own suggestions for that particular case. This was an extremely useful and practical experience. I find studying and applying legislation to be very interesting, and I am considering completing the courses to become a qualified FOIP Officer in a few years after I have gained more experience in library and government settings.

The original assignment for this project for LIS 594 (Records Management) actually called for an examination of the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), which is the freedom of information and privacy act which pertains to the private sector. I chose to examine the FOIP Act because of the very recent experience I had with its contents and applications. However, once could effectively examine PIPA in a similar fashion as I have done with the FOIP Act. The Health Information Act (HIA) would also serve as an interesting topic for an examination of this kind.

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.