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


The Role of the FOIP Act

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act was constructed with two unique parts, which are indicated even within the name of the act itself. The first part of the FOIP Act deals specifically with freedom of information, and the second part details the protection of privacy (Alberta Queen's Printer, 2009). The act goes into very specific details regarding both of these important principles. For instance, in the first section on freedom of information, the act details the processes for making an information request, the exceptions to disclosure of information, and the requirements of notifying third parties about the potential release of information. In the act's second section on protection of privacy there are descriptions of the manner in which personal information may be collected by public bodies, how that information may be used, and conditions regarding if and when the information may be disclosed. In addition, the act also states the role of the Privacy Commissioner, the steps in the review process and any fees that may apply to information access requests (Alberta Queen's Printer, 2009). There are several types of information which are excluded from the FOIP Act, including information which is covered by the Vital Statistics Act, the Health Information Act (HIA), or the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). The detailed nature of legislation such as the FOIP Act requires expert knowledge in order to confirm that the Act is correctly followed. Therefore many public institutions employ FOIP officers or FOIP coordinators to facilitate understanding of the FOIP regulations and ensure that they are properly carried out. It is the role of the Information and Privacy Commissioner to ensure compliance with the act and respond to requests for reviews of decisions made by public institutions (Access and Privacy Service Alberta, 2006).

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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.