Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act Review

The FOIP Review Public Consultation is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated.

Expert Panel

A team of five experts will provide feedback and help guide the review of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Dr. David Flaherty sits on both the Advisory Board for British Columbia’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and on the External Advisory Committee for Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner. He served as BC’s first Information and Privacy Commissioner pioneering privacy impact assessments. Dr. Flaherty has taught, written and presented extensively about privacy issues. He has been an active consultant on privacy and freedom of information issues since 1999.

Michael Geist is a well-known expert on privacy issues and is based at the University of Ottawa. He has been identified as one of the top 50 most influential people in the world on intellectual property. Mr. Geist serves on the External Advisory Committee for Canada's Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. He is a frequent commentator and presenter on privacy issues.

David Jones, QC is a well-known author, lecturer and practitioner in all areas of administrative law. Mr. Jones served as Associate Dean at McGill University and the University of Alberta, and twice as Acting Dean at the University of Alberta.  Since 1988, he has been in private practice in Edmonton with de Villars Jones. He has been the Conflict of Interest Commissioner for the Yukon Legislative Assembly since 2002. Mr. Jones was co-recipient of the 2009 Medal from the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals. 

Kevin Walby  is an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Winnipeg. His research focuses on access to information and freedom of information law. Mr. Walby is co-editor of Brokering Access: Power, Politics and Freedom of Information Process in Canada, which addresses access to information and freedom of information law and qualitative research methods.

Christopher Wolf is a U.S. expert on data privacy issues and has practiced law for 33 years. He is currently the global practice director of the Hogan Lovells law firm Privacy and Information Management practice. Mr. Wolf is founder and co-chair of the Future of Privacy Forum think tank and an organizer of the Coalition for Privacy and Free Trade. He created the first privacy law treatise for the Practising Law Institute and is a member of the American Law Institute and its privacy restatement project.

 

Public Consultation Expenses

FOIP Review Public Consultation Expenses (PDF, 200KB) - expenses incurred by Service Alberta

 

Public Consultation Overview

The FOIP Review Public Consultation was held in June 2013. Honourable Don Scott, Associate Minister of Accountability, Transparency and Transformation met with Albertans across the province to talk about the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and gather feedback on how the Act can be improved. Many individuals and groups provided written submissions or participated in an online consultation.

FOIP Review Consultation Overview (PDF, 113KB) — overview of the topics addressed during the public consultation

 

Goals

  • Make the Act easier to understand and easier to follow
  • Open government to lessen the need to make FOIP requests
  • Make it easier for public bodies to share information so they can provide programs and services more effectively
  • Address technological innovation and its effect on information access and privacy
  • Examine leading international and Canadian practices

 

Next Steps

  • The feedback from the consultation will be compiled into a summary report and posted online for further comment.
  • The final report will be used to help guide changes to the Act and regulations.

 

For More Information

For updates or to be involved in other stages of the FOIP Act consultation, send your name, mailing address, email and telephone number.

Providing this information is entirely voluntary. Your personal information will be kept confidential and used only for its intended purposes in accordance with the FOIP Act.

Message from Associate Minister Don Scott, QC

The Government of Alberta is undertaking a review of Alberta's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act as part of the larger mandate to enhance accountability, transparency and transformation in the provincial government.

The FOIP Act came into force on October 1, 1995 for provincial government bodies. The Act was extended to school boards, health care bodies, post-secondary educational institutions and municipalities in 1998/99. The last substantial review and amendment to the FOIP Act was in 2002.

The expectation for electronic and immediate access to information is increasing as is the awareness of the need for Albertans to ensure their personal information is protected. Rapidly evolving technologies also pose a new set of questions and parameters. The explosion of the open government movement both nationally and globally has created opportunities and challenges that warrant further consideration.

Specific objectives we plan to address through the 2013 FOIP Act review include:

  • examining leading international and Canadian practices
  • minimizing discretionary interpretation of the Act
  • identifying ways to enable public bodies to easily and appropriately share information
  • developing methods to enhance public understanding of the Act
  • releasing information proactively and routinely to the public
  • examining issues identified by concerned stakeholders
  • examining and assessing internal privacy impact assessment policy, as well as protocols, baseline requirements, technology for reporting, forms and templates, as well as training and education.

As Associate Minister of Accountability, Transparency and Transformation, I invite you to share your views on the FOIP Act and how the legislation may be enhanced to meet evolving stakeholder needs. Our intent is to make transformative amendments to the Act. As such, this discussion guide covers a number of themes:

  • Making the FOIP Act clear and user-friendly
  • Open Government and the FOIP Act
  • Sharing personal information to provide programs and services
  • Addressing technological innovation

I encourage you to participate in our consultation and welcome your suggestions in modernizing the FOIP Act. Your feedback will guide the development of recommendations for legislative changes that help to ensure the FOIP Act continues to meet evolving stakeholder needs and keeps pace in changing times.A unique element of the review will be the FOIP Act Review Expert Panel comprised of experts in the field of privacy, government and academia. The Expert Panel will provide Service Alberta with a balanced, objective perspective throughout discussions and of any potential recommendations for legislative changes that help to ensure the FOIP Act continues to meet evolving stakeholder needs and keeps pace in changing times.

The deadline for submitting input is July 31, 2013.

Don Scott, QC
Associate Minister of Accountability, Transparency and Transformation