Investigation Report 2001-IR-002: Summary
INVESTIGATION REPORT: F2001-IR-002
DATE: Submitted April 27, 2001; signed by Commissioner May 14, 2001
PUBLIC BODY: City of Calgary
FOIP COMPLAINT: The complainant alleged that the City had disclosed personal information in violation of the privacy provisions contained in Part 2 of the FOIP Act. The information was contained in a letter written by the complainant to the Office of the Calgary City Clerk. The letter set out the complainant's decision to withdraw from consideration for reappointment to the Calgary Police Commission. Portions of the letter were published in the Calgary Herald. The complainant asked the City to investigate the disclosure, and the Herald subsequently reported on the investigation. The applicant then filed a complaint with the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
ISSUE: The Portfolio Officer determined that the sole issue in this investigation was whether personal information was disclosed in violation of the privacy provisions contained in Part 2 of the Act.
DECISION AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
- The Portfolio Officer determined that the complainant's personal information had been disclosed in violation of the privacy provisions contained in Part 2 of the FOIP Act.
- The Portfolio Officer found that copies of the letter had been distributed to the Mayor and aldermen during an in camera meeting. An alderman admitted reading portions of the letter to a journalist for the Herald. The Portfolio Officer was unable to determine whether a hard copy of the letter had been sent to the journalist, but observed that the manner of disclosure was not relevant to the issue of this investigation.
- The Portfolio Officer was also unable to determine who had disclosed information about the City's investigation, although the fact that the information had been disclosed was not in dispute. Disclosure of the complainant's personal information was not authorized by the Act's provision for disclosure of personal information (section 38(1)).
- The investigation report concluded with comments regarding information considered during in camera meetings authorized by the Municipal Government Act. The Portfolio Officer noted that the City had a responsibility to assure the public that personal information held by the City was protected and used appropriately. Elected officials share in that responsibility.
No specific recommendations were made. The alderman offered to apologize to the complainant and was encouraged to do so.