Order 2000-010: Summary
DATE: August 21, 2000
PUBLIC BODY: Alberta Treasury
FOIP REQUEST: The applicant requested access to information regarding several contracts between the Government and a consultant. Treasury released 155 of 332 pages responsive to the request. The applicant asked the Information and Privacy Commissioner to review Treasury's application of the provision for business interests of a third party to withhold information on 16 pages of records.
ISSUES: Treasury and the consultant argued that the inclusion of a confidentiality clause in the contract established that the severed information was supplied in confidence. They also submitted that disclosure of the information could impair the consultant's ability to negotiate future contracts.
DECISION AND REASONS:
- The Commissioner decided that Treasury had not correctly applied the exception for business interests of a third party. Citing Order 99-018 on the confidentiality requirement under section 15(1)(b), the Commissioner found there was insufficient evidence to establish that the consultant had supplied the severed information in confidence. Treasury had not established, from an objective point of view, that the consultant had a reasonable expectation of confidentiality. The confidentiality clause in the contracts required the consultant to treat information received by him as confidential. The clause did not require Treasury to treat the information supplied by the consultant as confidential.
- Referring to Orders 96-013 and 96-003 for discussion of the harm test for section 15(1)(c), the Commissioner found that there was insufficient evidence that disclosure of the information would result in the harm alleged. The third party was currently employed under a contract that prohibited employment as a consultant. The fact that he was "entitled" to return to the consulting business on completion of the term of employment was insufficient evidence to meet the required standard of proof.
Treasury was ordered to give the applicant access to the severed information.
SECTOR: Government - Departments