Order 99-029: Summary
DATE: October 5, 1999
PUBLIC BODY: Chief Electoral Officer
FOIP REQUEST: The applicant requested access to a list of individual contributions to Alberta's Progressive Conservative Party from 1992 to 1999 in electronic format. The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) refused to disclose an electronic version of the list. The applicant asked the Information and Privacy Commissioner to review that decision.
ISSUES: The CEO submitted that the list, which was already available to the public in paper, was excluded from the operation of the FOIP Act. The applicant argued that the paper records were not useful and that the electronic version of the list was not excluded from the operation of the Act. The Commissioner decided to hear the issues in a two-part inquiry, and the applicant then raised the additional issue of the Commissioner's ability to proceed in this way.
DECISION AND REASONS:
- The Commissioner considered the standard of procedural fairness that applied to an inquiry under the FOIP Act, and found that the practice of splitting an inquiry into two parts when a jurisdictional issue was involved did not compromise the applicant's right to fairness.
- The Commissioner found that the list was excluded from the application of the Act by the exclusion for records of an Officer of the Legislature (section 4(1)(c)). The electronic version of the list was a "record" in the custody of the CEO, who was an Officer of the Legislature. The list also related to the CEO's function under the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act and the Elections Act. All three criteria for the exclusion were met.
The Commissioner concluded that he had no jurisdiction over the records and could not comment on whether the CEO should disclose the list in electronic format.
SECTOR: Government - Departments