Access Granted: How Organizations Can Improve Response to Access Requests

4.11.15

In late October, the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC (the “Privacy Commissioner”) released a scathing report on the BC Government’s response to an access request filed with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure regarding meetings about missing women and the Highway of Tears. The report (Investigation Report F15-03 – Access Denied: Records Retention and Disposal Practices of the Government of British Columbia) was issued following the Privacy Commissioner being alerted to the BC Government’s failure to properly respond to requests for access to information pursuant to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FOIPPA”), which requires a public body to provide access to “all records in the custody or under the control of a public body”. This article will focus on guidelines, stemming from this report, which organizations should consider to encourage adequate responses to requests for information.