#CyberFLASH: Privacy commissioner’s recommendations for B.C. government on access requests

cpt122305957VICTORIA — British Columbia’s privacy commissioner has issued a highly critical report of the government’s freedom-of-information practices. Elizabeth Denham said her investigation uncovered major issues in the FOI process and that immediate action is needed. Here is a list of her 11 recommendations:

— The Ministry of Transportation should release the 36 pages of records initially identified in an applicant’s request that set off the investigation. The request was for records related to missing women along B.C.’s so-called Highway of Tears.

— Government should develop an hourly, daily and monthly backup of data and monitor compliance.

— The Ministry of Advanced Education should release records connected to an FOI request for emails sent by the chief of staff to Minister Amrik Virk.

— Executives in the Office of the Premier should change their access to information process to ensure requests for records are communicated by email in a timely manner and properly documented.

— Government should clarify access requests with applicants where necessary to ensure it does not interpret requests too narrowly.

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