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Alberta public-sector bodies
By definition of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP Act), public-sector bodies in Alberta include:
- All Alberta government departments
- some public agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs)
- drainage and irrigation districts
- health-care bodies
- housing management bodies
- local school jurisdictions
- Metis Settlements
- municipal jurisdictions
- cities, towns, municipal districts and others
- municipal police commissions and services (but not RCMP)
- publicly funded post-secondary institutions
- colleges and universities
- public libraries
Public-sector bodies in Alberta including the provincial government are required to publicly provide Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy annual statistical reports based on the number of FOIP Act requests they receive every year. The lists below start at 2020-21 and go back to 2005-06:
- Alberta government departments and agencies, boards and commissions
- local public-sector bodies
- local public-sector bodies by sector
Submit FOIP statistics
Public-sector bodies in Alberta are required to provide Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy annual statistical reports based upon the FOIP Act requests they receive every year.
All bulletins are available through Open Government. The bulletins include, but are not limited to, consent and authentication, third party notices, ministerial expense claims and fundraising. Below are some frequently accessed bulletins.
Access to manuals and guidelines
Section 89 of the FOIP Act sets the requirements for providing access to manuals, handbooks and guidelines in the custody of a public-sector body.
For guidance on the interpretation of section 89 and practical advice on managing access to manuals and guidelines in a public body.
Burden of Proof
This bulletin explains who has the burden of proof in the Commissioner’s review processes and how the burden of proof is met.
Email: access and privacy considerations
This bulletin assists public bodies in complying with their obligations under the FOIP Act by highlighting the access and privacy protection issues raised by email. It does not address other management issues relating to email, such as records management, email monitoring or the development of a general policy on the use of email.
This bulletin supplements FOIP Guidelines and Practices and provides an overview of the way the FOIP Act applies to law enforcement.
Additional bulletins are available through Open Government. The bulletins include, but are not limited to, consent and authentication, third party notices, ministerial expense claims and fundraising.
Guidelines and practices
The FOIP Guidelines and Practices, 2009 Edition incorporates amendments to the FOIP legislation up to June 1, 2009, including the FOIP Amendment Act, 2006 and the FOIP Regulation (2008). This edition references Commissioner's Orders and Investigation Reports released up to December 31, 2008.
The Fee waivers bulletin discusses:
- rationale for fees and fee waivers
- the way the act and regulation apply to the processing of a request that may involve a fee waiver
- matters to be considered when deciding whether to grant a request for a fee waiver
This publication is intended to supplement the information on fee waivers in Chapter 3 of FOIP Guidelines and Practices.
The FOIP: Focus on Privacy online course is divided into several modules, each representing a separate theme around accuracy, retention, correction and protection of personal information that can be completed individually, or the entire course can be completed from start to finish in one sitting.
Instructor-led in-person FOIP training is not currently offered by the GoA.
Personal Information Banks
The FOIP Act requires all public-sector bodies to create a directory that lists the public body’s personal information banks available to the public for inspection and copying.
The purpose of making this information available is to help the public know what personal information the public-sector body might have about them as individuals.
Privacy Impact Assessment template
The following template may be used to guide a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) in your public-sector body.
- PIA – Local (PDF, 205 KB): This template is for local public-sector bodies, such as school jurisdictions, municipalities, police services or commissions, Metis Settlements or libraries.
This template can be adjusted for initiatives ranging from very simple to quite complex and follows the requirements of the FOIP Act regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.
These are applicable to select public-sector bodies:
Human resources staff
Human resources guide for local public bodies was developed to assist human resources staff in local public-sector bodies to identify information that can be routinely released upon request.
It also outlines considerations when disclosing information under section 40 of the FOIP Act, and when responding to a formal request.
Staff working for health-care bodies should be aware that health information about employees of these public bodies may fall within the scope of the Health Information Act (HIA). Consult with your FOIP or HIA contact for additional guidance.
Guide for developing personal information sharing agreements assists FOIP Coordinators in understanding some of the issues related to the sharing of personal information with other public-sector bodies or with organizations that are not subject to the act.
This guide also provides a framework or guideline for drafting personal information sharing agreements. Legal advice is encouraged when developing the terms and conditions of any particular personal information sharing agreement.
FOIP information for conducting a municipal census provides tips in planning a municipal census.
Assessment Roll (Discussion Paper) highlights how FOIP may apply to personal information contained in an assessment roll.
Guide to providing counselling services in school jurisdictions provides counsellors employed by local public-sector bodies with some of the issues surrounding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in a school or workplace setting.
It will assist them in discussions with their FOIP Coordinator and legal counsel (where required) to ensure their practices comply with the FOIP Act.
Using and Disclosing Personal Information in School Jurisdictions discusses how school boards may collect, use and disclose student and parent information as part of the student registration process. Sample forms are included within it.
Additional FOIP resources relevant to school jurisdictions on topics including video-conferencing, promotional video productions and video yearbooks can be found on Alberta’s Open Government Program website.
Guide to using surveillance cameras in public areas assists public-sector bodies in deciding whether collection of personal information by means of a surveillance camera is both lawful and justifiable and, if so, in understanding how privacy protection measures can be built into the use of a surveillance system.
Connect with the FOIP/PIPA help desk to ask questions about the collection, use, disclosure and privacy of information within Alberta.
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