“Technology is transforming the way the world works and, as a government, we need to make sure we have the tools and processes in place to ensure we can meet the changing needs of the public, while protecting the privacy of citizens ,” said Manmeet S. Bhullar, Minister of Service Alberta. “This review will help us navigate those waters and ensure our policies are responsive to today’s needs.”
The review of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act involves discussions with stakeholders and public bodies, including the municipal, academic and health services sectors, community organizations, elected officials and news media to gather feedback on how the Act can be improved. The comprehensive review will focus on:
- making the Act clear and user-friendly;
- opening government to lessen the need to make FOIP requests;
- making it easier for public bodies to share information so they can provide programs and services more effectively;
- addressing technological innovation and its effect on information access and privacy; and
- reviewing leading international and Canadian practices.
“By reviewing this Act, we will ensure we achieve that fine balance between the public’s right to know and an individual’s right to privacy,” said Don Scott, QC, Associate Minister of Accountability, Transparency and Transformation. “This review is another way we are ensuring transparency and accountability are cornerstones of this government.”
Minister Scott will meet with stakeholders and hold public meetings across the province beginning June 14. The consultation closes July 31. Responses to the consultation will be compiled into a summary report that will be posted online. The report will be used to help guide any changes to the Act and regulations.
The FOIP Act provides people with the right to access information maintained by public bodies. The Act also provides public bodies with a framework they must follow to collect, use and disclose personal information.
The review is part of Alberta’s open government strategy that includes Alberta’s nation leading expense disclosure website, tough new protections for whistleblowers and Alberta’s new Open Data Portal.
Our government was elected to keep building Alberta, to live within its means and to fight to open new markets for Alberta’s resources. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.
To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.