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Public Sector Privacy Legislation Amended
May 24, 2007

Proposed amendments to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act have been introduced in the BC Legislature. Bill 25, which is currently at First Reading, proposes the following significant amendments:

  • An order by the Privacy Commissioner may be filed in Supreme Court and enforced as an order of the Court. A party in breach of an order could potentially be found in contempt of court.

  • The categories of personal information which public bodies may disclose without consent have been increased. Public bodies will now be able to routinely disclose information such as: positions, functions and remuneration of officers and employees; financial and other details of a contract to supply goods or services to the public body; expenses incurred by a third party travelling at the public body’s expense; details of a licence, permit or similar discretionary benefit granted to a third party; and details of a discretionary financial benefit granted to a third party.

  • Employees of public bodies and their service providers will be required to immediately notify the public body if they become aware of the unauthorized disclosure of personal information.

     

  • If a public body receives a request for access to records, the Privacy Commissioner may order the public body to sever exempted information and to disclose the remainder of the information within a certain period of time.

     

  • School boards will be permitted to disclose personal information to museums and archives for archival or historical purposes.

 

(Click here for link to Bill 25)