Yukon Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner
Annual Reports issued by Yukon Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner, and Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner
Tue, Jul 21, 2020
Special sections of report highlight key concerns and solutions
WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner, and Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner has issued her annual reports, summarizing the activities of her office in 2019.
Diane McLeod-McKay serves in all three roles, with support from a staff of eight, who serve primarily as investigators and compliance review officers.
“In 2019, I re-organized my staffing structure and hired an additional staff member with the skills necessary to support our work,” said McLeod-McKay. “The addition allows us to better manage our significant workload and brings the skill-set in my office to a level that has helped me meet one of my key goals, which is to establish an oversight office sufficiently skilled to address the new challenges that continue to arise and to deliver on our multiple mandates.”
Another goal has been to deliver an outreach strategy to increase awareness amongst all Yukoners of her three mandates and of the rights of the public, including a focus on increasing knowledge within government and public organizations, and within the health sector.
“We achieved progress in this area by adopting the use of Twitter, increasing the number of news releases and media interviews, and distributing an information card throughout Yukon. We will continue to develop and implement our outreach strategy in 2020,” said McLeod-McKay.
In her role as Ombudsman, McLeod-McKay was pleased to help develop a fairness evaluation tool in 2019, together with her colleagues across Canada. “The idea for the tool emerged from my experience as Information and Privacy Commissioner with privacy impact assessments. Other Ombuds offices agreed to work together to issue Fairness by Design, a self-assessment tool to help authorities evaluate the fairness of their systems, policies and practices.”
In the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) Annual Report, McLeod-McKay describes some persistent problems with Yukon government’s access to information program, which she notes is in need of repair. The issues include confusion about access to information and records, improper searches and the role of the records manager. As well, in two special articles within the report, McLeod-McKay raises concerns about the powers of the IPC and about delays impacting the right to access information.
2019 was also a very busy year for McLeod-McKay in her capacity as Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner. Nine new files were opened, with seven files carried over from the previous year. Fourteen of those were still active at the end of 2019. “Disclosure of wrongdoing and reprisal investigation files are complex and resource-intensive,” said McLeod-McKay. “However, with the addition of one new investigator last year, we are better equipped to manage our caseload.”
The annual reports are being issued later than usual, due to delays caused by the COVID pandemic. It has been shared with all Yukon MLAs, is available on the office’s website, and will be tabled in the Yukon Legislative Assembly when it reconvenes in the fall.
The Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner, and Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner is an independent officer of the Yukon Legislative Assembly. For more information, please go to www.yukonombudsman.ca.
To download a PDF of this news release, click here.
Office of the Yukon Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner & Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner
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