Annual Reports of Yukon Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner, and Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner highlight special challenges presented during a pandemic year
Tue, Nov 23, 2021
WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC), and Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner has issued her annual reports for 2020. In the three reports, Diane McLeod-McKay outlines the work of her office during a year of new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as ongoing problems that have continued to present issues over the years.
“2020 was a challenging year for all Yukoners,” said McLeod-McKay. “In March, a public health emergency was declared, and many employees were sent home to work. Our office recognized that this new environment was prone to new risks to privacy, to access to information and to fairness in delivering services remotely during a pandemic. We worked directly with custodians under HIPMA and with public bodies under the ATIPP Act, to help them mitigate these risks.”
McLeod-McKay’s work as IPC is set out in the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPP Act) and in the Health Information Privacy and Management Act (HIPMA).
McLeod-McKay issued numerous guidance documents in 2020 to inform public bodies and custodians about the risks associated with the pandemic and how to address them. In general, the work of the office increased in 2020, with 166 files opened, as compared to 139 in 2019.
“When reviewing the types of files we dealt with in 2020, especially in my work as Information and Privacy Commissioner, we found a number of themes,” added McLeod-McKay. “The IPC annual report provides examples under these themes, including COVID-related cases, which were a new challenge, as well as such problems as long delays in providing records and poor administration of the access to information system within the Yukon government, which the IPC has highlighted in prior annual reports. The examples provided are a good illustration of these issues and our hope is that they will help these and other public bodies focus on areas for improvement.”
The Ombudsman also received COVID-related complaints. Information about these complaints can be found in the Ombudsman’s annual report.
For the first time, McLeod-McKay’s office will not produce printed copies of the annual reports. Instead, the reports are available on her office’s website here. This is being done to reduce the environmental footprint of the office and to preserve financial resources for other work of the office. If anyone would like a hard copy of the annual reports, they may request one by calling 867-667-8468 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The annual reports are being shared with all Yukon MLAs, and were tabled in the Yukon Legislative Assembly on November 23, 2021.
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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