Yukon Information and Privacy Commissioner
The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act was proclaimed into force on July 1, 1996.
The purposes of the ATIPP Act are to make public bodies more accountable to the public and to protect personal privacy. The Act does this by giving the public a right of access to records, subject only to limited and specific exceptions; giving individuals a right of access to, and a right to request correction of, their own personal information; and preventing the unauthorized collection, use of disclosure of personal information by public bodies.
Independent reviews of decisions made by public bodies under the ATIPP Act are conducted by the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
- Is the Information and Privacy Commissioner part of government?
No, the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) is an independent officer of the Yukon Legislative Assembly and is, therefore, not part of the Yukon Government.
In Yukon, the IPC is the same person as the Ombudsman and the Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner. For more information about these roles, our website at: http://www.ombudsman.yk.ca.
The IPC is responsible for monitoring compliance with HIPMA and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPP).
ATIPP applies to Yukon public bodies, such as Yukon Government departments. HIPMA applies to custodians (see ‘What is a custodian?’).
The IPC has a number of responsibilities under these Acts and has broad authority to investigate complaints made, including the power to compel production of records and witnesses. Under HIPMA, the IPC has adjudicative authority. This means she can make findings of fact and law that are binding on custodians. At the conclusion of an adjudication, called a ‘consideration’ under HIPMA, she has the authority to recommend any remedy that she determines appropriate.
- When does the IPC hold inquiries?
Most requests for review initially proceed to mediation to try to settle the issues for review. Where a request for review is not completely settled during mediation, a party can ask the IPC to conduct an inquiry. The IPC has discretion to decide whether to proceed to inquiry.
- What happens in an inquiry?
An inquiry is the final stage in the request for review process. An inquiry is a formal adjudicative process conducted by the IPC. The parties to an inquiry are entitled to make representations * to the IPC about the issues identified for inquiry. In most inquiries, the representations are made in writing and the parties do not appear before the IPC.
If the IPC decides to proceed to inquiry, a notice of inquiry is issued to the parties. The notice of inquiry outlines the next steps in the inquiry. The notice of inquiry will confirm:
- the parties to the inquiry,
- the sections of the ATIPP Act that will be considered,
- the issues for inquiry,
- the timeline for notifying the IPC of any preliminary objections to the inquiry,
- the schedule for delivery and exchange of initial and reply submissions from the parties, and
- a deadline for requesting the IPC’s approval for “in camera”* submission material.
At the inquiry, the IPC considers the Fact Report prepared by the mediator, the representations received from the parties, reviews any records in dispute, and decides how each issue should be resolved and makes her recommendation(s) *. The IPC issues a written report to the parties setting out her findings, recommendation(s) and reasons for the findings and recommendation(s). Some of the things the IPC can recommend are:
- the release of some or all of the information in a record
- the modification of a fee waiver
- the correction of personal information