Statement by the Minister of Government Services on the Information and Privacy Commissioner's Special Report
Minister of Government Services John Milloy made the following statement on the actions taken to comply with the recommendations in the Special Report on the records management practices of political staff:
"I want to thank the Information and Privacy Commissioner again for her report and for meeting with me in June. Our government takes its recordkeeping obligations seriously and we are committed to being open, accountable and transparent. Addressing Dr. Cavoukian's recommendations has been a top priority to ensure that situations referred to in her report do not happen again.
I want to thank both the offices of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and the Integrity Commissioner for working with our government on these important issues. The actions we are announcing today address all of Dr. Cavoukian's non-legislative recommendations, including:
- Developing a mandatory training program for all political staff to ensure that staff are fully aware of and trained in their records management obligations;
- Creating a working group of Premier's Office staff, Cabinet Office staff and Ministry of Government Services staff to clarify and strengthen the government's records retention policies and practices so that they can successfully be put into practice;
- Appointing ministers' chiefs of staff and the Premier's chief of staff as the persons accountable for the implementation and compliance with records management policies in each of their respective offices and appointing a senior advisor in the Premier's Office to provide advice and guidance to all offices on these issues; and,
- Improving archiving requirements by conducting a review of the archiving schedules.
The Premier has also issued a directive to all political staff underlining the serious obligations of staff to manage records in accordance with approved records retention schedules, and to complete mandatory training.
Our research into Dr. Cavoukian's recommendation for amendments to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) is ongoing. On completion of this legal research, I will present Dr. Cavoukian with our findings. The Information and Privacy Commissioner and Premier's Office staff discussed this last week and we are committed to working together to examine any potential legislative amendments.
Our government remains committed to strengthening and improving our records management practices and we are committed to being open, transparent and accountable. I look forward to continuing to work with the Information and Privacy Commissioner and the Integrity Commissioner to enhance transparency and public accountability as we move forward."