Statement from Minister of Finance on Authorizing the Financial Accountability Officer Access to Cabinet Information
Today Minister of Finance Charles Sousa issued the following statement:
"Today our government posted an Order in Council, signed by the Lieutenant Governor, granting the Financial Accountability Officer (FAO) access to financial, economic or other information protected by the Cabinet Records Exemption of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
This Order in Council reflects the government's commitment to ensuring that the FAO has access to information needed to fulfill the statutory mandate.
Our government values the important role and contribution of the FAO in providing independent analysis on the state of the province's finances to members of the Legislative Assembly. We strongly believe in openness and transparency, which is why Ontario was the first and remains the only province in the country to establish this role.
Under the Financial Accountability Officer Act (2013), the FAO has access to information in the custody and control of ministries and public entities except for personal information, personal health information, and information contained in Cabinet records that are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Since his appointment in February 2015, the government has been working collaboratively with the FAO and has established a positive working relationship to implement the requirements of the Act. As Ontario was the first province to adopt an office of this kind, we are continuously developing and improving how we can most effectively work together.
The Premier and I have met with the Financial Accountability Officer several times and communicated our commitment to working with his office to ensure he can access information to effectively support his work.
That commitment is now reflected in an Order in Council authorizing ministries and public entities to share a wider range of information with his office, even if the information is contained in a Cabinet record.
Guidelines and protocols will be updated and enhanced to ensure ministries and public entities fulfill the requirements of the Order in Council in a consistent and timely manner.
The independent financial analysis that the FAO provides is important as we build on our success in growing the economy and creating jobs.
We look forward to continuing to work with the FAO to ensure he has access to information to effectively perform his duties on behalf of the Legislative Assembly."