EDMONTON, AB (July 21, 2015): Today, Wildrose Shadow Service Alberta Minister Wayne Anderson has sent a letter to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner calling on the office to investigate Service Alberta making up legislative language in order to deny documents to Wildrose.
Currently, there is an ongoing investigation into political interference around the freedom of information (FOIP) process within the Government of Alberta.
“An open and transparent FOIP process should be an essential component of our government,” Anderson said. “Wildrose has concerns that political interference has impacted the system, and asks the Commissioner to put an end to the invention of non-existent laws as excuses for denying legitimate FOIP requests.”
Service Alberta has denied a request for government documents by citing language that is not actually in the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act (FOIP). Wildrose was requesting government briefing documents associated with Public Accounts Committee. Officials denied the request citing section 6(4)(b) of the act. In their discussion of the section, they included the phrase “or one of its committees,” a phrase that does not exist in the actual legislation.
When the actual section 6(4)(b) was added to the FOIP Act by the PC government in 2006, it was strongly opposed by the privacy commissioner and current NDP Government House Leader Brian Mason.
“Wildrose wants to work collaboratively with the government to ensure any past precedent of stonewalling the FOIP process established by the PC’s comes to an end,” Anderson said.