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CUFA BC Submission to the FOIPOP Review - March 15, 2010

CUFA BC Submission to the
Special Legislative Committee Reviewing the
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
March 15, 2010

Information is the lifeblood of the academic enterprise and so it will come as no surprise that our organization has a keen interest in the work of the Special Legislative Committee Reviewing the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“the Committee”). CUFA BC was involved in the creation of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“the Act”) and has made numerous interventions over the years to try and improve its provisions.

Although a mature piece of legislation, the Act nonetheless has room for improvement. Some improvements hearken back to the early days of the legislation; most are the consequence of the evolving role of information in our society.

With respect to the effect of the act on public universities and the faculty members at those universities, we make seven recommendations to the Committee:

  • That Schedule 1 be amended to include the definition of a “faculty member”.
  • That no changes be made to the exemptions of examination and test questions (s. 3(1)(d)) and teaching materials and research information (s. 3(1)(e)) from the scope of the Act.
  • That s. 3(1)(e) be amended by replacing the phrase “employees of a post-secondary educational body” with “faculty members” as per recommendation above.
  • That no changes be made to s. 22(3)(g), which presumes that the disclosure of personal recommendations, evaluations and references is an unreasonable invasion of a third party’s personal privacy.
  • That s. 35(2) be amended to allow researchers from all fields of inquiry to seek permission to use personal information found in the course of approved research to contact a person to participate in the research.
  • That a new provision be created under s. 75 (Fees) to require that fees be excused for researchers at public post-secondary educational institutions.
  • That new provisions be created in s. 3(1) to clarify that the records of a faculty member at a public post-secondary institution are excluded from the scope of the Act.

Download the Full Brief (PDF)