Ruling means Village of Carbon will fulfill FOIP requests | DrumhellerMail
09242022Sat
Last updateFri, 23 Sep 2022 3pm

Ruling means Village of Carbon will fulfill FOIP requests

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The Alberta Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton has ruled the Village of Carbon must respond to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) requests of village residents.
This comes after the Village asked the Privacy Commissioner's Office in two separate requests to disregard access requests to residents. In both cases, the Privacy Commissioner ruled in the requestor’s favour.
The Village requested authorization under section 55(1) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which allows a public body to disregard the request “…because of their repetitious or systematic nature, the requests would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the public body or amount to an abuse of the right to make those requests, or, one or more of the requests are frivolous or vexatious.”
In one instance, the Village submitted the applicant is a member of the “Ratepayers of Carbon,” and alleged in their submissions, “The Ratepayers is a group of individuals who both collectively and individually have engaged in a pattern of harassing and obstructing conduct directed at the Municipality’s Council and Administration."
In the second instance, seven requests since 2019 were made by Terry Nash. She has received her requests, except for one request dated February 22 of this year.
The Privacy Commissioner notes in her report she sees no evidence the access requests have been repetitious, and the history of requests does not show the same information is being requested. And while she agrees public bodies responding to access requests uses limited resources, and takes time of the administration staff, she is not satisfied access requests would unreasonably interfere with operations in this instance.
She also ruled the requests were not frivolous or vexatious.
“I have not made any findings as to whether any of the Applicant’s concerns or those of the Ratepayers of Carbon are valid. However, as discussed above, I accept that the Applicant believes her concerns are valid. I have already found, on the basis of the evidence before me, that the purpose of the Applicant’s access request is to obtain access to the information that has been requested. Regardless of the validity of the Applicant’s beliefs, the FOIP Act provided individuals with the right to request access to information, subject to limited and specific exceptions, including financial disclosure that subjects a public body to public scrutiny.”
Nash tells the Mail she has been told she will receive her requests by the end of August.


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