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|FI-13-101 Review Report issued on February 20, 2014|
On February 21, 2014, the Nova Scotia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Review Office received the Department of Community Services’ response to the Review Officer’s special review report. The special report made recommendations relating to five separate requests made by former foster children for access to information about their time in care.
The special report and Community Services’ response to it does not close the five separate files, which will now return to the Review Office’s regular process. While these files are proceeding through the review process, the Review Office will keep confidential its further discussions with Community Services.
January 21, 2014 Special Report
January 23, 2014 Press Release
February 21, 2014 Community Services’ response to recommendations
|FI-13-52 Review Report issued on January 31, 2014|
Read full Public body response to Recommendations
|FI-13-19 Review Report issued on December 2, 2013, Press Release|
Read full Public body response to Recommendations
|Press Release - Canada’s access to information and privacy guardians urge government to modernize laws|
Resolution of Canada's Privacy Commissioners and Privacy Oversight Officials:
Modernizing Access and Privacy Laws for the 21st Century
The search for the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Review Officer is underway.
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Review Officer provides independent impartial oversight of decisions, actions or failures to act by public bodies and custodians under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Part XX of the Municipal Government Act, and the Personal Health Information Act and of privacy matters under the Privacy Review Officer Act and the Personal Health Information Act [“Acts”].
The Review Office investigates and mediates access requests and privacy complaints from individuals and/or groups who feel public bodies or custodians have not respected their access to information rights or their privacy rights, as provided for in the governing Acts. After an investigation, if the matter is not resolved, the Review Officer may issue a public Report that will include findings and recommendations to the named provincial, municipal or local public body, or custodian to reaffirm, alter or modify its decision and to rectify its processes and practices with respect to access to information requests and/or protection of privacy.
In addition, under the PRO Act, the Review Officer is empowered to monitor how privacy provisions are administered, initiate an investigation of privacy compliance, undertake research matters, inform/educate the public and, on request of a public body, provide advice and comments on privacy.
PHIA gives the Review Officer the statutory authority over custodians to conduct reviews of complaints arising from the access and privacy provisions, initiate an investigation of privacy compliance, undertake research matters, inform/educate the public and, on request of a custodian, provide advice and comments on privacy.
Municipalities were notified that new legislation will provide for independent oversight for privacy decisions made by municipalities at a date to be announced. This anticipated amendment will further expand the Review Officer’s mandate.
For more information on the work of the FOIPOP Review Officer, please check out our website.
If you are interested, please click here to view or to apply for the Posting prepared by the Public Service Commission.
Nova Scotia was the first province in Canada to enact access and privacy legislation. The original Freedom of Information Act (click here for the former Act from 1977) was repealed in 1993 and was replaced with a more comprehensive statue, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Since that time, all other jurisdictions in the country have followed suit. All government departments and agencies were brought under the Act. Subsequently in 1999, a new Municipal Government Act [MGA] was passed. In Part XX of the MGA It included access and privacy provisions similar to the provincial Act and applied to all municipalities and municipal bodies. In 1999, the provincial Act was also extended to cover local public bodies including hospitals, universities, colleges and school boards.
Pursuant to the Acts, all public bodies, municipalities and local public bodies are obliged to adopt a policy of accountability, openness and transparency and to provide a right of access to information with limited exemptions. They are also obliged to ensure the protection of individuals' personal privacy.
...the legislation in Nova Scotia is deliberately more generous to its citizens and is intended to give the public greater access to information that might otherwise be contemplated in the other provinces and territories in Canada. Nova Scotia's lawmakers clearly intended to provide for the disclosure of all government information (subject to certain limited and specific exemptions) in order to facilitate informed public participation in policy formulation; ensure fairness in government decision making; and permit the airing and reconciliation of divergent views. No other province or territory has gone so far in expressing such objectives.
- O'Connor v. Nova Scotia, N.S.C.A., 2001
In 2008 the Privacy Review Officer Act [PRO Act] was proclaimed. This provided for independent oversight by the Review Officer with respect to all privacy decisions of provincial public bodies. The PRO Act gave the Review Officer new Powers in privacy oversight including own-motion investigations, consultations with public bodies, and public education.
In 2013 the Personal Health Information Act [PHIA] became law. This stature provides for access and privacy with respect to personal health information. The Review Officer is given a broad mandate with respect to oversight including investigations regarding access and privacy, breach notifications, privacy and access consultations, and public education.
This site contains a variety of information pertaining to the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP), the Part XX Municipal Government Act (MGA) and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Review Office (Review Officer), the Privacy Review Officer Act and the Personal Health information Act.
The purpose of this site is to provide you with the information needed to understand and use the four Acts including FAQ’s. It also provides access to Review Reports, Court Cases and other publications from the Review Office.
Although we make every effort to ensure all information posted on our website is accurate and complete, we cannot guarantee it is up to date.
If there is any discrepancy between the statues or law posted on website and the original paper versions, the paper originals are the authoritative documents.