Case Report – Ministry’s e-mail search survives scrutiny

On June 28th the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario upheld a fee estimate that involved an extensive process of retrieving e-mails.  The Ministry had nine individual custodians conduct electronic keyword searches of their own workstations using a number of specified terms.  The custodians spent time opening e-mails and other documents to determine whether they were responsive.  The Ministry also searched shared directories (presumably using the same terms). 

The IPC held the Ministry’s field filtering process was reasonably efficient and that the Ministry had established the basis for its estimate.  Note that only the efficiency of the search (and not its quality) was under appeal.

Order PO-2592 (Ontario Secretariat for Aboriginal Affairs) (I.P.C. Ont.).

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