I finally got around to reading Access Denied – the British Columbia OIPC’s October 22nd bombshell of an investigation report on the processing of freedom of information requests.
You’ve likely heard about the OIPC’s finding that a Ministerial Assistant in the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure commandeered an executive assistant’s workstation to wilfully “triple delete” e-mails responsive to an FOI request. While shocking, you may be just as interested in the OIPC’s less headline-catching recommendation that government re-configure its e-mail system so e-mails cannot be deleted by users before they are captured in monthly backups “for investigative and legal purposes.” The OIPC doesn’t back this recommendation with many details, but it seems to treat backups as a data source with an all-too-routine reason to access.
You may also be interested in the OIPC’s recommendation to create a legislative duty to document. I’ve wrote about the duty to document in some detail in this June 2013 post.
In Ontario, amendments to FIPPA and MFIPPA relating to the preservation of records come into force on January 1st. Read more here.