The Nation compelled under Freedom of Information Act

The Nation compelled under Freedom of Information Act

In 2016, the municipality of The Nation announced it would build a sports facility. Although construction has already begun, the municipality is dealing with an issue related to an appeal to the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC). 

In 2018, an unnamed appellant requested information on the sports facility under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy. The municipality said that no documents would be provided due to an exemption allowed regarding solicitor-client confidentiality. The appellant appealed the decision to the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC), who requested the documents be provided. One document, a memorandum of understanding, couldn’t be provided. 

The municipality claimed that no responsive records existed for a Memorandum of Understanding, but the appellant said according to two meetings on June 27, 2016, and June 26, 2017, the municipality was planning on enacting one such memorandum. The municipality expanded its search parameters and was able to locate a draft memorandum that was never enacted, but said the draft was outside the scope of the request because the appellant specifically asked for agreements that were signed and enacted. Portions of the draft were withheld as part of solicitor-client confidentiality. 

The case was passed to adjudication, and adjudicator Valerie Jepson investigated. Although she agreed that the draft MOU is outside the scope of the original request since it was never enacted, she also said that the municipality did not search thoroughly enough to satisfy the requirements of the request.  

Jepson delivered her report on October 19 and ordered the municipality to do another search. She has ordered the municipality to provide results by November 23. 


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