Premier Christy Clark made the following statement in response to David Loukidelis’ recommendations to government on how to improve freedom of information policies and procedures and records management practices in response to the Privacy Commissioner’s Oct. 22 report:
“I have always been motivated by a commitment to ensure our government is open and transparent. We have taken many steps to enhance our laws, policies and procedures to meet this commitment.
“The privacy commissioner’s report has identified specific areas in which we can improve, and Mr. Loukidelis has provided additional thoughts and recommendations on how best to implement these improvements. Today, I am announcing that we are accepting all of Mr. Loukidelis’ recommendations, and will take further actions to ensure our records management and freedom of information practices meet public expectations.
“The practice of ‘triple-deleting’ will be prohibited, ministers and political staff will continue to retain sent emails and a new policy and specific training will be developed. As soon as practicable, public servants will be made responsible for the searching of records responsive to information requests on behalf of ministers and political staff. Government also agrees with Mr. Loukidelis’s recommendations to study and consider the establishment of duty to document which is currently under review by the Special Committee to Review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
“Finally, the position of chief records officer, along with responsibility for information access policy and operations, will reside in the Ministry of Finance to provide corporate oversight and guidance to all ministries and ensure alignment with the agency responsible for human resources across government. This office will also begin work to develop service enhancements aimed at improving our duty to assist freedom of information applicants.
“I am confident the actions announced today provide the assurance the public deserves to be confident government is operating in the most open and accountable manner possible.”
To view a summary of Loukidelis's recommendations and government's responses, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Highlights_of_BC_government_responses_to_Loukidelis_Report_recommendations.pdf