The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta (OIPC) has confirmed what has long been suspected – that the NDP government is adding additional layers of bureaucracy to stop Albertans from receiving Freedom of Information and Privacy (FOIP) requests in a timely manner, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
In an order from the OIPC conducted following a request from Wildrose, it was found that repeated delays in receiving FOIP documents was a result of the creation of “steps in [the government’s] procedure for processing access requests that are not required by the FOIP Act and which are contributing to its failures to comply with its duties to respond to an applicant under the FOIP Act.”
“It’s deeply concerning to see that access to documents is being further hampered by the NDP government because of made up and unnecessary processes,” Wildrose Shadow Democracy and Accountability Minister Nathan Cooper said. “Arbitrary rules that only serve to protect the NDP government and not public access to documents need to be eliminated immediately.”
The FOIP in question was first requested by Wildrose in May 2016 for copies of all polling paid for by the Government of Alberta along with copies of analysis and deliverables completed as a result of polling. It was only after the OIPC investigated that the Office of the Premier responded with heavily redacted documents in January 2017.
“These types of documents demonstrate what public dollars are being spent on because of choices the NDP government makes,” Wildrose Shadow Service Alberta Minister Scott Cyr said. “The default position of secrecy and obstruction when it comes to FOIP requests is detrimental to our democracy, and must end.”