Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Information Commissioner takes up post

Canada's new Information Commissioner, Robert Marleau, took up his post yesterday. You may recall that he was the interim Privacy Commissioner after George Radwanski's resignation until the current Commissioner's appointment.

From the Government of Canada news release:

Prime Minister Welcomes New Information Commissioner

15 January 2007

Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today welcomed Canada’s new Information Commissioner, Mr. Robert Marleau, whose appointment was recently approved by the Senate and the House of Commons. This appointment is effective January 15, 2007.

The Prime Minister took the opportunity to commend Mr. John Reid, who had been serving as Information Commissioner since August 1, 1999 and whose term expired on September 30, 2006, for the commitment, diligence, and professionalism he demonstrated during his tenure. The Prime Minister wished him well in his future endeavours.

The Office of the Information Commissioner was created in 1983 under the Access to Information Act - Canada’s freedom of information legislation. An agent of Parliament, the Information Commissioner oversees the implementation of the Access to Information Act by government institutions. The Information Commissioner investigates complaints from individuals who believe they have been denied rights under the Act. The Information Commissioner is also responsible for mediating between dissatisfied applicants and government institutions.

Biographical notes on Mr. Marleau are attached.

* * * *


Robert Marleau served Parliament and the members of the House of Commons for 31 years, 13 of which were spent as Clerk of the House of Commons. Mr. Marleau left a rich legacy of achievement, including the guide book, House of Commons Procedure and Practice, which he co-authored with then Deputy Clerk Camille Montpetit.

During his parliamentary career, Mr. Marleau held several senior positions as an advisor to seven Speakers and to Members and Senators for nine Parliaments. A franco-Ontarian, Mr. Marleau is a graduate of the University of Ottawa, where he earned a B.A. in French Literature. He joined the House of Commons in 1970 as a Committee Clerk and went on to hold such positions as Clerk Assistant of the House of Commons and Deputy Secretary General of Parliamentary Relations. In July 1987, he was appointed Clerk of the House of Commons, and served in that capacity until July 2000.

From July 2000 until his retirement at the end of January 2001, he served as Senior Advisor to the Speaker of the House of Commons. On his retirement, the House of Commons made Mr. Marleau an Honorary Officer of the House by unanimous resolution. Following his retirement from the House of Commons, Mr. Marleau was Principal of RDM Consulting, a parliamentary consulting practice with work in Canada, Africa and the Caribbean. From July 2, 2003 until November 30, 2003, he was appointed to serve as Interim Privacy Commissioner.

Mr. Marleau is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate degree from Ottawa University, his alma mater. He is a member of the Commonwealth Society of Clerks at the Table, the Association of Canadian Clerks at the Table, and the Canada/USA Association of Clerks and Legislative Secretaries

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