Saturday, February 14, 2004

Incident: Shred first, then discard!

From the lower mainland of British Columbia comes this interesting incident: Shred first, then discard:

By Diane Strandberg
The Tri-City News

Files containing property tax information and receipts for parking tickets and business licences were mistakenly left overnight Thursday in a recycling bin outside Port Coquitlam city hall. But the papers were public documents and were picked up and stored for shredding after they were noticed by city clerk Susan Rauh.

Rauh said the documents were from a year-end office clean up and shouldn't have been dumped. 'They were supposed to be shredded,' said Rauh, who said staff have been made aware of the problem and told to be more careful.

The city doesn't have any formal policy on document disposal but will have when it completes its business plan, which will include information on record management, said Kathleen Vincent, the city's manager of communications and administrative services.

But the city does keep up-to-date with privacy laws, including a new Personal Information Protection Act.

The documents, some dated as recently as last October, show assessed property values and what property taxes, garbage and sewer and water fees are owing as well as whether accounts are overdrawn. "

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