Monday, June 22, 2009

Information Commissioner abruptly retires

This was a bit unexpected. From David Akin, via @michaelgeist: Info Commish Marleau quits - not good for ATI reform - On the Hill.

Here's the media release:

Ottawa, June 22, 2009 — Canada's fourth and current Information Commissioner, Robert Marleau, announced today his retirement from public life effective June 29, 2009. In a letter to notify the Governor in Council of his decision, he explained that his reasons for doing so are entirely personal and of a private nature.

Mr. Marleau began his term on January 15, 2007. Before taking up the position, Mr. Marleau served Parliament for 31 years, 13 of them as Clerk of the House of Commons. He was interim Privacy Commissioner in 2003.

“I have enjoyed my tenure as Information Commissioner of Canada and I am quite satisfied that I leave the OIC a much better organization,” said Mr. Marleau.

“From a management perspective,” he added, “the new team in place is implementing a new business model to better serve Canadians, the funding of the Office has almost doubled and the financial and human resources management practices are now in step with modern governance and accountability principles and policies”.

From a program perspective, Mr. Marleau is quite pleased to report that “the backlog inventory of cases in under control and will be eliminated by the end of the fiscal year; that the systemic report cards have been renewed and expended; and, that a strategy for legislative reform has been presented to the Standing Committee on Access, Privacy and Ethics and was largely supported by academics and professionals of access to information.” The Standing Committee on Access, Privacy and Ethics has also endorsed the OIC recommendations in its eleventh report to the House of Commons tabled June 18.

While the search for a new Commissioner is on-going, Mr. Marleau recommended to the Governor in Council that Suzanne Legault, Assistant Commissioner, responsible for Policy, Communications and Operation be appointed Interim Commissioner. The Governor in Council accepted his recommendation.

Suzanne Legault was appointed Assistant Commissioner for the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada on June 18, 2007. Ms. Legault began her career in the Public Service in 1996 at the Competition Bureau, where she held increasingly senior positions, including Special Advisor to the Commissioner of Competition. She then served as Legal Counsel with the Department of Justice, before returning to the Competition Bureau where she was Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Legislative Affairs, then Deputy Commissioner, Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs. During her tenure at the Competition Bureau she developed significant experience in investigations and policy development in key industry sectors. Prior to joining the Public Service, Ms. Legault practised law as a criminal defense lawyer and Crown prosecutor from 1991 to 1996. Ms. Legault holds a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Bachelor of Common Law from McGill Law School, which she obtained in 1988.

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