Saturday, January 23, 2010

BC Privacy Commissioner's resignation leaves office in limbo

I posted earlier this week that David Loukidelis has resigned as Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia to take on the post of Deputy Attorney General for the province. He resigned effective January 19, 2010. This has apparently left a significant gap, as there was no interim Commissioner appointed. Without a commissioner, the operations of the office have ground to a halt:

CBC News - British Columbia - Privacy official sounds 'urgent' alarm

Work at the office of B.C.'s Information and Privacy Commission in Victoria is reported to have ground to a halt after the commissioner resigned suddenly this week.

Privacy Commissioner David Loukidelis resigned unexpectedly Wednesday to take a job as deputy attorney general.

Commission executive director Mary Carlson circulated a letter labelled "extremely urgent" at the B.C. legislature Friday calling for a quick resolution of the situation.

The letter was addressed to the legislature Speaker Bill Barisoff and copied to Premier Gordon Campbell, Opposition Leader Carole James and senior legislative staff.

In the letter, Carlson said she sent an urgent request to Campbell Thursday.

"I wrote to the premier's office to raise this pressing concern," she wrote.

"Despite having attempted to learn if an acting commissioner has been appointed or, if not, when this will occur … this office has received no response."

Work was piling up quickly in the busy commission office, but her hands were tied, according to Carlson.

She said she had received legal advice that the office could not perform its job of reviewing requests for information and could not provide independent oversight for 3,000 public bodies until an appointment is made.

"It has been necessary to suspend the entire operations of the office," Carlson said.

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner is independent from government and monitors and enforces British Columbia's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Personal Information Protection Act.

No comments: