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Clark to make FOIP requests to stop shredding, will notify Privacy Commissioner

Posted on May 08, 2015 by James Teterenko

CALGARY – Alberta Party leader and MLA-elect for Calgary-Elbow Greg Clark will submit a series of requests under Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act to ensure sensitive documents are not destroyed before the transition to a new government. 

“There are very clear rules about what can and cannot be destroyed,” said Clark. “The procedure for document destruction is well known and authorization for destroying documents is the exception, rather than the rule. The vast majority of paper and electronic information should be retained.”

Clark worked in the records management industry prior to entering politics. 

“Any information destruction, even for ‘transient’ files like post-it notes or duplicate files, must be pre-approved,” said Clark. “If the stories of large-scale shredding and electronic file deletion are true I have a hard time believing that proper procedure has been followed.”

Clark will submit a FOIP request to Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development today requesting copies of all shredded documents in the bags outside their Legislature office that were photographed and published in the Edmonton Journal. 

“I was dismayed to read the article in the Edmonton Journal in which bags of shredded papers appeared outside of the offices of the minister of environment of Alberta,” said Clark. “Today, I will be sending an Access to Information request to the Department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development requesting access to all department documents that are being shredded or any electronic copies of documents that have been shredded.

“I will also be notifying the Alberta Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner that such an Access to Information request has been made under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and asking that the Privacy Commissioner ensure that no documents subject to this Access to Information request be destroyed while the appropriate review is being prepared.” 

Clark said he would make similar requests of all government departments.

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