December 13, 2004


Government proclaims Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Justice Minister and Attorney General Tom Marshall today announced access and privacy legislation for the province with the proclamation of the access provisions of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPPA). The new provisions included in ATIPPA follow extensive review and consultation to modernize and replace the Freedom of Information Act. 

Approximately 460 public bodies are subject to ATIPPA, including government departments and agencies, school boards, public post-secondary institutions, health boards and municipalities. The Access to Information provisions will come into effect Monday, January 17, 2005, with proclamation of privacy provisions to take effect at a later date to be determined. 

"We are pleased to move forward with this legislation which supports the Blueprint commitment to proclaim new freedom of information legislation, and governments openness and accountability agenda. This legislation will improve people�s right to access information, and clearly define privacy provisions for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information," stated Minister Marshall. "Public bodies will become more open and accountable, while remaining committed to protecting personal privacy." 

ATIPPA provides clarity for the people in the province of their right to information, and introduces a personal privacy regime to limit the collection, use and disclosure of personal information held by government or any of its agencies. 

The Department of Justice will be responsible for the administration and coordination of ATIPPA. An ATIPP office has been established to provide strategic and operational leadership of this new legislation for all public bodies in the province. The office will act as government�s primary technical, educational, advisory and policy resource in the administration of this legislation. 

"The ATIPP office will facilitate a consistent coordinated approach to the administration of this legislation. The Department of Justice has completed extensive training and policy development, and continues to work with all public bodies to ensure they are familiar with ATIPPA," added Minister Marshall. 

Pursuant to a resolution endorsed by the House of Assembly, Phil Wall has been appointed as the province�s Information and Privacy Commissioner. As an officer of the House of Assembly, Mr. Wall will be responsible for informing the public about the legislation, providing an independent review mechanism for the citizens of the province, and will ensure that the legislation is upheld throughout government. The commissioner will investigate and mediate complaints, as well as make recommendations to government and agencies. 

"We are delighted to welcome Mr. Wall and are confident that he will provide solid leadership in his work with government and agencies to ensure that the legislation is upheld in a responsible manner," added the minister. 

Media contact: Heather MacLean, Justice, (709) 729-6985 or (709) 690-2498

Philip J. Wall

Phil Wall, an established and respected long time civil servant, has held various senior management positions within government and held the position of deputy minister of finance for the province prior to his retirement in 2003. During his career, Mr. Wall held positions as the president and chief executive officer of Enterprise Newfoundland and Labrador (ENL), as well as positions with the Taxation and Debt Management Divisions, and as assistant deputy minister responsible for Debt Management and Pensions with the Department of Finance. 

During his career, Mr. Wall has been chair of a number of Crown agencies including Newfoundland and Labrador Municipal Financing Corporation, Newfoundland and Labrador Industrial Development Corporation, and the province�s Pensions Investment Committee. He has also been active on the boards of the Marystown Shipyard, Business Investment Corporation, and the EDGE Corporation. He currently serves on the board of the Atlantic Lottery Corporation and the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation. 

Mr. Wall remains active in the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and was awarded the Governor General�s Commemorative Medal of the 125th Anniversary of Confederation in 1992, and the Queen�s Jubilee Medal in 2002 in recognition of his continued service to cystic fibrosis on a provincial and national level. 

2004 12 13                         1:40 p.m.

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