Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
October 19, 2017
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner - 2016-2017 Annual Report Released
Commissioner Donovan Molloy is pleased to advise that the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s 2016-2017 Annual Report has been provided to the Honourable Perry Trimper, Speaker of the House of Assembly, for tabling in the House. The Report is also available on the Commissioner’s web site at www.oipc.nl.ca
The Annual Report provides a summary of the past year’s activities of the Commissioner’s Office, but also includes commentary about some ongoing issues of concern. One such issue relates to difficulties encountered by applicants who wish to access information about tenders and contracts. The Report indicates that many of the investigations undertaken by the Commissioner’s Office deal with complaints from third parties about the release of information relating to the procurement process and contracts with government and other public bodies to supply goods and services. These matters often end up proceeding to court, consuming scarce public resources in legal fees and court time, and resulting in delayed access to information.
As a solution, Commissioner Molloy has advocated in this Annual Report for a move towards Open Contracting, whereby the details of such purchases by government are made available proactively on a routine basis, bypassing the need to use the formal access to information process: “One of the fundamental purposes of access to information is to ensure transparency and accountability in government expenditures, and making this information public on a proactive basis is the best way to do that. As government works towards implementation of the new Public Procurement Act, there is an opportunity to ensure that the new regulations incorporate this Open Contracting approach, which will assure a level playing field and at the same time eliminate costly delays in the access to information system.”
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Director of Special Projects
2017 10 19 4:35 p.m.