Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
August 9, 2019

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner – Report A-2019-017 Released

The Information and Privacy Commissioner, Michael Harvey, has released his Report A-2019-017 under authority of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015. A summary of the Report is included below.

To view the Report in its entirety, please go to

Report Date:August 6, 2019
Public Body:Department of Justice and Public Safety
Summary: The Complainant sought the amounts paid out by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to settle three claims and the date they were settled. The Department of Justice and Public Safety advised the Complainant that the responsive records would be withheld pursuant to settlement privilege. In response to this Office’s investigation, the Department further cited sections 31 (disclosure harmful to law enforcement), 35 (disclosure harmful to the financial or economic interests of a public body) and 40 (disclosure harmful to personal privacy). The Commissioner found that the ATIPPA, 2015 is a complete, exhaustive code, and common law settlement privilege does not exist as a freestanding exception overriding the ATIPPA, 2015. The Commissioner also found that the Department failed to discharge its burden of proof in establishing that sections 31 or 35 applied to the responsive records. The Commissioner further found that the settlement amounts and dates should be withheld as they could reasonably be expected to reveal personal information. The Commissioner therefore recommended that the Department continue to withhold the responsive records from the Complainant.

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Media contact
Janet O’Reilly
Senior Access and Privacy Analyst

2019 08 09                              9:20 a.m.