Government of New Brunswick

History

The Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, (S.N.B., 2009, R-10.6) was given Royal Assent on June 19, 2009, bringing together two separate pieces of legislation: the Right to Information Act (1978) and the Protection of Personal Information Act (1998). Proclamation was September 1st, 2010.

The legislation was the product of two years of consultation.  In February 2007, the provincial government established the Right to Information and Protection of Personal Information Review Task Force led by Dr. Donald Savoie, a leading expert in the field of public administration.  The Task Force heard from variety of stakeholders and released its final report in September 2007.

In June 2008, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Bill 82) was introduced in the Legislative Assembly and referred to the Standing Committee on Law Amendments.  The Committee studied the bill and reported back to the House in April 2009.  In response to this report, the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Bill 89) was introduced in the Legislative Assembly in May 2009 and passed in June 2009.

 

Vision and Purpose

The Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act is founded on the principles of openness and accountability, while ensuring that the personal information about individuals held by public institutions is well protected and handled only in accordance with generally accepted privacy principles.

It is widely recognized that an open and accountable government enables its citizens to effectively participate and engage in discussion about the issues that affect them, thus encouraging a well-functioning democratic society.  For this reason, governments and other public bodies regularly make information available to the public through the internet and other media sources. 

The purposes of the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, as set out in section 2 of the Act are:

  (a)

to allow any person a right of access to records in the custody or under the control of public bodies, subject to the limited and specific exceptions set out in this Act,

  (b)

to control the manner in which public bodies may collect personal information from individuals and to protect individuals against unauthorized use or disclosure of personal information by public bodies,

  (c)

to allow individuals a right of access to records containing personal information about themselves in the custody or under the control of public bodies, subject to the limited and specific exceptions set out in this Act,

  (d)

to allow individuals a right to request corrections to records containing personal information about themselves in the custody or under the control of public bodies, and

  (e)

to provide for an independent review of the decisions of public bodies under this Act.