FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government tabled a report today summarizing input from a public review and offering 14 recommendations to improve the implementation of the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

“Our government is committed to fostering a culture of openness and transparency in New Brunswick’s public sector,” said Government Services Minister Ed Doherty. “I thank the public organizations and the New Brunswick residents who contributed to our consultation efforts. Our government will take the time it needs to consider the recommendations put forward in the report.”

The recommendations include:

  • adopting privacy policies for provincial departments and agencies;
  • developing resource materials about the act and its use;
  • encouraging public organizations to review and improve their information management practices;
  • developing a new training program for public organizations on their responsibilities under the act;
  • evaluating a fee structure for Right to Information (RTI) requests;
  • allowing for better sharing of information among government departments and agencies as required to deliver programs and services;
  • allowing for individuals to file privacy complaints to the Right to Information Commissioner’s Office about the handling of their personal information;
  • exploring the criteria for disregarding an RTI request; and
  • providing for a review of the act every four years.

During the consultation phase, the Department of Government Services met with more than 100 people and received 49 written submissions from individuals and groups to develop the recommendations on how personal information is managed and how government information is accessed.

“The government will consider these recommendations as part of the Strategic Program Review,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau, who is also the minister responsible for Strategic Program Review. “We are committed to ensuring that this important piece of legislation remains effective and is administered in an efficient way that continues to serve the needs of New Brunswickers.”

The full report is available online.