Guide to FOIP-Chapter 4

Office of the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner. Guide to FOIP, Chapter 4, Exemptions from the Right of Access. Updated 8 April 2024. 133 The information does not have to have arrived at the person who can take or implement the action in order to qualify as advice, recommendations, proposals, analyses and/or policy options.498 The provision is not meant to protect the bare recitation of facts, without anything further.499 The provision should be reserved for the opinion, policy, or normative elements of advice, and should not be extended to the facts on which it is based. The exception is where the advice and facts may be so intertwined as to preclude release.500 Factual material means a cohesive body of facts, which are distinct from advice, proposals, recommendations, analyses and/or policy options. A government institution can only withhold factual material or assertions of fact under subsection 17(1) of FOIP if the factual information is sufficiently interwoven with other advice, proposals, recommendations, analyses and/or policy options so that it cannot reasonably be considered separate and distinct. In other words, where factual information is intertwined with advice or recommendations in a manner whereby no reasonable separation can be made, then the information is not factual material and can be withheld.501 The exemption does not generally apply to records or parts of records that in themselves reveal only the following: • That advice was sought or given; • That particular persons were involved in the seeking or giving of advice; or • That advice was sought or given on a particular topic or at a particular time.502 It also generally does not apply to process notes. Process notes are brief descriptions of next steps that result from a decision, or directions regarding who should attend meetings or 498 John Doe v. Ontario (Finance), [2014] 2 SCR 3, 2014 SCC 36 (CanLII) at [48] to [51]. 499 Originated from AB IPC Order 96-006 at p. 10. Relied on in Office of the Nunavut Information and Privacy Commissioner (NU IPC) Review Report 17-131 at p. 6; Office of the Northwest Territories Information and Privacy Commissioner (NWT IPC) Review Report 06-055 at p. 7. Also relied on in SK OIPC Review Reports LA-2007-001 at [54], LA-2011-001 at [58] and F-2014-001 at [279]. 500 3430901 Canada Inc. v. Canada (Minister of Industry), [2002] 1 FC 421, 2001 FCA 254 (CanLII) at [55]. Also see AB IPC Order 99-001 and Service Alberta, FOIP Guidelines and Practices: 2009 Edition, Chapter 4 at p. 179. 501 British Columbia Government Services, FOIPPA Policy and Procedures Manual at Accessed July 5, 2019. 502 Originated from AB IPC Review Report F2004-026 at [65] and [71]. Adopted in NWT IPC Review Report 17-163 at pp. 9 and 10. Adopted in SK OIPC Review Reports F-2012-004 at [27] to [30] and F2014-001 at [280].