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. 146 unambiguous meaning of the words of the statute.550 “Relating to” requires some connection between the information and the negotiations.551 Examples of records or information that could fit under this part of the exemption could include the things considered by the government institution when formulating its positions, plans, procedures, criteria or instructions such as how another government institution approached similar negotiations. Such records may not have been developed by or on behalf of the government institution, but this is not a requirement for this part of the exemption. A government institution cannot rely on subsection 17(1)(c) of FOIP for a record that fits within the enumerated exclusions listed at subsection 17(2) of FOIP. Before applying subsection 17(1) of FOIP, government institutions should ensure that subsection 17(2) of FOIP does not apply to any of the records. IPC Findings In Review Report 258-2016, the Commissioner considered the equivalent provision in The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (LA FOIP). An applicant had made an access to information request to the former Kelsey Trail Regional Health Authority (KTHR) for copies of all allegations by KTHR employees regarding the applicant’s return to work and all correspondence between specific departments and staff where the applicant was mentioned. KTHR responded to the applicant indicating that access was partially granted to some records but was withheld for others citing several subsections including subsection 16(1)(c) of LA FOIP. The record at issue for subsection 16(1)(c) of LA FOIP was an email. KTHR asserted the information severed in the email constituted “plans” and “instructions” developed for the purpose of negotiations regarding the applicant’s return-to-work. Upon review, the Commissioner found that subsection 16(1)(c) of LA FOIP was intended to capture negotiations involving a local authority and an outside party. It did not include internal negotiations with employees. In arriving at this finding, the Commissioner relied on similar interpretations by federal counterparts (see paragraph [48]). 550 Adapted from Ministry of Attorney General and Toronto Star, 2010 ONSC 991 (CanLII) at [45]. 551 Adapted from Ministry of Attorney General and Toronto Star, 2010 ONSC 991 (CanLII) at [43].