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. 159 A government institution cannot rely on subsection 17(1)(g) of FOIP for a record that fits within the enumerated exclusions listed at subsection 17(2). 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 042-2015, the Commissioner considered subsection 17(1)(g) of FOIP. An applicant made an access to information request to the Ministry of Finance who transferred it to Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming (SLGA). The access to information request was for records related to the impact of provincial finances of changing the liquor retailing system conducted since January 1, 2012. SLGA responded to the applicant indicating that all responsive records were being withheld pursuant to subsections 17(1)(a) and (b) of FOIP. During the course of the review, SLGA added subsection 17(1)(g) of FOIP along with other exemptions. The records at issue for subsection 17(1)(g) of FOIP were 23 Excel Workbooks. SLGA asserted that the workbooks were information of SLGA. Furthermore, that the workbooks indicated different factors SLGA was considering as part of proposed policy regarding the retail liquor system in Saskatchewan and that disclosure of the workbooks could disclose a pending policy decision. Upon review, the Commissioner found that the exemption did not apply because the policy had not yet been finalized and that SLGA was considering a “range of potential actions”. The Commissioner was not persuaded that release of the Excel Workbooks could reasonably be expected to result in disclosure of a pending policy. In Review Report 086-2018, the Commissioner considered subsection 17(1)(g) of FOIP. An applicant made an access to information request to the Ministry of Health (Health) for information pertaining to the Ministry of Health EMS Working Group. Health responded to the applicant by providing 1,697 pages. Some of the information in the pages was withheld pursuant to several provisions in FOIP including subsection 17(1)(g) of FOIP. Health applied the exemption to three pages of the record. In its submission to the IPC, Health asserted that the information pertained to budget development for a government institution regarding pending plans and projects that pertained to budgetary decisions. Upon review, the Commissioner found that the pages concerned the 2009-2010 budget and that decisions regarding the 2009-2010 budget had already been made. As such, the decisions were no longer pending. The Commissioner found the second part of the test was not met and subsection 17(1)(g) of FOIP was found not to apply.