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. 18 A government institution could obtain information either intentionally or unintentionally. It can also include information that was received indirectly provided its original source was the Government of Canada. However, to obtain information suggests that the government institution did not create it. Regardless, the provision is not so much driven by the source of the record to which access is sought as it is by the confidential nature and source of the information it contains. As such, authorship (or who created the record) is irrelevant.33 Section 13 of FOIP uses the term “information contained in a record” rather than “a record” like other exemptions in FOIP. Therefore, the exemption can apply to information contained within a record that was authored by the government institution provided the information at issue was obtained from the Government of Canada. Information means facts or knowledge provided or learned as a result of research or study.34 IPC Findings In Review Report F-2006-002, the Commissioner considered subsection 13(1)(a) of FOIP. The Commissioner found that the analysis conducted by Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) on samples provided by Environment Canada met the first part of the test because Environment Canada voluntarily supplied samples to SRC and requested that SRC analyze the samples and report back. Although the record was prepared by SRC, it was built upon information provided by Environment Canada. 2. Was the information obtained implicitly or explicitly in confidence? In confidence usually describes a situation of mutual trust in which private matters are relayed or reported. Information obtained in confidence means that the provider of the information has stipulated how the information can be disseminated.35 In order for confidence to be found, there must be an implicit or explicit agreement or understanding of confidentiality on the part of both the government institution and the party that provided the information.36 33 Saskatchewan (Ministry of Health) v West, 2022 SKCA 18 at [46] and [47]. 34 Pearsall, Judy, Concise Oxford Dictionary, 10th Ed. at p. 727, (Oxford University Press), Cited in SK OIPC Review Report F-2006-002 at [45]. 35 Service Alberta, FOIP Guidelines and Practices: 2009 Edition, Chapter 4 at p. 104, SK OIPC Review Reports F-2006-002 at [51], H-2008-002 at [73], ON IPC Order MO-1896 at p. 8. 36 SK OIPC Review Reports F-2006-002 at [52], LA-2013-002 at [57]; ON IPC Order MO-1896 at p. 8.