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. 52 2. Could release of the record injure enforcement of the Act or regulation? Section 15 of FOIP uses the word could versus “could reasonably be expected to” as seen in other provisions of FOIP. The threshold for could is somewhat lower than a reasonable expectation. The requirement for could is simply that the release of the information could have the specified result. There would still have to be a basis for asserting the harm could occur. If it is fanciful or exceedingly remote, the exemption should not be invoked.188 For this provision to apply there must be objective grounds for believing that disclosing the information could result in the harm alleged. Injury implies damage or detriment.189 When there is a review by the IPC, the government institution is invited to provide a submission (arguments). The government institution should describe the harm in detail to support the application of the provision. Government institutions should not assume that the harm is self-evident on the face of the records. A government institution cannot rely on subsection 15(1)(b) of FOIP for a record that: a) Provides a general outline of the structure or programs of a law enforcement agency; or b) Reports, by means of statistical analysis or otherwise, on the degree of success achieved in a law enforcement program (see subsection 15(2)). Subsection 15(1)(c) Law enforcement and investigations 15(1) A head may refuse to give access to a record, the release of which could: … (c) interfere with a lawful investigation or disclose information with respect to a lawful investigation; … (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a record that: 188 SK OIPC Review Reports LA-2007-001 at [117], LA-2013-001 at [35], F-2014-001 at [149]. 189 Adapted from definition of ‘harm’ in Service Alberta, FOIP Guidelines and Practices: 2009 Edition, Chapter 4 at p. 148.