Guide to FOIP-Chapter 6

Office of the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner. Guide to FOIP, Chapter 6, Protection of Privacy. Updated 27 February 2023. 57 There is often confusion between subsections 24(1)(f), 24(1)(h) and 24(2)(c) of FOIP. All three provisions deal with views and opinions of individuals. The following examples will help clarify the three provisions: 24(1)(f) - the views or opinions expressed by an individual are the individual’s personal information. For example, an individual writes, “I am a bad student” or “I think exercise is overrated”. It is the individual’s personal views or opinions about something and is therefore the individual’s personal information. If the views or opinions are about someone else – subsection 24(1)(h) of FOIP applies. 24(1)(h) - the views or opinions expressed by an individual about another individual are the personal information of the individual they are about. For example, an individual writes, “Smith is a bad student” or “Smith exercises but is still out of shape”. The individual’s opinion is about Smith so the opinion is Smith’s personal information. 24(2)(c) – the views or opinions expressed by employees of a government institution, given in the course of employment, are not the personal information of the employee. For example, an employee writes, “I think we should proceed with this project” or “I think we are on the right course”. An employee’s views or opinions in terms of work product are not the employee’s personal information. This is because the employee is only offering the opinion or view as part of their employment responsibilities, not in a personal capacity. However, if the employee states, “Smith is not a good employee”, the opinion is about another individual and subsection 24(1)(h) of FOIP would apply. IPC Findings In Review Report F-2012-006, the Commissioner found that any opinion offered about the applicant constituted the applicant’s personal information pursuant to subsection 24(1)(h) of FOIP. In Review Report LA-2013-001, the Commissioner found that opinions of employees about the applicant were the personal information of the applicant pursuant to subsection 23(1)(h) of The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (LA FOIP). In addition, the Commissioner found that the opinions expressed by employees about other persons should be released to the applicant because the Commissioner was bound by Liick v. Saskatchewan (Minister of Health), 1994 CanLII 4934 (SK KB) on similar facts. Were it not for the Liick decision, the Commissioner would have likely found the opinions expressed by the