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. 82 Discretionary benefits: Discretionary means a choice given to a decision-maker as to whether, or how, to exercise a power.240 Involves the exercise of judgement and choice.241 Benefit means an advantage or profit gained from something.242 Benefit connotes some advantage or betterment.243 A favourable or helpful factor or circumstance.244 For a benefit to be discretionary, the decision-maker must have a choice as to whether, or how, to grant the benefit. There must not be a duty to grant the “benefit”.245 This provision does not apply to background personal information required by the government institution or provided voluntarily by an individual applying for the licence, permit or other similar discretionary benefit. This is supported by subsection 24(3) of FOIP which states this type of background information provided by an individual is personal information: 24(3) Notwithstanding clauses 2(e) and (f), “personal information” includes information that: (a) is supplied by an individual to support an application for a discretionary benefit; and (b) is personal information within the meaning of subsection (1). IPC Findings In Investigation Report LA-2005-003, the Commissioner found that the details of a building permit would not be considered personal information pursuant to the equivalent provision on The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (LA FOIP) (s.s. 23(2)(d)). 240 AB IPC Order 98-014 at [16]. 241 Garner, Bryan A., 2019. Black’s Law Dictionary, 11th Edition. St. Paul, Minn.: West Group at p. 586. 242 Pearsall, Judy, Concise Oxford Dictionary, 10th Ed. at p. 126, (Oxford University Press). 243 Hans v. STU, 2016 NBKB 49 (CanLII) at [29]. 244 SK OIPC Review Reports LA-2009-001 at [90] to [92] and 082-2017 at [18]. 245 AB IPC Order 98-014 at [16].