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. 84 Discretionary benefits: Discretionary means a choice given to a decision-maker as to whether, or how, to exercise a power.248 Involves the exercise of judgement and choice.249 Benefit means an advantage or profit gained from something.250 Benefit connotes some advantage or betterment.251 A favourable or helpful factor or circumstance.252 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”.253 Discretionary benefit of a financial nature is any monetary allowance provided at the choice of the government institution.254 Some examples include: • Grants – “grant” means to give or confer discretionary benefits in situations where there is no requirement by the grantor to provide such benefits. The fact an individual received a grant, and the amount and purposes of the grant would be “details of a discretionary benefit” for purposes of subsection 24(2)(f) of FOIP. • Scholarships255 • Donations256 Section 13 of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Regulations (FOIP Regulations) lists some specific exceptions for this provision: 248 AB IPC Order 98-014 at [16]. 249 Garner, Bryan A., 2019. Black’s Law Dictionary, 11th Edition. St. Paul, Minn.: West Group at p. 586. 250 Pearsall, Judy, Concise Oxford Dictionary, 10th Ed. at p. 126, (Oxford University Press). 251 Hans v. STU, 2016 NBKB 49 (CanLII) at [29]. 252 SK OIPC Review Reports LA-2009-001 at [90] to [92] and 082-2017 at [18]. 253 AB IPC Order 98-014 at [16]. 254 British Columbia Government Services, FOIPPA Policy Definitions at Accessed April 23, 2020. See also Service Alberta, FOIP Guidelines and Practices: 2009 Edition, Chapter 4 at p. 25. 255 SK OIPC Review report 158-2018 at [76]. See also Government of Manitoba, FIPPA for Public Bodies – Resource Manual, Chapter 5, Exceptions to Disclosure at p. 72. Available at Accessed on June 5, 2020, and Service Alberta, FOIP Guidelines and Practices: 2009 Edition, Chapter 4 at p. 25. 256 NFLD IPC Report A-2008-011 at [68]. See also SK OIPC Review Report LA-2009-001 at [90].