Privacy commissioner rips justice ministry for 68-month delay
Saskatchewan's information and privacy commissioner is calling a 68-month delay "unconscionable" in the case of a man asking for government records about himself.
Gary Dickson's latest report, released Monday, was highly critical of the Justice Ministry, saying it contributed to the delay in responding to the request of the man, who said he had been charged and found not guilty of criminal harrassment.
"I am struck by the profound lack of respect shown for the applicant and his right to access records that are fundamentally about him," Dickson wrote in the report.
"One has to admire the doggedness and persistence of someone who has to navigate all of these hoops and hurdles just to get a recommendation from the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) which may or may not be accepted by the Ministry of Justice."
Dickson says the problems go way beyond the one case.
He noted that the Justice Ministry has a budget of $162 million, but only pays for four full-time employees to deal with freedom of information requests to itself and other departments.
"My recommendation to Justice is that it immediately undertake a thorough examination of its process to determine how it can better meet the letter and spirit of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act," Dickson said in the report.
Among Dickson's findings was that justice officials had a "lack of familiarity" with the Act.