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Information Request

  

Principle:

Memorial University of Newfoundland, as a public institution, is committed to openness, accountability and transparency in all of its activities. Questions arising from and information sought about Memorial University's activities will be met with forthright and timely responses. Most information about the university's operations is considered public information and is made easily accessible on the internet. The university is guided by and bound by federal and provincial laws regulating access to information and protection of privacy.

 

Purpose:

To state the University's commitment to uphold the right of access to information in its custody or control in accordance with the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPP Act), other applicable legislation and university policy.

 

Scope:

All organizational units of Memorial University. All information and records in the custody and/or under the control of the University. The policy is based on the requirements of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act to which Memorial University is subject.

 

Definitions:

ATIPP Act - The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act is a statute of Newfoundland and Labrador which applies to provincial public bodies. Memorial University is a public body under the ATIPP Act.

ATIPP Request - A request for access to records made under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Custody and Control - Determining whether or not a record is in the custody and/or control of Memorial University for the purposes of ATIPP Act will include considerations of the following criteria. All criteria will not necessarily apply and not any one criterion will be determinative.

  • Was the record created by an officer or employee of the University?
  • What use did the creator intend to make of the record?
  • Does the University have possession of the record, either because it has been voluntarily provided by the creator or pursuant to a mandatory statutory or employment requirement?
  • If the University does not have possession of the record, is it being held elsewhere by an officer or employee of the University for the purposes of his or her duties as an officer or employee?
  • Does the University have the right to possession of the record?
  • Does the content of the record relate to the University's mandate and functions?
  • Does the University have the authority to regulate the record's use?
  • Is the record or use of it addressed in the Memorial University Act, any collective agreements, or other policies of the University?
  • To what extent has the record been relied upon by the University?
  • How closely is the record integrated with other records held by the University?
  • Does the University have the authority to dispose of the record?

Employee - Has the meaning given in the ATIPP Act, including salaried employees, wage employees, contract employees, and independent contractors.

Head - The Head for the purposes of the ATIPP Act is the University President.

IAPP Office - The University's Information Access and Privacy Protection Office.

Information Request-  A request to a University unit for information/records.


Personal Information -Recorded information about an identifiable individual, including (not an exhaustive list).

  • the individual's name, address or telephone number
  • the individual's race, national or ethnic origin, colour, or religious or political beliefs or associations
  • the individual's age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or family status
  • an identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to the individual
  • the individual's fingerprints, blood type or inheritable characteristics
  • information about the individual's health care status or history, including a physical or mental disability
  • information about the individual's educational, financial, criminal or employment status or history
  • the opinions of a person about the individual, and
  • the individual's personal views or opinions

Record - A record of information in any form and recorded or stored in any manner, including paper, electronic, digital, audio, video, e-mail messages, notes, handwritten and otherwise, and drafts, but does not include a computer program or a mechanism that produces records on any storage medium.

Third Party - A person, group of persons or organization other than the person making a request, or a public body.

Unit Head - For the purposes of this policy, unit head is the term used to mean Deans, Division Heads, Heads of Schools, Directors, Executive Directors, the University Librarian, the University Registrar, Associate Vice-Presidents and Vice-Presidents, as applicable.

Unit Privacy Officer - (This is a functional description, not a title.) The employees designated in that role in each academic and administrative units of the University, to implement privacy policy and procedures in that unit. It does not preclude any unit from establishing a position of unit privacy officer.

 

Policy:

  1. University employees will make reasonable effort to locate records and respond openly and in a timely fashion to requests for information which is in the custody and/or control of the University, except where doing so may harm a third party. See Procedure for Receiving Information Requests.
  2. No information designated by the university as confidential is disclosed without appropriate authority. See Procedure for Receiving an Information Request.
  3. Employees unable to comply with an information request will advise the requester that s/he may choose to file an ATIPP request, using the ATIPP Request Form and the university's Information Access and Privacy Protection Office.
  4. Memorial University responds to ATIPP requests within the statutory deadlines and as openly as possible, in compliance with the ATIPP Act.
  5. Employees are responsible for cooperating with the IAPP Office to address ATIPP requests, in accordance with the Procedure for Managing an ATIPP Request.
  6. Unit heads are responsible for ensuring all records responsive to ATIPP requests are obtained. Unit heads are also responsible for responding to requests for clarification from the IAPP Office, in accordance with the Procedure for Managing an ATIPP Request.
  7. ATIPP requests must be accompanied by the application fee and are subject to other fees, as set out in the Fee Schedule of the ATIPP Act.
  8. Decision-making under the ATIPP Act is set out in the current Delegation of Authority Instrument and approved by the Head.
  9. Searches for records contained within Memorial's server environment will be conducted by those offices/employees identified as having records responsive to the particular ATIPP request. Searches of electronic back-up media will not be conducted for the purpose of locating records responsive to an ATIPP request.
  10. Notwithstanding Section 1. above, which encourages openness, the ATIPP Act permits the University to exclude from access records that may include: teaching materials, research information and questions on an examination or test. A complete list of exclusions is available in section 5 of the ATIPP Act.

Noncompliance
University employees who act in good faith and who execute their employment responsibilities with a reasonable standard of care shall not be subject to discipline. Noncompliance with the legislation or this policy may result in disciplinary action in accordance with collective agreements and/or terms and conditions of employment.

Destroying a record or removing information from a record to evade an ATIPP request may be subject to prosecution under s.72 of the ATIPP Act.

 

Related Documents:

ATIPP Request Form

Decision Making under ATIPPA (Delegation of Authority) Form

Search for Records:  Worksheet

 

Procedures

Title: Information Request
Category : Operations Approval Date: 2010-05-13
Effective Date : 2013-04-09 Review Date: 2014-05-13
Authority:
The President
Sponsor:
Vice-President (Administration & Finance)
Contact:

Information Access and Privacy Protection Coordinator:  (709) 864-8214.

Previous Versions:
Please contact the Policy Office to view any of the following previous policy versions:

  • 2010-05-13