Procedure for Managing an ATIPP Request
Most information requests are dealt with in the normal course of university business, since the university strives to provide information whenever it can do so. However, individuals may exercise their right to file ATIPP requests.
ATIPP requests must be relayed immediately to the IAP Office, as statutory timelines apply.
The IAP Office manages ATIPP requests in accordance with the ATIPP Act and regulations. The IAP Office receives applications, processes the application fees, ensures legislative timelines are met, develops fee estimates (where applicable), prepares records for disclosure, consults with Unit heads and others, as appropriate, and issues decision letters to applicants.
Authority for decision-making is set out in Decision-making under ATIPPA: Delegation of Authority.
The IAP Office responds to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner [the Commissioner] when that office investigates complaints and requests for review.
Identifying, locating and retrieving responsive records
Unit heads are responsible for identifying and locating all records responsive to an ATIPP request and providing them to the IAP Office. The IAP Office provides to the Unit head the exact wording of the request so that all records which are responsive can be identified, located and retrieved. The IAP Office provides guidance and suggestions for locating records. The Unit head conducts further searches and provides clarification, if required, to ensure all records are located. A Search for Records Worksheet is provided to the Unit head to assist in undertaking an adequate search. This documentation of the search must be undertaken to assist with subsequent investigations by the Commissioner and for reporting purposes in monitoring resources involved in administering ATIPP requests. The Unit head sends the responsive records and the completed worksheet to the IAP Office.
Records to remain intact
Records are not to be altered in any manner.
It is an offense under s.72 of the ATIPP Act to destroy a record or remove information from a record to evade an ATIPP request.
Providing the responsive records to the IAP Office
To meet statutory deadlines, one complete photocopy of all responsive records must be provided to the IAP Office no later than seven days after notification.
The IAP Office decides if the time limit (30 calendar days) for responding to an ATIPP request is to be extended as permitted by the ATIPP Act.
The Act applies to all records in the custody of and/or under the control of the University with the exception of records set out in section 5.
If the records sought in an ATIPP request are teaching materials, questions on an examination or test or research data, then access may be denied on the basis that the records are excluded from the ATIPP Act. The University, through the IAP Office, reviews records for determination of exclusion. Decisions to deny access to these types of records are subject to review by the Commissioner.
Exceptions to disclosure
The IAP Office conducts a line-by-line review of each record and determines if exceptions to disclosure apply.
Information subject to mandatory exceptions to disclosure will be removed by the IAP Office from the copy of the responsive record to be provided to the ATIPP applicant.
The IAP Office determines if any of the information is subject to discretionary exceptions to disclosure. Decisions to deny access to this kind of information are made by the Unit head after consultations with the IAP Coordinator or General Counsel for the university.
The IAP Office assesses and collects fees in accordance with the ATIPP Fee Schedule established under the ATIPP Act.
Unit heads provide the IAP Office with an estimate of the time needed to identify, locate and retrieve records responsive to an ATIPP request. Using the Search for Records Worksheet, Unit heads record the actual time spent identifying, locating and retrieving records of each employee and provide this information to the IAP Office.
The IAP Office reports to the Board of Regents, the Senior Executive Committee and the IAP Advisory Committee on the university's administration of ATIPP requests.
Complaints, review and appeal
The Newfoundland and Labrador Information and Privacy Commissioner is authorized under the ATIPP Act to investigate complaints (about fees and extensions of the 30-day time limit) by ATIPP requesters and to review and report on decisions to deny access to information to ATIPP requesters.