Section 54.1 - Order for Severing of Records

Summary

Section 54.1 gives the Commissioner the authority to make an order confirming that the head of a public body has failed to sever the records as required by this Act and requiring the head to sever the records in accordance with the directions set out in the order.

An order for severing of records can only be issued after the public body has responded to a request (section 5) and a request for review has been received by the Commissioner (section 52).

The head of the public body must be given at least 30 days from the date he/she receives the order for severing to sever the records under this section.

Additional Information

This provision was added to the Act in 2008 to respond to a recommendation of the 2004 Special Legislative Committee that reviewed FOIPPA. It addresses situations in which public bodies would neglect or refuse to sever records as required, especially when access requests involved a large number of records. Instead, public bodies would withhold the records in their entirety. Until this amendment, the Commissioner did not have the authority to order a public body to perform its duty to sever the records. 

Last updated: April 2014