This office is very important for parents who are seeking a Freedom of Information request and the district is refusing to disclose certain documents to you or you question what they have redacted, etc.
I highly recommend parents go this route, if you have any concerns, even if it’s just a gut feeling that something isn’t right. If the districts tells you what you are requesting cannot be located, file a complaint. It’s amazing what will come to light.
There are policies and laws around student records. The student Act also reflects expectations for privacy and record keeping. There are policies for anything that has a students written name on it. What papers must be shredded, how long they must be kept, and storage rules.
FIPPA CHANGES COMING FEB 1st, 2023
There are big FIPPA changes coming to BC on Feb 1st, 2023. These affect all government organizations and affects our children’s privacy and how it is managed.
One thing that really sticks out to me, is how privacy breeches will be managed and there is the expectation of a privacy management program. To find out more information click on the link in the above paragraph.
There is an important case regarding the disclosure of counselling session notes between the school counsellors.
This order was upheld in the Supreme Court of BC.
If you have any concerns connected to the Ministry of Education, how they handle privacy, you can file a complaint with the Privacy Compliance and Training Branch of the Ministry of Citizens’ Services. The Privacy Compliance and Training Branch (PCTB) is responsible for responding to privacy complaints regarding all government ministries.
This order from the OIPC is also important. I have tried as well to get documents from the Ministry of Finance from this exact department and was denied. I decided not to pursue it to an inquiry, but these people did and answered my question around this topic, by doing so. Now, we know as parents, that this is a dead end.
More noteworthy orders
https://www.oipc.bc.ca/orders/3701 – SD61 doesn’t need to disclose information regarding student exclusion due to student privacy issues under S. 22 (1) of FIPPA.
For more info around privacy issues,
Please contact PCTB at email@example.com or call 250-356-1851. If you are not satisfied with their response or do not receive a response after 30 business days, you may submit a complaint to the OIPC.