Administrative Procedure 195: Freedom of Information (FOI) and Protection of Privacy

Legal References:

Education Act; Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act; Personal Health Information Protection Act

Related References:

The Avon Maitland District School Board is committed to the protection of personal and confidential information under its custody or control and to an individual’s right of privacy regarding personal information that is collected, used, retained and disclosed in the school system. The principles set out in this administrative procedure confirm the board’s commitment.

They are based on globally recognized fair information practices and grounded in privacy legislation.

The Avon Maitland District School Board complies with all applicable provisions in the Education Act, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (MFIPPA), the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), and any other applicable legislation.

1. Responsibilities

1.1 The Director of Education recognizes and accepts responsibility under the MFIPPA regarding the collection, protection and maintenance of information whether it be for operational purposes of the board or personal information of students and employees.

1.2 The Director subscribes to the following three underlying principles of the Act:

1.2.1 Public information held by the board, covered by legislation, should be made available to the public;
1.2.2 Exemptions from the right of access to information should be limited and specific; and
1.2.3 All personal information should be protected from unauthorized disclosure.

2. System Expectations

2.1 The Director of Education for the Avon Maitland District School Board assures the availability to the public and individuals of all records to which they have specified rights under the MFIPPA, while protecting the privacy of all individuals for whom the record(s) exist. Matters considered within Committee of the Whole Closed sessions of the Board of Trustees (i.e. predominantly financial and property matters) are not subject to MFIPPA.

2.2 Director is Designated “Head”

In fulfilling the terms of this administrative procedure under the MFIPPA, the Director of Education shall be designated and serve as “Head” for all purposes outlined in the Act.

3. Collection of Personal Information

The collection of personal information with the Avon Maitland District School Board shall:

3.1 comply with all legal requirements including specifying the purpose(s) for which personal information is collected, the legal authority for the collection, and the title, business address, and telephone number of the individual who can answer questions about the collection; and

3.2 be fair, lawful, and limited to that which is necessary for the specified purpose.

4. Privacy Protection Principles

The protection of personal information held by the board is guided by the following principles:

4.1 Accountability and Responsibility

4.1.1 Under MFIPPA, the Avon Maitland District School Board is responsible for personal information under its custody or control. The Director of Education
and/or designate is accountable for the organization's compliance with this law.

4.1.2 Under PHIPA, health information custodians are responsible for personal health information in their custody and control and may designate an individual within their school board as an agent to assist with compliance with the Act.

4.2 Specified Purposes

The board shall identify the purpose for which personal information is collected, used, retained and disclosed, and individuals shall be notified of the purposes and any other information required by legislation at or before the time personal information is collected.

4.3 Consent

Personal information is collected for the provision of educational services to students in accordance with pertinent legislation. When required by this legislation,
the knowledge and informed consent of an individual will be obtained for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.

4.4 Limiting Collection

The board shall limit the collection of personal information to that which is necessary for its specified purpose in accordance with its statutory duties and responsibilities.

4.5 Limiting Use, Retention and Disclosure

The board shall not use, retain or disclose personal information for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the individual or as authorized or required by legislation. The board shall retain personal information in accordance with the Avon Maitland District School Board’s Records Management Schedule.

4.6 Accuracy

The board shall implement processes to ensure that personal information is accurate, complete and current in order to fulfill the specified purposes for its
collection, use, disclosure, and retention.

4.7 Safeguards

The board shall ensure that personal information is secured and protected from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, and inadvertent destruction by adhering to safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information. Supervisors shall ensure that staff understand the issues of privacy, who has access to specific information and for those with access, how the information is to be used.

4.8 Openness and Transparency

The board shall make readily available to the public specific information about its policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.

4.9 Access and Correction

Upon request, the board shall allow an individual access to their personal information in accordance with the statutes, subject to any mandatory or discretionary exemptions. An individual has the right to challenge the accuracy and completeness of their personal information and to request that it be amended as appropriate or to have a letter or statement of disagreement retained on file. An individual to whom disclosure has been granted in the year preceding a correction has the right to be notified of the correction statement. An individual will be advised of any third-party service provider requests for their personal information in accordance with privacy legislation.

4.10 Compliance

An individual shall have the ability to address or challenge compliance with this policy to the Director of Education or designate.

5. Administrative Procedures

The Director of Education is authorized to provide the administrative procedures necessary to implement this policy.
Amendment September 2019