LAFOIP Requirement in Board Contracts
Boards of education (board) should carefully consider whether or not persons with whom they contract will be in possession of personal information or other information exempt from disclosure under LAFOIP. If so these parties can be obligated by contract to protect such information from disclosure.
Disclsoure of Board Contracts
The assumption is that all contracts to which the board is a party become open to the public and are accessible under LAFOIP.
The only exception would be if a specific section of LAFOIP allowed the board to refuse disclosure. Section 18 of LAFOIP, for example, requires the local authority to refuse to provide records that might disclose information that contains financial or labour-related information supplied to the local authority by a third party. In these cases the board will have to examine the relevant documents and sever those parts that should not be released.
There is no requirement that tenders must be opened in public or that the details of tenders must be disclosed to the public.
The sections of LAFOIP that provide that records relating to negotiation, competition and third party interests do not have to be disclosed will apply. The board should not allow access to such information unless it has the consent of the bidder.
The board should not release any information supplied by bidders except for the name of the bidder and the fact that a bid was made by the party.
The administrators of the board may open the tenders and review the bids to ensure compliance before the bids are presented. The board can then review the details of the bids in a closed session.
The contract that is awarded to the successful bidder will become a public document and can be released once it has been executed.
Tendering is by nature a competitive process. As the Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia said in one case.
– Board of Education of School District #35 (Langley) Order F09-22