Appointment of “Head”

Applications for access to information under LAFOIP are to be made to the “head” of the local authority, according to section 2(e)(ii) of LAFOIP. The chairperson of the board of education (board) is the “head” within the meaning of the legislation, unless someone else is designated. Boards may, for example, assign the duties to a director of education or superintendent, or appoint a privacy officer or LAFOIP coordinator, or incorporate the duties of dealing with access requests into job descriptions of other central office employees.

LAFOIP allows for the delegation of authority to more than one individual. The designate would then have the power under section 50 of LAFOIP to further delegate the duties to other employees.

Section 50 of LAFOIP provides that the appointment of the head must be made in writing. Therefore the board should pass a motion when delegating the responsibility to the director of education or other employee. A suggested motion is as follows:

“That pursuant to section 50 of The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act the director of education be appointed as head and that the director of education may from time to time delegate duties as head to such employee or employees as may be required.”

Alternatively, the board could provide for the delegation of duties of the head as part of  a policy that covers privacy and access issues.