Disclosure to Ministry of Education and Government Agencies

Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education has no more right to employee information than the general public unless such information can be disclosed under LAFOIP.

Section 28(2)(i) of LAFOIP provides that personal information can be shared without consent if it is for the purposes of complying with “an Act or a regulation”. This will allow sharing of personal information with the Ministry if the board of education is required to do so pursuant to The Education Act, 1995 or its regulations. For example, in the case of teacher certification, there may be occasions when the board will need to share information about the education and experience of the teacher in order to obtain certification for the teacher.

If personal information is requested by the Ministry pursuant to policy or process not set out in legislation then the personal information can only be shared if there is a specific section of LAFOIP that allows the school division to do so.

Government Agencies

Legislation other than LAFOIP can allow boards to provide access to records to other agencies. This might include agencies such as Revenue Canada, Employment Insurance, Workers Compensation or Occupational Health and Safety.

As with all disclosures without consent, granting access to such information must be justified by section 28(2) of LAFOIP or section 10 of LAFOIP Regulations.

In most cases there will be legislative or regulatory requirements for employers to provide certain specified types of information to the particular agency. These will relate to the services being provided by the agency. Consent from the employee will not be required to share this specified information.

If there is any question about the right of an agency to request information or to request a specific type of information the agency should be asked to provide the basis on which it believes such information should be released. It should be asked to make the request in writing and the request, the basis for the request, and a list of the information that was released should be kept on the file.

The Privacy Commissioner of Saskatchewan, in an investigation report concerning the City of Saskatoon in May 2010, recommended that the city deal with requests from CRA in the following manner:

“[72] I recommend that the City communicate to its employees its authority under section 28(2) of LA FOIP to disclose personal information to CRA. In doing so, the City should identify exactly which provisions in which tax or other laws give CRA authority to collect personal information of its clients. The City should also clarify specifically which types of personal information will be shared with CRA in what circumstances.

[73] I recommend the City strengthen its policies to ensure that, each time a request is received from CRA, discretion is used on a case by case basis when disclosing personal information without consent pursuant to section 28(2) of LA FOIP.

[74] I recommend the City ensure that employees responding to these requests understand and comply with the data minimization principle.”