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Clark says shredding investigation in ESRD is a good start, but more likely to come

Posted on May 13, 2015 by Meagan Wade

CALGARY, AB - May 13, 2015 - Alberta Party leader Greg Clark is glad to see an investigation moving forward into document destruction but believes other departments are likely to be included.
“The joint investigation is a start and I’m hopeful it will get to the bottom of the situation at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development,” said Clark. “It’s frustrating that we have to tie ourselves in procedural knots to get an investigation started but that’s the way the law is currently written. We plan to submit further FOIP requests to other departments in an attempt to stop any unauthorized document destruction in all departments.”
Clark said he will push for changes to Alberta’s FOIP and ethics laws to enhance the powers of the Privacy Commissioner, and to ensure her office has the resources it needs.
 
“The PC’s have left a legacy of the weakest FOIP and ethics laws in Canada,” said Clark. “Under the PC law, the privacy commissioner has no power to compel departments to stop destroying information and she is short-staffed.
 
“The change in government gives us the opportunity to toughen these laws and give the officers of the Legislature the tools they need to protect information that lawfully belongs to all Albertans.”
 
Clark believes there is a significant risk that paper and electronic documents are being destroyed unlawfully.
 
“The investigation will determine exactly what has been destroyed and if it has been done following proper procedures,” said Clark. “But you have to ask yourself; after 44 years is it likely the PCs have anything to hide?
 
“Where there’s smoke there’s almost always fire.”
 
Clark will continue to pursue the issue and is preparing a request for the Auditor General to conduct a forensic audit of information destruction immediately preceding and during the transition period.

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