Privacy watchdog slams justice ministry for 68-month delay in releasing records
Published Monday, January 7, 2013 2:44PM CST
Saskatchewan’s privacy commissioner is blasting the Ministry of Justice for taking 68 months to respond to a man’s request to access records.
In his report, Gary Dickson says the five years and nine months it took the ministry to release the records can only be described as an “unconscionable” delay.
“I am struck by the profound lack of respect shown for the applicant and his right to access records that are fundamentally about him,” Dickson said.
The unnamed man who requested the information had been arrested on suspicion of criminal harassment in May 2005 and was later acquitted.
In March 2007, he submitted a request to the justice ministry for any records related to him, but he was denied access.
The report points to a lack of familiarity with privacy legislation and confusion over the related exemptions within the justice ministry.
Justice Minister Gordon Wyant says the lengthy delay in this particular case was “unacceptable.”
“This one, for lack of a better word, fell between the cracks,” he said.
“We need to do a full analysis as to why that happened to make sure we have processes in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
Wyant says he’s asked ministry officials to review the privacy commissioner’s recommendations.