Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

On June 10, 2006, amendments to the OntarioFreedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) brought all Ontario universities under the Act. The overall purpose of FIPPA is to make public bodies more accountable and to protect personal privacy.

Now that Queen's University falls under FIPPA there are direct implications for Chairs and Secretaries of Board Committees including:

  • Meeting materials that contain personal information should be retrieved from all Committee members once they have been dealt with, for disposal by the Secretary of the Committee or by the University Secretariat. In accordance with retention schedules, the Secretary of the Committee should retain one copy of the personal material for a period of one-year.

  • Personal opinions or views are considered personal information. Therefore, Minutes should not record who said what, but rather they should record only substantive discussion and decisions. Aim for "crisp" Minutes.

  • In most cases, "Confidential" minutes are accessible to the public upon request. Be aware that there are very few exemptions under which the University can refuse to disclose the Minutes of an "in-camera" meeting.

  • Draft minutes, hand-written notes, voice mail, emails, and even post-it notes constitute an official University "Record" and must be made accessible to the public if requested. Since the Chairs and Secretary's rough notes often record more detail than the final version of the Minutes of a meeting, it is strongly recommended that draft material be disposed of once the official Minutes have been approved.

If you would like more information about FIPPA please refer to the Office of the Access & Privacy Coordinator.