FOIP HIGHLIGHTS Revised May FOIP Office Bulletin Contact Person by wantyou


									                                FOIP HIGHLIGHTS
                                                                          Revised May 19, 2005
                                                                        FOIP Office Bulletin # 11

                                       Contact Person: Sylvia Gilmore - FOIP Coordinator
                              Phone: 294-8394; Fax: 777-8028; Email:

           Please share this information with as many staff as possible.


    FOIP Consent Requirements

    When collecting personal information for a use or disclosure, consent by itself does
    not permit the collection. The purpose for the collection must be in accordance with
    section 33 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act.

    Section 33(c) stipulates that no personal information can be collected unless it
    “relates directly to and is necessary for an operating program or activity of the
    public body.”

    When requesting permission from parents, students or staff to use or disclose their
    personal information, the FOIP Act requires that the individual is able to identify their
    personal information and consent to the use or disclosure. In accordance with the
    stipulations in section 6(1) of the FOIP Regulation, the consent:

       •   “must be in writing, and
       •   must specify to whom the personal information may be disclosed and how the
           personal information may be used.”

    When schools or departments are obtaining permission for the use or disclosure of
    personal information, the consent document that is used should be identifiable as a
    Calgary Board of Education form. If another entity or requesting party purports to have
    obtained consent from an individual; schools or departments must verify that the
    consent is legitimate, current and in writing.

    If options are given on what the individual can consent to, then the individual should be
    able to refuse any or all of the options. There can be no assumption of permission
    to use or disclosure. For example, if you are creating a list of names and phone
    numbers, it isn’t sufficient to only ask permission to publish the person’s phone
    number. If the person refuses to consent to the publication of the phone number, you
    still need to obtain consent to publish the name.

    It is reasonable to expect that the consent to release information is time sensitive and
    time specific. The form should indicate the length of time for which the consent
    is valid. There should also be a space for the individual to enter the date when they
    signed the form.
                                                             FOIP Office Bulletin #11 – Revised May 19, 2005
                                                                                                     Page 1
Accuracy and Authorization

It is very important to track the receipt or non-receipt of the consent form to make
certain that authorization has been obtained. If consent is denied or if the consent
form is not returned with the individual’s signature, there is an absence of
authorization. In these cases, the use or disclosure of the information in question is
prohibited. When individuals consent to some but not all of the options given, you
need to make certain that only that information for which you have received permission
is used or disclosed.

Limitations on Use or Disclosure

When requesting permission to use or disclose someone’s personal information, you
must limit the information to only what is absolutely necessary. For example, if
the entity you are disclosing to only requires a person’s name and phone number, then
do not ask permission to disclose any other personal information such as their

The person signing the consent should understand that once identifying information is
released in any public forum, the Calgary Board of Education cannot control or prevent
the further distribution or use of the material by those who access the information. A
statement to this effect should be included on the consent form.

Reference Material

For additional information, please refer to the “Guidelines on Developing FOIP
Compliant Forms” attached to this bulletin.

CBE Administrative Regulations 1061 and 1064 provide information about your
obligations concerning the security of personal and confidential information and
limitations around disclosure. These Regulations can be accessed at: and

You may wish to review the Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner’s
Investigation Report 2000-IR-003, Investigation # 1876. This Report includes practices
recommended for public bodies relating to consent and can be accessed at:

Another good reference is the Alberta Government document “Using and Disclosing
Personal Information in School Jurisdictions”, found on-line at:

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Sylvia Gilmore, FOIP
Coordinator at 294-8394 or email

                                                      FOIP Office Bulletin #11 – Revised May 19, 2005
                                                                                              Page 2

Please refer to Administrative Regulation 1065 – Forms Management


1.   Review the information being collected on the form to be certain that it is necessary for the program or service
     provided. A good rule of thumb is to collect on a “need to know” rather than on a “nice to know” basis.

2.   State the purposes for which the information is being collected. Be as clear as possible on how the personal
     information will be used.

3.   Identify the authority under which you have collected the personal information. This could be the School Act and/or
     the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Identify a contact person who can respond to questions.
     For example:

     Personal information is collected under the authority of the School Act and/or Regulation and Alberta’s Freedom of
     Information and Protection of Privacy Act for: [state the purpose here]. This information will be treated in
     accordance with the privacy protection provisions of the FOIP Act. If you have any questions about the collection
     please contact (position title) , Calgary Board of Education, (location) , (address) , phone (phone number)


4.   When requesting consent for the use or disclosure of personal information, the consent must be in writing, unless
     extenuating circumstances dictate otherwise, and it must specify to whom the information may be disclosed and how it
     may be used. This specification may form part of the introductory paragraph.

5.   The consent form should indicate that consent is voluntary and the length of time it remains valid. For example, you
     may wish to have a statement like: “Parents are under no obligation to consent; it is their voluntary decision to do so.
     This consent remains valid for the current school year only. You may withdraw your consent by notifying the school
     principal in writing.”

6.   End the form with the standard signatories for consent. For example:

     “I being the parent/legal guardian have read and understand the information provided and hereby voluntarily give the
     Calgary Board of Education consent to [state use, specify what personal information and to whom].”

     Parent/Legal Guardian Name: ____________________________________________________________________
                                                     (please print)

     Parent/Legal Guardian Signature: _________________________________________________________________

     Date: ________________________

     “I being an independent student as defined in the School Act have read and understand the information provided and
     hereby voluntarily give the Calgary Board of Education consent to [state use, specify what personal information and to

     Independent Student Name: ______________________________________________________________________
                                                         (please print)
     Independent Student Signature: ___________________________________________________________________
                                           (please provide proof of independent student status)
     Date: ________________________                                                         FOIP Office/Revised May 2004

                                                                                  FOIP Office Bulletin #11 – Revised May 19, 2005
                                                                                                                          Page 3

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