Amendments to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act will come into force on July 30, 2021.
The amendments to the territory’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPP Act) will come into force on July 30th and will strengthen access to information and privacy protections for NWT residents.
The amendments are the most significant changes to the ATIPP Act since it was introduced in 1996. The changes are intended to address issues identified by the public, the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Government Operations, the Information and Privacy Commissioner, and public bodies after a comprehensive review of the legislation and consultation with NWT residents.
Of note, the Act will provide improved public accountability through access to government information, as well as more safeguards for how personal information is collected, used and disclosed by public bodies,. In addition, the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s general powers will be been expanded to include order making authority and the ability to carry out access and privacy reviews of his own initiative.
As part of these amendments, community governments will be brought under the ATIPP Act in collaboration with the GNWT. The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs will be leading a Working Group that will include representatives from the Department of Justice, the Northwest Territories Association of Communities (NWTAC) and the Local Government Administrators of the Northwest Territories (LGANT). This Working Group will assess capacity development, resource and training requirements related to both records practices and the ATIPP Act.
In advance of bringing the amendments into force, the centralized Access and Privacy Office started processing all new access to information requests for GNWT departments and the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation as of March 1, 2021. The centralized office continues to provide advice and assistance to the other 22 public bodies subject to the ATIPP Act. The Access and Privacy Office aims to provide consistent and timely responses to new access to information requests and advice on privacy management issues across the GNWT.
The Access and Privacy Office is leading the development of new regulations, policies and training to assist GNWT departments and public bodies in meeting their obligations under the amended ATIPP Act. Further, recent updates to the regulations eliminated any application fees associated with access to information requests for either general or personal information, in line with the majority of other Canadian jurisdictions. As a result of these changes, a vast majority of access to information requests will not incur any fees, which will increase ease of access to GNWT records and assist in moving towards a more modern access to information program for the territory.
- Access and Privacy Office
- Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
- Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Regulations
- Access and Privacy Guide
- Access and Privacy Contacts