Investigation Report 1999-IR-06: Treasury

April 6, 2000

Information and Privacy Commissioner Bob Clark today released Investigation Report 99-IR-006.

The report concludes an investigation into a privacy complaint under section 51(2)(e) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the “Act”).

The Complainant alleged that their personal information was gathered by or for Alberta Treasury as the basis from which to proceed with legal action. The Complainant had an outstanding student loan with the Government of Alberta which had been sold to a private collection agency.

The investigation found several areas where recommendations were made to improve the process for when debts to the Crown are sold to a third party.

These included:

  1. Proper notification to the debtor as to who they would be dealing with in the future.
  2. Improved monitoring of the companies who purchase Crown debts to insure that they do not make misrepresentations to the debtor.
  3. Collection agencies who have purchased debts from the Crown should not make reference at any time to collecting the debt on behalf of the Crown.

The investigation concluded that the agency collecting the debt was not subject to the Act as they had purchased the debt from the Crown in 1992.

Alberta Treasury has already provided the Commissioner’s office with notification that the recommendations have been accepted and implemented by the Public Body.