The complainants wrote letters of complaint about a school principal. Two of the letters were subsequently disclosed to executive members of a school council and a person responsible for the volunteer program. The complainants filed a complaint against the Calgary Board of Education as they felt that the disclosure of their letters to these individuals was contrary to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the “FOIP Act”).
The investigation found that the majority of the information in the letters was the personal information of the principal. However, the letters also contained some information that was the personal information of the complainants.
Section 38 of the FOIP Act identifies circumstances in which a public body may disclose personal information. One circumstance is when disclosure of the personal information is necessary for the performance of the duties of an employee. In Order 2001-010, the Commissioner said that members of a school council are not employees of the school board. In Investigation Report 2000-IR-007, it was found that school volunteers are employees of the school board for the purposes of the FOIP Act.
The investigation found that, in this case, there was no provision in the Act that permitted the disclosure to the members of school councils. As well, it was found that disclosure of the complaint letters was not necessary for the performance of the duties of the school volunteer.