Commissioner Releases Investigation Report Regarding Privacy Complaints Against Northland School Division No. 61

May 1, 2003

Frank Work, Information and Privacy Commissioner, had received two privacy complaints against the Northland School Division No. 61.

The Complainants said the School Division had requested Child Welfare Record checks from both the Complainant and the Complainant’s spouse. The Complainants have no issue with the requirement of a Child Welfare Record check from the Spouse as a condition of the Spouse’s employment with the School Division. However, they questioned the School Division’s authority to require a Child Welfare Record check from the Complainant when the Complainant was not being offered employment.

The investigation determined that section 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“the FOIP Act”) allows the School Division to collect Child Welfare Record checks when an employment offer is being considered or extended. However, the investigation found no evidence that employment was being considered or offered to the Complainant when the Child Welfare Record check was collected. Therefore, the investigation determined that the collection of the Complainant’s Child Welfare Record check was not in accordance with the School Division’s authority under section 33(c) of the FOIP Act.