Commissioner Makes Recommendations on Ministers’ Use of Secondary Email Addresses

November 30, 2011

Information and Privacy Commissioner Frank Work has released his report on the Government of Alberta’s management of Ministers’ email addresses and emails generally, as records under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP).

The Commissioner determined there is nothing wrong with Ministers using more than one government issued email address. A number of Ministers indicated they use one government email address for external communications and another government email address for internal use. The Commissioner acknowledged multiple email addresses may be used as a means to manage the volume of emails Ministers receive. However, the Commissioner said it is important to note that emails are records under the FOIP Act and must be managed in accordance with Government of Alberta records retention and disposition schedules.

Commissioner Work makes six recommendations in his report (see attachment). A copy of the Commissioner’s full report is available on our website

The issue regarding Ministers’ use of secondary email addresses came to light following allegations that former Minister of Sustainable Resource Development, Ted Morton, had been using a secondary email address to avoid FOIP requests. Morton has since been cleared of the allegations.