Information and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton announced the first recipient of the Robert C. Clark award during Right to Know Week, an annual, international event that raises awareness of an individual’s right to access government information, while promoting freedom of information as essential to democracy and good governance.
The first recipient of the award, established to recognize a significant contribution to advancing access to information in Alberta, is Mr. Wayne MacDonald. Mr. MacDonald is the Government Studies Program Manager with the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta and has played a significant role in the education of information rights administrators in the province of Alberta and across Canada.
A dedicated leader and champion in the area of access rights, Mr. MacDonald was integral in the development of the Information Access and Protection of Privacy (IAPP) Certificate Program at the University of Alberta. The IAPP program has an annual registration of 450 students and has received national and international recognition as the leading post-secondary program supporting information rights legislation and administration.
As well, Mr. MacDonald chairs the highly-regarded, annual access and privacy conference, and developed an IAPP awards recognition program and specialized information access training for governments.
An independent, three-person panel made up of subject matter experts with extensive expertise in the field reviewed the nominations and selected the award recipient. The panel included:
- Irene Hamilton, former Ombudsman for the province of Manitoba;
- Elaine Keenan Bengts, Information and Privacy Commissioner of the Northwest Territories; and
- Laura Neuman, Senior Associate Director of the Americas Program, and Manager of the Global Access to Information Initiative with the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
The annual award was named after Alberta’s first Information and Privacy Commissioner, Robert (Bob) Clark, who served in that role from 1995 to 2001. Clark led the Office through the introduction and expansion of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and the introduction of the Health Information Act, while also acting as an educator and advocate for the principles of access to information and protection of privacy.