The Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations (the Ministry) received two requests under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act) for access to records relating to a criminal investigation of the requester's business activities. Specifically, the requester wanted all information in the Ministry files relating to himself, his employees and his companies.
The Ministry located records responsive to the requests and granted partial access; access to the remainder was denied citing sections 14(1)(b) and (d), 14(2)(a), 21 and 49(b) of the Act. The requester appealed the Ministry's denial of access and the claim that no other records exist.
The issues arising in these two appeals are the same and so they will be dealt with together.
The records consist of five letters of complaint filed with the Ministry about the appellant's business activities and four responses to those complaints.
Mediation was unsuccessful and notice that an inquiry was being conducted to review the Ministry's decisions was sent to the Ministry, the appellant and the three persons who had sent the letters of complaint (the affected parties). The appellant subsequently withdrew his request for one of the letters of complaint (Record 1) but still wants the Ministry's response to that letter (Record 2). However, since the appellant is not interested in the identity of that complainant, the name and address contained in Record 2 are not at issue.
Representations were received from the Ministry, the appellant and one affected person. As the Ministry made no reference to the exemption in section 14(1)(b) and stated that it was no longer relying on section 14(2)(a) as a basis for non-disclosure of the record, I will not be addressing those exemptions.