The Ministry of the Attorney General (the Ministry) received a request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act) for access to all records relating to him in the possession of the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner (the PCC). The Ministry granted full access to fifty responsive records, and denied access to two other records, pursuant to sections 13(1), 14(1)(a) and (b), 14(2)(c) and 49(a) of the Act. The requester appealed the Ministry's decision.
Mediation was not successful, and notice that an inquiry was being conducted to review the Ministry's decision was sent to the appellant and the Ministry. Written representations were received from both parties. In its representations, the Ministry raised section 14(2)(a) of the Act as an additional exemption claim for both records.
Before discussing the actual records and the application of the Act, I thought it would be helpful to provide some background information about the PCC and the circumstances of the complaint filed by the appellant with that organization.
Under the Police Services Act (the PSA), an individual may submit a complaint about police misconduct to the relevant police chief. The legislation provides that the complaint must be filed within six months of the alleged wrongdoing. Following an investigation, the police chief must issue a decision, which may be reviewed by the PCC. A request for review by the PCC must be made within thirty days of the police chief's decision. The PCC has discretion to consider complaints/requests for review filed after the prescribed six month/thirty day time periods.
The appellant filed a complaint with a police chief under the PSA, alleging improper conduct on the part of a police officer. The police chief looked into the matter and issued a decision, and the appellant requested a review of this decision by the PCC. The appellant's initial complaint and request for review were both made after the time periods allowed by the legislation.
Record 1 is a handwritten memorandum to file by a PCC employee, dated July 5, 1991. It outlines a discussion between the employee and the appellant regarding the appellant's delay in submitting his original complaint, and contains the employee's comments respecting the granting of a time extension. The record also includes a handwritten statement by another PCC employee pertaining to the contents of the memorandum.
Record 2 is another memorandum to file by the same PCC employee, dated December 20, 1991. It contains an outline of the employee's conversation with the appellant regarding his request for a time extension, the employee's response to the request, and her views as to whether an extension should be granted.