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The Role of the Information and Privacy Commissioner

The Information and Privacy Commissioner is an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly appointed by the Legislature for a term of five years. The Commissioner may be removed only by a vote of the Legislature. 

The Commissioner will accept appeals, known as Requests for Review, from applicants or third parties who are not satisfied with the response they receive from a public body as a result of an access to information request made under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

The Commissioner has the power to make final and binding orders.  The Commissioner also has the power to require a public body to produce any document for the Commissioner's review that the Commissioner feels is relevant.  The Commissioner may enter and inspect any premises occupied by a public body.  Once a review has concluded and the Commissioner has considered the arguments of both parties and the relevant sections of the Act, the Commissioner will make a decision that may include an order requiring the public body to do something.  The public body is obliged to comply with the Commissioner's order.

The Commissioner's order is final; however, the applicant, the public body, or a third party may make an application for judicial review to the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island.

The Commissioner also accepts and investigates privacy complaints.  Privacy investigations may also lead to a decision and order; however, the Commissioner may first attempt to resolve the complaint between the parties.

The Commissioner is responsible for the overall administration of the Commissioner's office.  The Commissioner reports annually to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly on the work of the Commissioner's office and matters relating to freedom of information and protection of privacy, as the Commissioner considers appropriate.

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