The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Office, within the Department of Justice and Public Safety, oversees the implementation and coordination of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This legislation is designed to create a culture of openness and accountability in the public sector while protecting the personal information of citizens and commercially sensitive information of businesses.
It applies to all public bodies (defined in the ATIPP Act), including government departments, agencies, health boards, school boards and municipalities. The ATIPP Act does not apply to the private sector.
The purpose of the ATIPP Act is
- to provide the public with the right of access to records; and
- to protect the privacy of individuals whose personal information is collected, used and disclosed by public bodies.
The ATIPP Act came into force on January 17, 2005 with the exception of Part IV (protection of privacy provisions) of the Act. The protection of privacy provisions came into force on January 16, 2008. As required by the legislation, the ATIPP Act was reviewed in 2010. The Act was subsequently amended in 2012 and the new provisions came into force on June 27, 2012.
The ATIPP Act is required to be reviewed every five years. On March 18, 2014, a three-person independent review committee was appointed to undertake the statutory review, including the June 2012 amendments. The ATIPP Act, 2015 came into force on June 1, 2015 replacing the previous Act.