Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Pat Kelly Profile
CPC (AB)
The assertion that more open government will diminish the number of ATIP requests is more an instinctive guess than a—
View Pat Kelly Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We heard from a variety of witnesses, including four different provincial commissioners for information and privacy, whose offices handle both privacy and access to information under one roof. We also heard, both today and in reviewing the estimates for the Privacy Commissioner, about the amount of money that appears to be going into internal services. I see access to information at 22%. That seems to be a little bit lower than that of the other commissioners, but still quite high compared with that of private enterprises, for example.
I'm curious to know how much we could get out of internal services and into the core delivery of service to Canadians if we were to combine departments and have a single office for access to information and privacy, as has been recommended to us by other witnesses. Are there additional savings to be had? Does it make sense, given the connection between the two concepts of privacy and access to information, to have a single office to handle both?
View Pat Kelly Profile
CPC (AB)
I don't know how the rest of my colleagues would feel if you wanted to come back, but....
We haven't talked, actually, about one of the key recommendations that many of the provincial experts have made to this committee, and that is whether access to information and privacy ought to be handled by one commissioner.
We also heard, and this goes to some of Mr. Erskine-Smith's comments, about allocation of resources. These offices spend a lot of money on internal services. We've also heard the concern from Professor Drapeau about the misallocation of resources.
Would you be open to combining those two offices should this committee recommend that? We've heard some strong recommendations in that direction.
View Pat Kelly Profile
CPC (AB)
We're collecting our evidence. We haven't been through the process of making a final determination, but it was one that each of the provincial commissioners we heard from as witnesses.... There's been much evidence from many witnesses on the strength of the Newfoundland and Labrador model, which, as with the other commissioners, is a single commissioner.
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