Photo by Whitehorse Star
Photo by Whitehorse Star
The territory’s new Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPP) and regulations came into force last Thursday.
The new act strengthens privacy protections for Yukoners, yet is flexible enough to meet the changing needs of access to information, openness and transparency, the territorial government said last month.
In addition to the new act and regulations, the government has developed a large suite of publicly available resource materials to support the transition to the new act.
“Our government remains committed to government openness and accountability,” said Richard Mostyn, the minister of Highways and Public Works.
“We believe the default of government should be to disclose information rather than deny access to it.
(“The act) will increase Yukoners’ access to information, strengthen the protection of their privacy and make government decision making more transparent.”
Brittany Cross, a communications analyst with Highway and Public Works, explained in an email the new Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act is the result of extensive public engagement with Yukoners, stakeholders, and the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
The new act will better protect the private information of Yukoners, increase transparency of government, and make information readily available to Yukoners, she said.
Cross said it supports the same principles as the previous act but is now better designed to meet the needs of Yukoners in a modern, digital world.
It will also help regulate how personal information stored by government departments and other corporations is held and accessed by Yukoners.
Some ways the new act improves transparency:
• It lists all of the entities that fall under the act so everyone will know whether and how it applies to them;
• It clarifies what information must be released under access requests; and
• It provides a broader list of information that must be released as part of access to information requests.
As well, the new act goes further in protecting the private information of Yukoners.
For example, new government programs and services are now required to build in privacy and data protection to give citizens greater control and protection of their personal information.
It also limits the collection, use and disclosure of Yukoners’ personal information.
To support the transition to the new act, a large suite of information has also been made available online for the public, including training and an interpretation manual. Both can be found on the Open government section on Yukon.ca.
Cross said new resources will continue to be made available online as the government moves toward implementing the new act.
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