Complaint: The Saskatchewan Financial Services Commission (SFSC), now called the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA), has once again, for the second time this year, been severely reprimanded in a scathing report released by the Saskatchewan government watchdog’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC). The substance of the Report concerns the actions of the FCAA involving their violations of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and The Health Information Protection Act. The Privacy Commissioner has found the FCAA guilty of blatant breaches of the legislated privacy statutes of this province. During the course of an administrative case being conducted by the FCAA, a formal complaint was filed against the SFSC/FCAA with the Privacy Commissioner’s Office. The OIPC launched an official investigation seeking answers as to why the FCAA had willfully disclosed both personal medical and other private information. The FCAA were unable to provide the Privacy Commissioner with any explanation as to why the FCAA had chosen to disregard their obligations to protect such information. Additionally, the FCAA have obstructed and delayed the OIPC’s investigation for the past two years. The Privacy Commissioner’s investigation and subsequent Report very clearly concludes that the FCAA were in gross violation of, and had no legal grounds to violate, both FOIP and HIPA. In addition to citing the FCAA for numerous breaches under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Privacy Commissioner takes particular aim at the FCAA’s grievous violations of The Health Information Protection Act. The Health Information Protection Act statutes were created to safeguard personal private medical information; such information is sacrosanct. Breaches of HIPA are a very serious matter and can mean personal fines of up to $50,000 and $500,000 for an organization. The Commissioner’s Report very clearly concludes that the FCAA had no legal grounds nor privilege to do what they did as regards the release of personal medical and other private information, and specifically cites the FCAA for breaching both FOIP and HIPA legislation. Further, Saskatchewan also has a statutory tort for breach of privacy. While the OIPC Report unjustifiably hides the names of those at the FCAA who are implicated in this matter, as the proceedings associated with this case were open for the public record, these people should also be held to open public scrutiny. The following individuals at the FCAA are directly involved with this matter: – FCAA Chair Dave Wild; – FCAA Securities Division Director Dean Murrison; – FCAA Securities Division Legal Counsel & Deputy Director Sonne Udemgba; – FCAA Securities Division Deputy Director Ed Rodonets; – Former FCAA Securities Division lead investigator Sandy Novak; – FCAA Vice-Chairperson Paul Robinson; – FCAA Board Member Gordon Hamilton; – FCAA Board Member Peter Carton; – FCAA Executive Assistant Pat Murray. The release of this second investigative report by the Privacy Commissioner is just the tip of the iceberg; there are presently more than half a dozen additional investigations against the FCAA being conducted by the OIPC, and several more currently being prepared. The FCAA’s attempts to conceal the truth are doomed to failure; the real facts are now starting to be revealed, and ultimately the FCAA’s corruption will be exposed. In light of the OIPC’s latest Report, the obvious question is how long until the FCAA faces civil litigation; and perhaps even more important, will FCAA management and staff who have now been found in breach of provincial legislation be charged criminally? Additional information will be posted as it becomes available. Disclosure Note: I am not a named party in any FCAA action or proceeding. I am reporting on facts which are publicly accessible but not yet widely known.
Tags: Government Services
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