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Openness and Transparency in Local Governments and Smaller Organizations June 5, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Openness and Transparency in Local Governments and Smaller Organizations June 5, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Openness and Transparency in Local Governments and Smaller Organizations June 5, 2014

2 Saskatchewan Boards of Education 28 boards of education – 170,000 students – 12,000 teachers – 8000 non-teacher employees

3 Saskatchewan Boards of Education Boards of education range from 90 students to over 22,000 students – 12 division have students – 10 divisions from ,000 students – 3 have under 500 students – 3 have 15,000 to 22,000

4 The Education Act, 1995 Section the board must: make minutes available for inspection, during regular office hours after the minutes have been adopted furnish copies of the minutes at any rate that the board may fix

5 The Education Act, 1995 Section the board must: send to the minister, a statement of the estimated revenues and expenditures of the board make any other reports and statements required to be made pursuant to the Act.

6 The Education Act, 1995 Section the board must, on request: forward certified copies of the previous year’s auditor’s report and financial statement to a municipality where property is taxed or grants are paid in lieu to the school division.

7 The Education Act, 1995 Section 87.2 and following sections - a board must notify the public of it’s intention to review the closure or discontinuance of grades in a rural school provide certain information to committees notify the public of motions made

8 The Education Act, 1995 Section 97 - before the annual meeting of electors the board must provide to the school community council: the report of the board of education with respect to educational developments in the preceding year the report of the auditor and financial statement for the preceding year; and the report of the director concerning progress of education in the schools of the division.

9 The Education Act, 1995 Section the duties of the principal of a school include: “exercise leadership in co-operation with the director and the board of education …in the promotion of public involvement in educational planning directed towards the improvement of education in the school and in the school division …”

10 The Education Act, 1995 Section a board must annually submit to the minister: a report on the activities of the board financial statements

11 The Education Act, 1995 Section 369 “(1) A board of education shall preserve all public documents of a school division or school community council until their disposal is: (a) authorized by a resolution of the board of education; and (b) approved by the minister.”

12 The Education Act, 1995 Section 80 every meeting of the board shall be open to the public board may go into closed session by motion can conduct vote only in meeting open to public

13 What records are available to the public? All records of the school division must be made available to the public unless they are exempted from disclosure by the provisions of LAFOIP

14 Exceptions to the right to access records Specific exemptions in Part III of LAFOIP Personal Information

15 Examples of Issues Disclosure of salary on internet LAFOIP provides that employee salary, benefits classification and duties are not personal information Ministry requires publishing of annual report on website Concerns raised by Privacy Commissioner about publication of salary information on internet

16 Examples of Issues Disclosure of salary on internet publish all information in hard form Do not include salary on website – have contact for individuals to obtain information

17 Examples of Issues Termination of employment Board motion is required to terminate contract of employment: – by Education Act for all teachers – By some board policies for some employees LAFOIP Regs allow disclosure regarding “terms or circumstances’ under which employee ceased to be employee

18 Examples of Issues Termination of employment Board motion refers to report and recommendations which contain personal information Requests for reports can be addressed if LAFOIP request is made

19 Examples of Issues Tendering Education Act requires public tenders for specified goods and services LAFOIP allows board to refuse assess to information which: – discloses financial interests of board – affects competitive position of third parties

20 Examples of Issues Tendering Final contract with successful bidder is released after signing Bidder information and board methodology for assessment of bids is not shared but is retained for duration of legal limitation period

21 Examples of Issues Student Assessments Education Act requires sharing of information with Ministry Public interest in effectiveness of education Requirement to protect privacy of individual students and teachers

22 Examples of Issues Student Assessments only aggregated information is shared with public aggregation considers size of class, school and community

23 Examples of Issues Access to Student Information by Parent or Guardian Section 49(d) of LAFOIP provides that where an individual is under 18 the parent or guardian may exercise the right to access information where the school believes it is not an unreasonable invasion of the privacy of the student

24 Examples of Issues Access to Student Information by Parent or Guardian Final filter before release of any student information is whether or not the release would be an unreasonable invasion of the student’ privacy Safety trumps privacy

25 Practical considerations Need for: Clear board policy and procedures

26 Practical considerations Need for: Clear board policy and procedures Appointment of someone with responsibility for privacy and access issues

27 Practical considerations Need for: Clear board policy and procedures Appointment of someone with responsibility for privacy and access issues Education of staff and board members

28 Practical considerations Need for: Clear board policy and procedures Appointment of someone with responsibility for privacy and access issues Education of staff and board members Education of students

29 Practical considerations Need for: Clear board policy and procedures Appointment of someone with responsibility for privacy and access issues Education of staff and board members Education of students Education of parents

30 CLOSING Privacy and Access in Saskatchewan Schools website can be found at:


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