Here are some common terms used in relation to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP).

Active Dissemination: The process of actively publishing specifically determined Institute records without any form of request.

Consistent Purpose: The use or disclosure of personal information that is consistent with the purpose for which the information was originally collected or compiled if the use or disclosure has a reasonable and direct connection to that purpose and is necessary for performing the statutory duties of, or for operating, a legally authorized program of the public body that uses or discloses the information. The Institute can only use personal information for the purpose it was collected or compiled or for a use consistent with that purpose.

Control is when the public body has the authority to manage the record throughout its life cycle, including directing and administering its use or disclosure. Examples of records under the control of the public body include

  • a record created by an outside consultant for the public body
  • a record that is closely integrated with the records of the public body and is relied upon by it in carrying out operations or services
  • a record that the public body, by contract, has the right to inspect, review or copy

Custody generally means physical possession of a record by a public body. This includes situations where the business records of a third party are stored on the premises of the public body. There may also be situations where the public body uses a record storage centre or a faculty member retains student grades at home. In these circumstances, the public body still has custody of the records.

Disclosure: The use of personal information for purposes other than what the information was originally collected for or release of personal information to someone other that than the party that originally collected the information.

Local Public Body: An educational body, health care body or a local government body.

Personal Information: Any recorded information about an identifiable individual, including name, home or business address or telephone numbers, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, political beliefs or associations, age, sex, marital status, family status, identifying numbers, fingerprints or blood type, health and health care history, educational, financial, employment, criminal records and opinions about the individual.

Personal Information Banks (PIB): Personal information banks are defined as "a collection of personal information that is organized or retrieved by the name of an individual or by an identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to an individual." FOIP requires local public bodies to make available for inspection and copying by the public a directory that lists the local public body's PIBs.

Public Body: A department, branch or office of the Government of Alberta; an agency, board, commission, corporation, office or other body designated as a public body in the regulations; the Executive Councils Office; the office of a member of the Executive Council; the Legislative Assembly Office; the office of Auditor General, the Ombudsman, the Chief Electoral Officer, the Ethics Commissioner of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Records: Section 1(q) of the FOIP Act defines a record as "information in any form and includes notes, images, audio-visual recordings, x-rays, books, documents, maps, drawings, photographs, letters, vouchers and papers and any other information that is written, photographed, recorded or stored in any manner, but does not include software or any mechanism that produces records".

Routine Disclosure: The process of releasing specifically determined Institute records upon request but without a formal FOIP request.

Transitory Records: Records that are not part of administrative or operational records and are only required for a limited period of time for the completion of a routine action or for the preparation of a record. There are 6 categories of transitory records: temporary information, duplicated, draft documents, publications, direct mail and blank information media.

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