Investigation Report F11-02 – Information & Privacy Commissioner for BC
2.0 INVESTIGATION PROCESS
 In a letter dated October 5, 2010, the BC Freedom of Information andPrivacy Association (FIPA) requested that I conduct an investigation under s. 42of the
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
into the practice ofBC Ferries in relation to posting information and records produced in response toaccess requests on its website, either before or at the same time as the applicantreceives them. Given that the issues raised by the simultaneous disclosure practice of BCFerries have implications for proactive disclosure initiatives by all public bodies,I decided to broaden the scope of my investigation to also consider the generalpractice of proactive disclosure. As part of this investigation, we posed a set of questions to selectedparticipants to this investigation, receiving 17 responses. The questions and thelist of responders are attached as Appendix A and B. We also conducted research on developments elsewhere regardingproactive disclosure and simultaneous disclosure. I am issuing policy guidelines concerning best practices for public bodieswith respect to proactive disclosure. I do this pursuant to my authority unders. 42(1) of FIPPA to make Orders or take other measures that promote thepurposes of FIPPA. These guidelines will inform public bodies in a prospectiveway about how I am likely to approach any proceedings to which they relate.
 BC Ferries has a freedom of information “Tracker Page” on its websitethat hyperlinks to documents it has disclosed in response to access requests;including the letter written to the applicant in response to their request.This letter reiterates what the person requested, indicates whether or notBC Ferries is granting access to the requested records and provides anexplanation of why information will not be disclosed, if that is the case.All requests and disclosed documents pursuant to those requests are posted,except for requests involving personal information. The information on the website generally identifies organizations but notindividual applicants. The information can be searched by request summary,request details, applicant name, date of last update, status and fee information.Individuals can sign on to an email list, which allows members to receiveautomatic updates on the status of requests posted on the Tracker Page.BC Ferries reports that over 3,900 parties have signed up to the mailing list.