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Ombudsman releases FIPPA investigation report with recommendation related to access to information about photo radar enforcement

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Jun 19, 2017

Manitoba Ombudsman has released its investigation report with a recommendation regarding the City of Winnipeg – Winnipeg Police Service’s response to an application made under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). The application was for information about photo radar enforcement locations. The ombudsman’s report includes the City of Winnipeg’s response to the recommendation.

“This case highlights the complex nature of some of our investigations and the steps taken to ensure that all relevant factors are considered in the course of making findings about whether a public body’s access decision complies with the requirements of FIPPA,” said Ombudsman Charlene Paquin. “I want to acknowledge the responsiveness of the WPS to our efforts to carefully and thoroughly address the issues raised in this case.”

The complaint initially related to the decision of the City of Winnipeg – Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) that the requested records were not in its custody or control. During our investigation, the WPS revised its access decision and provided access to the requested information in part with some information severed, relying on an exception in FIPPA that allows a public body to deny access if disclosure could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or safety of a law enforcement officer. As a result of further investigation, the ombudsman found that the WPS did not establish a clear and direct connection between knowledge of all potential photo enforcement locations and the risk of the harm to photo enforcement operators, and therefore the cited exception did not apply to most of the information in the record at issue, particularly information about photo radar enforcement at public locations.

Based on investigation findings, the ombudsman recommended release of the remaining information at issue, while continuing to sever information relating to photo radar enforcement on private property. The WPS accepted the ombudsman’s recommendation and complied with it by providing the complainant with that information.  

Since January 2011, all recommendations made by the ombudsman about complaints under FIPPA are posted on the ombudsman’s website, in accordance with requirements under the act.

Read the full report (Case 2015-0338) at: