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Routine Access Guidelines - Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia

1. Guidelines Statement

These “Routine Access” Guidelines (“the Guidelines") for the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia (“the Board”) are designed to provide persons with an opportunity to obtain certain categories of records without having to submit a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FOIPOP Act”) application. These Guidelines will be administered in accordance with the following principles:

a) Personal Privacy
These Guidelines will be applied in a manner which will be considerate and protective of the personal privacy of individuals. Records subject to these Guidelines shall be considered for release and severing in a manner consistent with the provisions of the FOIPOP Act.

b) Timeliness
The Board will respond to any “Routine Access” requests in a reasonable and timely fashion.

c) Cost Recovery
Fees for the reproduction and provision of records may be charged where authorized under the FOIPOP Act and pursuant to the Workers’ Compensation Act.

d) Transparency
These Guidelines will be made readily available to the public.

e) Reasonableness
These Guidelines will apply only to requests for reasonable quantities of records.

2. Definitions

Routine Access is the routine or automatic release, in full or in part, of certain types of administrative or operational records as a matter of course in response to a request without the need for a formal application for records under the FOIPOP Act.

Active Dissemination is the periodic and proactive release of information or records in the absence of a request using mechanisms such as the Internet, libraries, etc.

FOIPOP Access is the release of a record in response to a formal FOIPOP application made under the FOIPOP Act.

A “Record” includes books, documents, maps, drawings, photographs, letters, vouchers, papers and any other thing on which information is recorded or stored by graphic, electronic, mechanical or other means, but does not include a computer program or any other mechanism that produces records. [Clause 3(1) (k) FOIPOP Act]

3. Objectives

The objective of the implementation of these Guidelines is the accessibility of certain records routinely without additional administrative time being required of staff to fulfill “Routine Access” requests. It is also to provide a greater certainty of access for those requesting information, and to reflect the spirit of openness and accountability of the FOIPOP legislation.

4. Application

These Guidelines apply to all staff, and to all records designated under these Guidelines in accordance with the attached Schedule.

Routine Access requests only apply to information created after October 23, 2003.

These Guidelines will apply to requests for reasonable quantities of records and shall not apply to a request for more than 50 pages of records in a particular category and/or time period. Repetitive requests by an individual for significant volumes of records or the separation of a request into several small requests totalling a large volume, shall not be subject to the policy. The repetitive nature of a request will be assessed by the FOIPOP Administrators. It is important to ensure that the application of the Routine Access Guidelines of the Board not unduly interfere with the day-to-day operations of the Board.

Requests made under Routine Access do not apply to information subject to exemptions under the FOIPOP Act.

Personal information and other information may be severed with the same criteria and in the same manner as requests made under the FOIPOP Act.

5. Guideline Directives

All Board staff shall be advised of the implementation of these Guidelines.

The Guidelines will also be posted on the Board’s website.

The Routine Access requests will be directed to the FOIPOP Administrators for response.

A tracking system will be designed to keep track of the records provided through Routine Access.

6. Guidelines

Once a request for “Routine Access” to a particular record, or set of records, has been received by the Board, it will be directed to the FOIPOP Administrators to co-ordinate a response.

The request will be reviewed to determine if the records are within the schedule of those designated.

If the Guidelines apply to the request, the records will be provided to the applicant no later than 30 days from receipt of the request.

If the Guidelines do not apply to the request, a response to the requester shall be provided promptly and shall indicate what other avenues may be available to obtain the information (i.e. already provided through Active Dissemination, filing a FOIPOP request, or referred to another department or agency).

Individuals who apply under the FOIPOP Act for records available under the Routine Access Guidelines will have their application fee returned and the records provided.

7. Accountability

The Legal Services Department of the Board will be accountable for the implementation of these Guidelines.

8. Compliance

The FOIPOP Administrators for the Board will be responsible for ensuring the tracking and compliance of these Guidelines.

9. Evaluation

The “Routine Access” Program established under these Guidelines will be evaluated on an annual basis by the FOIPOP Administrators. Statistics on the number and types of records being requested will be kept.

10. References

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

11. Inquiries

Terry Power
FOIPOP Administrator
Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia
902 491 8920

Janet Curry
FOIPOP Administrator
Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia
902 491 8920

Sarah Gallant
Interjurisdictional Privacy Coordinator
Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia
902 491 8923

12. Appendices

Schedule A: Schedule of records available through Routine Access.

Schedule A:

1. General Requests:

  • readily available statistics upon verification that the information does not contain personal information.
  • general policy statements.
  • general information on programs and projects of the Board.
  • training calendar.

2. Human Resources Division

General:

  • organizational charts with position titles.
  • generic information respecting benefits and hours of work.
  • job descriptions and associated pay scales.

Selection and hiring process:

  • number of applicants for position.
  • number of persons interviewed.
  • name of successful candidate, once offer of employment has been accepted.

3. Finance and Administration Division

Expense/Travel claims:

  • individual expense claims (for a three-month period within the current fiscal year, maximum of 3 individuals).
  • certain information regarding contracts subject to the FOIPOP Act and Procurement Guidelines.
  • the Board’s funding strategy (as soon as approved).
  • the Board’s annual budget once it has passed review by the Board of Directors and has been approved.

Note: the Board will provide expense claims in the manner stated above, but will do so only after severing telephone numbers, addresses, Social Insurance Numbers and other personal information.

4. Other expenses:

  • global figures representing cost of renovations for offices carried out within the previous six months.
  • cost to the Board of special or specific events (i.e. conferences, luncheons, workshops, training, etc. after three months of event having taken place).
  • expenditure reports, by department, (i.e. travel, etc.) for a maximum of three requests per fiscal year.

NOTE: THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THESE RECORDS IS SUBJECT TO THE EXEMPTIONS PROVIDED UNDER THE FOIPOP ACT AND MAY BE SEVERED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOIPOP ACT.