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In the wake of BC Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham's report Access Denied: Record Retention and Disposal Practices of the Government of British Columbia – which identified major deficiencies in the access to information practices of two government ministries and the premier's office – we call on the BC government to immediately implement all 11 of Ms. Denham's recommendations without further delay.
1. configure the settings in Microsoft Outlook to stop government employees from permanently deleting emails;
2. amend the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to create a legislative duty to document as a clear indication that your government does not endorse “oral government” and that it is committed to be accountable to citizens by creating an accurate record of its key decisions and actions;
3. legislate independent oversight of information management requirements, such as the destruction of records, including sanctions when those requirements are not met;
4. develop a comprehensive government policy for all future data migrations that requires at a minimum: hourly, daily and monthly backup of data; and
5. establish clear guidance for employees on how to conduct a thorough search for potentially responsive records to an access request.