Exemptions require clear rationales
Complaint: Industry Canada withheld 230 pages in part and about 50 in their entirety from a study on the impact of downloads and file sharing on music purchases, citing several exemptions.
Investigation: The OIC reviewed all the exemptions claimed and agreed in many instances that the institution had applied them properly. However, most of the information withheld was not confidential third-party information (paragraphs 20(1)(b) and (c)) or advice and recommendations (paragraph 21(1)(a)).
Outcome: Industry Canada made two additional releases to the requester, withholding only portions of seven pages.
Information Commissioner’s position
- When claiming exemptions, institutions must clearly show how and why the information they wish to withhold qualifies for those exemptions.