The Vancouver Sun reports on a strange state of affairs at the British Columbia privacy office in Canada:
Operations at the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner have ceased, leaving British Columbians with no independent office to hold the government accountable, says a leaked letter marked “Extremely Urgent” to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. […]
The letter warns that B.C. has no independent office that can hold the provincial government and nearly 3,000 public bodies to account under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
“I write to you urgently about a most serious matter and request your urgent assistance,” [the executive director of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, Mary Carlson,] said, in the letter dated Jan. 22.
The previous commissioner, David Loukidelis, resigned on Jan. 19. He will take over Feb. 1 as deputy attorney-general, replacing Allan Seckel.
Carlson said with his absence the delegation of powers, duties and functions “have lapsed . . . and no one in the office can make valid delegations until an acting commissioner is appointed.”
Carlson said she wrote to the premier on Thursday but did not get a response. She urged the Speaker to secure the appointment of an acting commissioner.
NDP Leader Carole James said it was a “huge oversight on something basic” that the government did not immediately appoint an acting commissioner.
The letter, sent Friday, is from the executive director of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, Mary Carlson, and is addressed to Bill Barisoff.