BRITISH COLUMBIA

Elizabeth Denham, B.C.'s Privacy Commissioner, Takes Job In The U.K.

03/23/2016 03:11 EDT | Updated 03/23/2016 03:59 EDT
CP

VICTORIA — British Columbia's information and privacy commissioner has accepted a new position in the United Kingdom.

Elizabeth Denham says in a letter to Finance Minister Mike de Jong that she has been offered the role of information commissioner for the U.K., subject to review by a parliamentary committee.

Denham has been B.C.'s information and privacy commissioner since 2010 and her term ends in July.

High-profile report

She released a high-profile report last October on how the government handles records and information after a whistleblower made allegations that his supervisor deleted emails about the Highway of Tears investigation into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Denham sent her report to the RCMP, which recently charged a former ministerial assistant in the Transportation Ministry with two counts of wilfully making false statements to mislead or attempt to mislead the province's privacy commissioner.

Denham's report also noted that several government departments failed to keep adequate email records and wilfully destroyed records in response to freedom of information requests.

elizabeth denham mary ellen turpel lafond

B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, left, speaks as B.C. Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond listens after releasing a joint report about cyberbullying in Vancouver, B.C., on Nov. 13, 2015.

The 65-page document recommended that technology be installed to prevent employees from permanently deleting emails and legislation be created that would require the documentation of key government decisions.

"It has been a privilege to serve as British Columbia's commissioner for the past six years, and I hope that my contribution to strengthening privacy and access rights has been of value to the citizens of our province,'' Denham writes in the letter.

"I also leave knowing that government's awareness of the importance of privacy and security of personal information, the need for good record keeping of government decisions and the public's right to know have been enhanced during my tenure.''

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