TORONTO, ON (Sept. 29, 2016) – Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) Brian Beamish today released the findings of his investigation into the records management practices of the Toronto Organizing Committee for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games (TO2015). Commissioner Beamish concluded that records were not intentionally destroyed or withheld to avoid accountability during the Office of the Auditor General’s audit, and that TO2015 had appropriate recordkeeping and record retention policies in place.
The investigation was started in June of this year as a result of statements in the Office of the Auditor General’s Special Report on the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. In her report, the Auditor General indicated that her staff had been unable to obtain answers to certain questions, as well as documents and hard drives from TO2015, during her audit. This led to speculation that TO2015 had deliberately destroyed or withheld documents to avoid accountability. In light of these statements, and the questions raised publicly as a result of these statements, the IPC initiated an investigation to examine the following:
- Did TO2015 have appropriate recordkeeping and record retention policies and practices in place?
The IPC’s investigation determined that TO2015 had appropriate recordkeeping and record retention policies and practices in place, consistent with the requirements of the Archives and Recordkeeping Act (ARA) and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). TO2015 developed appropriate policies and practices that focused on preserving the content of business records in a cloud-based system, rather than on hard drives or other devices.
- Did TO2015 staff destroy or withhold documents with the intention of avoiding accountability or misleading the Auditor General in the course of her audit?
The investigation found no intention by TO2015 to destroy records or withhold hard drives to mislead the Auditor General or avoid accountability. Similarly, although some documents may not have been available to the Auditor General, this was not as a result of any attempt to mislead or hinder the work of her office.
“As a result of my office’s investigation, I am satisfied that TO2015 staff did not deliberately attempt to avoid accountability or to mislead the Auditor General in the course of her audit.”
~ Brian Beamish, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario