[quote=“MiG”]When the documents are finally released, they become public, correct?
I’m disappointed that the person who responded to the original request doesn’t understand the definition of solicitor-client privilege. It’s communications between you and your lawyer. Not you and the other side’s lawyer. Pretty basic mistake, isn’t it? Or was the refusal just a way of hoping that the person requesting the information would just go away?
Anybody know who made the decision to refuse the request? Would be great to have a local reporter ask them some point-blank questions about their apparent lack of the most basic knowledge necessary to make such decisions.[/quote]
Reading the order, yes the severance agreement is public and hence should be available to anyone who requests a copy by making a written FOI request to the City.
While the council can and frequently does meet in closed session to discuss some types of issues with the public being excluded from observing, as is evident here the products of at least some of their behind the scenes labours must be made available to the public for informational purposes.
The City’s arguments to the Adjudicator in defence of its original decision to refuse the request come across as being weak, and suggest as you point out a lack of knowledge about what must be withheld and what must be disclosed. The latter category includes the contractual terms under which management employees work for the City or, as in this case, leave its’ employ after a decision is made that their services are no longer required.
Answers to some questions directed at whoever handled the file or assumes accountability whether they handled it or not (the Mayor one would think) would be interesting. Perhaps at least some views would be forthcoming in the interests of accountability, a principle to which the current council members subscribed during the recent election campaign, with heartfelt conviction no doubt.
The order says that the City is to comply by no later than January 19. Reviewing the legislation, during that timeframe the City can petition the courts for a judicial review of the order.
It will be interesting to see if the council, who presumably will be considering the matter in the coming days, decides to comply or whether they decide to lock horns with the Commissioner in a legal battle over who has correctly interpreted where the balance between transparent governance and privacy protection properly lies. If the City chooses the latter course, in the hope of quashing the order and avoiding disclosure, its’ chances of success seem doubtful at best.