Privacy at SMU (FOIPOP)

Access to Information Requests and COVID-19

In response to COVID-19, Saint Mary’s University has transitioned to virtual operations. During this time, we appreciate your support and understanding.

Upon recommendation of the Nova Scotia Information and Privacy Commissioner, applications for access to a record may now be submitted electronically to Suzanne van den Hoogen, Chief FOIPOP Administrator, at Suzanne.vandenHoogen@smu.ca. Where applicable, please continue to mail in the mandatory $5 application fee.

Saint Mary’s University is committed to protecting the privacy of people who work and study here, as well as people who have previously worked and studied here. Saint Mary’s is governed by the Nova Scotia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) Act, which provides access to most records under the control of the provincial government while protecting the privacy of individuals who do not want their personal information made public. FOIPOP strives for a balance between an individual’s right to know and an individual’s right to privacy.

Purpose of FOIPOP

The purpose of Nova Scotia's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act is to make public bodies more open and accountable to the public in the way they acquire, use and dispose of information. The Act gives individuals rights regarding their own personal information and requires accountability from public bodies. The Act allows individuals to both examine and request corrections to their own personal information held by public bodies.

How is the purpose of the Act achieved?

  • By giving the public a right of access to records in the custody and control of the University, subject only to limited and specific exemptions.
  • By giving individuals a right of access to personal information held by the University about themselves.
  • By specifying limited exemptions to the right of access.
  • By giving individuals a right to request correction of personal information about themselves held by the University.
  • By ensuring appropriate collection, use and disclosure of personal information by the University.
  • By preventing the unauthorized collection, use and disclosure of personal information by the University.
  • By providing an independent review of decisions made by the University under the Act.

The Act also provides the opportunity for each individual to request information, making public bodies directly accountable to each citizen. This facilitates informed public participation in policy formulation, ensures fairness in University decision-making and permits the airing and reconciliation of divergent views.

The University's ultimate goal is to satisfy requests for information through routine channels and use the formal access request procedure under FOIPOP as the avenue of last resort.

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