The Ontario e-mail deletion scandal (part 9) – a portion of the e-mail account is found

The story so far:

Craig MacLennan was Chief of Staff to Ontario’s Minister of Energy when controversial decisions were made to cancel and relocate two gas plants.   In April 2013 he told a committee of the Ontario Parliament that the reason he had not provided any documents in response to a committee request for all correspondence relating to the gas plant decisions was on account of his habit of ‘keeping a clean inbox’.

MacLennan’s comment sparked an investigation by Ann Cavoukian,  Ontario’s  Information and Privacy Commissioner, as to whether or not this practice of e-mail deletion constituted a breach of Ontario’s Archives and Recordkeeping Act.

In June 2013 Cavoukian concluded that MacLennan’s e-mail account was not recoverable (Ontario’s policy was to delete e-mail accounts when staff leave) , and that a practice of routinely and indiscriminately deleting e-mails was indeed contrary to the Archives and Recordkeeping Act.

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Next episode:

Why had nobody mentioned the e-mail archive to the Information and Privacy Commissioner when she conducted her original investigation?

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