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Child Support Services Policy

Published Date: September 25, 2006
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03 Case Management

Collection and Disclosure of Information

Disclosure of Information

CASS Regulation Section 4 and Section 5
FOIP Act Section 2, Section 40 and Section 41
IESA Part 8


INTENT

To allow the disclosure of information to meet program goals according to privacy requirements.

POLICY

Disclosure of Information

Within the Administration of the Child Support Services Program
Sections 40 and 41 of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act (FOIP Act) and the Income and Employment Supports Act (IESA) Part 8 provide the authority for staff to disclose the minimum required Child Support Services (CSS) information.

The Child and Adult Supports Services (CASS) Regulation Section 5(b) provides clear authority for the Child Support Workers (CSW) to ensure the applicant and the respondent or the respondent’s lawyer have sufficient information to allow settlement of parentage and/or support matters.

The following are some common examples of when information can be disclosed:

  • Personal information may be disclosed for the purpose for which it was collected, e.g. if the information was collected for pursuing support, it may be disclosed to a document server for non-assistance cases, or to the applicant or applicant’s lawyer for pursuing support. [FOIP Act Section 40(1)(c)]
  • Personal information may be disclosed for the purpose of complying with an enactment of Alberta or Canada or with a treaty, arrangement or agreement made under an enactment of Alberta or Canada or for any purpose in accordance with an enactment of Alberta or Canada that authorizes or requires disclosure, e.g. ISO, FLA. [FOIP Act Section 40(1)(e) and (f)]
  • Information relevant to enforcement of a support order or agreement may be disclosed to the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP). [FOIP Act Section 40(1)(y)]
  • Personal information may be disclosed to an MLA or official designate only at the request of the client. The CSW must document the request and what information is disclosed. [FOIP Act Section 40(1)(n)]
  • Personal information may be disclosed for the purpose of enforcing a legal right that the Government of Alberta or a public body has against any person e.g. to Document Service Providers for service for assistance clients. [FOIP Act Section 40(1)(j)]
  • Sources providing locate information are protected. [FOIP Act Section 17 and Section 20] [IESA Section 49(5)(6)] When there is a conflict or inconsistency between the FOIP Act or IESA, the provisions under IESA prevail.
  • When an applicant or respondent is under the age of 18 years, personal information may be disclosed to their parents only with the consent of the applicant or respondent.


CASS Regulation Section 4(3) allows the CSW to release respondent information obtained during CSS file activity to a former applicant or to the applicant’s lawyer when the information is required to obtain or enforce a support order.

Note
Personal information about a respondent that has been obtained from their assistance file may only be disclosed for the purpose of enforcement of an existing order or agreement, or for pursuing support action.

When staff have concerns about disclosing information about a specific file, the worker, at the supervisor’s direction, or the supervisor, contacts the FOIP unit for assistance.

Outside the Administration of the Child Support Services Program

Policy

Section 40 of the FOIP Act and Section 49(2)(c) of IESA governs disclosure of information outside the administration of CSS. The department has delegated the authority to disclose this information to the Regional Director level.

Some common examples of disclosure outside the program administration are:


Reports to Children and Youth Services
The confidentiality requirements of the FOIP Act do not release CSS staff from the obligation to report to Children and Youth Services when there is evidence of any child protection concerns.

Penalties for Breach of the FOIP Act
A person who willfully collects, uses or discloses personal information in violation of Part 2, FOIP Act is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of not more than $10,000. Disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, may also apply.