Credit checks violated employees' privacy: Privacy commissioner

Alberta Justice and Attorney General performed checks during investigation of fraud allegations
||Last Updated: 12/07/2010

Credit checks should not have been performed on Alberta Justice and Attorney General employees without their knowledge, the province's privacy commissioner has ruled.

Commissioner Frank Work received 25 complaints from employees with the maintenance enforcement program of Alberta Justice and Attorney General.

The complainants said their employer violated their privacy by conducting credit checks on them without their knowledge or consent.

The credit checks had been conducted as part of an internal investigation into allegations about fraudulent cheques being cashed at various locations.

The commissioner's investigation determined Alberta Justice and Attorney General contravened the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP) when it obtained credit reports on employees.

Alberta Justice and Attorney General agreed with the finding and has taken steps to address the issues and prevent a similar recurrence.

The deputy minister sent a letter of apology to each employee whose credit report was likely obtained. In this letter, the deputy minister agreed to reimburse employees for the expenses that were incurred as a direct result of the credit check.

The full

investigative report

is available online.

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