Wednesday, December 06, 2017

McMaster rejects Freedom of Information request: TLC Appeals to Privacy Commissioner

McMaster refuses to release the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) report that we initiated with McMaster, which happily included an early request to TLC from Pavlos Kanaroglou, director of McMaster Institute on Transportation and Logistics (MITL), to be part of the process.

The initial TLC/MITL meeting with McMaster's VP Administration Roger Couldrey, and then Director of Parking and Security, Terry Sullivan, resulted in MITL getting a green light to conduct the research that TLC was asking for.

The MITL report, handed over to McMaster in January 2016 remains a secret document, and TLC's numerous requests for a copy of the report were turned down by McMaster top administrators.

Why? We have no idea.

Last week TLC filed an appeal to the Ontario Privacy Commissioner since McMaster has rejected TLC's Freedom of Information request for the information.

Here's the full media release sent out today:

McMaster Rejects Freedom Of Information Request

Community Transportation Group appeals to privacy commissioner 

It’s a report about transportation on campus. The report was initiated five-years ago after a letter from TLC Hamilton to the university resulted in a meeting and an agreement by McMaster to have the renowned McMaster Institute on Transportation and Logistics, invited to the process by TLC, undertake the research to prepare a report.

The subsequent Transportation Demand Management report was completed almost two years ago (January 2016), yet McMaster refuses to release the report to TLC Hamilton, first by ignoring numerous requests, then by rejecting the group’s Freedom of Information request.

TLC has filed an appeal of the decision to the

Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

For TLC Hamilton the issue has become more about McMaster’s refusal to share information that they - even if they didn’t agree with the report’s findings - have no real reason to keep secret.

The principle of making McMaster research available to community partners shows up in every corner of the university’s guiding documents and policies, yet data about how many people park on campus lots or use various modes to commute to campus are somehow deemed off-limits?

TLC Hamilton believes McMaster’s obstruction goes counter to values TLC found with MITL Director Pavlos Kanaroglou, “a good friend of Hamilton.” A McMaster scholarship in Kanaroglou’s memory (he passed away in 2016) acknowledges his “commitment to both scholarship and citizenry” which TLC members felt defined their working relationship with Kanaroglou and the report author at MITL.

TLC Hamilton members are left trying to understand why the university is acting counter to these principles of collaboration and transparency.

QUOTE: “If the McMaster administration didn’t like the report findings, they could release it with that comment; instead they are violating the spirit of free enquiry and knowledge-sharing by blocking us from accessing the report, and forcing us deeper into the FOI process,” says TLC Spokesperson Randy Kay. “It’s an insult to the people who were involved in collaborating on the TDM report as well as the larger engaged Hamilton community.”


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