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BC government loses bid to keep IBM contract secret

A British Columbia supreme court judge ruled today that information and privacy commissioner David Loukidelis was right to order the release of sections of the province's contract with IBM for computer support services.

The dispute stems from a 2005 request the Freedom of Information and Privacy Association made for the IBM contract.

There are sections of the contract IBM believes should not be disclosed, according to Justice Christopher Grauer's reasons for judgment. While the government did not want to release any of the contract until those issues are resolved, Loukidelis had ruled that the undisputed sections should be released.

“I conclude that the order made by the Commissioner . . . was reasonable,” wrote Grauer. “I also consider it to have been correct. The [government's] application for judicial review of that decision is accordingly dismissed, with costs.”

In Loukidelis' recent submission to the committee that recommends his office's budget he requested $400,000 to cover legal costs for the increasing number of judicial reviews of his decisions. The Vancouver Sun's Vaughn Palmer called it a “colossal waste of court time.”

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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