Council tables recording policy pending clarification

Town council wants clarification on a proposed recording policy framework submitted by administration.

Town council wants clarification on a proposed recording policy framework submitted by administration.

The intent of having a recording policy stems from the need for clarity, explained CAO Albert Flootman Tuesday, June 14 during the regular meeting. In preparing minutes, the recording will help the recording secretary ensure accuracy, he added.

The policy is required to detail how, and for how long, the recordings are stored; in this case 30 days unless a request is made otherwise under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy is made.

“What this policy does is ensure we stand on the right side of the law in terms of retention,” explained Flootman.

As a recording is considered impermanent, 30 days was deemed a reasonable length of time to hold the information. The draft also provides guidance on access for town staff and councillors, as well as to the chair of the council meeting who has the authority to terminate recordings.

Termination of recordings could be due to public disturbance or suspension of the meeting, exclusion of public and press or other reason agreed by council. Recording would not be allowed during in-camera discussions.

Determining what an acceptable device is for recording is unclear and Coun. Marc Yaworski suggested the town may be setting itself up for liability if there isn’t a sufficient recording device to capture speakers in the gallery.

Flootman suggested the policy is intended only to allow for recording. “I would consider this policy to be permissive, not obligatory.”

The request was tabled pending further clarification.