Canada Names Interim Privacy Chief

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Robert Marleau became Canada's interim privacy commissioner yesterday, nine days after the embattled former commissioner, George Radwanski, stepped down June 23.


Marleau's appointment, which will last up to six months, was announced June 26. Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien made the selection.


Radwanski's resignation came less than two weeks after he vowed that he would not quit due to a probe into his expenses and conduct. The Canadian Commons committee issued a report June 13 to Parliament voicing concerns about Radwanski's expenditures while in the post.


The spending in question included almost $100,000 in travel last year, $61,000 (Canadian) on international trips, according to the Canadian Press. Also in question was a paragraph of a letter that the committee claimed was deliberately altered but that Radwanski said was partially omitted by mistake.


Had Radwanski not left office voluntarily, he likely would not have been removed until Parliament returns in the fall, according to reports.


Marleau, who is principal of RDM Consulting, a parliamentary consulting firm, served 31 years in various positions within Parliament. However, he is uninterested in becoming the permanent commissioner, and Parliament will seek a long-term replacement for Radwanski in the fall.


Radwanski was appointed interim privacy commissioner effective Sept. 1, 2000, and was approved by Parliament that October. He was appointed for a seven-year term. He reported to the House of Commons and the Senate.


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