Freedom of Information Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)
Purpose and Function of the Act:
The Freedom of Information Protection of Privacy Act (the Act), was created to make public and local public bodies more open, transparent and accountable by providing the public with a legislated right of access to government records, specifying limited exceptions to those rights of access, while protecting the public's right to personal privacy by prohibiting the unauthorized collection, use or disclosure of personal information. The Act also provides individuals the right to access and review their own personal information as well as the right to request that their personal information be corrected.
Routine Release Requests vs. Freedom of Information Requests:
Start by making an informal request for routinely releasable information. To do this, please contact directly the relevant department that you think has the information you seek.
If there are no exceptions to disclosure, the records and information may be released as a routine request for information. Information provided through routine channels includes answers to general questions related to departmental and governmental operations.
Making a Formal Request for Records (FOI Application Process and Form):
The FIPPA Act applies to official records that are in the custody and control of the District of Hope. All FOI requests should meet the following conditions:
- A non-refundable application fee of $10.00 is required for all formal FOI requests. Your request will not be processed until payment is received. Depending on the size and complexity of the request, additional processing fees may apply to formal FOI requests. There are no application fees or processing fees for personal FOI requests.
- Requests must be made in writing. Although we recommend using the electronic form (see link below), a handwritten or typed note or email is acceptable as well.
- Requests must be for records or documents, they cannot be questions. General information requests are handled directly by the responsible Program or Department.
- Requests must contain enough contact information (e.g., phone number, address, email address, etc.), from the Applicant to enable us to provide access to the records.
Freedom of Information (FOI) requests are processed through the Corporate Services Department at the District Hall. Requests for records should be as specific as possible and must include sufficient detail to allow the District to locate, access and retrieve the relevant records as quickly as possible. This form must also specify how the applicant wishes to receive the records (e.g., view in person, pick up a copy, or have the records mailed).
To make a request, please click on this link, fill out the online form and submit it to the District office via email (preferred), regular mail, fax, or in person to:
District of Hope
P.O. Box 609
325 Wallace Street
Hope, BC V0X 1L0
FOI Review and Response:
Depending on the nature of the request, the District may or may not have custody and control of the records you seek (no responsive records). We will advise you in writing if we do not have any relevant records, and/or we may suggest another public body for you to contact further.
Upon receipt of your request, we will send you a letter of acknowledgment and begin searching for the records relating to your request. Sometimes, we may want to contact you (by telephone or email), to clarify or narrow the scope of your request. Also, under Section 7 of the FIPPA Act, the District has up to 30 business days to respond to the request. We will make every effort to respond sooner than the Act allows. However, in the event that the request requires further time to process (e.g. large volume), then we may request a 30 day extension.
FOI Fees and Fee Schedule:
The FOIPPA Act permits the District to charge fees (Section 75), for certain costs to provide you with the records. A non-refundable application fee of $10.00 is required for all formal FOI requests. If there are extensive costs involved in retrieving and photocopying records to meet a request, then we will advise applicants in writing with a fee estimate letter. This letter will provide details on how applicable fees are assessed and your prior approval is required before we will proceed with processing the request. A portion of the fee may have to be paid prior to the request being processed. However, no charge is assessed for an applicant's own personal information. Also, if an applicant simply wishes to view the records onsite, then fees may be reduced, because there would be no photocopying charges.
Commercial applicants include anyone making a request for record's access to obtain information for commercial purposes. Commercial purposes are uses in connection with a trade, business, profession or other venture for profit, and are subject to fees that will be assessed in order to cover the actual cost of providing this service to them.
If an applicant is dissatisfied with the response to his request for information, under Section 52 of the Act, he may apply to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for a review within 30 days of receiving a response. It is advised, however, that applicants apply first to the District of Hope for a review of his access-to-information request in an effort to resolve the matter more expeditiously. If an applicant is still dissatisfied with the response, he may apply directly to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of BC for a review and include in this request:
- The Applicants name, address and telephone number
- The file number assigned to the request
- The type of request that was made to the District of Hope (i.e. access, correction, fee complaint, time limit complaint, etc. or a copy of the request)
- A copy of the District of Hope's decision, and
- The reasons or grounds upon which a review is being requested
Questions or Concerns:
For information related to the Freedom of Information Protection of Privacy Act, please contact the District of Hope Records Coordinator or Director of Corporate Services.