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Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) is a law that came into effect in British Columbia in 1993. The Act provides individuals with specific information and privacy rights with regards to information that is collected or controlled by public bodies in British Columbia.

You have two major rights under the FOIPPA:

  1. The right of access to records in the custody or under the control of a public body, including your own personal information and;
  2. The right of protection of the privacy of your personal information in the custody and under the control of a public body.

There are a number of exceptions to information and privacy rights under the Act. If you are requesting records from a public body, you will not get access to in-camera council confidences, someone else’s personal information, or information that could harm another individual’s business interests. You will also generally not get access to records that could harm law enforcement, the economic and financial interests of a public body, other individuals, or the public.

A public body cannot charge you for access to your own personal information. It can however, charge you for access to non-personal information if it takes more than three hours to find, and it may also charge your for the cost of copying and sending records to you.

If you would like further information about the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, you can contact the Provincial Commissioner’s Office.

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC

Fourth Floor, 1675 Douglas St.
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
250-387-5629
oipc@gems5.gov.bc.ca