Freedom of Information / Guidelines

Guidelines for Accessing Records

In the Province of British Columbia the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the "Act") sets out several fundamental rights for accessing information, including:

  • the right of the general public to access information in the custody of public bodies;
  • the right of an individual to access personal information about themselves, and to request correction of such personal information; and
  • the right to expect that public bodies will not engage in the unauthorized collection, use or disclosure of personal information.

The Regional District is considered a public body under the Act.

What is covered by the Act?

All records on which information is recorded are covered by the Act. This includes correspondence, reports, forms, bylaws, drawings, contracts, etc. It is important to note the Act requires disclosure of existing records containing information, not the production of new records to comply with an information request.

Some records may be (or must be) restricted from access by the general public, including records containing:

  • personal information;
  • information being considered in confidence;
  • information subject to solicitor-client privilege;
  • information harmful to law enforcement or the interests of the general public if disclosed; and
  • information harmful to third-party business interests if disclosed.

Methods of Accessing Records

The vast majority of records held by the Regional District are considered routine in nature and are available without the requirement of a formal request under the Act. This includes meeting agendas and minutes, corporate policies, operational manuals, annual reports, permits, licenses, bylaws, budgets, contracts, financial records, etc. Before filing an application under the Act individuals should consult the complete list of routinely available records, many of which are available for viewing and printing directly from the Regional District's website.