Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act) promotes the general principles that public body information should be available to the public and personal information respecting individuals held by government should not be improperly disclosed.
The Act established a process by which an individual may request access to records held by the City of Burnaby. A "record" by definition in the Act includes "books, documents, maps, drawings, photographs, letters, vouchers, papers, and any other thing on which information is recorded or stored by graphic, electronic, mechanical or other means, but does not include a computer program or any other mechanism that produces records". The Act also provides an appeal procedure involving an independent Information and Privacy Commissioner.
The general right of access to records is restricted by certain specified and limited exceptions. For example, an applicant will not get access to someone else's personal information without their permission or information which would harm third party business interests.
Methods to Access Records
The majority of information held by the City of Burnaby can be accessed through the normal release of information by front line staff, without using the Act. Examples of this include: answers to questions related to departmental operations, open agendas, open minutes, bylaws, certain property related information, publications, policies and procedures.
A formal request for recorded information is a formal process to access records that are not routinely available. Unlike routine requests, the formal request must be made in writing. The request should provide sufficient detail to assist staff in locating/retrieving the records.
Formal requests for records should be forwarded by mail to:
- Records and Information Administrator
Office of the City Clerk
City of Burnaby
4949 Canada Way
Burnaby, BC V5G 1M2
You should enclose a completed Freedom of Information Request Form.
To determine if a formal request is required, consult with the departmental staff directly or contact the Records and Information Administrator.
Section 75 of the Act provides that the City may charge a fee for certain limited costs of providing applicants with records. If there are costs involved in processing a formal request, the applicant will be provided with a fee estimate before the application is fully processed.