Access to Information

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) 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.

Requesting access to information

FIPPA 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.

Follow the steps below to request access to information.

Step 1: Confirm if the information is already available through routine release

The majority of information held by the City of Burnaby can be accessed through normal requests to City staff without using FIPPA. Examples of this include: answers to questions related to departmental operations, open agendas, open minutes, bylaws, certain property related information, publications, policies and procedures.

View the list of routinely available documents

Routinely releasable records from the last 7 years are the responsibility of the originating department.

Step 2: Contact the department directly to request records 

Department contact information can be found on our contact us webpage

Is the information you're looking for held at the City of Burnaby Archives? Many records held by the City of Burnaby Archives are available on, including open council meetings, reports and bylaws. 

In-active records, or records that are mostly 7 years or older and no longer routinely in use are the responsibility of the Archives. If you need assistance locating or obtaining copies of these types of records, contact [email protected] or call 604-297-4947. 

If your request is for personal information about yourself or if you are acting as an authorized agent for an individual, please see the below section on personal information requests.

Step 3: Contact the Legislative Services Office to locate and define your records

If you cannot access the records you seek via Step 1 or Step 2, please contact the Legislative Services Office to discuss your record needs. FOI staff can assist you to narrow the scope and time frame to avoid delays before you submit a formal request (step 4).

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 604-294-7290

Some records are not held by the City of Burnaby, and may be under the custody and control of other government bodies. Examples of requests that should be handled by other bodies include:

Step 4: Submit a formal or personal information request

A formal request or a request for access to personal information that is not routinely available can be made using a formal process specified in FIPPA. 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.

Submit formal or personal information request online

If there is any reason why you are not able to submit this form online, we would accept your request in writing to Legislative Services, 4949 Canada Way, Burnaby BC V5G 1M2 or via email to [email protected]

Formal and personal information requests are confidential and only FOI Department staff who are required to know your identity will be handling your personal information. Therefore, requesters are strongly encouraged to contact the Legislative Services FOI Department to discuss their record needs prior to submitting a formal request to allow staff to advise on how to narrow the scope, time and potential costs and charges the FOI may require. Every effort is made to reduce the cost to the Burnaby tax payers for handling FOI requests while also assisting applicants openly, accurately, completely, and without delay. Please be advised if formal or personal information requests are submitted with missing information or requests span over too broad of a search area or time period, staff are required to contact requesters and clarify or update the information before proceeding in each search and record request.   

Step 5: Fees

Effective January 1, 2024, under the authority of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the Burnaby Consolidated Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 14485, a non-refundable $10 application fee is required for all general FOI requests. Once the City receives and verifies the scope of the request, a notice for application fee and payment instruction will be sent to the applicant. Your records request will only be further processed after receipt of application fee payment.

Pursuant to Section 75 of FIPPA and Burnaby Freedom of Information Bylaw 1995 No. 10183, there may be fees for providing prescribed services to applicant. If a processing cost is required for the processing of a formal request, the City will provide the applicant a written estimate of the total fees before providing the services.

Personal information requests

If you are requesting your own personal information, a request may be made through our online form.
The non-refundable $10 application fee does not apply to requests for access to one’s own personal information. For protection of personal privacy, the City is required to verify the identity of the applicant with a piece of government issued photo ID. 

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