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Freedom of Information
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act) was proclaimed for local public bodies and established a process to access records. The Act gives individuals rights to access information held by local government and protects their privacy by placing restrictions on local governments when collecting or disclosing personal information. You will find the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act at FOI & PP Act
The Act applies to all records that are under the custody or control of a public body. The Act defines records as follows:
- “record” includes books, documents, maps, drawings, photographs, letters, 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.
It is important to note that the Act covers access to records, and the information contained therein. It is NOT the intention of the Act that staff undertake compiled and summarize research in order to answer specific questions. Applicants are expected to conduct their own research from and interpretation of any records received from the District.
The Act includes several specific exemptions to disclosure, which means that, by law, certain types of records and information is to be protected and not made available to the public. Some exemptions are mandatory while others are exercised at the discretion of the FOIPP Head (as defined in our Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Bylaw No. 1982) based on the relevant circumstances surrounding the request.
Reasons for refusing access to information held by the District of Peachland are generally related to the protection of:
- Personal privacy;
- Business trade secrets or unit pricing;
- Deliberations of Council and Council Committees that are authorized to be held in the absence of the public (ie “in camera” meetings);
- Policy advice, staff recommendations or draft regulations not yet made public;
- Information that may harm a law enforcement matter (this includes bylaw enforcement matters); or
- Information that may harm the financial interest of the District or other public body
Records such as agendas, minutes, bylaws, publications, policies and procedures and information related to your property are most often available upon verbal request. Please contact the appropriate department for access to these types of information.
If the information you are seeking is not available through routine channels, then you may make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for records containing the information.
FOI requests must be made in writing, either on the District’s FOI request form or in writing. Your request must provide sufficient detail to assist staff in locating and retrieving the records. You must also indicate whether you want to receive copies of the records or to view the records in person.
FOI request can be submitted to:
Director of Corporate Services5806 Beach Avenue Peachland, BC V0H 1X7 Jennifer Sawatzky
The Act provides that the District may charge fees for the costs of providing applicants with records. Commercial applicants must pay the actual cost of providing the service.
Non-commercial applicants (private individuals)
- $7.50 per quarter hour ($30/hour) after the first three hours spent for locating, retrieving and producing requested records
- $7.50 per quarter hour ($30/hour) to prepare records for disclosure
- $0.25 per page of regular photocopies provided; and
- Shipping and handling charges (method chosen by applicant)
A schedule of fees is outlined in the District’s Fees and Charges Bylaw
For more information, contact:
Director of Corporate Services250-767-2647 Jennifer Sawatzky