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There are two ways to request information from the Regional District:
Informal request via routine channels:
Since the majority of the Regional District's information is available through routine channels, you should start by making an informal request. To do this, contact the department that you think might have the information you are looking for.
If the information you are seeking is not available through routine channels, then you may make an FOI request for records containing the information.
Unlike routine requests, formal FOI requests must be made 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.
Using the FOI Application Form (PDF) is highly encouraged because it contains the minimum requirements to process the request.
You may deliver, mail, fax or email your FOI request to:
Information and Privacy Head/Coordinator555 Harbourfront Drive NEP.O. Box 978 Salmon Arm, BC V1E 4P1
Phone: 250-832-8194Fax: 250-832-9774Email Freedom of Information Request
The Act protects personal privacy by restricting the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. Please note that personal privacy rights extend only to private individuals; not businesses, societies, corporations, etc.
When an individual makes an FOI request to the Regional District, their personal information is protected and is not made public.
The Act requires that we respond to your request within 30 business days of our receipt of your request. We will make every effort to make the records available to you sooner, if possible.
If your request is broad in scope, or if a large volume of records respond to your request, we may extend the time limit for responding under Section 10 of the Act for an additional 30 business days. For particularly large and difficult requests, we may apply to the British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioner for an additional time extension.
The majority of requests are processed within 30 business days of us receiving your request.
When you make an informal request, the department you approach will respond to you as quickly as possible. Depending on the kind of information you are requesting, you may be able to get an answer over the phone.
The Act requires us to respond to your FOI request within 30 business days of receiving it, although we will respond sooner if possible. If your request is especially complicated, we may extend our response time by an additional 30 business days.
The Act allows us to withhold information if release would be an invasion of privacy or cause harm by one of the means listed in the Act, such as harming a law enforcement investigation or threatening anyone's health or safety. If the Regional District withholds any information, we will tell you which section or sections of the Act were used in making this decision.
If we deny you access to any record or part of a record, you have the right to ask for a review by the British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioner, an officer of the legislature who is independent of the government. A decision of the Commissioner is final, subject to certain limited judicial reviews.
When you make an informal request for information, the department that has the information may charge you a fee to cover its costs in processing your request. Departments charge in accordance with our Freedom of Information Bylaw Number 5651
We may charge you fees to cover the cost of processing your FOI request. We will not charge you fees for access to your own personal information or for the first three hours spent searching for and retrieving the records.
If we are going to charge you any fees, we will send you a fee estimate before processing your request. We may also require you to provide us with a deposit.
Our fees are charged in accordance with our Freedom of Information Bylaw Number 5651 and the Schedule of Maximum Fees as established by British Columbia Regulation 323/93
For example, the following fees apply for non-commercial applicants (i.e. private individuals):
To help reduce fees and to minimize expenses, please narrow the scope of your request as much as possible. Also, you should try to specify a date range, the more precise, the easier it will be to locate the records.
The Act applies to all records (i.e. all recorded information) 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, 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;
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 undertakes compiled and summarized research in order to answer specific questions. Applicants are expected to conduct their own research from any records received from the Regional District.
Depending on what you ask for, you may not get access to all information contained within the records that respond to your request.
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 Information and Privacy Coordinator (as defined in our Freedom of Information Bylaw Number 5651) based on the relevant circumstances surrounding the request.
For example, reasons for refusing access to information held by the Regional District are generally related to the protection of:
If you do not get access to all information you requested, you will be advised of the reasons for the refusal and the provision(s) of the Act on which the refusal is based. If you are not satisfied with how the Regional District responds to your FOI request, you have the right to ask the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia to review the Regional District 's response.