Access to Records
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the "Act") extends information and privacy rights to the Municipality of North Cowichan. The principles of the Act are to provide a balance between access and protection:
- the public has the right to access government information
- individuals have the right to have their personal information protected
View North Cowichan's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act Bylaw.
What does the Act cover?
- electronic media
Methods to Access Records
1. Routinely Available Records
Much information is handled through the normal release of information, usually by front-line staff (but not the personal information supporting them). Information provided through routine channels includes answers to general questions related to departmental and governmental operations.
2. Formal Freedom Of Information (FOI) Requests
Formal FOI requests made under the Act provide a method of seeking access to information that is not otherwise available through the routine channels. Although our philosophy is to release this government information wherever possible, the Act sets out a series of mandatory and discretionary "exceptions to disclosure" against which the records must be reviewed and upon which the Municipality's decision will be based.
An FOI request must be in writing - by means of a letter or on the form provided by North Cowichan (see below), be made to the correct jurisdiction and have sufficient detail to assist staff in processing the request.
The Municipality uses the fee schedule as set out in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Regulation. If there are extensive costs involved in retrieving and photocopying records to meet the request, we will give you a written fee estimate before the application is fully processed. There is, however, no charge for your own personal information.
If you have any questions, please contact the FOI Coordinator at (250) 746-3100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.