The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) promotes two general principles, that people ought to have access to records held by public bodies (with a few limited exceptions); and that a person has the right to expect that information about oneself will not be collected, used or disclosed without their consent

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

FOIPPA established a process by which an individual may request access to records held by the District of Sparwood. A "record" by definition in FOIPPA 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". FOIPPA 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.

Under Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Bylaw 1143, 2014 the Corporate Officer is designated as the Head for the purpose of applying the provisions of the Act and anyone wishing information under this provincial statute is encouraged to call contact staff at 250.425.6271 or at sparwood@sparwood.ca.

  • What is freedom of information (FOI)?

    In accordance with FOIPPA, any person (or organization/entity) may request access to records held by the District of Sparwood. An applicant may only request access to records that are within the District's custody and/or control. FOIPPA also provides an appeal procedure involving an independent (British Columbia) Information and Privacy Commissioner should the applicant believe that the response the District has provided is incomplete or incorrect.

    The general right of access to records is restricted by certain specified and limited exceptions. For example, an applicant will not gain access to someone else's personal information without their permission or information which would harm third party business interests.

  • What is NOT an FOI?

    The majority of records held by the District of Sparwood can be accessed without a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. Prior to initiating a formal FOI request you should contact the appropriate Department to ask whether the record you are seeking is available through a routine request.  For example, front line staff, the District website, and various District publications provide a variety of public information.  Examples of the types of documents that are available through routine requests are agendas, minutes, bylaws, property related information, publications, policies and procedures.

    It is also important to note that the FOI process is not a method to request that District staff research a particular topic. The District does not have researchers on stand-by and any requests for the production of a significant amount of records, or involving a significant amount of staff time, will likely result in the District providing you with a quote for services and requesting a deposit prior to any work being completed.

    The only requests for records that will be put through the FOI process are those that may involve sensitive or confidential information.  Requests for all other types of records will be referred to the appropriate Department for response.

    The District can also only process requests for records that are under our control.  For example, requests for policing records must be made directly to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

  • How do I make an FOI request?

    All FOI requests must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to assist staff in locating/retrieving the records sought.  You may use the standard Freedom of Information Request Form or you may submit your request in your own format (with the required information).  To ensure your request is processed without delay please submit it to the attention of the Corporate Officer. Requests can be submitted in the following manner:

    • By email: sparwood@sparwood.ca
    • By Standard Mail: Box 520, 136 Spruce Avenue, BC  V0B 2G0
    • By Fax: 250.425.7277
    • In person: District Office, 136 Spruce Avenue

  • Is there any fees related to an FOI request?

    Section 75 of FOIPPA provides that the District 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.

    Any applicable fees can be found in Schedule A of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Bylaw 1143, 2014.

    To determine if a formal request is required consult with the appropriate department directly or email sparwood@sparwood.ca