Make a Freedom of Information (FOI) Request
If the information you are seeking is not routinely available, you can submit a formal request for access under the Act.
Important Points to Note When Making an Application
- The request must be made to the correct agency. For example, a request for property assessment records should be directed to the British Columbia Assessment Authority, not the CVRD.
- The request must provide sufficient detail to enable compliance in an efficient manner.
- Review the Guidelines for Accessing Records before submitting an FOI request.
- All FOI requests are subject to a $10.00 application fee.
Freedom of Information Request Process
Submit an FOI request
- Keep your request clear, focused, and specific to reduce processing time and possible service fees. Asking for "any and all" records can result in a high volume of unnecessary records being responsive to your request which may result in additional processing fees. Indicate in your request the date range for the records you are seeking and whether you would like to receive the records by email, regular mail, or pickup.
- If you have questions or need clarification about the CVRD's records before you send your request, contact the Information Access and Privacy Coordinator.
We acknowledge and review your request
- We will acknowledge your request within 48 hours of receipt, except on weekends and holidays.
- The Information Access Coordinator reviews your request, making sure that your request is for information that the CVRD holds, and not some other public body.
- We may contact you to clarify your request.
- We will contact you officially, letting you know when you can expect to have your request fulfilled. The Act requires the CVRD to respond to your FOI request within 30 business days of receiving it. If your request is complex, we may extend this time within what the Act allows, but will inform you of this within the 30 business days.
- We contact the appropriate department designates to inform them of your request.
We estimate the time and possible fees needed to fulfill your request
- The Act provides under Section 75, that the CVRD may charge fees for the costs of providing applicants with records. See the schedule of fees. Commercial applicants must pay the actual cost of providing the service and additional fees such as photocopying and shipping also apply.
- You will not be charged for access to your own personal information.
- There is no fee for the first three hours. If it will take longer than three hours to retrieve the records requested, we will prepare and send you a fee estimate invoice.
- Applicants may be required to pay a deposit on the total estimated invoice before the CVRD continues wtih the request.
- Choose to receive the records electronically to avoid fees for preparing hard copies.
- Applicants are encouraged to maintain open communication with the Information Access and Privacy Coordinator in order to understand the application of the fee schedule.
We gather the information
- Department staff assigned to your request search for and gather all records related to your request and send them ot the Information Access and Privacy Coordinator within the requested time frame.
We review the information for privacy concerns
- We review the records and withhold any information that would be an invasion of personal privacy or cause harm by one of the sections listed in the Act.
- If a record has information we cannot provide, we cover that information with a black box and mark it with th relevant section(s) of the Act that explain why we withheld the information.
- If a record has several sections of information we cannot provide, we may refuse access to that entire record.
We may need to extend the timeline
- If your request asks for a large number of records or contains records of a different public body, we may take up to an additional 30 business days under Section 10 of the Act to respond and will inform you of this extension.
- If the responsive record package contains records from a third party, we may take an additional 50 business days to respond under Section 23 and Section 24 of the Act and will inform you of this extension.
We send you the information
- We prepare our final response package with your requested information and send it to you.
Appeal the Response to your FOI Request
Sometimes our duty to protect someone's privacy or prevent harm means we are unable to meet your request for information.
If you disagree with our decision, ask for a review by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. They are an independent government official and monitor and enforce provincial privacy and freedom of information laws.
For further information, please contact the CVRD's Information Access and Protection of Privacy Coordinator:
Comox Valley Regional District
770 Harmston Avenue
Courtenay, BC V9N 0G8