The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”) provides individuals with the right of access, with some limited exceptions, to records in the custody or under the control of a public body such as BCIT, when those records are not routinely available. An applicant may request a copy of the records or ask to examine the records. This right of access includes records containing one’s own personal information as well as business records, such as reports, agreements, and financial information of the public body.
Freedom of Information (FOI) requests
Formal requests for records that may contain sensitive or confidential information made under Section 5 of Part 2 of FIPPA are called “Freedom of Information” (“FOI”) requests. These requests are processed by the BCIT Information Access and Privacy Office (IAPO).
What can be requested?
A request must be made for a record (recorded information). Requests for information or documentation not yet created will not be accepted as our obligation is only to disclose existing records in our custody and control. For example, an applicant may not request general information as to why something was or was not done (“Why did BCIT renovate the cafeteria?”).
A record may include 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.
Formal request for records and information made under Section 5 (“FOI requests”) are subject to the payment of fees under Section 75 of FIPPA which allows BCIT to charge fees for the following services:
- locating, retrieving and producing the record;
- preparing the record for disclosure;
- shipping and handling the record; and
- providing a copy of the record.
However, BCIT cannot charge fees for:
- the first three hours spent locating and retrieving records requested;
- time spent severing records; or
- if a requestor is requesting his/her own information, BCIT cannot charge him/her for the request. However, BCIT may charge the individual for requesting other types of records.
Routine requests for information
The following types of information or records can be requested through routine channels, without filing an official FOI request:
- a record that was received from or previously sent to the individual
- a record that is routinely available for a fee (student transcripts)
- a record that does not contain personal information about a third party and only contains personal information about the individual (such as an employee’s own record of employment)
- personal information released to a third party with a signed consent form from the individual to whom the information relates
- publicly available information
- How to Make an FOI request [PDF]
- Fees [PDF]
- Right to Ask for an FOI Review [PDF]
- How to Ask for an FOI Review [PDF]
- Request for Access to Records [PDF]
- Authorization for Disclosure of Personal Information to a Third Party [PDF]
- Authorization for Disclosure of Personal Information to Self [PDF]
Please visit BCIT’s Student Records FAQs page for further instructions on requesting student documents.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding BCIT’s Access to Information practices.