What you need to know about the Freedom of Information Act.

The following are direct excerpts taken from the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act with regard to access to records in the custody and under the control of public bodies. In a nutshell, an applicant is entitled to their own personal information. Third party personal information must not be disclosed to an applicant if such disclosure would constitute an unreasonable invasion of the third party’s personal privacy.

4 (1) A person who makes a request under section 5 has a right of access to any record in the custody or under the control of a public body, including a record containing personal information about the applicant. (2) The right of access to a record does not extend to information excepted from disclosure under Division 2 of this Part but if that information can reasonably be severed from a record an applicant has the right of access to the remainder of the record.

22 (1) The head of a public body must refuse to disclose personal information to an applicant if the disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of a third party's personal privacy.

If you have questions about the reply you received from your local police agency, you can ask the police agency to explain their response to your request. If you are still not satisfied with the explanation you are given you would be entitled to ask the Privacy Commissioner to review the decision as per section 52(1) and 53 as noted below.

52 (1) person who makes a request to the head of a public body, other than the commissioner, for access to a record or for correction of personal information may ask the commissioner to review any decision, act or failure to act of the head that relates to that request, including any matter that could be the subject of a complaint under section 42(2).

53 (1) To ask for a review under this Division, a written request must be delivered to the commissioner.
(2) A request for a review of a decision of the head of a public body must be delivered within
(a) 30 days after the person asking for the review is notified of the decision, or
(b) a longer period allowed by the Commissioner.

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