FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUESTS
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) came into effect in British Columbia in 1993. FIPPA provides specific information and privacy rights regarding information that is collected or controlled by public bodies in B.C. All requests under the FIPPA for access to Saanich Police records must be made in writing through the Saanich Police Information & Privacy Coordinator.
FIPPA gives an applicant the right to access information held by a public body as it pertains to the person applying for the information. Remember, in the absence of either written consent or a Court Order, the Saanich Police cannot release information personal to any other individuals.
FIPPA also allows you to ask about other SPD records that do not contain your personal information, but they may be severed, pursuant to sections under FIPPA.
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR ACCESS REQUEST TO THE SAANICH POLICE DEPARTMENT
To request access to your personal information, you can either print off a copy of the APPLICATION FOR DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION (PDF) or an application form is available at the Front Desk of the Saanich Police 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Applications must be accompanied by at least one piece of government-issued identification at the time of submission and have your contact information. The only exception to this requirement is if your request is for non-personal information, then no identification is required with your request.
Requests will NOT be accepted by phone.
Applications can be submitted by:
Attention: Information and Privacy Coordinator
Saanich Police Department
760 Vernon Ave
Bring your completed Application, along with your identification to the Saanich Police Department at 760 Vernon Ave. Forms are also available to be completed in person. This can be done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
SAANICH POLICE DEPARTMENT CONTACT IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS
General questions about submitting a request may be made via telephone, Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, by calling the Information & Privacy Clerk at 250-475-4306 or via email FOI@saanichpolice.ca .
INFORMATION THAT WILL NOT BE PROVIDED
If the record you request contains personal information about someone else, and it would be an unreasonable invasion of that person’s personal privacy to provide that person’s personal information, we must sever that information from the record.
If the record you request contains sensitive law enforcement information, that would harm a law enforcement matter if released, we do not have to provide that part of the requested record.
FIPPA contains other exemptions that may have to be considered depending on the nature of the request. Whenever we sever information, we will explain the section of FIPPA that we are relying on.
ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Most general questions about the Freedom of Information Act and the Protection of Privacy Act can be answered on the website of the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia at www.oipc.bc.ca .
Generally, what you need to know about FIPPA is below:
The following are direct excerpts taken from FIPPA 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 the Saanich Police Department, you can ask FOI Information and Privacy Coordinator to explain their response to your request at FOI@saanichpolice.ca. 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.