Freedom of Information Guidelines
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act) helps promote good city government by balancing the following principles:
Freedom of Information (FOI)
Whenever possible, information held by the City of Kamloops should be available to the public.
Protection of Privacy
The City of Kamloops should not improperly collect or disclose personal information.
There are two ways to request information from the City. The first is to make an informal request. Since almost all of the City's information is available through routine channels, you should always start by making an informal request to the department that you feel has jurisdiction or by calling the City's central switchboard at 250-828-3311.
The second way to request information is to make an FOI request. FOI requests are intended to be an avenue of last resort. You should only make an FOI request when the information is not available through routine channels.
You have the right to request any record in the custody or control of the City of Kamloops. The City of Kamloops does not process information requests for the following bodies:
- Kamloops RCMP Detachment 250-828-3000
- Thompson-Nicola Regional District 250-377-8673
To request records from these organizations you must contact them directly.
Informal requests: You should always start by making an informal request. To do this, contact the department that you think might have the information you are looking for or by contacting the City's central switchboard at 250-828-3311 where your call will be assessed and transferred to the appropriate department.
FOI requests: If you are told that the information you requested is not routinely available, then you may make an FOI request for records containing that information. Your FOI request must be made in writing and must specify whether you want to receive copies of the records or to view the records in person. You may deliver, mail, or fax your FOI request to the Contact Information below.
Informal requests: When you make an informal request for information, the department that has this information may charge you a fee to cover its costs in reproducing the information you requested. Fees for reproducing documents are set by the City of Kamloops Fee Bylaw.
FOI requests: We may charge you fees to cover the cost of processing your FOI request. If we are going to charge you any fees, we will send you a fee estimate before processing your request. We may also require you to send us a deposit.
We will not charge you fees for access to your own personal information or for the first three hours spent searching for and retrieving the records.
Our fees are set out in the Schedule of Maximum Fees set by the province. They include the following for non-commercial applicants:
$7.50 per 1/4 hour ($30/hour) spent locating, retrieving and producing the records
$0.25 per regular photocopy
To reduce fees and to minimize taxpayer expense, please narrow your request as much as possible. If possible, let us know what department has the records you are requesting. Also, you should try to specify a date range. Remember, municipal records can go back several decades.
Informal requests: When you make an informal request, the department you approach will respond to you as quickly as possible. Depending on the kind of information you are requesting, you may be able to get an answer over the phone.
FOI requests: The Act requires us to respond to your FOI request within 30 days of receiving it (we may extend this time if your request is complex). The Act allows us to withhold information if release would be an invasion of privacy or cause harm by one of the means listed in the act, such as harming a law enforcement investigation or threatening anyone's health or safety. If we deny you access to any record or part of a record, you have the right to ask for a review by the British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioner, an Officer of the Legislature who is independent of Local Government.
The City of Kamloops uses a centralized property database for the storage of personal information. However, your personal information may also be stored in independent department files. If you are aware of the specific location of your personal information, you should contact the department where you think this personal information is located and ask for that information.
You should not make an FOI request for your personal information unless you are unable to get what you need through an informal inquiry.
The Act protects personal privacy by restricting the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. Please note that only private individuals have this protection, businesses do not.
Collection: We only collect personal information when we have the clear authority to do so, or when the collection is related directly to and is necessary for an operating program. When we are collecting personal information, we must do so directly from you, unless we have legal authority to collect the information from another source. These rules apply even if another government body holds the personal information.
Use and Disclosure: The personal information must only be used for the purpose it was collected or for a use consistent with that purpose. We may also use or disclose personal information in other ways, but only if we have legal authority to do so. The City has security arrangements to protect personal information from unauthorized use or disclosure.
For example, we will usually disclose copies of any letters you send to the City after removing your name, address, telephone number, and any information that may reasonably be used to identify you. We will make an exception to this rule when we deem that releasing your name and address would not be an unreasonable invasion of your privacy.
For example, we will usually release your name and address if you sent a copy of your letter to Mayor and Council, or to any person or organization outside of the City.
If you believe there is an error or omission in your personal information, you have the right to request us to correct it. You may do this by contacting the department that retains your information directly or by sending a written request to:
Legislative Services Division
7 Victoria Street West
Kamloops BC V2C 1A2
ph 250-828 3483
fax 250-828 3578