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FAQs: Proactive Disclosure and Routine Release
- What is the objective of the Open Information site?
Open Information is designed to let you know more about what government is doing so that you can help keep them accountable or get involved in making improvements.
- Will my personal information be protected?
Yes. The personal information about applicants who make General Freedom of Information (FOI) requests will be removed from the response letter posted to the website. All records contained within the response are severed in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPP Act), and responses containing personal information are exempt from publication.
- What types of FOI requests will be published on the Open Information website?
The Open Information website will display all “General” requests for information (subject to limited exemptions) on the website. A “General” request for information includes a request for government information such as policy decisions on health care, decisions about road allowances, or spending related to environmental issues. Requests for personal information will not be published on the Open Information website.
- Why is the government posting information requested by citizens online? Is there legislation that governs this program?
Technology is making it possible for everyone to have more direct interactions with government. Having public information available online makes it easier to access information about government that specifically interests you.
In fact, the Information and Privacy Commissioner and the Legislative Assembly's Special Committee to Review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act have recommended that government routinely disclose more public information using online technology.
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act gives you the right to request public information and requires government to respond to those requests. Some requested information does not have to be disclosed if the FOIPP Act permits government to withhold it. For example, information presented in a cabinet meeting or information identifying other persons would be withheld. If you are unsatisfied with government’s response to your request, you have the right to ask the Information and Privacy Commissioner to review the response. There are no rights to review information published on the Open Information website. For more information contact Information Access Operations, Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government.
- How can I make a request for government information?
You may make a request using our online form or by sending an email to FOI.Requests@gov.bc.ca or by fax to 250-387-9843. More information about the Freedom of Information (FOI) request process can be found at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/citz/iao/foi/process/
- Why are some details removed or severed from information releases?
Details are removed or severed when necessary to comply with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or when their release would cause a specific harm. This means that all information posted online will not contain the personal information of citizens who request public records. Learn more about other exceptions to disclosure.
- If I apply for government information to be released, will it also be published online at the same time? Or is there a holding period?
Information will be released to the citizen who requested it and then published online a minimum of 72 hours after it is released electronically, or, a minimum of 5 business days after it has been released by mail in hard-copy.
Since requests for government information will be released to the public online, are applicants still required to pay a fee when initiating a request?
Not all requests require payment. Releases of specific information are subject to fees based on the amount of work required to process each request.
Are travel expenses being posted as a result of a request for information?
No. Travel expense information for Ministers and Deputy Ministers are being routinely released so formal requests for this type of information become unnecessary.
- Will MLA expenses also be made available online?
The general compensation and allowances for MLAs are published on the Legislative Assembly website. In the case that an individual is both an MLA and a Minister, only their travel expenses as a Minister will be published online.
- How long will the government information on this site be available?
Public information is available from this website for up to 2 years after it has been released.
- How often is the site updated?
Information that has been released by request will be posted regularly – even daily, in some cases.
Travel expenses will be posted on a month-by-month basis beginning on the second business day of each month. Each update will include entries for an entire 30-day period.
For more information: