Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy
The Administration Department is responsible for administering BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Since 1994, all local governments and regional districts are legally obligated to comply with the Act. The Act makes local governments more open and accountable by providing the public a right of access to all records in custody and control of the Town, with limited exceptions. The Act protects your right to personal privacy by regulating how the Town collects, uses and discloses a wide range of personal information.
Information NOT Requiring a Formal Request
Under the Act, and the Community Charter, public bodies must make available to the public, without a request for access, specific types of records including: Council agendas and minutes from open meetings; bylaws; policies and procedures; budgets; annual reports; etc.
There are also records that are routinely requested by the public, such as information related to building permits, property taxes, utilities, business licenses, etc. and can be released, except if the information contains personal information of another individual or third party. There may be fees associated with providing these documents and some of these are available from the Town's website
If the information you are seeking is not routinely available, you can submit a request for access in writing. The request should provide sufficient detail (simple, clear and focused) to reduce processing time and possible service fees. Your request should be sent to the following:
Town of Sidney
2440 Sidney Avenue
Sidney, BC V8L 1Y7
The Act requires the Town to respond to your request within 30 days of receiving it. If your request is complex, we may extend this time within what the Act allows, but will inform you of this within 30 days. Sometimes our duty to protect someone's privacy or prevent harm means we are unable to meet your request for information. Please note you may request the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner to review any matter related to the Town's response to your request.
The Act also provides for a municipality to charge a fee for certain costs of providing applicants with records. As per the Town’s Bylaw, fees may be charged and a 50% deposit required before a request is processed. For more information on this matter, please contact the Administration Department.