Freedom of Information
The purpose of the Act is to make public bodies more accountable to the public and to protect personal privacy. The Abbotsford Police Department is a public body whose actions regarding personal information is governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation. The Act also prevents the unauthorized collection, use and disclosure of personal information by public bodies
How to Make a Request
To obtain access to a record, the applicant must make a written request that:
- Provides sufficient detail to enable an experienced employee of the public body, with a reasonable effort, to identify the records sought
- Provides written proof of authority of the applicant to make the request, if the applicant is acting on behalf of another person in accordance with the regulations, and;
- Is submitted to the public body that the applicant believes has custody or control of the record.
Applicants may use the Request for Access to Records form or write a letter and provide the Police File number and /or specific details of the record to assist the request process. You must include a photocopy of government issued picture ID with your request letter. Requests by email are possible. In order to submit a request by email please contact the Abbotsford Police Department at (604) 859-5225 and ask for the FOI (Freedom of Information) Section. Please note that emailed requests must have a scanned copy of government issued picture ID attached.
The public body must respond within 30 working days unless an extension is granted due to the number of records requested, the regular time limit is not sufficient to locate files, or the public body must consult with third parties before the access can be given.
Purpose for Which Personal Information May Be Collected
No personal information may be collected by or for a public body unless:
- The collection of that information is expressly authorized by or under an Act;
- That information is collected for the purposes of law enforcement, or;
- That information relates directly to, and is necessary for, an operating program or activity of the public body.
Non Disclosure of Information
The Act provides strict guidelines for withholding information. Information about third parties must be withheld under the Act, as well as we may withhold information that could harm a law enforcement matter or information we have received from another government agency. The Act contains other exceptions that are considered depending on the nature of the request.
The Act provides a means for independent review of public body decisions made under the Act by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC). If an applicant is not fully provided with the full contents of the file they have requested, they may make a written request to the Commissioner's Office for review.
Protection of Information
The public body must make reasonable security arrangements against unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure or disposal of all personal information in its custody or control (ie: employee security clearance, building access, computer firewalls, etc).
Retention of Information
Information must be retained for at least one year after being used so that the affected individual has a reasonable opportunity to access their personal information.
Further information on the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act can be obtained from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner at www.oipc.bc.ca.