Access To Information

To make a request for access to information, contact the department or agency that you think is most likely to have the information you are seeking. If you do not receive the information you want after a verbal request, make a formal, written request outlining the specific information you are seeking. Unless the information you are asking for is about you, you will have to pay a small fee of $25.00 for your request.

For more information on who to contact, please see our ATIPP coordinator page.

The government agency who receives the request has thirty days after receiving it to respond. This thirty day period may be extended if not enough information was given to the government agency to identify the documents requested, if there are a very large number of documents which must be searched to find the record requested, or if it is necessary for the government agency to consult a third party before releasing the information.

The Act outlines some specific types of recorded information that does not fall under the Act and cannot, therefore, be dealt with by way of an application for information. Additionally, the Act sets out mandatory and discretionary exemptions to access.

Mandatory exemptions require a government organization to refuse to disclose a record in certain specified circumstances. The list includes:

* Cabinet records;
* third party information if supplied in confidence and where disclosure could prejudice the interests of a third party;
* personal information about individuals other than the requester
* business interests of a third party

Discretionary exemptions allow a government organization to decide whether it should disclose the requested record. They include:

* information about inter-governmental relations, if the information was received in confidence;
* advice or recommendations within the organization law enforcement;
* documents subject to solicitor/client privilege;
* information which could prejudice the financial or other specified interests of the organization;
* information which could endanger the health or safety of an individual;
* information already available to the public or soon to be published.

If the government agency decides not to give you the information requested, it must tell you why it is refusing to release the information. If you are not satisfied with the explanation, if you disagree with the public body's interpretation of the Act or if you feel that not all of the information you requested has been provided, you may request the Information and Privacy Commissioner to review that decision.

If someone asks a government agency to provide them with information about you, before releasing the information, the government must advise you of its intention to disclose the information. If you feel that the disclosure of that information would be an unreasonable invasion of your privacy, you can request the Information and Privacy Commissioner to review the decision to release the information. Until the Commissioner has completed her review, no information will be released.