Make a Freedom of Information request online

1. Complete and send the FOI request form

  • Keep your request simple, clear, and focused to reduce processing time and possible service fees. Asking for “any and all” records can result in a high volume of unnecessary records and may result in additional processing fees. Review schedule of fees (333 KB)
  • If you have questions or need clarification about the City’s records before you send your request, contact the Access to Information and Privacy Office (see our contact information on this page).


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Make your request online

Mail or fax

Complete the form above, print it, and send it to the contact information on this page.

2. We acknowledge and review your request

  • We will acknowledge your request within 24 to 48 hours of receipt, except on weekends and holidays.
  • The FOI case manager reviews your request, making sure that your request is for information that the City holds, and not some other public body.
  • We may contact you to clarify your request.
  • We will contact you officially, letting you know when you can expect to have your request fulfilled. The Act requires the City to respond to your FOI request within 30 business 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 the 30 business days.
  • We contact the appropriate department designates to inform them of your request.

3. We estimate the time and possible fees needed to fulfill your request

  • You will NOT be charged for access to your own personal information or for the first three hours spent locating, retrieving, producing, and preparing records.
  • If it will take longer than three hours to retrieve the records you requested and prepare them, we will prepare and send you a fee estimate invoice.
  • You must pay a 50% deposit of the estimate invoice before the City continues with your request. Or, you may choose to revise your request to reduce the time it will take to complete it.
  • Be green and get your requested information electronically to avoid fees to prepare hardcopy records.
  • Section 75 of the Act permits the City to charge an additional fee for locating, retrieving, producing, and preparing the record for disclosure. Depending on the nature of your request, there may be additional fees. We will provide you with an estimate if your request may result in fees.
  • There is no fee for the first 3 hours spent locating and retrieving a record, or time spent severing information from a record.

Review the schedule of fees  (333 KB)

4. We gather the information

  • Department staff assigned to your request search for and gather all the records related to your request, and send them to the FOI office.

5. We review the information for privacy concerns

  • We review the records and withhold any information that would be an invasion of personal privacy or cause harm by one of the sections listed in the Act.
  • If a record has information we cannot provide, we cover that information with a gray box, and mark it with the relevant section(s) of the Act that explains why we withheld the information.
  • If a record has several sections of information we cannot provide, we may refuse access to that entire record.

6. We may need to extend the timeline

  • If your request asks for a large number of records or contains records of a different public body, we may take up to an additional 30 business days under Section 10 of the Act to respond and will inform you of this extension.
  • If the responsive record package contains records from a third party, we may take an additional 50 business days to respond under Section 23 and Section 24 of the Act and will inform you of this extension.

7. We send you the information

  • We prepare our final response package with your requested information and send it to you.

Contact the Access to Information and Privacy Office

City of Vancouver's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Bylaw 11451

Provides for the administration of the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)

Gives you the right to access records. Prevents the unauthorized collection, use, or disclosure of your personal information by public bodies.

Appeal the response to your FOI request

Sometimes, our duty to protect someone's privacy or prevent harm means we are unable to meet your request for information.

If you disagree with our decision, ask for a review by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. They are an independent government official, and monitor and enforce provincial privacy and freedom of information laws.

Visit the Commissioner's website