Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) establishes a process by which any individual can request access to information contained in records in the custody or control of the City of New Westminster.

The Act:

  • Gives individuals rights to request copies of the City of New Westminster records and receive them in a timely manner. This includes records containing an individual’s personal information.
  • Protects privacy by placing restrictions on the City of New Westminster when collecting or disclosing personal information. 

The Act is applicable to all records in the custody and control of the City of New Westminster, subject to exceptions provided for in the Act.

Click here to download a Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act Request for Records form (pdf).

  • The City has developed guidelines for Information Access and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy. These guidelines provide an overview of information access and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and its application to the City of New Westminster’s records. To access the guidelines, click here.

    Informal Requests
    If the information is not available online the next step is to make an informal request to the department that you think might have the information you are looking for.

    • Routinely Available Information Requests
      These requests are for records commonly available to the public through a verbal or written request to the department.  These requests do not require a Freedom of Information request.  Contact the City department to find out if the records you want are routinely or readily available. A fee may be charged for this information, as set out in the Fees and Charges Bylaw or other applicable City bylaws or policies. Click here to access the list of routinely available documents.
       
    • Information Requests
      These requests are for information that requires a review of the records, by a departmental supervisor.  This can also be a request for records that are not readily available, e.g. records stored in semi-active storage.  As with routine information requests applicable fees may be charged.  These requests are responded to within reasonable time frames for the sizes or location of the records requested. 


    Formal Requests
    These requests are for records that are not routinely available or accessible by submitting an informal request to a department.  If you are told by a department that the information is not accessible a Freedom of Information request (FOI) will need to be submitted.


    New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services Information Requests
    To request fire incident or investigation reports, motor vehicle accidents incident reports or residential oil tank information please contact New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services directly:

     

    Services

    Fee

    Fire Incident Report or Fire Investigation Report

    $200 each

    Motor Vehicle Accidents Incident Report

    $100 each

    Fire and MVA Report photocopies

    Cost recovery plus 10% (approx. $0.28/page)

    Residential Oil Tank information

    Free

     

    New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services
    1 East 6th Avenue
    New Westminster, BC V3L 4G6

    Fax: 604-520-7602
    Phone: 604-519-1004
    Email:

  • Formal requests under the Act must be made in writing submitted using either;

    • A FOI request form which is available as a PDF on the City’s Website (this form works best on Windows systems, excluding Chrome) or in hard copy from City Hall. Once filled out it can be submitted in person, mailed, emailed or faxed to (604-527-4594) to Legislative Services. 
    • A letter, fax or email to () that provides details of the requested information. This is an option for those that are not able to access the online form.   
    • In person at City Hall, where front-line staff can assist an applicant in preparing a written request, including helping an applicant to define requests as specifically as possible. 


    To assist with the processing of the request, please make it as specific and concise as possible. The better we understand your request, the more we will be able to control costs and respond in a timely manner. When making a request please provide your name, address, e-mail and/or telephone number so we will be able to better assist you with your request.

  • Under Section 7 of the Act, a FOI request must be processed within 30 business days, except in special circumstances where limited extensions may be made.  We will make every effort to respond your request as quickly as possible.

    • If you are a member of the public you will not be charged for your own personal information or for the first three hours spent locating and retrieving records.
    • If it will take longer than three hours to retrieve the records and prepare them, you will be charged a fee. Fees may be charged according to Section 75 of the Act if responding to your request will require large amounts of staff time and/or copying.  If we are going to charge you any fees, we will send you a fee estimate.
    • We require payment in full before we proceed with the request. You may choose to revise your request to reduce the cost. You will also be given an option to receive the records electronically which will decrease the fees for preparing and photocopying the records.

     

    Services

    Fee

    Public Applicant - Locating, retrieving, production, preparing a record for disclosure

    $7.50 per 1/4 hour after the first 3 hours

    Commercial Applicant -  Locating, retrieving, production, preparing a record for disclosure

    The actual cost of providing that service.

    Black and white photocopy

    $0.25 per page

    Scanned electronic copy of a paper record

    $0.10 per page

    Fire Incident Report or Fire Investigation Report

    $200 each

    Motor Vehicle Accidents Incident Report

    $100 each

    Fire Incident and MVA Report photocopies Cost recovery plus 10% (approx. $0.28/page)

    Residential Oil Tank information

    Free

     *Find the complete list of services and fees here under Fees Bylaw 6186, 1994, Amendment Bylaw 7637, 2013, Schedule B “Freedom of Information Schedule of Maximum Fees"

  • The City only handles FOI requests for records held by the City of New Westminster. The New Westminster Police Department and New Westminster public library respond to their own information requests. Please direct your request to the appropriate public body. For your convenience the contacts are provided below:

    • New Westminster Police Department Information Requests

    New Westminster Police Services
    555 Columbia Street
    New Westminster, BC,  V3L 1B2

    Fax: 604-529-2401
    Phone: 604-529-2468
     

    • New Westminster Public Library Information Requests

    Chief Librarian
    Public Library Main Branch
    716 6th Avenue
    New Westminster, BC, V3M 2B3

    Phone: 604-527-4675
    Email:

  • The City of New Westminster will make every reasonable effort to ensure that your personal information in our custody is accurate and complete. Under Section 29 of the Act you have the right if you believe there is an error or omission in your personal information held by the City of New Westminster, to request that information be corrected or amended to include new information. To request your personal to be corrected submit a verbal or written request describing the error to the appropriate City department.  The Legislative Services may be contacted for general information.

    Any questions regarding the FOIPPA Act or a FOI request with respect to the release of information or privacy concerns please contact:

    Records and Information Administrator
    Legislative Services

    New Westminster City Hall
    511 Royal Avenue
    New Westminster, BC   V3L 1H9

    Fax: 604-527-4594
    Phone: 604-515-3764
    Email:

  • FOI Contact Information:

    • Legislative Services

    New Westminster City Hall
    511 Royal Avenue
    New Westminster, BC   V3L 1H9

    Fax: 604-527-4594
    Email: