Submit General Freedom of Information Request

A request for general records is a written request for records of a non-personal nature that potentially could be released, in whole or in part, to anyone.  Examples of general records include briefing notes, contracts, etc.

An example of a request for general records is:

A copy of the agreement and/or contract between Party X and the Ministry of Y for management consulting services provided from April 2012 through March 2013.

Before submitting your request:

  1. Ensure that you are seeking records, not information or answers to questions.
  2. Ask the public body that you believe holds the records if they have them, and if copies can be released to you informally. If they don’t have the records, ask if they know whether another public body has them.
  3. Check if the records you want are publicly available on Open Information or DataBC.
  4. If the general records are held by a B.C. government ministry or the Office of the Premier, submit your FOI request through this website, using the FOI General Request online eForm (recommended) or by a letter sent by email, fax or post to Information Access Operations.  
  5. Describe the records that you request clearly and concisely to simplify the search and minimize potential fees. Broad, complex requests take longer to process and increase the likelihood of large fees for service being charged to you. Provide a date or date range for the requested records (if applicable).
  6. Select or clearly identify the ministry from which you are requesting records.

Fees for FOI Services
FOIPPA section 75 permits fees to be charged on FOI requests for the following services:

  • locating, retrieving and producing the record;
  • preparing the record for disclosure;
  • shipping and handling the record; and
  • providing a copy of the record.

There is no basic fee for submitting a request for access to records in B.C.; however, depending on the size and complexity of an FOI general request, fees may be charged for services provided. FOI fees are based mainly on time spent searching and retrieving records; however, the first three hours of search and retrieval time is free of charge.

Fees for the services above are charged at rates listed in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Regulation.
Fees are not charged for:

  • the first three hours spent locating and retrieving a record; or
  • time spent severing (removing) information from a record.