Section 2 - Purposes of this Act


Section 2 states that the intended purposes of the Act are to make public bodies more accountable to the public and to protect personal privacy. It also outlines how these purposes will be achieved.

Section Reference

Section 2 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

2 (1) The purposes of this Act are to make public bodies more accountable to the public and to protect personal privacy by

(a) giving the public a right of access to records,

(b) giving individuals a right of access to, and a right to request correction of personal information about themselves,

(c) specifying limited exceptions to the rights of access,

(d) preventing the unauthorized collection, use or disclosure of personal information by public bodies, and

(e) providing for an independent review of decisions made under this Act.

(2) This Act does not replace other procedures for access to information or limit in any way access to information that is not personal information and is available to the public.


  1. Many requests for information can be satisfied through routine channels.  A formal freedom of information request should only be necessary when the applicant has been unable to acquire records through routine avenues.

  2. Personal information can only be disclosed in accordance with the Act.

  3. Personal information may be available without a formal request in accordance with section 33.


Interpretation Note 1 (Section 2(1)):

Does not "limit in any way" means that it is not the intention of the Act to replace or halt any means of access to records that are routinely available to the public and do not contain personal information.  In general, other methods for release of records containing non-personal information is known as the routine release process.


  • A public body may charge a reasonable fee for the production of maps, surveys and reports without the need for a formal request under the Act. 

Interpretation Note 2 (Section 2(2)):

The actual or potential availability of other avenues of access to requested information does not eliminate the public bodies responsibility to process an access request. However, where an applicant has been previously provided with records through another process, the public body is not required to provide the same records again in response to a request under the Act, unless the applicant can show that they no longer have possession of those records.

Sectional Index of Commissioner's Orders

For orders organized by the Act's section numbers, Click here.

Last updated: September, 2008