The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP) provides access to most records under the control of the provincial government, while protecting the privacy of individuals who do not want their personal information made public. The Act strives for balance between an individual’s right to know and an individual’s right to privacy.
The Act supports the belief that every document, record or file held by the government, regardless of format, is subject to release to the general public. Specific and limited exemptions from disclosure are provided for in the Act to protect against the unreasonable invasion of personal privacy; to prevent unfair advantages occurring in commercial or government transactions; to protect law enforcement activities; and to safeguard the business conducted by government.
A person may obtain information, providing the information requested is not exempted by the Act, if the following three conditions are met:
- The request is made in writing. The completion of the FOIPOP Application, or a written letter is required. The letter must state that the application is pursuant to the Act and contain all the necessary information.
- The application request must be specific, so that someone familiar with the subject matter can find the records.
- The application must contain payment of the $5.00 application fee, if the request is for general or third party information. (See FOIPOP Regulations, Section 6, subsection 7). There is no application fee, nor reviewing and processing costs, for requesting your own personal information.
The application form contains a section,
Request to Waive Fees, where applicants requesting general or third party records can state why they should receive the information without cost. (Note: this waiver does not apply to the mandatory $5.00 application fee).
Provided that the request for information has been directed to the proper government body, it must be responded to within thirty days from receipt. There are instances where extensions of 30 or 60 days may be required.
Access to / Correction of Personal Information:
The FOIPOP Act provides individuals with the right of access to, and the right to correct, personal information about themselves collected by a public body.
Department of Internal Services
11th Floor, 5161 George Street
PO Box 72
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2L4