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Freedom of Information & Privacy (FOIP)

The Freedom of Information & Privacy (FOIP) Act aims to strike a balance between the public’s right to know and the individual’s right to privacy with regard to records held by the County.

  • Freedom of Information – to make public bodies more open and accountable by providing the public with a legislated right of access to government records.
  • Protection of Privacy – to prevent the unauthorized collection, use or disclosure of personal information by public bodies.

Summary of FOIP Act

  • You have the right to request access to records held by the County, subject to limited and specific exceptions.
  • You have the right to access information that the County has about you.
  • You have the right to request the County to correct personal information it has about you.
  • The Act controls the way in which the County may collect personal information from you, controls the use that the County may make of your personal information and controls how the County can disclose information about you.
  • You have the right to request independent review of any issue related to FOIP by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Collecting Personal Information

The County will collect only the minimal personal information necessary for the operation of municipal programs and/or services in accordance with privacy legislation. Personal information is retained only as long as it is required to meet legislative or operational requirements. Examples of personal information that could be requested (depending on the program or service) include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Age
  • Banking information
  • Credit card details
  • Date of birth
  • Home or business address
  • Marital status
  • Name
  • Number of dependents

Programs that May Collect Information

The County endeavours to ensure that all personal information in its custody or control remains private in accordance with legislation and is collected, used, retained or disclosed for the intended purposes. The county will clearly identify the intended use for this type of information on corporate forms, website(s) and/or brochures. Examples of programs or operations which may collect personal information may include:

  • Program or event registration
  • Youth activities
  • Family aide
  • Contractual agreements
  • Tax installment payment plan

Disclosing Personal Information

The county will only disclose personal information in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). Circumstances may include but are not limited to written consent by the owner of the personal information, identified internal program(s), department use or requirement(s) or permission to do so by law.

Accessing information under the FOIP Act

If you would like to make a request for information under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, you may complete the ACCESS TO INFORMATION FORM and return it by mail or fax to the address below.  If you are making a request for general information, there is an initial fee of $25. Additional fees may be charged for processing costs in excess of $150. There is no fee for a request for personal information unless the cost of producing copies exceeds $10.  The request must provide sufficient detail to enable the County to identify the record(s) you require.  Please make your request is as specific as possible so we are able to identify the record you are requesting.

Send Requests to:

Woodlands County
PO Box 60
Whitecourt, AB  T7S 1N3

Attention:  FOIP Coordinator

Fax: 780-778-8402

Email: shannon.wharton@woodlands.ab.ca

Upon receipt of your completed Request to Access Information Form and initial application fee, the FOIP Coordinator will respond to your request within 30 calendar days. 

They will inform you whether the information can be released in whole or with redacted portions; cannot be released; or whether an extension is required to process large volumes of records and/or consult with third parties.  

If it is determined that the information cannot be released, you will be provided with an explanation.

You will be contacted with an estimate of the costs of producing copies and additional processing costs, if applicable.  

The 30-day deadline may be extended if, for example, large volumes of records are involved or if third parties need to be consulted.