What can be requested

Step 2: What information can be requested?

This help topic deals with requesting public records of a non-personal nature. If you are interested in requesting your own personal information, visit this help topic Requesting my own personal information.

A ‘record’ is a very broad term which refers to any information held by a public or private body. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Briefing notes and memoranda
  • Executive summaries
  • Background papers and reports
  • Decks (printout of a slideshow presentation)
  • Photographs, videos, diagrams and maps
  • Incident reports and other forms
  • Contracts
  • Media lines, Q&As, and other communications products
  • Emails and texts
  • Budgets, receipts, and other financial documents
  • Meeting agendas, minutes, and handouts
  • Handwritten notes

The following types of records cannot be compelled by a FOI request:

  • a record in a court file, a record of a judge of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court or Provincial Court, a record of a master of the Supreme Court, a record of a justice of the peace, a judicial administration record or a record relating to support services provided to the judges of those courts;
  • a personal note, communication or draft decision of a person who is acting in a judicial or quasi judicial capacity;
  • subject to subsection (3), a record that is created by or for, or is in the custody or control of, an officer of the Legislature and that relates to the exercise of that officer’s functions under an Act;
  • a record of a question that is to be used on an examination or test;
  • a record containing teaching materials or research information of employees of a post-secondary educational body;
  • material placed in the archives of the government of British Columbia by or for a person or agency other than a public body;
  • material placed in the archives of a public body by or for a person or agency other than a public body;
  • a record relating to a prosecution if all proceedings in respect of the prosecution have not been completed;
  • a record of an elected official of a local public body that is not in the custody or control of the local public body.

> Step 3: Plan your request strategy