The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act gives the public a right to access records held by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) with limited exceptions, while protecting personal privacy. The Act also regulates how the RDOS collects, uses and discloses personal information in fulfilling its statutory responsibilities and program operations.
Access to Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Records
If you have questions regarding the zoning or OCP designation for a particular property, please call the Planning Department at 250-490-4108.
If you have questions regarding the current status of a building permit or outstanding building infractions, please call the Building Inspection Department at 250-490-4205.
Comfort Letter vs Freedom of Information Requests
Unsure if the information you are seeking should be made as a Comfort Letter or a Freedom of Information request?
Comfort Letters provide information on land use items such as the current zoning and building permit records, and are most commonly requested by law firms or real estate agents wanting to know the current status of a property before the finalization of a property sale. Comfort letters are provided by the Planning Department. Click here for more information.
Copies of records or building permit plans will not be provided through a Comfort Letter and these should be made through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Regional District (see below).
Formal Requests for Records
If the records you are seeking are not routinely available, a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) request must be submitted in writing in person, by mail, or email to:
Sr. Manager of Legislative Services/Freedom of Information Head
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen
101 Martin Street
Penticton, BC V2A 5J9
You can use the FOI Request Form, but you are not required to use the form to make a formal request.
Please make your request clear, specific, and concise to reduce processing times and possible fees. Indicate in your request, the date range for the records you are seeking and whether you would like to receive the records by email, regular mail, or pick-up.
The Act allows a maximum of 30 business days to respond to your request, except in specific cases where an extension may be necessary. Fees may be charged for the information requested. If payment is required, you will be provided an estimate before your request is processed.
Section 75 of the Act provides that the District may charge fees for the costs of providing applicants with records. Commercial applicants must pay the actual cost of providing the service. The charge for non-commercial applicants is $7.50 per quarter hour after the first three hours for locating, retrieving and preparing records for disclosure. Additional fees such as photocopying and shipping also apply.
If there are costs involved in processing a formal request, we will send you a fee estimate before processing your application. Applicants are encouraged to maintain open communication with the Sr. Manager of Legislative Services in order to understand the application of the fee schedule.
For a list of fees and charges please refer to Fees and Charges Bylaw.
Request a review
The Act outlines exceptions to the information the RDOS can release. If you are unsatisfied with the response you have the right to request, in writing, a review to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner:
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
PO Box 9038 Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria, BC V8W 9A4
Questions or concerns about the FOI process can be directed to:
Privacy Management Program
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen respects an individual's right to have certain personal information protected. Personal information that is collected, accessed, used and stored from individuals including employees, citizens, service providers, and others, in accordance with FIPPA is protected by:
- Ensuring compliance with the Records Classification and Retention Schedule;
- Collecting the least amount of information required for business purposes;
- Obtaining consent from individuals (in writing) when collecting personal information for a prescribed purpose;
- Ensuring all information collected is accurate;
- Providing individuals with access to their information and opportunity to correct/update their information;
- Responsible use of information technology, including physical and technological security and access controls;
- Developing privacy management policies.
For further information, please refer to our Privacy Management Framework.
If you have a concern, or would like to update your personal information:
Please contact 250-492-0237 and discuss with the applicable department staff.
101 Martin Street
Penticton, BC V2A 5J9
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Bylaw