Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy
The Freedom of information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act in Alberta aims to strike a balance between the public’s right to know and the individual’s right to privacy regarding personal information held by public bodies.
Under this legislation, are provincial government departments, some agencies, boards and commissions, metis settlements, school boards, health care bodies, public libraries, post-secondary educational institutions, and local governments, such as the County of Northern Lights.
The Alberta FOIP Act does not apply to organizations outside the provincial public sector such as banks, insurance companies, and non-profit organizations.
The County takes the privacy of our residents’ personal information seriously. We strive to protect your privacy when we collect, use, and disclose information.
Personal information is “recorded information about an identifiable individual”. It is your own personal information or the personal information of an individual you are entitled to represent. Examples include name, home address, telephone numbers, age, sex, marital status, family status, financial status, employment or criminal history. A more comprehensive list of what qualifies as Personal Information can be found in the FOIP Act under Section 1, (n), (i)-(ix).
General information is information other than personal information. For example, it would include information about a third party; or any information that is collected, recorded, and stored in any manner in relation to all business operations, services, programs and activities conducted by the County.
The County collects information that is necessary for the operation of programs, services, grant applications, bursaries, contests, assessment of property and collection of property taxes, land sales, title changes, utility accounts, receivables and payables, commenced equipment lists, newspaper lists, sales and invoicing, vendor lists and geographical (mapping) information. Information is retained only for as long as it is required for the purpose that it was originally collected for.
The County will make every reasonable effort to keep your information as accurate and up to date as possible. Please feel free to contact the County Office to change your personal information such as mailing address (for taxes/utilities/newsletter/newspaper) and all billing information. A formal FOIP Request is not required to change or access this information.
In the spirit of democracy and transparency, the County of Northern Lights collects and maintains a large volume of documents that are readily available to the public. Such things as council agendas and minutes, policies, bylaws, strategic plans, development plans, and other items, which are posted and available on the County website: www.countyofnorthernlights.com
If you are looking for documents such as these, you do not have to file a formal FOIP request. We are happy to assist you in the navigation of routine/proactive disclosure inquiries.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Request
If you need to access your personal information which was not available through a routine/proactive disclosure method, you will be required to fill out and submit a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Request. All FOIP requests must be received in writing. We ask that you provide as much detail as possible, include a specific date or time period (start and end date), and sign and date the request. There is an initial fee of $25 for a General Information Request and no fee for a Personal Information Request and a Continuing Request will have a fee of $50. Photocopying costs are per the Schedule of Fees Bylaw. Links are below.
For assistance or to mail, fax or email a request, contact the County of Northern Lights FOIP Coordinator
P.O. Box 10
Manning, AB T0H 2M0
Service Alberta – Access to Records Information
At Service Alberta’s Website scroll down and click the link that says: Access information and resources for the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The “Access to Records” tab has links to all the FOIP Forms with guidelines and instructions to assist you.
The Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta also has links, forms, guidelines, and instructions to assist you.