Access to Town Information
Access to Town records is guided by two documents in the Wolfville. The Town adopted a Routine Access Policy in 2015, and the Municipal Government Act includes a section on Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP). Our community is encouraged to refer to the Town’s Routine Access Policy first as it often addresses the desire to access a record without having to go through the more formal FOIPOP regulations.
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 province has also included a section in the Municipal Government Act (MGA) to address FOIPOP as it relates to the functioning of municipal governments.
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.
A person or organization may submit a FOIPOP application as follows:
- The request is to be made in writing by completing the Application for Access to a Record – FOIPOP.
- The Application form must be submitted to the Town to the Attention of the Responsible Officer. Currently Mike MacLean, Director of Financial Services, is designated the Town’s Responsible Officer.
- There is a $5 fee that must accompany any Application. The legislation allows for charging additional fees depending on circumstances and the estimated time needed to respond to the FOIPOP application.