Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information

Emily Carr is committed to openness and transparency so many of its records are made available to the public under FIPPA. Requests for records that may contain personal or confidential information are called freedom of information (FOI) requests. These requests are processed by the Information + Privacy Officer.

Applicants may request access not only to records containing personal information about themselves, but may also request access to general records of the university. FIPPA requires Emily Carr to release requested records, subject to limited exceptions.

There are two types of requests for information:

INFORMAL REQUEST

Informal requests for information or records can be requested through routine channels, without making a formal FOI request. The type of information includes:

  • A record that was received from or previously sent to the individual
  • A record that does not contain personal information about a third party and only contains personal information about the individual (such as requesting a copy of your transcript)
  • Publicly available information

It should be noted that the University will continue to charge regular fees for official transcripts or other records where an established procedures exists.

FORMAL FOI REQUESTS

Formal requests for information involve records that are not routinely available to the public, a request for personal information about someone other than the applicant, or a request for information that involves cross-departmental searches for records. You may also need to submit a formal FOI request to access your personal information, which include employment records, health records or academic records.

HOW TO MAKE A FORMAL FOI REQUEST

Please note:

  • If you are requesting your own personal information, it may be possible for you to receive it directly from the office that holds your information. Please ask for it from the relevant office or department prior to submitting a formal FOI request.
  • If you are requesting access to another person's personal information, attach that person's Authorization for Disclosure of Personal Information to a Third Party form, completed and signed, or proof of authority to act on that person's behalf.
  • An FOI Request for your own personal information must be signed and must include a copy of a government issued photo ID for proof of identity.
  • The request must be for access to records (recorded information). For example, “I request copies of any reports submitted to the Board of Governors relating to the renovation of the Emily Carr library” is a valid FOI request because it is a request for records. However, “Why did Emily Carr renovate the library?” is not a valid FOI request because it is not a request for records.

An FOI request must be made in writing. You may choose to use our Request for Access to Records application form, although it is not required to make a formal request. To help reduce processing time and service fees please include sufficient details to assist staff in locating and retrieving the records. Please keep your request simple, clear and focused; missing information may require requests for clarifications, which will delay the processing of your request and may also result in extra fees. Also, please specify a date range and narrow the scope of your request as much as possible.

Emily Carr has 30 business days to respond to a request. In addition, fees for formal requests may be required as per FIPPA.

You may deliver, mail or e-mail your request to:

Adrian Tees
Information + Privacy Officer
Associate Vice-President, Human Resources
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
520 East 1st Ave, Vancouver, BC V5T 0H2
604-844-3803
privacy@ecuad.ca

Forms and Resources

Employee Responsibilities

Emily Carr employees must abide by FIPPA in their University duties. Contractors, volunteers and businesses must be advised that Emily Carr is covered under FIPPA as there are specific legal responsibilities to be considered by Emily Carr and its partners in education.

Employees are to be aware of the access to information and personal information privacy and protection requirements when collecting, using and disclosing personal information based on the following principles:

Key Freedom of Information Principles

  • The public has the right to make formal requests and access records that Emily Carr has custody or control over and employees must respond openly, accurately and completely
  • It is important to note that not all records are to be disclosed and Emily Carr must withhold from disclosure certain records as specified in FIPPA
  • Employees should only collect the information necessary to carry out their duties and university functions. Individuals may request copies of or corrections to any personal information maintained by the University
  • Information must be collected directly from the individual unless otherwise authorized and personal information that has been collected should be accurate and complete
  • Employees should record information in an objective and professional manner and should ensure that records are retained and destroyed based on retention schedules
  • Emily Carr must retain an individual’s information for at least one year if used to make a decision that directly affects the individual
  • Emily Carr must provide a response within 30 days to a formal FOI request; therefore employees must ensure they consult with the Information + Privacy Officer on requests in a timely manner
  • When an employee receives a request for Emily Carr records they must make every reasonable effort to assist applicants and respond without delay openly, accurately and completely. Employees should determine if the request is an “informal” or “formal” request. Informal requests can be responded to via routine departmental procedures. Formal requests should be directed to the Information + Privacy Officer. If employees have any questions regarding information requests, they should contact privacy@ecuad.ca.

Frequently Asked Questions about Freedom of Information

Does information contained in personal or confidential files have to be released?
How does Emily Carr collect personal information from students and/or employees?
How long must employees retain records that they have created?
Can the notes made during an interview with a student / potential employee be withheld from the interviewee?
Does FIPPA cover bargaining agents and/or union meetings?
I am responsible for recording and distributing minutes of committee meetings. Are there any precautions that I should take before distribution of the minutes?
Can Emily Carr release home phone numbers or contact information of faculty or staff if requested by another faculty or staff member?