The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, commonly known as the FOIP Act is the cornerstone of open, accessible, and accountable government for the people of Alberta.
The FOIP Act aims to strike a balance between the public's right to know and the individual's right to privacy, as these rights relate to information held by public-sector bodies in Alberta.
There are 5 fundamental principles upon which the FOIP Act is based:
- The public has a right of access to records in the custody or under the control of a public-sector body subject to specific and limited exceptions.
- Public-sector bodies must protect an individual's personal privacy.
- Individuals have a right to access their own personal information.
- Individuals can request a correction to their personal information.
- A review of a public-sector body's decision can be undertaken by the independent Information and Privacy Commissioner.
The FOIP Act has 2 parts
- Part 1 (Access provisions) – outlines the rules under which people can apply for and receive access to public-sector body records
- Part 2 (Privacy provisions) – outlines rules governing the collection, use and disclosure of personal information
Learn more in the FOIP: The right to information and the right to privacy information brochure.
FOIP Act governance
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Regulation outlines legislated powers and duties for public-sector bodies that include:
- a list of agencies, boards and commissions subject to the FOIP Act
- details about how requests for records may be made or processed
- how personal information may be disclosed
- a service fee structure
- defined terminology
- specifies parts of the act and regulation that are paramount over other laws
Proclamation of law
The FOIP Act was proclaimed into force on October 1, 1995, for public-sector bodies such as: Alberta government departments, provincial agencies, boards, commissions (ABCs) and other designated organizations.
An extension of the act to include local public-sector bodies, such as school boards, health authorities, post-secondary educational institutions and municipalities, began with school boards in 1998 and added local governments such as municipalities in 1999.
Printed copies of the FOIP Act can be downloaded from Alberta King’s Printer.
If this act is inconsistent or in conflict with the provisions of another Government of Alberta act or regulation under this act, the other acts or regulations prevail if they expressly provide that the other act or regulation, or a provision of it, prevails despite this act.
Recent and unproclaimed amendments
Since its implementation, reviews of the FOIP Act have included numerous amendments and updates. An up-to-date consolidation containing recent amendments to the FOIP Act and its related regulation is available from the Alberta King's Printer.
Connect with the FOIP/PIPA help desk to ask questions about the collection, use disclosure and privacy of information within Alberta.