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Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act

About the FOIP Act

FOIP is the acronym commonly used for The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The Act is provincial legislation that we, as the City of Calgary, are required to follow. The Act applies to equally to all public entities so that they can be transparent for the public and protect the privacy of individuals both inside and outside of the organization. The main functions of The Act align with all four Cs of The City’s corporate culture, with a heavier emphasis on commitment.

As a City of Calgary employee, it is important that you understand the basic principles of FOIP. This helps to build and maintain public trust, which affects our reputation. As public employees, we need to disclose information properly and protect the privacy of individuals when applicable.

How to comply with the FOIP Act

  • Identify opportunities for routine disclosure
  • Protect the personal information of yourself and others
  • Respond openly and completely to any request from the FOIP Office
  • Assist members of the public to satisfy requests for information

Behaviours that conflict with the FOIP Act

  • Accessing or using personal information when it is not within your responsibility or authority
  • Destroying records that have not met their retention
  • Disclosing personal information to individuals without authorization
  • Evading or delaying a response to the FOIP Office

Did you know?

  • Routine disclosure is one of the ways The City of Calgary demonstrates accountability and transparency. The City routinely releases information to the public, such as data available on the Open Data network and our Compensation Disclosure List.
  • If it’s printed on your business card (or could be on a business card) then the information is considered releasable. If you have specific legal privacy restrictions, you should register them with Corporate Security.
  • Anyone can submit a request for information from The City. The FOIP Office receives the official requests and manages them through an administrative process which includes contacting the appropriate business units.

Questions about this policy?

  • Talk to your supervisor or the FOIP Program Administrator in your work area.
  • The FOIP Help Desk with Service Alberta is available to provide general interpretation of the FOIP Act and Regulation.

Act download

Download the full Act below.

Case studies

Click to expand the following case study.

Case study

One of my colleagues is a Calgary Stampeders fan. In my role as a Wastewater Service Technician I became aware of the address of a popular Calgary Stampeders player, while on a work-related service call. I feel this is pretty public information and decide to give my friend this address so he can go and get the player's autograph for his son.

Q. What is acceptable as a City of Calgary employee? Please explain.

It is not an acceptable for to share the address of the Stampeders player for the following reasons:

  • All employees are responsible to protect the personal information of others.
  • Any personal information that an employee has access to can only be used or disclosed in order for City staff to do their jobs or with written consent of the person the information is about.
  • It is a violation of the FOIP Act to share personal information of others with individuals who do not need the information in order to do their jobs with The City of Calgary.
  • Sharing this personal information outside of The City is a violation of the Act and could result in this staff person being fined up to $10,000.

When in doubt, check with your FOIP Program Administrator before sharing information.

FOIP resources

  1. Download: Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act
  2. Download: Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act Tip Sheet

View the complete Code of Conduct policy library