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Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act

FOIP Act

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act

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About the act


FOIP is the acronym commonly used for The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of Alberta.

The FOIP Act is provincial legislation that we, as The City of Calgary, are required to follow. The FOIP Act applies equally to all public bodies so that they can be transparent for the public and protect the privacy of individuals both inside and outside of the organization.

The FOIP Act outlines five purposes of the legislation:

  1. A right of access to records in the custody or under the control of a public body subject to limited and specific exceptions as set out in the FOIP Act;
  2. Protection of personal privacy by controlling the manner in which a public body may collect, use, and disclose personal information;
  3. A right of access to an individual’s own personal information, subject to limited and specific exceptions as set out in the FOIP Act;
  4. A right to request a correction to allow individuals a right to request corrections to personal information about them which is held by the public body; and
  5. Independent review of decisions to provide for an independent review of decisions made by a public body under the FOIP Act and for the investigation of complaints. Independent review is provided by the Office of the Information and Privacy.

As a City of Calgary employee, it is important that you understand the basic principles of the FOIP Act. This helps to build and maintain public trust, which affects The City’s reputation. As public employees, we need to collect, use and disclose information appropriately 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, accurately and completely to any request from Access and Privacy
  • 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 an access to information request issued by Access and Privacy

Questions about this policy?

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

Policy learning


City employees who want to learn more about The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act may enroll in the following courses available on myHRconnect:

  • eLearning – Access to Information Training
  • eLearning – Privacy Awareness
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Policy download


Download the full act.

Frequently asked questions


What is considered personal information?

The FOIP Act defines personal information as any recorded information about an identifiable individual. Section 1(n) of the FOIP Act provides a non-exhaustive list of personal information types or elements. Some examples include:

  • name, home or business address or home or business telephone number;
  • employee ID number;
  • race, national or ethnic origin;
  • age, sex, marital status or family status;
  • health and health care history, including information about a physical or mental disability; and
  • educational, financial, employment or criminal history, including criminal records where a pardon has been given

What is routine disclosure?

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.

What information can The City release about me?

If it’s printed on your business card (or could be on a business card) then the information may be released.

How are FOIP requests handled?

Anyone can submit a request for information from The City. Access and Privacy receives the official requests and manages them through an administrative process which includes contacting the appropriate business units.

Policy resources


Employees may visit mycity/foip for more information about their responsibilities, the Access to Information & Privacy Handbook, and a list of FOIP PAs and alternates.