Personal Access Request (Someone else's personal information)

A request for someone elseís personal information is a written request for records of a personal nature about another person, not you. Examples are child and family services files, adoption records, etc.

1. To Make a Personal Access Request, use one of the following options:

           a. Use the Government of Alberta (GoA) Access Request form to submit a request to any department of the Alberta Government. If you are requesting the same records for more than one GoA department, you may complete this form once and identify all public bodies. Send a copy of the completed Access Request(s) and any other required documents to each GoA department FOIP Office, Find a FOIP Office.

      b. Use the Request to Access Information form to submit a request to a public body that is not a department of the Alberta Government, (E.g. agencies, boards, commissions, school boards, post-secondary institutions, healthcare bodies or municipal departments). Send the completed request, and any other required documents to the public body FOIP Office, Find a FOIP Office.

      c. You may write your request in a letter and submit the request to the public body with any other required documents, via mail.

2. When requesting records please ensure:

       a. If using one of the request forms, make sure you check the box for "Personal Request/Information". If you write a letter, be sure to specify your request is a personal request.

       b. Clearly describe the records you are requesting in order to accurately identify the responsive records and minimize potential fees. Broad, complex requests take longer to process and increase the likelihood of large fees for service being assessed.

       c. Include enough detail so the right records can be found like file numbers, full legal names, aliases, maiden names, identifiers and identification numbers, dates of birth, dates or date ranges, program or services names, agency or institution names, location of records, etc.

        d. Any reference or file number, dates or date ranges, agency or institution names, program or service names, report names or record type etc.

IMPORTANT: FOIP Offices must protect all personal information from inappropriate access.

3. To request personal information of someone else, please show you have a right to access it, and provide appropriate documentation:

a.    If you request personal information on behalf of another person, please provide proof of your authority to act on their behalf, e.g.: their signed consent, power of attorney, guardianship or trusteeship order, etc. To protect this information, please contact the FOIP Office of the public body before you provide the proof.

b.    If you want personal information that belongs to your minor child/children, you may be asked provide proof you have a right to access it, e.g.: a court order, access order, no contact order, parenting order, separation/divorce papers, etc. Minor children have a right to have their own personal information protected.

c.    If you request your own personal information, go the section above.

If you have any questions about what is required for accessing another personís personal information, directly call the FOIP Office of the Public Body you believe has the information you want.

4.     Send your request to the FOIP Office of the Public Body that you believe has the information.

         a.     There is no fee to start a request for personal information, but if the cost of photocopying is more than $10 (40 pages) you will be notified.

To minimize potential fees, only request the records that you want. For example, you may eliminate exact duplicates when possible, eliminate draft documents, or eliminate email records which are duplicated in the final/longest email string when possible.

         b.    Records are provided when the fees are paid in full. Final fees will be assessed and may be adjusted when the processing is complete. The FOIP Office will advise you of the balance owing.

         c.     To clarify your request or check its status, contact the FOIP Office that is processing your request.

5.     What to Expect:

Public bodies receive requests during business hours only. Requests that are submitted to the public body outside of business hours are considered to be received on the next business day.

Public bodies have an initial time period of 30 calendar days to respond to a FOIP request, but may take additional time as may be allowed by the FOIP Act and/or the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

REMEMBER: A public bodyís FOIP Office needs:

-       Your contact information

-       A clear and detailed description of the records or information you want (and it may need proof you have the authority or right to access someone elseís personal information)

-       Any required fees

-       Any authorization that may be necessary

A FOIP Office processes your request when it receives all of the above during its business hours.

The Health Information Act (HIA) governs the collection, use and disclosure of a personís health information. If you want to access someone elseís health information, please contact the Health Information Act Help Desk at hiahelpdesk@gov.ab.ca or 780-427-8089lb (or toll free in Alberta by dialing 310-0000 then 780-427-8089) to discuss your request.