As a public body, the VSA needs to be transparent and is required to disclose information to the public. The VSA discloses information on its website as part of its proactive disclosure of records. Additionally, information may be disclosed if it is deemed to be in the public interest and is required to safeguard the health or safety of the public.
In other circumstances, information that may not be disclosed on the VSA website is available by submitting a request for access to information.
Making a request
The request must be in writing stating the information you are requesting and whether you wish to examine the original or receive a copy. It is recommended that a detailed and complete Request for Access to Records Form, available here is submitted to the VSA. A request may be made orally if your ability to read or write English is limited or there is a physical disability interfering with making a written request.
Review and Search
Once a request for information is received at the VSA, it is acknowledged in writing and given to the VSA Privacy Officer. The request is then reviewed for completeness. If it is not complete, you will be contacted for clarification. All correspondence will be in writing by email or mail. The Privacy Officer and any additional staff members will then search for the electronic and hard copy versions of the requested information and it will be reviewed based on the legislative requirements if it can be disclosed. Any information that cannot be disclosed will be redacted before disclosing.
A letter will be sent to you indicating if a fee for disclosure is required and when and how access may be given. If copies of the records are needed, then you will be provided with copies upon payment of any requested fee. The amount of a fee is set by legislation. Alternatively, the records may be disclosed on a CD-ROM. This can often be done for free. If you request to examine the original, it must be completed at the VSA office during normal business hours.
Q. How quickly will I get a response?
A. Upon submission, the VSA will acknowledge that your request has been received. Then, the VSA has 30 days to respond to the request (this may be extended another 30 days in certain circumstances).
Q. Is there a cost to request information?
A. In some cases, a fee may be charged. This is set out under legislation and the Privacy Officer uses a Fee Estimate Form to determine the amount. A fee estimate will be provided usually within 14 days after the request has been received.
Q. Can my request for information be refused?
A. Refusing to give out information is rare and the VSA needs to be able to justify the refusal. If access to information is refused, the Privacy Officer will complete a Refusal of Disclosure Form stating the legislative reasons for the refusal. At times, certain sections of a document may be withheld. If access to information is refused, you may apply to the Privacy Commissioner for a review.
Q. How do I send a request for information?
A. Fill out the Request for Access to Records Form available here and submit to the attention of the Privacy Officer by mail, fax (604-575-5883) or email it to email@example.com
If sending by mail, send it to the following address: