Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act | Make A Future

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act regulates public body employers’ collection, use and disclosure of personal information in BC. Public bodies include government ministries, municipalities (including municipal police), public hospitals, schools, universities, colleges and public libraries.

What Constitutes Personal Information?

Personal information is any recorded information about an identifiable individual (such as name, address, telephone number, race, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital or family status, blood type, healthcare history and educational, financial and employment history).

One of the final steps in the hiring process involves checking references and verifying the candidate’s information.

To protect yourself from negligent or wrongful hiring decisions, consider the following points:

    1. When conducting reference checks, ensure all questions are job-related and as specific as possible. If the question asks the reference to speculate or asks for information about age, family situation, sexual orientation or religious preferences, the question is illegal.
    2. When verifying factual information about a candidate such as responsibilities assumed and educational history, use the behavioural format to define the style of question to be asked.

For example:

    • Please describe a time when the applicant “add a behavioural description of a situation that is an important part of the job the applicant is being considered for.”
    • How often in a typical week would the applicant work in direct contact with you?
    • Describe a situation where the applicant performed exceptionally well.
  1. When conducting a background check, do so only after the candidate has signed a consent  and release of liability form and verify the legitimacy of the request.