A “miscommunication” or possible error: that’s what the City of Burnaby says happened when CKNW was told by the City Clerks Office that the Fire Department was no longer covered by the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act.
In response to a recent FOI to the department, CKNW was told a new municipal bylaw apparently exempted it from the act.
When the city was asked to explain, the only person made available was Fire Chief Chris Bowcock.
He says it was just a misunderstanding as the City “streamlines” the new process.
“Any time there’s communication there’s the potential for misinterpretation or mishearing, or assumptions being made. So we need to make sure that clarity is being established between the two parties as much as possible.”
He says the City will slowly gain experience through this transitional period.
“One individual, when the request went to the Clerk’s office, it was inappropriately, or in error, it was funnelled into the process of standard business process.”
But Vincent Gogolek with the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association says that’s pretty major.
He says the City still told a major media outlet their request wasn’t accepted as an FOI.
CKNW did receive the information it had requested, a day after the original story aired.