If you want some information from Service BC, such as who owns a piece of property or how often it’s been sold, or for how much, Service BC now wants some information from you: such as your name, address, phone number, who you work for and why you want to know.
But rest assured, says the government, no one else will know who you are snooping on.
The new policy came into force last spring at all Service BC outlets, such as the office in municipal tower in downtown Maple Ridge.
The change is “in order to create an audit trail,” said Jason McNaughton, spokesman for Ministry of Citizen’s Services and Open Government.
The reason? To ensure “consistent application of no-charge search criteria.”
In other words, as part of a relationship between Corporate Registry and Service BC, the government wants to track who’s paying for the searches and who’s getting them for free.
Media organizations are provided the information at no charge, while individuals have to pay about $12 for each search.
Another reason for the policy change is to ensure completed search requests are sent to the correct address.
McNaughton said only staff at each Service BC location will have access to the information request forms that are filled out each time a search is made.
“Then they shred it at the end of six months.”
Searches can also be made to determine ownership of companies or people associated with numbered companies.