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Freedom of Information

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990

What is MFFIPA?

Purposes

The purposes of this Act are,

  • (a) to provide a right of access to information under the control of institutions in accordance with the principles that,
    • (i) information should be available to the public,
    • (ii) necessary exemptions from the right of access should be limited and specific, and
    • (iii) decisions on the disclosure of information should be reviewed independently of the institution controlling the information; and
  • (b) to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by institutions and to provide individuals with a right of access to that information.  R.S.O. 1990, c. M.56, s. 1.


How do I submit an FOI request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)?

  • Complete the Request for Access to Record Information Form (pdf document at the bottom of the page) or write a letter setting out which “records” you are seeking
  • If you decide to write a letter, make sure to include:
    • Your full mailing address.
    • Your telephone number where you can be reached during the day.
    • The names of the specific files or types of records you would like access to
    • A photocopy of a piece of identification with your signature on it, such as driver’s licence, but only if you are requesting access to your own personal information.
    • A signed and dated letter of consent if you are acting as an agent for someone else.
  • Pay the $5.00 application fee – cash, or cheque or money order made payable to the “Municipality of Hastings Highlands” 
  • Mail your application form or letter and $5.00 application fee to the Clerk’s Office, or drop it off in person to the Clerk’s Office.

     

Do I need to submit an official FOI request if I want to access Municipal records?
 

  • Not necessarily; the Municipality will often routinely disclosed records and information to the public.
  • Contact the program you believe has custody or control of the records you are seeking to see if the information can be disclosed informally to you.
  • A formal FOI request may be required when:
    • You are requesting access to records to which a mandatory exemption to disclosure may apply, such records containing another individual’s personal information or confidential information provided by other businesses or government agencies.
    • You are requesting access to records where a discretionary exemption under MFIPPA is applicable, such as records subject to solicitor-client privilege, records relating to law enforcement investigations, etc. 
    • You are requesting access to a voluminous amount of information.
    • Research Fees will be charged on a per hour basis in accordance with the municipality’s user fee bylaw.
       

What is the Municipality’s time limit for processing an FOI request?
 

  • 30 calendar days from the day the Municipality receives both your written request and $5.00 application fee.
  • Where voluminous records are requested an extension of the 30 day limit may be issued and you will be advised accordingly.
  • If a third party notice is required, the 30 day time limit starts from the day the notice is sent to the third party.
  • If consultations are required with persons outside of the Municipality, a notice of extension to the 30 days may be issued for the amount of time needed for the consultations to take place; you will be advised accordingly.

How must the Municipality respond to an official FOI request?

  • A decision on access must be issued in writing and must contain the following:
    • Whether full, partial or no access is granted, or if no responsive records were located.
    • If access is denied, or where no records are located:
      • The reason for the refusal or a statement setting out that no records were located.
      • The contact information for the person that made the decision on access.
      • The contact information of the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario.

For information on making a freedom of information request, please visit the Ontario Government – How to make a Freedom of Information request.