The fundamental purpose of the freedom of information process (FOI) is accountability to the public. The spirit is to create an open and accountable government by providing as much information as possible to the public, while ensuring that their personal privacy is protected.
The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) is a piece of legislation that gives individuals the right to request access to information, including most general records and records containing their own personal maintained by the Township of The Archipelago.
The Act also provides for the protection of personal information that has been collected by the municipality. The Act is based on the principles that:
- Information should be made available to the public;
- Individuals should have access to their own personal information;
- Exceptions to access should be limited and specific;
- The privacy of individuals with respect to the personal information the municipality collects and maintains shall be protected; and
- Decisions on access to government information may be appealed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC/O).
Under the Legislation, the ‘Head’ of the Corporation is responsible for decisions made under the Act. For the Township of The Archipelago, Council has delegated the responsibilities and powers of performing the duties as the ‘Head’ within the meaning of the Act to the Clerk.
The Township of The Archipelago tries to provide as much information as possible while still complying with the legislation.
Making a Request under the Act
There are two ways to make a request under the Act:
1. FOI Application Form
Freedom of Information Application forms are available from the Clerks Department or can be downloaded here.
2. Writing a letter or email to request information
If sending a letter or email, please include the following information:
- full mailing address;
- day time telephone number;
- names of specific files or types of records to which access is sought, including dates of those records if possible
Requesters should provide detailed information about the requested records as this enables staff to conduct a faster search and reduces costs associated with such research. Completed requests should be sent with the mandatory, non-refundable $5.00 application fee* (cheques should be made payable to the Township of The Archipelago) to:
Township of The Archipelago
Attn: Maryann Weaver
9 James St.
Parry Sound, ON P2A 2W9
Fees under the Act
Requests for information under MFIPPA should be completed on the application form and must be accompanied by the $5.00 application fee.
In addition to the $5 application fee, we are permitted under MFIPPA legislation to charge the following fees which are typical for most requests:
$7.50 per 15 minutes of time spent searching for, retrieving and preparing a record for disclosure including the time to sever any part of the record in accordance with the exemptions under the Act.
$0.20 per page for photocopying and computer printouts.
Other fees may be charged depending on the nature of the request. The FOI Coordinator will apprise you in advance of what these fees are in accordance with the Act.
Normally, we have 30 calendar days (including weekends and statutory holidays) from the date we receive your $5 application fee to respond to your FOI request. There are circumstances where we may require an extension; if such an extension is required, we will notify you in writing.
In the case where a 50 per cent deposit is required, our work on your request will cease once we notify you of the need for the deposit, and resume once we receive your deposit.
In some cases, however, we are not allowed to provide public access to records or parts of records, based on requirements set out by MFIPPA. These instances are called exemptions, which are in place to protect the rights of another person or organization.
If we decide not to disclose part or all of a requested record, we must declare which exemption or exemptions we are applying to the record or records.
If you have made a request under the Act and disagree with the decision we've made with respect to not granting access to all or part of a record or records, you have the right to appeal our decision to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC).
You have 30 calendar days after we have notified you of our decision regarding the FOI request to give notice of appeal to the IPC. The fee for making an appeal is $25, payable to the IPC.
You may give notice of appeal either by:
- Completing an appeal form, OR
- Writing a letter, attaching it to the appeal form, AND
- Mailing it along with the $25 fee to:
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
For more information visit the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) website. https://www.ipc.on.ca/
If you have any further questions about Freedom of Information, contact the Clerk.