Freedom of Information

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The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) applies to all Ontario municipalities as well as local boards, agencies and commissions, including school boards and police services.  The Act provides the right of the public to access municipal records, subject to certain limitations and exemptions, and the right to access one’s own personal information and to correct it if it is incorrect, ambiguous or incomplete.  The Act further requires municipalities to protect personal information by imposing protection of privacy requirements that govern the collection, retention, use, disclosure and disposal of information.

Under the Legislation, the ‘Head’ of the Corporation is responsible for decisions made under the Act.  In the Town of Fort Frances, that responsibility has been delegated to the Town Clerk.

Individuals wishing routine access to municipal government records should begin by contacting the Town of Fort Frances department that would have the record.  That department will determine whether routine access can be given or if an access request will be required.  If the records are not considered routine, then you will be directed to make a formal request in accordance with MFIPPA on the appropriate form.  There is a $5.00 application fee payable at the time you submit the completed form.

Step by Step Process:

  1. Obtain the Request for Records Form (attached here) or available for pick up at the Civic Centre.
  2. Complete the Request for Records Form and submit with payment to the Civic Centre (Clerk’s Office).

When making a request for information, please provide as much detail as possible about the requested records including specific timelines.  The more specific the request, the better able staff will be to locate the records in a timely fashion.

The Legislation stipulates that the municipality must provide the requester with the information and/or decision regarding their request within 30 calendar days from the date that a complete request is received.  The municipality may request an extension if the request is for a large number of records and/or if an outside consultant needs to be contacted.

Fees Related to All Freedom of Information requests

A fee estimate will be provided to the requestor prior to staff completing the request.  In some cases, a 50% deposit may be required.  Upon receipt of the estimate, the requestor will be required to respond in writing to accept the estimated fee in order for staff to continue processing the request.

Additional Fees that may apply:

  1. The fee for requested documents is $7.50 per quarter hour of time used for research, preparation and compilation.
  2. The fee for copies of requested records is $0.20 per page.
  3. Additional fees are outlined in the Legislation and may include (computer programming, computer disks, shipping etc.).

Appeal

MFIPPA Legislation allows individuals the right to appeal any decision made by the Town of Fort Frances relating to access of records or personal information.  Appeals are filed (fee applicable) with the Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) of Ontario who is independent of the government or any institution.  For more information, visit the IPC website by clicking here.

 

For further information regarding access to information in the Town of Fort Frances, please contact:

Elizabeth (Lisa) Slomke, Town Clerk

Phone:  807-274-5323 ext 1215

lslomke@fortfrances.ca