MUNICIPAL FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AND PROTECTION OF PRIVACY
In Ontario, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection Act (MFIPPA or "the Act") governs how requests for public or one's own personal information are treated by municipalities, local boards and other institutions (as specified under the Act). This legislation requires municipalities to protect personal information that has been collected by the Municipality, while also balancing the disclosure of records of interest to the public.
In Sioux Lookout, like many other municipalities, Council has delegated the responsibilities and powers of performing the duties of the Municipal Freedom of Information Coordinator, also known as the "Head of the institution," to the Municipal Clerk. The Municipal Clerk responds to, and ensures all requests are in compliance with the Act.
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 held by a municipality.
MAKING A REQUEST
An individual wishing to access municipal documents should begin the process by contacting the Municipal Clerk. Many documents are available to the public as a matter of course, through the Municipality's routine disclosure and active dissemination procedures. If the record in question has not been released (or soon to be released) through routine disclosure and active dissemination, the Municipal Clerk will advise the requester that he/she must complete the Freedom of Information Record Request Form and submit a $5.00 Application Fee, both of which are prescribed by the Act. It is advised that the individual provide as much detail as possible in order to assist in the search for the record.
The completed Form, accompanied by the $5.00 Application Fee, should be submitted to:
The Corporation of the Municipality of Sioux Lookout
Attn: Mr. Brian P. MacKinnon, Manager of Corporate Services/Municipal Clerk
25 Fifth Avenue, P.O. Box 158
Sioux Lookout ON P8T 1A4
A written response to the request will be provided within 30 calendar days, advising whether or not access to the requested record(s) will be granted. If the Municipality requires an extension to prepare a response, you will be notified within 30 days of making your request.
The Municipal Clerk may provide a fee estimate before the request is completed and in some cases a deposit of 50% of the estimated fee will be required before the search begins. A fee of $7.50 per quarter hour will be charged for research, preparation and compilation of requested records. Additional fees for photocopying and other permitted fees may be imposed, as provided for under the Act.
The Act gives individuals the right to appeal any decision made by the Municipality of Sioux Lookout that relates to access of records or personal information within 30 days of receiving the Municipality's decision. The Appeal Fee is $10.00 for personal information is and $25.00 for all other requests.
For more information about this important legislation, please visit the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario or view the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.