In 1991 the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act came into force for all municipalities and local boards in Ontario.
Two main purposes are:
- To provide the right of access to information held by institutions covered by the Act; subject to limited and specific exemptions
- To protect the privacy of individuals with respect to their personal information held by government institutions
The Corporate Services department administers the Act on behalf of the Town of Penetanguishene.
The Act has a number of provisions dealing with the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information. To access detailed information about exemptions and procedures relating to the act or its regulations, refer to the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioners Office www.ipc.on.ca website.
In most cases, it is not necessary to apply under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) to obtain access to Town’s records. Requests for information can generally be made by calling, writing, or visiting the appropriate department office. When it is deemed appropriate, department staff may request that a formal MFIPPA request be made.
To request records under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, follow these steps:
Step 1: Complete a request form. Requesters should provide as much detail as they can about the records sought.
Step 2: Forward the completed request form to the Corporate Services Department. Please note that there is a standard $5.00 application fee that must accompany your request, payable to the “Town of Penetanguishene”. Send the completed request form and payment to:
Corporate Services Department
Town of Penetanguishene
10 Robert Street West
P.O. Box 5009
Penetanguishene, ON L9M 2G2
Usually, a request is processed within 30 calendar days. This means that the Town must either provide access to the requested record or notify the individual that the information is exempt under the specific provisions of the Act. If the Town requires a time extension for any reason, then the requestor must be notified.
When the Town must spend time assembling the records responsive to a request, the Act provides for the application of fees. In addition to the $5.00 application fee, the Act provides that the costs are to borne by those who request access to information or in certain instances where fees can be waived under Section 45 of the Act.
Additional fees which may be applied in accordance with the Act include photocopying (20 cents per page); search and preparation time ($7.50 per 15 minutes per staff). This charge may be applied for every hour of manual search time needed to locate a record and/or the time involved in physically severing exempt material in preparation for disclosure. If the record has to be shipped, the requester will be charged the applicable fee for postage and/or courier that may be applied.