Freedom of Information
Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)
MFIPPA or Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act establishes a general right of access to records held by municipal government and local agencies, boards and commissions using these principles:
Freedom of Information Act Requests
How do I Submit a Formal Request Under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)?
Formal F.O.I. requests must be submitted in writing to the Clerk’s office by using the MFIPPA Request Form. Forms can be obtained at the reception desk at Town Hall, 105 Elgin St. W. Arnprior, ON K7S 0A8.
Your request should make reference to the Act, and should be as clear and specific as possible. Identify the type of records, where they are located and the time frame they cover. You should also indicate if you want to view the records or if you would like to receive copies.
Your formal request must be accompanied by a $ 5.00 application fee (cheques should be made payable to the Town of Arnprior). This fee is legislated by the Act, and the Town cannot begin a search for your information until it is paid. You may pay in person, or mail a cheque with your application letter. Please mail requests and cheques care off:
Freedom of Information Requests
What Are the Costs for a Request?
The fees under the Act are set by the Province by section 45 of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and section 6 of the Regulations and Guidelines for Municipalities and Local Boards. They are as follows:
Will I Get Everything I Want and When?
In most cases, the requesters are granted full access to all of the information they ask for. However, the Act contains a number of mandatory and discretionary exemptions which allow the Town to deny access to records containing certain types of information.
Mandatory exemptions include:
For example, if a record contains someone else’s personal information, or other information which was provided to the Town in confidence, the Town will sever (or blackout) this information from the record and you will be provided with a copy of the severed document.
The discretionary include:
If we do withhold information under one or more of the exemptions, we will tell you why.
All requesters receive a decision letter outlining the decision, the reasons for the decision, the costs, etc.
Under the legislation, the Town must respond within 30 calendar days of receipt of your request. However, in the interest of good customer service, we will endeavor to fulfill your request as quickly as possible.
In circumstances where there is a large volume of records or it is necessary to consult outside agencies, the Town may ask for an extension of the 30 day time limit.
What if I Don’t Like the Town’s Decision?
You have the right to appeal the Town’s response to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC). You must file your appeal within 30 days of receiving the Town’s decision.
To do this, write a letter to the Commissioner’s Office describing the circumstances of your case, including the file number assigned by the Town of Arnprior and a copy of both your request and the Town’s decision letter. Also, remember to include your name, address and telephone number and the required appeal fee.
If you are seeking access to your own personal information, the appeal fee is
$ 10.00; otherwise, the fee is $ 25.00. Payment should be made by cheque, payable to “The Minister of Finance”.
Send your appeal information to:
Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
Once an appeal is received, the IPC assigns a Mediator to the case who then contacts both the requester and the organization. If the Mediator is unsuccessful, the Mediator’s report is forwarded to the Adjudication stage. The Adjudicator begins the process of an inquiry and the matter is settled by order of the Commissioner. Any order of the Commissioner is legally binding on both parties involved.
Simpler appeals can be resolved within a few weeks, while more complex cases take longer. If your file is resolved through Mediation, this would normally take no more than a couple of months. The majority of files requiring an inquiry are completed within 4 months.