Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) came into effect on January 1, 1991. The legislation provides access to information rights balanced with privacy protection. It applies to all municipalities in Ontario and to various other local government institutions including the Hornepayne Public Library. The Act does not apply to private companies, credit bureaus, hospitals, doctors' records or to federal government institutions. There is a separate act that applies to Ontario's Provincial Ministries and agencies.

Premise of the Act

 All paper documents, microfilm/fiche, computer disk data, e-mail and other forms of stored data are considered to be RECORDS of the institution
 There is a right of access to information in records, subject to certain limitations
 The personal information of individuals has to be protected and is not accessible to others, subject to certain limitations

Hornepayne's Approach

The Township of Hornepayne promotes open government, and fosters an organizational structure that advances the fundamental principles of the Act:
• Information (general records) should be available to the public;
• Individuals should have access to their personal information;
• Exemptions to access should be limited and specific;
• Institutions should protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information held by institutions.

It is important to note that, in many cases, information is available without the requirement of a formal request such as:
• Council Minutes
• By-laws
• Township Budgets
• Many reports including the Drinking Water Quality Annual Reports
• Township Strategic Plan and much more.

Please browse our website to see if what you are looking for is already publicly posted.

If the request is on the official Access Request Form from the Act or if it is only a letter but the letter refers to the Act, then the matter must be processed in accordance with the Act.

Withdrawing a Request

Legislation allows requesters to withdraw requests. In some cases people are willing to withdraw formal requests when they discover that the information they are looking for is readily available to them. This informal route is usually faster and less expensive.

General Operation of the Act

Making a request:

 Complete an Access Request Form (also available at the Municipal Office). Send the completed request form or letter to the "MFIPPA Head" for the Municipality;
 You must include the mandatory $5.00 Application Fee that is required for all requests. Cheques should be made payable to "Township of Hornepayne." Additional fees may be charged.

What happens next:

 The Head searches for and locates the records being requested and within 30 days of receiving the request makes a decision to either release the records entirely, in part, or to deny access to them. This decision is based on the provisions of the Act and on relevant Orders that have been issued by the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC).
• On occasion, an extension may be requested by the Municipality if, for example, the request is for an extensive number of records and/or if an outside consultant needs to be contacted.
• The Head issues a decision letter to the requester explaining why access is being denied to other records in part or entirely, if applicable, and outlining any additional costs.
• After payment, if required, has been received by the Township, the records that are being released will be forwarded to the requestor.
• Most municipal records will be released upon request, unless there are particular reasons to restrict them. A list of all exemptions can be found in the Act online, or can be obtained by contacting the Municipal Office.

How to appeal:

 You may appeal any decision made by the Township of Hornepayne.
 The decision letter will explain the appeal process to the IPC, which the requester can pursue if not satisfied with the decision made by the Township’s Head.
 The IPC will first attempt to achieve a mediated settlement of the appeal between the appellant and the institution. If this is unsuccessful then the appeal will go to an inquiry and the IPC will issue an Order either upholding the decision of the local Head or directing that some or all of the denied records be released to the requester. (Rulings of the IPC may, in some instances, be reviewed by the Courts)

At the Township of Hornepayne, Municipal Council has appointed the CAO/Clerk to the position of MFIPPA Head. The Head can be contacted at:

           Township of Hornepayne
           68 Front Street
           P.O. Box 370
           Hornepayne, ON P0M 1Z0
           Attn: MFIPPA Head
           (807) 868-2020 x 205
           [email protected]

For detailed information about exemptions and procedures relating to the Act or its regulations, please visit the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, or view the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act online.

Access Request Form/Fees

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