Municipal Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act

In 1991 the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act came into effect for all municipalities and local boards in Ontario. Its two main purposes are:

  1. to provide the right of access to information held by institutions covered by the Act; subject to limited and specific exemptions
  2. to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to their personal information held by government institutions. The Niagara Regional Housing (NRH) Executive Committee is the "Head" under the Act on behalf of NRH.

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.

How to Make a Request

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 NRH’s records. Requests for information can generally be made by calling, writing, or visiting the NRH office. When deemed appropriate, NRH 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, or write a letter stating that you are requesting information under the Act. Any clear written request that refers to the Act will also be accepted. Requesters should provide as much detail as they can about the records sought.

  • Step 2: Forward the completed request form or letter to the Executive Assistant to the NRH General Manager. Please note: A $5 application fee must accompany your request, payable to "Niagara Regional Housing". Send the completed request form and payment to:

    Executive Assistant to the General Manager
    Niagara Regional Housing
    1815 Sir Isaac Brock Way
    (formerly 2201 St. David's Road)
    P.O. Box 344
    Thorold, ON
    L2V 3Z3

Usually, a request is processed within 30 calendar days. This means that NRH 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 NRH requires a time extension for any reason, then the requestor must be notified.

Fees - General

When NRH 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 costs are to be borne by those who request access to information, or in certain instances where fees can be waived under Section 45 of the Act.

Where NRH presently charges a fee for a copy of a type of document under the "traditional access" or where another Act provides that certain costs can be charged for access to records, it can continue to do so after January 1, 1991.

All cheques must be made payable to Niagara Regional Housing.

Fee Schedule:

Established by Regulation 823/96, applicable costs which can be charged to the requester are listed below. If, however, the cost to prepare a request is over $25.00 the requestor may be given a fee estimate before completing the request. NOTE: The records will not be severed, copied or released until the fee is paid or waived.

Fee

Explanation

Rate

Search Time/
Record Preparation Charges

A 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

$7.50/15 minutes/person

Photocopying Charges

 

$.20/page

Shipping Costs

Shipping charges such as postage or courier can be applied.

 

How to correct information held about you

Where NRH collects personal information about individuals, the Act provides that individuals have the right to correct their own personal information if it is in error. This applies only to personal information to which the requestor has been given access. After access has been granted to personal information, the individual has the right to request:

  1. correction of personal information;
  2. a statement of disagreement be attached to the record;
  3. notification of correction or disagreement be sent to those whom his/her personal information was disclosed within the previous year

The right of correction applies only to personal information to which an individual is provided access.

Again, requestors must complete a Request Form and remit a $5.00 payment.

NRH decides whether the correction will be made. Once it has been decided whether or not the information is to be corrected, NRH notifies the requestor. These decisions may be appealed to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.


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