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What is the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)?
The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act applies to all local government organizations, including:
- school boards
- public utilities (except electrical distribution)
- transit and police commissions
- fire departments
- conservation authorities
- boards of health
- other local boards
There are separate Acts that apply specifically to provincial ministries, agencies and federal government institutions.
Effective January 1, 1991, MFIPPA requires municipal institutions to protect the privacy of an individual's personal information existing in government records and provides a right of access to information held by the municipal institution. The Act creates a privacy protection scheme the government must follow to protect an individual's right to privacy. The scheme includes rules regarding the collection, use, disclosure and disposal of personal information in the custody and control of a municipal institution.
What rights do I have for requesting information under the Act?
In keeping with the spirit of the legislation, the City of Kingston is committed to providing individuals with the right of access to information in its custody and control including most operational records as well as records containing their own personal information, where applicable. This process is called routine disclosure and allows certain records to be disclosed, without having to make a formal request under the Act. Only under limited circumstances does the City require an individual to make a formal MFIPPA request.
- The Act gives individuals the right to access municipal government information, including most general records and records containing their own personal information, subject to very specific and limited exemptions.
- The Act provides individuals with the right to request a correction of their personal information which they believe to be false or inaccurate and/or to attach a statement of disagreement to their records.
- An individual is also provided with the opportunity to request an independent review from the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario of the decisions made under MFIPPA by the head of an institution.
If I make an MFIPPA request, when will I receive the information?
The MFIPPA legislation states that an institution must provide the requester with the information and/or a decision regarding their request within 30 calendar days from the date a complete request is received. On occasion, an institution may ask for an extension, if the request is for an extensive number of records and/or if an outside third party needs to be contacted.
Who in the City of Kingston is responsible for MFIPPA?
Each municipal organization is required to appoint a head who is responsible for overseeing the administration of the legislation within the institution and for decisions made under the legislation. At the City of Kingston, City Council, by bylaw, designated the Mayor as the head, who in turn delegated the powers and duties of the head to the Manager of the Council Support Division (City Clerk).
The City Clerk forms access and privacy procedures for use by City staff, is responsible for processing all access requests, gives direction to City staff on informal information requests and implements privacy protection practices.
How do I contact the City Clerk?
The City Clerk may be contacted at:
City of Kingston
216 Ontario Street
Kingston, ON K7L 2Z3
Telephone: (613) 546-4291, ext. 1247
Fax: (613) 546-5232
You may wish to view or download a complete copy of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, accessible at the Web site of the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC). [Click to visit the IPC site].