Access to information

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) establishes a general right of access to records held by municipal government and local agencies, boards and commissions. The purpose of the Act is accountability to the public. The Act was created to ensure transparency by providing as much information as possible to the public while ensuring that their personal privacy is protected. Paper documents, microfilm, videos, photographs, disks, maps, electronic records, financial systems, websites, intranets, emails, and voice mails are only a few of the mediums covered by the Act.

Guiding principles of MFIPPA

  • The public has the right to information held by institutions covered by the Act, and that information should be made available to the public;
  • Any person can make a request for information held by a government institution covered by the Act;
  • Any exemptions from the right of access to information should be limited and specific;
  • Individuals have a right to the protection of personal information held by institutions under the Act;
  • Decisions to refuse access to information are reviewed independently;
  • Any decisions relating to access to information can be reviewed by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

Freedom of information

Requests for information held by the City of Guelph are made to the Information, Privacy and Records Coordinator who is responsible for managing compliance with the Act. Requests must be made in writing and include a $5 application fee. Decisions regarding access are subject to independent review by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

Privacy protection

An important principle of MFIPPA is that personal information held by governments must be protected from unauthorized collection, use and disclosure. The Act also outlines the length of time personal information should be kept on file and when it should be disposed of.

The City of Guelph cannot collect your personal information unless it is authorized to do so. With some specific exceptions, personal information must be collected directly from you. The City is obligated to notify you of its authority to collect your information, how that information will be used, and the contact information for a City staff member to answer your questions regarding the use of your personal information.

Without your permission, personal information can only be used for the purpose for which it was collected or a consistent purpose. When personal information is used, the City is responsible to take reasonable steps to ensure its accuracy. Requirements for the use of personal information by government institutions are specified in the Act.

Disclosure

You can access your personal information with few limitations.

The City of Guelph keeps your personal information confidential and secure. Your written permission is required in order for the City to share your information with anyone else. There are some circumstances however where the City may disclose your personal information to others without your consent. Your information will be shared with the following parties under these circumstances.

  • To the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner in response to an appeal;
  • To carry our the purpose for which we collected the information, or a consistent (reasonably expected) purpose;
  • To a City employee who requires the record in the performance of their duties;
  • To comply with the law;
  • To cooperate with a law enforcement agency conducting an investigation into a possible violation of the law;
  • In compelling circumstances affecting an individual’s health or safety;
  • To make contact with the next of kin or friend of an ill, injured or deceased person;
  • To audit a program that is cost shared by the federal or provincial government.

Record correction

If you believe that a record containing your personal information is incorrect or inaccurate, the Act gives you can request a correction. If the City refuses your correction request, you can request that a statement of disagreement be attached to the record. The statement of disagreement will appear each time the record is accessed, and City staff will be aware that there is a dispute as to its accuracy.

FOI Access/Correction Request

Contact information

Access, Privacy and Records Specialist
City of Guelph
City Hall, 1 Carden St
Guelph, Ontario N1H 3A1
519-822-1260 extension 2349
Fax: 519-736-1269
privacy@guelph.ca

Last Updated: November 28, 2013. Broken links or incorrect information? Let us know!