The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requires that local government organizations protect the privacy of an individual's personal information existing in government records. It also gives individuals the right to request access to municipal government information including most general records and records containing their own personal information.
Persons wishing to access any records in the custody and control of Haldimand County are encouraged to first contact the municipality and request the information through normal inquiry channels. Should access to the information through these normal channels be denied, individuals may make a formal written request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This Act provides a formal, regulated process for reviewing access requests and identifies a variety of mandatory and discretionary exemptions to the types of records that may be accessed by the general public. The Act also provides for the appeal of any access decision made by the municipality. Such appeals are administered by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
Administratively, County Clerk and Deputy Clerk are responsible for the day to day dealings with respect to the Act. These staff are responsible for:
- meeting time limits and notification requirements of the Act;
- considering representations from third parties who may be affected by the disclosure of records;
- making decisions about the disclosure of records and responding to access requests;
- determining the method of disclosing records;
- responding to requests for correction of personal information;
- calculating and collecting fees;
- where necessary, defending decisions made under the Act at an appeal; and
- administering the privacy protection provisions of the Act.
Requests pertaining to access to the general records of the municipality under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act should be directed to:
Jennifer Shaw, Deputy Clerk
P.O. Box 400
Canada, N0A 1E0
Please include a copy of the Application for Access or Correction to Records with your request.
A person seeking access to a record shall,
- make a request in writing to the institution that the person believes has custody or control of the record;
- provide sufficient detail to enable an experienced employee of the institution, upon reasonable effort, to identify the record; and
- at the time of making the request, pay the fee prescribed by the regulations for that purpose. (Presently the fee is $5.00.)
The Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario maintains a very useful site for those with an interest in access to information under the Act. See http://www.ipc.on.ca.
It should be noted that many documents in the possession of the Clerk are public documents and subject to routine disclosure at no cost beyond photocopying charges which also may be waived in some circumstances.