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

Personal Health Information

Guiding principles

Protection of Privacy

Collection

Sharing

Accessing

Making a FOI Request

Fees

Time to Process

Right to Appeal

Most City of Greater Sudbury records and information falls under either the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) or under the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). Under these pieces of legislation, you have a right to access information, subject to certain restrictions under the Acts. These Acts also direct how the city collects, uses and protects your personal information.

The City of Greater Sudbury also makes information available to the public through other processes such as their Routine Disclosure process - information which is available directly from various municipal services without the need for a Freedom of Information (FOI) request - and through its Open Data portal - machine-readable municipal datasets which are freely shared, used and built on without restrictions or cost.

An explanation of terms used to track Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests is available here.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) Access Request Form is available here.

Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)

The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) applies to some information collected by the City of Greater Sudbury.

You or a person who is legally appointed to make decisions on your behalf may request access to, or correction of, your personal health information. You have the right to request an independent review by Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner if you believe your privacy has been violated or when access to your health information is denied.

Guiding principles of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection Privacy Act (MFIPPA)

  • All individuals have the right to access information.
  • Access should be as open as possible, though the Act does include specific exemptions which limit the city from releasing certain types of information. Individuals have a right to protection of their personal information and a right to access to their personal information.
  • If you disagree with how the city responds to your request for access, you have the right to appeal to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act states that every person has a right of access to a record or part of a record in the custody or control of an institution unless:

  • the record or part of the record falls within one of the exemptions under sections 6 to 15 of MFIPPA, or

  • the head (powers are exercised by the City Clerk or designate in the City of Greater Sudbury) is of the opinion on reasonable grounds that the request for access is frivolous.

There are records to which the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act does not apply:

Protection of Privacy

An important principle of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (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 destroyed.

Collection of Personal Information

The City of Greater Sudbury can only collect your personal information when authorized to do so. With some specific exceptions, personal information must be collected directly from you. When collecting personal information, the city must notify you of its authority to do so, how the information will be used, and information to contact a city staff member to answer questions regarding the use of your personal information. Personal information can only be used for a purpose consistent with its collection.

Sharing of Personal Information

The City of Greater Sudbury keeps your personal information confidential and secure. In most instances, your written permission is required in order for the city to share your information. There are some circumstances set out in legislation when the city may disclose your personal information to others; for example, for compassionate reasons related to an emergency. More information is available under section 32 of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Accessing Personal Information

The Act gives individuals the right to access municipal government information, including most general records and records containing their own personal information. Individuals have the right to request correction of their personal information where they believe there is an error or omission. If you feel the city has not properly corrected the information as requested, you may appeal to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Individuals who feel their privacy has been compromised by the City have the right to submit a complaint to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

Making a Freedom of Information Request

Step One:  Before making a Freedom of Information Request, please see the City of Greater Sudbury Open Data Portal. The information you are seeking may be available as an open dataset.

Step Two: Complete the attached Freedom of Information Access Request Form. Forms are also available at Tom Davies Square, Clerk’s Services, 200 Brady Street, Sudbury and at all Greater Sudbury Citizen Service Centres.

Step Three: The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requires a $5 application fee with every access request form. The application fee is payable by cash, money order, credit card or bank card. When submitting an access request form by mail, please include a cheque or money order payable to the City of Greater Sudbury or your credit card information. For security reasons, never email your credit card information. If you would like to email your application, you must contact Clerks Services to process your credit card. Dial 705-674-4455, ext. 4209. Credit card payments will not be processed by email.

Please Note: If the $5 application fee is not included with an Access Request Form, the form will be considered incomplete and will not be processed until the application fee has been paid.

Step Four:

Mail, deliver or email your Freedom of Information Access Request Form to:

Office of the City Clerk, Tom Davies Square, 200 Brady Street, Box 5000, Station A, Sudbury, ON P3A 5P3

email: foi@greatersudbury.ca

What are the fees to submit an Access/Correction Form?

Ontario Regulation 823 sets out a fee schedule for the processing of a Freedom of Information Request.

Application fee: A $5 application fee is mandatory, cannot be waived and is non-refundable. It must be paid when submitting a Freedom of Information Request Form. If multiple property addresses or distinct requests are involved, a $5 fee applies for each address and/or request.

Search and preparation time: Requesters are charged $7.50 for every 15 minutes of municipal staff time to search, retrieve and prepare records. If computer programming is required to search, retrieve and prepare records, the charge is $15 for every 15 minutes.

Copies of information: Requesters are charged for all copies made and provided. Regular copies are 20 cents per page. Maps and plans are $9.07 per map or plan. Information on CD-ROM is $10 per disk.

Appeals: The Province of Ontario charges a fee for appeals under the Act. The fee for general records appeals is $25. An appeal of a decision related to personal information requires a $10 fee. Appeals related to personal information under the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) are free of charge.

How long does it take to process a Freedom of Information  request?

Under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the City of Greater Sudbury must make records available, deny access or notify the requester of any delay within 30 calendar days of receiving a request, provided the request is accompanied by a mandatory $5 application fee.

The City of Greater Sudbury has the right to extend the time to respond to a request in certain situations. These extensions may be necessary where the request involves a large number of records, requires an extensive search or involves information for which the city must obtain consent or representations from other parties.

The City of Greater Sudbury must notify the requester of any delays and provide an estimate of fees for requests that involve a large number or an extensive search.

You have the right to appeal a decision to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

If you are not satisfied with a decision made by the city to provide access to information, or if you have not received a reply from the city within 30 calendar days of submitting your request and application payment, you may appeal in writing to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

Information about the appeal process is available by telephone at 1-800-387-0073 or online at www.ipc.on.ca

Contact Us

Clerk's Services, City of Greater Sudbury, P.O. Box 5000, Station A, 2nd Floor, 200 Brady Street, Sudbury, ON P3A 5P3

Local: Dial 3-1-1, Mondays to Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Long Distance: Dial 1-705-671-2439, ext. 4209

Fax: 705-671-8118

email: foi@greatersudbury.ca