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Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990

 As a municipal institution, the City of Oshawa recognizes that everyone has a right to access records and information held by the City. Access to City records is governed by the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M. 56 (the “Act”). In addition to providing individuals with a right to access City records, the Act also provides rules for the protection of personal information collected by the City. 

This page provides information on the following:

The Act

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act provides individuals with a right to access records under the custody or control of the City. The right to access records is subject to limited and specific exemptions outlined in Sections 6 through 16 of the Act. The right to access records extends to both general records, as well as any records which may contain your personal information. Beyond providing the right to access information, the Act also provides rules which govern how the City may collect, retain, use, disclose and dispose of personal information which may be contained in City records. 

Access to General Records

The first step when seeking access to City records is to approach the Branch holding the particular records desired. Most records are generally available, unless there are specific reasons why the information cannot be provided. Where the records are not publicly available, a formal request will be required.

Access to Personal Information

Every person has a right of access to personal information about them held under the City’s custody or control. A request may be made to access the records and have the information corrected if a person believes that the information contains errors or omissions. To access personal information or request correction to personal information a formal request is required. Upon receipt, the City will review the request and advise the applicant whether the correction or addition of information has been granted. Where a request has been denied, an applicant may appeal the decision to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

Submitting a Request

All formal requests to access general records or personal information or correct personal information must be submitted on the City’s Application for Access/Correction to Records form. This form must be returned to City Clerk Services with the mandatory application fee of $5.00. This fee cannot be waived, or refunded. Upon receipt of the completed application, the City has 30 calendar days in which to respond to your request. Completed application forms and a cheque in the amount of $5.00 made payable to the “City of Oshawa” should be forwarded to the following address:

City Clerk Services
5th Floor, Rundle Tower, City Hall
50 Centre Street South
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 3Z7
 
Alternatively, requests may be submitted in person by attending at City Clerk Services on the 5th Floor of City Hall. Upon receipt, the City has 30 days in which to respond to a request. Within this timeframe, the City will provide access to the requested records, or provide notice to the applicant indicating why the requested records cannot be provided, as permitted by the Act. If the City cannot complete the request within the 30 day timeframe, as it may negatively affect the regular operations of the City, or where other individuals or companies may be affected by the possible release of information, the applicant will be advised of the extension and the anticipated date that a decision will be rendered.

Fees

The Act contemplates a user pay principle which is founded on the premise that requesters should carry at least a portion of the costs associated with responding to a request. As a result, requesters are required to pay the fees mandated by the Act as outlined below:

Fee Explanation Rate
Application Fee
Mandatory fee which must accompany each request and cannot be waived by the City
$5.00
Search Time
For time required to search and compile City records responsive to a request
$7.50 for each 15 minutes
Copy Fees
 
$0.20 for each page disclosed
Computer Programming
Where a program is required to retrieve information from a machine readable database
$15.00 for each 15 minutes
Records Preparation
Where information must be severed from records prior to release
$7.50 for each 15 minutes
CD-Rom
Where records are requested in a digital format
$10.00 per CD-Rom
Shipping Costs
 
As Invoiced
Other Fees
Where other fees may be incurred to respond to a request
As Invoiced

Where the anticipated fees will be in excess of $25.00, the requester will be provided with a Notice of Fee Estimate which will provide a line by line breakdown of the anticipated fees. Where the anticipated fees are in excess of $100.00, a deposit equal to 50% of the anticipated fees will be required before the City completes any additional work associated with the request. If an applicant feels that the anticipated fees are excessive or unaffordable, they are invited to modify the scope of their request, which may reduce the fees associated with their request. A Notice of Fee will be provided to the requester when the process is complete. The amount outlined in the Notice of Fee must be paid prior to the collection of records.
 
Note: All fees invoiced by the City must be paid by the applicant, even where an applicant abandons or withdraws their request. If applicants do not remit payment, the City will pursue collection activities to recover the amount owing.

Protecting Your Personal Privacy

In addition to providing individuals with access to City records, the Act also requires the City of Oshawa to protect the personal privacy of individuals. Personal information is collected and used by the City for very specific purposes which are identified at the time of collection. Your personal information will not be used for any other purpose than identified at the time of collection, nor disclosed in any circumstance, except as permitted by the Act. If you feel your personal information has been misused or disclosed in a manner that is not consistent with the Act, please contact the City’s Freedom of Information Coordinator or the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

Appealing the City’s Decision

Any decision issued by the City may be appealed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Decisions can only be reviewed by the Commissioner’s Office and must be appealed within 30 days of the decision being issued by the City. To appeal a decision of the City, please consult the information provided by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

Other Resources 

Contact Information

Questions regarding the City of Oshawa’s access and privacy program should be directed to the City’s Freedom of Information Coordinator:

FOI Coordinator: Joanna Kurowski
Records Analyst
Location: City Clerk Services
5th Floor, Rundle Tower, City Hall
50 Centre Street South
Oshawa, Ontario  L1H 3Z7
Phone: 905-436-3311 ext 2478
Toll Free: 1-800-667-4292
Fax: 905-436-5697
TTY: 905-436-5627
Email: jkurowski@oshawa.ca