The Legislative Service Department responds to all freedom of information requests made under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) or the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA).
This legislation regulates and controls the information that is made available to the public and provides a formal procedure to request records. MFIPPA not only provides rights to the public to gain access to municipal records, but also protects the privacy of individuals.
The Act allows access to records held by the County in accordance with the following principles:
- Information should be made available to the public
- Individuals should have access to their own personal information
- Exceptions to access should be limited and specific
- The privacy of individuals with respect to the personal information the County collects and maintains shall be protected
- Decisions on the disclosure of government information may be reviewed by the Information and Privacy Commissioner
PHIPA applies to records of personal health information, such as Long Term Care Homes. The Act establishes rules for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal health information. The Act also provides individuals with the right to access and correct their personal health information.
The County is committed to providing as much information as possible to the public without the need to make a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) request.
- Records such as Council minutes, by-laws and policies, and reports available on the municipal website.
- Less frequently requested and/or older records may be available by contacting the Clerk.
Requests for information containing personal information or third party information may require a formal FOI request.
Submitting a FOI Request
The Legislative Services department is responsible for handling all requests received under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
To request information under FOI, contact the Office of the Clerk by mail or email.
The standard application fee is $5.00 (payable by cheque to the Corporation of the County of Middlesex), however, there may be additional fess depending on the nature and complexity of the request, including:
- Search time - $7.50 per every 15-minutes required to search and retrieve records
- Record preparation - $7.50 per every 15-minutes required to prepare records for release
- Photocopying - $0.20 per page
Fees for Personal Information Requests
Where anticipated fees are $25.00 or more, you will be provided a fee estimate in writing.
The County has 30 calendar days (including weekend and statutory holidays) to process FOI requests from the date a completed FOI request has been received with payment.
There are circumstances where the Legislative Services department may require an extension. If an extension is required, the Clerk will notify you in writing.
Making a Request:
- Complete a request form or write a letter stating that you are asking for information under the Act.
- Send the letter by mail to the "Legislative Services Manager and Clerk, Middlesex County Administration Offices, 399 Ridout St. N, London, ON, N6A 2P1.
- Include the mandatory $5.00 application fee. Cheques should be made payable to the "Corporation of the County of Middlesex." Additional fees may be charged. Please do not send cash.
- If you are submitting a request for your own personal information, include a copy of valid identification (Valid acceptable identifications include: Passport, Drivers License, Health Card, permanent resident cards, etc. - for more information on what is considered valid acceptable identification, visit the Government of Canada's website)
Appealing a FOI Request
If you are unsatisfied with a decision made by the County in answer to your FOI request, you may appeal the decision to the Information and Privacy Commission (IPC).
For information on why you might decide to appeal a decision and how to file an appeal, visit the IPC website.
Mail your appeal letter or form (available on the IPC website):
- Information and Privacy Commissioner
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
Tel: 416-326-3333 or 1-800-387-0073
Please note that the following information must accompany your request for an appeal:
- The FOI request number assigned by the County
- A copy of the original request for information which was submitted with the County
- A copy of the decision letter received from the County
- The applicable appeal fee, in the form of either a cheque or a money order, made payable to the Minister of Finance (see IPC website for current fee).
Protecting Your Personal Privacy
In addition to providing individuals with access to municipal records, the Act also requires the County to protect the personal privacy of individuals.
Personal information is collected and used by the County 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 Legislative Services Department.