Freedom of Information Requests

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

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) came into effect on January 1, 1991. The legislation provides access to information rights balanced with privacy protection. It applies to all municipalities in Ontario and to various other local government institutions including the London Public Library and London Police Services. The Act does not apply to private companies, court records, records in archives, credit bureaus, hospitals, doctors' records or to federal government institutions. There is a separate act that applies to Ontario's Provincial Ministries and agencies.

Premise of the Act
  • All paper, electronic documents and other forms of stored data are considered to be records of the institution.
  • There is a right of access to information in records, subject to certain limitations.
  • The personal information of individuals has to be protected and is not accessible to others, subject to certain limitations.
London’s approach

The City of London promotes open government, and fosters an organizational structure that advances the fundamental principles of the Act:

  • Information (general records) should be available to the public;
  • Individuals should have access to their personal information;
  • Exemptions to access should be limited and specific;
  • Institutions should protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information held by institutions.

If the request is on the a request form available from City Clerk's Office or online or if it is written but refers to the Act and accompanied by the $5.00 application fee, then the matter must be processed in accordance with the provisions provided in the Act.

Property information requests

Some Property Information Requests may be submitted directly to Development and Compliance Services. More information about the types of Property Information Requests that are accepted outside of the formal MFIPPA process, and the associated fees, can be found here.

Open data

Information about the City of London's Open Data initiative can be found here. Various datasets are available for download through the City of London's Open Data Licence.

Downtown camera program

In November 2001, the City of London established a closed-circuit television (CCTV) system with 16 cameras in downtown public areas. The CCTV system is operated under the Code of Practice. Information obtained through video monitoring is used exclusively for security and law enforcement purposes and released according to the standards set by MFIPPA. All information is retained for a 72-hour period unless a record has been requisitioned for use.

Fees

If you request information under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, you may be required to pay certain fees.

Learn more about fees

Rules about fees are set out in the Act and its regulations.

If you are requesting information about yourself, your request is considered a personal information request. All other requests for information, whether about a person other than yourself or about a government program or activity are considered general information requests. Fees charged for general information requests are different than those for personal information.​​​​​

Fees for general information requests

The following fees apply to requests for general information:

Application fee

$5.00 must be paid when you submit your request (either by cheque payable to Treasurer, City of London or in cash or by debit card payable at front counter in City Clerk’s Office, Suite 308, City Hall)

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

Computer programming

$15.00 per every 15-minutes needed to develop a program to retrieve information

Floppy/hard disks

$10.00 for each disk

N.S.F. Cheques

$40.00

Fees for personal information requests

The following fees apply to requests for personal information:

Application fee

$5.00 must be paid when you submit your request (either by cheque payable to Treasurer, City of London or in cash or by debit card payable at front counter in City Clerk’s Office, Suite 308, City Hall)

Photocopying

$0.20 per page

Computer programming

$15.00 per every 15-minutes needed to develop a program to retrieve information

Floppy/hard disks

$10.00 for each disk

N.S.F. Cheques

$40.00

Where anticipated fees are $25.00 or more, you will be given a fee estimate. If the estimate of fees to be paid is $100.00 or more, you may be required to pay a 50 percent deposit before your request is processed. 

Making a request

  • Complete a request form (available from City Clerk's Office or online) or write a letter stating that you are asking for information under the Act. Please read the instructions on the request form.
  • Send the completed request form to the "Manager, Records and Information Services", City Clerk's Office, City Hall, 300 Dufferin Ave, London, ON, N6A 4L9.
  • Include the mandatory $5.00 application fee. Cheques should be made payable to "Treasurer, City of London." Additional fees may be charged. Please do not send cash.
  • Request can be submitted in person in the City Clerk's Office, City Hall, during normal business hours.

 

What happens next?

Requested records are located (should they exist) and within 30 days of receiving the request City staff make a decision to either release the records entirely, in part or to deny access to them. This decision is based on the provisions of the Act and on relevant Orders that have been issued by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC).

How to appeal
  • The decision letter will explain the appeal process to the IPC, which the requester can pursue if not satisfied with the decision made by the institution.
  • The IPC will first attempt to achieve a mediated settlement of the appeal between the appellant and the institution. If this is unsuccessful, the appeal will move to adjudication and the IPC will issue an Order either upholding the decision of the institution or directing that some or all of the denied records be released to the requester.
Examples of public versus private information

Below are some examples - by department - of information that's public (accessible) and information that's private (not accessible).

Chief Administrative Officer's Department

  • Reports from Civic Administration to Committees are public
  • Labour relations reports from Civic Administration to Board of Control are private
  • Writs are public
  • Confidential legal opinions are private

Finance, Corporate Services and City Clerk's Department

  • Standing Committee reports are public
  • Confidential in camera minutes are private
  • Human Resources files are private
  • Financial statements are public

Environmental and Engineering Services Department

  • Sewer records are public
  • Confidential report with advice from City are private

Planning and Development Department

  • Rezoning application files are public
  • Complainants' names re by-law enforcement are private

Community Services Department

  • Community service grant applications are public
  • Names of Ontario Works clients are private.
  • Budgets for arenas are public

 

Last modified:Tuesday, October 06, 2020