Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy

In the municipal sector, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) presides over access to information and privacy. MFIPPA states that an individual has a right to access certain information kept by a municipality, and that a municipality must protect the personal and proprietary information in its custody.

MFIPPA contains mandatory and discretionary exemptions that a municipality may use to limit the disclosure of certain records, to ensure that privacy is protected. These exemptions only apply in specific instances, and will determine how much information is provided in response to a request made under MFIPPA.

View or download a complete copy of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, accessible at the website of the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) 

How to Make A Request 

  1. Please complete a Freedom of Information Request form and return it to the County Clerk's Office addressed to the Information Coordinator with the $5 application fee payable to "The County of Wellington".
  2. According to MFIPPA, the County must respond within 30 days of the date of the request.
  3. If you are requesting records that contain third party information, the County will notify the third party of the request within the 30-day timeframe. The third party then has 20 days to inform the County whether he/she agrees or disagrees with the disclosure of his/her information.
  4. If you are acting as an agent for someone else, please include a signed consent form with your request that states that the individual is authorizing you to act on his/her behalf, as well as a photocopy of a piece of his/her identification with a signature (such as a driver's license) for verification purposes.

Correction of personal information

Someone who is given access to his/her own personal information may request that the County make a correction to that information if he/she believes the information is incorrect. The County will decide whether to make the correction or not. If the information is not corrected, the person may ask that a Statement of Disagreement be attached to the record to indicate that he/she does not believe that the information is accurate.

To request a correction of personal information

  1. Please complete a Request to Correct Personal Information form.  
  2. Return it to the Clerk's Office located in the:

    County of Wellington
    Administration Centre
    74 Woolwich St.
    Guelph ON N1H 3T9  

Fees

In processing a request for in formation under MFIPPA, the County incurs certain costs. MFIPPA sets out the following fees:

  • $5 application fee must be enclosed with your request
  • $7.50 per 15 minutes of search time (does not apply to requests for own personal information)
  • $7.50 per 15 minutes to prepare the records for disclosure (does not apply to requests for own personal information)
  • 20 ¢ per page for photocopies and/or computer printouts
  • $15 per 15 minutes, if necessary to develop a computer programme to retrieve information
  • $10 for disks
  • Shipping costs

Other fees may be charged depending on the nature of the request. The Information Coordinator will apprise you in advance of what these fees are in accordance with the Act.

If we believe the request will cost more than $25, we will contact you for approval to proceed with the request or to give you the opportunity to revise your request in order to reduce the costs. 

If we believe the request will cost more than $100, we will contact you to request a 50 per cent deposit of the estimated cost before proceeding with the request.  No records will be released until all outstanding fees are paid.

Appeals

If you are not satisfied with the County's response to your request or fee estimate, you may make an appeal to the Information & Privacy Commission (IPC) within 30 days of receipt of the decision letter or fee estimate. Further information regarding appeals can be found on the IPC's website .

Who to Contact for Information

Contact the local Towns/Townships on most local municipal services including the following:

  • Local streets and sidewalks
  • Local planning
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Tax collection
  • Building Inspections and Permits
  • Licensing
  • Water and Sewer