Freedom of Information and Privacy Office
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act has two purposes:
- It gives people the right to see records and personal information that are under the custody or control of Ontario government ministries and agencies.
- It helps protect every individual’s right to privacy. The act tells government ministries and agencies what they can do and must do when they collect, use, disclose, retain and dispose of personal information.
How to Make a Freedom of Information (FOI) Request
Requests under the Act must be made in writing. When requesting information, please provide specific details about the records you wish to access. Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requires that a $5 application fee must accompany all freedom of information requests. This mandatory fee cannot be waived, and must be paid by cheque or money order made out to the Minister of Finance at the time the request is made. Please do not send cash through the mail. Your written request and fee should be sent to the following address:
Home and Community Care Support Services
ATTN: Freedom of Information Coordinator
11 Allstate Parkway, Suite 500
Markham ON L3R 9T8
Telephone Inquiries: 1-888-470-2222 Ext. 2242
Click the following for more information on how to make a Freedom of Information request.
The FOI Process
All FOI requests are sent confidentially to the Freedom of Information Coordinator, who is Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) Lead, for review and processing.
Under the legislation, the recipient organization is required to respond to an FOI request within 30 calendar days. You will be contacted by the Freedom of Information Coordinator if clarification is required as to what is being requested.
The 30-day response period may be extended if the release of records involves personal or confidential information where notification to the affected party is needed, the request involves a large number of records, or if consultation outside the ministry is required. The Freedom of Information Coordinator will contact you if your request needs to be extended.
Application fee – s.5.2 O.Reg.460
An application fee of $5.00, payable to the Minister of Finance, must accompany all Freedom of Information release requests.
Under $25.00 - s.57 FIPPA / s.45 MFIPPA
If it costs less than $25.00 to process a request, it is not necessary to give the requester a fee estimate. Rather, the requester can be informed of the amount to be paid in the decision letter.
$25.00 up to $100.00 - s.57(3) FIPPA
The institution shall, before giving access to a record, give the requester a reasonable estimate of any amount that will be required to be paid. If that amount is over $25.00 and under $100.00, the institution is not required to collect a 50% deposit.
$100.00 or more - s.7 O.Reg.460
A fee estimate must be given if costs will equal $100.00 or more. An institution may require a deposit of 50% of the estimated fee. Once a fee deposit is requested, an institution is not required to take any further steps to respond to the request until the deposit is paid.
- An institution is not required to release records to a requester until the fee has been paid, or the issue of fees has been resolved after an appeal to the IPC
- The 30-day clock/calendar stops until the fee deposit or total payment is received
Any decision made by Home and Community Care Support Services with respect to an access request can be appealed to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC). An appeal must be filed with the Commissioner’s office within thirty days of notice of the decision by Home and Community Care Support Services. The Commissioner’s office is located at 2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 1A8. There is an appeal fee and any questions about the appeal fee should be directed to the IPC. The phone number for the Commissioner’s office is (416) 326-3333.
Fulfillment of Request
The FIPPA Lead is accountable to ensure the FOI request is processed (as appropriate). A letter response from the FIPPA Lead and the records (if applicable) will be provided to the requester within the legislated time frame. All responsive records will be sent by courier with a signature required for receipt. Upon fulfillment of the request, the file will be closed unless further action is required.
For further information on the Freedom of Information and Protection and Privacy Act can be found at https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90f31