The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1990 (MFIPPA) has been in effect since January 1st, 1991. This legislation regulates and controls the information that is made available to the public and provides a formal procedure to request records. The Act 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 municipality 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 municipality collects and maintains shall be protected; and
  • Decisions on the disclosure of government information may be reviewed by the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

The City of Cambridge is committed to providing as much information as possible to the public without the need to make a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) request; however, requests for information containing personal information or third party information may require a formal request.

Freedom of Information Requests

The Office of the Clerk is responsible for handling MFIPPA requests which are processed in accordance with the City’s Municipal Freedom of Information Access to Information Policy.

Various municipal records are readily available on the City’s website and do not require a formal FOI request.  Examples of these records include Council and Committee Minutes, Reports, By-Laws and City Policies.

Submitting a Freedom of Information Request

To make a formal request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), submit in writing or complete a Freedom of Information Application Form to the Office of the Clerk. These requests should be mailed to the following address:

City of Cambridge
Attn: Clerks Office/FOI
50 Dickson Street, Box 669
Cambridge, ON   N1R 5W8

MFIPPA Fees

The standard application fee is $5.00 made payable to City of Cambridge; however, there may be additional fees depending on the nature and complexity of the request.

These include:

Search Time

$7.50   per 15 minutes required to search and retrieve records

Preparation Time

 

$7.50 per 15 minutes required to   prepare records for release

Photocopying

 

$0.20 per page

CDs/DVDs/USBs

 

$10.00 each

Computer Programming

 

$15.00 per 15 minutes to develop   program to retrieve information

Fee Estimates

Fee estimates will be provided if the anticipated fees are $25.00 or more.

If the fee estimate is $100.00 or more, a requestor will be required to pay a 50% deposit prior to the City processing the records.

Response Timeframe

As per the provisions of MFIPPA, the has thirty (30) calendar days (including weekends and statutory holidays) from the date a completed FOI request has been received with the applicable fee, to provide the information to the requester and/or a decision regarding the request.

There are circumstances where the Office of the Clerk may require an extension. If an extension is required, the Clerk will notify you in writing.

Protecting Your Personal Privacy

In addition to providing individuals with access to municipal records, the Act also requires the City of Cambridge 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 Clerk’s Office.

Other Resources

 

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Tips for making Freedom of Information Requests to public-sector organizations     

Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario