Access to Information Policy

Type: Operational

Target audience: Public

1.0 Rationale

OTF is committed to transparency and accountability by providing the public, access to certain information in our custody and control, in order to enhance public trust in the administration of our agency and in our granting processes.

2.0 Purpose

To ensure that OTF’s practices in responding to and processing formal access requests are consistent with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) Part II – Freedom of Information or Right of Access. This policy should not preclude providing information (excluding personal, third party or confidential information) in response to informal oral or written inquiries, or in the absence of a formal access request.

3.0 Policy

  • OTF provides the right of access to existing records, in whole or in part, that are in our custody or control except for limitations under FIPPA, such as allowable exemptions (e.g. privacy/personal information, third party information), exclusions, confidentiality provisions and if the request is frivolous or vexatious.
  • OTF provides individuals with access to information about themselves, that is in our custody or control subject to exemptions and exclusions under FIPPA.
  • All formal access requests must be in writing and include the name and contact information of the requester, details of the records being requested as well as the time period, and any other background/context that will assist in locating the requested records.
  • OTF will charge the allowable fees under FIPPA.
  • OTF will protect the personal information of the requester in third party notices and internally, on a need to know basis with OTF staff.
  • OTF will follow the allowable timelines under FIPPA for responding to formal access requests.
  • Where applicable, OTF will follow Routine Disclosure and Active Dissemination Best Practices set out by the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s Office of Ontario.

4.0 Definitions

Active dissemination (AD) is the periodic release of government records in the absence of a request.

Agency Head: The CEO, Ontario Trillium Foundation is the Agency Head for the purpose of this policy and any decisions made related to access to information requests.

Control (of a record): The power or authority to make a decision about the use or disclosure of the record.

Custody (of a record): The keeping, care, watch, preservation or security of the record for a legitimate business purpose. While physical possession of a record may not always constitute custody, it is the best evidence of custody.

Formal access request: This is used by the public where information is not available through OTF’s usual channels.

Frivolous and Vexatious (requests): Where the request is part of a pattern of conduct that amounts to an abuse of the right of access or where responding to the request would interfere with the operations of the institution.

Personal information: Recorded information about an identifiable individual, including:

  1. information relating to the race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation or marital or family status of the individual;
  2. information relating to the education or the medical, psychiatric, psychological, criminal or employment history of the individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been involved;
  3. any identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to the individual;
  4. the address, telephone number, fingerprints or blood type of the individual;
  5. the personal opinions or views of the individual except if they relate to another individual;
  6. correspondence sent to an institution by the individual that is implicitly or explicitly of a private or confidential nature, and replies to that correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence;
  7. the views or opinions of another individual about the individual; and
  8. the individual's name if it appears with other personal information relating to the individual or where disclosure of the name would reveal other personal information about the individual.

Routine disclosure (RD) is the routine or automatic release of certain types of administrative and operational records in response to informal rather than formal requests under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Third Party: Any person whose interests might be affected by disclosure other than the person making a request for access or the institution. Where the third party is an individual, his/her rights may in some cases be exercised by another person.