How to file an Access to Information Request
Purpose of filing an Access to Information request
The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) provides individuals with the right to access records that are in our custody or control and are not already publicly available as part of our standard information disclosure methods.
Who can file a request
MFIPPA provides you the right to access information we manage in accordance with the principles that:
- Records of public institutions should be available to the public.
- You have the right to access and/or correct your own personal information.
- Personal information is only released to property owners or their agents, or other public institutions who have legal authority.
We do not release actual income and expense information for commercial properties except where required by law, such as in response to orders of the Assessment Review Board (ARB).
Fees for Access to Information requests
Individuals making an Access to Information Request are required under section 45 of the MFIPPA to pay fees for the work involved in processing their request. If an individual is required to pay a fee for access to a record, MPAC may require the person to do so before giving the individual access to the record. Payment can be made by credit card, cheque, or money order payable to the “Municipal Property Assessment Corporation”. Please do not send cash.
The fees are specified in Ontario Regulation 823 under the MFIPPA, and MPAC is not permitted to vary, change or otherwise alter these amounts. The fees are as follows:
- Search time is $7.50 per 15 minutes
- Preparation for disclosure is $7.50 per 15 minutes
- Computer program development is $15 per 15 minutes
- Photocopies and computer printouts are 20¢ per page
- CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs or diskettes are $10 per disk
- Shipping is charged at actual cost
- Other reasonable and necessary expenses are charged at actual cost
MPAC may require a requester to pay 50% of the total estimated fee if it is $100 or more
All or part of a fee may be waived if:
- It is fair and equitable to do so.
- The fee will cause financial hardship.
- The dissemination of the records will benefit public health or safety.
Requests for a fee waiver must be made in writing and include reasons and, if applicable, appropriate supporting documentation. All information provided will be held in confidence by MPAC, and accessed and used only by Freedom of Information, Privacy and Records Management staff who are assigned to the request file to evaluate eligibility for a waiver in accordance with the criteria set out in the MFIPPA.
Your role in the filing process
Before you file an Access to Information request
Before you file an Access to Information request, review what records are already available to you free of charge through our standard information disclosure practices at AboutMyProperty.
These reports are available to you free of charge:
- property profile report
- comparable property report
- properties of interest report
- property sales report
- current and previous Property Assessment Notices
Submit a formal Access to Information request
If the information cannot be disclosed to you through our standard information disclosure practices:
- Submit a completed and signed Access to Information Request Form along with the required $5 application fee.
- The fee is payable by credit card, personal cheque or bank draft (do not send cash).
- Deliver the completed form by hand or mail it to the Freedom of Information, Privacy and Records Management Office.
- Note that requests received by email will not be processed until receipt of the original signed form and the application fee.
How to file an Access to Information request
Follow these steps to submit a request for access to our records under Ontario’s MFIPPA law.
- Determine what records you want to request
- The MFIPPA provides access to existing records only, so the information that you are seeking must already exist.
- Contact us to confirm that the record exists and that you are entitled to access the information.
- If the information is already available free of charge through AboutMyProperty, we will assist you in accessing the information.
- Records that contain confidential, third-party or personal information cannot be released to anyone except the property owner or their representative.
- We cannot release proprietary or income and expense information on commercial properties.
- When your request is received, we will send you an acknowledgement letter.
- If applicable, we will also notify you during the course of processing your request of any time extensions or fees that may apply.
- We will issue an access decision letter within a 30-day timeframe. The decision letter will explain any exemptions (information that cannot be disclosed), if needed. The decision letter will include details on:
- How to file an appeal, including applicable fees.
- What must be included with the appeal filing.
- The address that the appeal is to be delivered to.
- In addition:
- Records that contain exemption information may be withheld entirely or portions will be redacted or blacked-out.
- Upon receiving an access decision letter, if you are not satisfied with the level of disclosure you will have thirty days (30) from the date of our decision letter to file an appeal with Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner.
- If the records you seek contains your personal information and we lack sufficient information to verify your identity, we will ask that you present yourself in person at one of our business offices with a piece of photo ID before the records are released to you.
If you have questions or require assistance on filing an Access to Information request, or if you have a privacy-related matter, please contact:
Freedom of Information, Privacy and Records Management
Legal, Policy and Compliance
Municipal Property Assessment Corporation
1340 Pickering Parkway
Pickering ON L1V 0C4
Phone: 905 837-6188
Toll Free: 1-877-635-6722, ext. 6188
FAX: (905) 837-6146