How to make Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests
Since many records are routinely made available, be sure to contact the appropriate department to discuss your request before following the formal route for access to information. If your informal request for information does not result in the anticipated disclosure, you have an alternative route to request access to this information through the FOI Office. Please follow the steps below.
- Step 1:
You may request access to information by making a formal written application through the FOI Coordinator. For this purpose, an Access/Correction Request Form ( Download Form) is available in Human Resources. However, any request made in writing will be accepted, as long as the following information is included:
- identification of the specific records to which you are requesting access
- sufficient detail to facilitate reasonable identification by experienced college staff
- your reasons for requesting this information
- your contact information
- statement that you are making this request through FIPPA
- Step 2:
Once the Access/Correction Request Form ( Download Form) is completed, return it to the Freedom of Information Coordinator, along with a $5 application fee (cheque payable to Niagara College). The FOI Coordinator’s contact information can be found here.Processing of your request will begin once the completed form and the fee are both received by the FOI Coordinator. The College will then send you an acknowledgment letter and notify you of an estimate of any fees that may apply. Every effort will be made to resolve the request within 30 days. However, the College may advise you of the need for a time extension.
- Step 3:
Your request will be reviewed by the FOI Coordinator in accordance with FIPPA. Once a determination has been made, a decision letter will be sent to you. This letter will outline all the details of the decision, including any exemptions that may apply, a calculation of any incurred fees, and if applicable, a schedule of disclosure, and directions regarding the actual access to the identified records.
- Step 4:
All decisions made by Niagara College, including the final determination and any fees or time extensions, may be appealed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario.
- Many requests for information can be handled at the department level without the need for involvement from the Freedom of Information (FOI) Coordinator.
- Simply contact the office which you believe holds the information and request the records.
- Be specific about exactly which records you require, and the department staff will advise you if they are able to disclose this information or if you need to make a formal request.
- Records that contain confidential or third party personal information are subject to exemptions under FIPPA and are not routinely disclosed.