This shows you how to process an FOI request
Answering an FOI request can get confusing — there is a lot to keep track of. It’s hard to know what to work on next, and even as the request process proceeds, lingering doubts may arise that steps have been missed.
I’ve seen written descriptions of the FOI request process, checklists, and articles and guidance on particular aspects of the process, but I’ve often wished there was a single document that set out the entire process in a manner that was easy to follow.
With that inspiration in mind, to make life easier for FOI professionals, I’ve created a “flowchart” poster which describes the entire process of answering an FOI request for records under Ontario’s Freedom Of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) as well as under Ontario’s Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). FOI professionals in other jurisdictions may also find this document useful, although it may not be fully compatible with how the process is run in jurisdictions outside of Ontario.
Please click the download button at the bottom of this article to download the poster in PDF format.
The flowchart is intended to be printed on large poster-sized paper, so it may be somewhat illegible if the flowchart is printed on regular letter or legal size paper.
Understanding that most offices don’t have easy access to poster-sized printing, I would be happy to send anyone in Canada a free poster-sized printout of this flowchart. If you are interested, please send me a note, either using this website’s contact form, or by commenting on this post directly below. Please ensure to include your name, your office mailing address, and how many copies of the FOI Request Process Poster you would like to request. If you work with a team of FOI professionals, you may want to request more than one copy.
I hope Ontario’s provincial and municipal FOI professionals find this poster helpful. Please feel free to share it with others, and to print and use it as you see fit.
With the new FOI AssistTM software, Ontario’s provincial and municipal institutions can process and respond to Freedom Of Information requests quickly, easily, and in full compliance with applicable legislation and guidance. Read the release announcement.
To receive guidance and tips on processing FOI requests, as well as up-to-date information about the FOI Assist software, please follow the FOI Assist website. Simply enter your email address at the bottom of the page then click the follow button.