An Introduction to the FOI Appeal Process

In today’s article, I want to provide an introduction to the FOI appeal process from the perspective of the institution. My main goal is to build the confidence of the many FOI professionals in Ontario who have seldom or never faced an appeal.

Are Your Written Notices Defective?

Issuing compliant written notices can be deceptively complicated, given the multiple sources of rules and guidance that come into play. Unfortunately, as seen above, issuing a notice which fails to meet the requirements can lead to an adverse decision against the institution in an appeal before IPCO.

The Affected Person Process

The affected person process is one of the most important and visible ways that FIPPA and MFIPPA balance the public’s right of access against the rights of individuals and organizations to prevent the disclosure of their personal and confidential information.  Other names for the process include the “notice to affected person” process, “third party notice” process, the “affected third party” process, and the “affected third person” process.

Verifying the Identity of the Requestor

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Manual (the “FOI Manual”) notes that when a requestor asks an institution for the requestor’s own personal information, the institution must first verify the identity of the requestor before any personal information is disclosed.  The FOI Manual suggests that an institution may be able to fulfill theContinue reading “Verifying the Identity of the Requestor”