Friday, June 26, 2009

Ontario Ministry Denies FIPPA REQUEST

Ontario's Ministry of Children and Youth Services has denied all 28 items in a FIPPA request claiming the following.

The items listed in the original request are not related to "each other", therefore the Ministry asserts that each item is therefore a separate FIPPA request which would require a separate $5.00 FIPPA fee to be paid for each part of the request because they would have to search several of their offices and regional offices for the information. This is irrelevant. Regardless of where the records are located they are to search for them. This also shows that they know where the records would be located and refuse to search for them.

According to Order P-880, Adjudicator Anita Fineberg determined that records which are responsive to the "request" must reasonably relate to the "request", not to "each other", something the Ministry has asserted in their response letter. In that order, Fineberg states the following:

In my view, the need for an institution to determine which documents are relevant to a request is a fundamental first step in responding to the request. It is an integral part of any decision by a head. The request itself sets out the boundaries of relevancy and circumscribes the records which will ultimately be identified as being responsive to the request. I am of the view that, in the context of freedom of information legislation, "relevancy" must mean "responsiveness". That is, by asking whether information is "relevant" to a request, one is really asking whether it is "responsive" to a request. While it is admittedly difficult to provide a precise definition of "relevancy" or "responsiveness", I believe that the term describes anything that is reasonably related to the request.


Purpose of Original Request

The purpose of the original request was clearly stated as follows, and all of the records requested reasonably relate to the original request.

As it is in the public interest for the citizen's of Ontario to understand the way in which the Ontario Government, through the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (the ministry) spends tax payer's money in the administration of its duties to the province's most vulnerable members of the public, children and families affected by child protection services the Foster Care Council of Canada would like to request from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services/Community and Social Services (as they share the same records storage facilities) the numbered list of requests on the following pages.

Original Request here:
http://fostercarenews.blogspot.com/2009/06/council-fippa-requst.html

The Council will determine shortly how to deal with this matter.

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