Assessment Procedures for Freedom of Information Requests

Goal

To provide information and direction about requesting information from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) pursuant to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), R.S.O. 1990 Chapter M. 56 (MFIPPA).

Important: Factual property information, including information about comparable properties, is available to property owners free of charge, either through AboutMyProperty™ or the Guidelines for Release of Assessment Data (GRAD).

Background

MFIPPA applies to public institutions, such as municipalities, local boards, agencies, commissions, corporations or any other public body designated as an institution.  MPAC is an institution under MFIPPA and is, therefore subject to the access and privacy provisions afforded by it.

MFIPPA provides a right to access to records under the custody or control of institutions in accordance with the principles that:

  • Records of public institution should be available to the public;
  • Necessary exemptions from the right of access should be limited and specific; and
  • Decisions on the disclosure of records should be reviewed independently of the institution.

MFIPPA also contains privacy protection provisions that MPAC must follow, to protect an individual’s personal information contained in those records that are in MPAC’s custody or control. Additionally, it provides individuals with a right of access to, and correction of, their own personal information.

“Personal information” is defined under section 2 of MFIPPA and means recorded information about an identifiable individual.  It includes, but is not limited to a person's name, address, telephone number, religion, age, sex, marital or family status or financial transactions involving the individual.

MPAC is committed to the protection of privacy by managing the collection, use, disclosure, retention and disposal of personal and non-personal information in a manner that complies with the requirements of MFIPPA, the Assessment Act, the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario (IPC) and all other relevant legislation, regulations and tribunal/judicial rulings.

MPAC protects personal information, or any other data that would enable the identification of individuals, as well as MPAC’s corporate proprietary information.  Personal information is only released to other institutions where legal authority exists.

MPAC may, from time to time, release aggregate information in the form of demographic, studies or other data extracts constructed from the analysis of personal information.  However, these products neither identify individuals nor enable others to determine their identities.

Additionally, MPAC does not release income and expense information except where required by law, such as in response to Orders of the Assessment Review Board (ARB)

Process

Sections 17(1) and 37(1) of MFIPPA set out the legislative authority and guidelines for a person making an access to information request pursuant to the Act.  To make an access to information request to MPAC, an individual must:

  • Submit the request in writing;
  • Include enough detail to allow MPAC staff to locate the records that are sought; and
  • Include a $5.00 application fee made payable to MPAC.  Payment may be made by cheque, money order, bank draft or credit card.

An "Access to Information Request Form" is available for filing an access request; however MPAC will accept an access request in other written formats, as long as it contains the necessary information and is signed.  Access to information requests are not accepted via email.

An access to information request must be submitted in writing to:

Freedom of Information Coordinator
Freedom of Information and Records Management
Shared Services
Municipal Property Assessment Corporation
1340 Pickering Parkway,
Pickering ON   L1V 0C4

MPAC will respond within 30 days after receiving the access to information request. The time required to locate and prepare records that contain a requester’s own personal information is free of charge, although they may be charged for photocopying costs. For general records, such as property and assessment files, the requester may be charged for the time required to locate and prepare the records, photocopying costs, shipping costs, and costs associated with replying to the request.  Requesters are advised of all fees before the work is undertaken; and, a deposit may be sought where the fees are sufficiently large.

Upon completion of a request MPAC issues a decision letter.  MPAC makes every effort to release as much of a record as it is legally able to. The decision letter will also set out the reasons and legal authority for any information denials where the law provides for a denial; and inform the requester of their right to file an appeal with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

Additional information on filing an appeal with the IPC can be found at www.ipc.on.ca.

Related Information

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Assessment Act
Ontario Regulation 823
Guidelines for Release of Assessment Data (GRAD)
Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
AboutMyProperty™

Note: The applicable law prevails to the extent there is any conflict between this information and the current law. This information is not intended to provide legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.