Social Media

Facebook

Twitter

  •  
  Print Icon  RSS Icon  

Freedom of Information Requests

Contact

 

A Guide to Services Provided

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), is legislation that covers Ontario's municipalities and local boards, including police services.

Under the Legislation, the "head" of the Institution is responsible for decisions made under the Act. The Niagara Regional Police Services Board is the "head" as defined under the legislation and has delegated the responsibilities as head to the Chief. The day to day administration of the Act is carried out by the Information and Privacy Unit.

The purposes of the Act:

  1. To provide a right of access to information under the control of government organizations in accordance with the following principles:
    • information should be available to the public;
    • exemptions to the right of access should be limited and specific;
    • decisions on the disclosure of government information may be reviewed by the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
  2. To protect personal information held by government organizations and to provide individuals with a right of access to their own personal information.

The Act has a number of provisions dealing with the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. To access detailed information about exemptions and procedures relating to the Act or its regulations, refer to the Information and Privacy Commissioner's website.

How to Make a Request

A Freedom of Information: Information Request Form is provided for your assistance and can be downloaded in PDF format. For an accessible version of the form please contact the Information and Privacy Unit.

You must provide enough detail in your request to assist us in identifying the record(s) you wish to access upon a reasonable effort. If you don't provide enough detail for us to locate the record(s) you wish to access, we will ask you for clarification. If clarification is not sufficient, we will not process your request.

A record can be more easily located if you describe the information you want in as much detail as possible. For example, indicate the subject of the record, specific events, dates or locations which might be relevant.

If you are seeking access to your own personal information, and your personal information may be under a former name, please provide that name as well.

Once you complete this form, and any other appropriate documents, the application may be dropped off at any Niagara Regional Police Service district front desk, located at:

  • 1 District - 68 Church St., St. Catharines (daily 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • 2 District - 5700 Valley Way, Niagara Falls (Records Reception desk - 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
  • 2 District - 5700 Valley Way, Niagara Falls (Front Desk Monday to Friday 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.)
  • 3 District - 5 Lincoln St., Welland (daily 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • 5 District - 650 Gilmore Rd., Fort Erie (Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • 6 District - 501 Fielden Ave., Port Colborne (Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.)
  • 8 District - 45 Clarke St., Grimsby (Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

When you drop off your application at a district, you must pay the $5 legislated request fee. A receipt will be provided. To confirm your identity, be prepared to show two pieces of government issued identification, one with a photo.

If you are unable to attend a district, you must mail in your request with notarized copies of your identification.

Please do not send cash in the mail. We will accept cheques or money orders made payable to the Niagara Regional Police Service.

Completed forms along with payment of the $5 legislated request fee should be forwarded to:

Information and Privacy Unit
Niagara Regional Police Service
5700 Valley Way
Niagara Falls, Ont., L2E 1X8

Phone: 905-688-4111, extension 4560

Please note that requests will not be accepted by fax.

Normally, a request must be processed within 30 calendar days. This means that the Service must either provide access to the requested record or notify the individual that the information is exempt under the specific provisions of the Act. If the institution requires a time extension for any reason, then the requester must be notified.

How to Correct Information Held about You

If you have been given access to your own personal information by a public institution, you are entitled to: 

  • request correction of the personal information if there is an error or omission
  • require that a statement of disagreement be attached to the information reflecting any correction that was requested but not made
  • require that any person or body to whom the personal information has been disclosed, within the year before the time a correction is requested or a statement of disagreement, be notified of the correction or statement of disagreement

Requesters must complete an Information Request form indicating their personal information that they wish to have corrected, and pay the $5 legislated request fee.

The Service decides whether the correction will be made. Once it has been decided whether or not the information is to be corrected, an FOI Analyst notifies the requester. These decisions may be appealed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Fees - General

In addition to the $5 legislated request fee, the Act provides that costs are to be borne by those who request access to information, or in certain instances where fees can be waived (Section 45 MFIPPA).

The Act is not intended to replace the normal process of providing information.  The Act should only be used by the public in cases where information is not available through the usual channels. 

All cheques must be made payable to Niagara Regional Police Service.

Fee Schedule

Established by Ontario Regulation 823, applicable costs which can be charged to the requester are listed below.  If it appears that the costs of processing the request will be over $25.00, the requester must be given a fee estimate before the head grants access to the records. If the cost estimate is $100.00 or more, the head may require the requester to pay a deposit equal to 50 per cent of the estimate before taking any further steps to respond to the request.

Fee

Explanation

Rate

Search time/record preparation charges

A charge may be applied for every hour of manual search time needed to locate a record and/or the time involved in physically severing exempt material in preparation for disclosure.

$7.50 / 15 minutes / person

Computer and other costs

Includes costs incurred in locating, retrieving, processing and copying a record. If outside services are required, the invoiced cost is charged to the requester. Departments should ensure that the cost for using outside services is not greater than the cost of handling the matter internally.

CD-ROMs - $10 / disc

Computer printouts - $0.20 / page

Developing computer program $15 / 15 minutes / person

Photocopying charges

 

$0.20 / page

Shipping costs

Shipping charges such as postage or courier can be applied.

 

Appealing a Decision

An individual may appeal any decision made by the Service within 30 calendar days of receiving the decision.

Appeals should be directed to:

Information and Privacy Commissioner
Suite 1400
 2 Bloor Street East
Toronto, ON
M4W 1A8

Toll Free 1-800-387-0073

Visit the IPC website.