Privacy and Freedom of Information
Dufferin County is committed to providing services in a manner that ensures accountability and transparency.
The Clerk’s Office responds to all freedom of information requests made under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) or the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA).
MFIPPA established a general right of access to records held by municipal government and local agencies, boards, and commissions using these principles:
- Any information held by the government should, in general, be available to the public
- Any exemptions from the right of access to information should be limited and specific
- Individuals have a right to expect that their personal information held by government institutions will be protected
- Any decisions relating to access to information can be reviewed by the independent Information and Privacy Commissioner
- Any person may make a request for information held by a government institution covered by the Act
PHIPA applies to records maintained by Dufferin Oaks Long Term Care Home. The Act establishes rules for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal health information. The Act also provides individuals with the right to access and correct their personal health information.
How to Make a Freedom of Information Request
To make a request for information, complete the application or write a letter detailing your request. Completed forms can be dropped off or mailed to the Clerk’s Office, 55 Zina Street, Orangeville, L9W 1E5.
There is a $5 mandatory application fee for requests made under MFIPPA. Requests will not be initiated until the $5 application fee is received. Cheques are to be made payable to the “County of Dufferin”.
When making your request, be sure to provide as much detail as possible to assist in the search of records.
If you are acting as an agent for an individual other than yourself, please include a letter of consent duly signed and dated from that individual authorizing you to act on his/her behalf.
Dufferin County will respond to your request within 30 calendar days of receiving your request. In exceptional cases, where your request is for a large number of records or if your request requires extensive search and consultation with other departments or third parties, the time frame can be extended. You will be advised in writing of any time extension applied to your request.
Additional fees may apply to your request. You will be advised in writing of any fees owing.
Requesting Personal Health Information
To make a request to access your personal health information held by Dufferin Oaks Long Term Care Home, submit your request in writing to the Clerk’s Office, 30 Centre Street, Orangeville, L9W 2X1.
Requests for ambulance call reports should be submitted to Headwaters Health Care Centre. More information can be found here.
Information covered under our routine disclosure policy is available on our website or by asking staff. You do not need to make a formal freedom of information request. Departments may charge fees for access to these records.
For more information about how to access property records, please click here.
If you believe that a record containing your personal information is incorrect or inaccurate, MFIPPA and PHIPA give you the right to request a correction. If Dufferin County refuses your correction request, you can request that a statement of disagreement be attached to the record. The statement of disagreement will appear each time the record is accessed, and County staff will be aware that there is a dispute as to its accuracy.
An important principle of MFIPPA and PHIPA is that personal information held by governments must be protected from unauthorized collection, use and disclosure. The Acts also outline the length of time personal information should be kept on file and when it should be disposed of.
Dufferin County cannot collect your personal information unless it is authorized to do so. With some specific exceptions, personal information must be collected directly from you. The County is obligated to notify you of its authority to collect your information, how that information will be used, and the contact information for a staff member to answer your questions regarding the use of your personal information.
Without your permission, personal information can only be used for the purpose for which it was collected or a consistent purpose. When personal information is used, the County is responsible to take reasonable steps to ensure its accuracy. Requirements for the use of personal information by government institutions are specified in the Acts.
Individuals who believe Dufferin County has breached their privacy are encouraged to contact the Clerk’s Office.
Complaints are investigated on a confidential basis.
Individuals also have the right to make a formal complaint to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario regarding a privacy breach. When a complaint has been received, the Commissioner will assign a compliance investigator to review the facts of the complaint and determine if the City has complied with the privacy provisions of MFIPPA or PHIPA.