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June 27, 2006
City making great strides in public access to information
The City of Toronto today received the 2005 annual report of the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario (IPC). The City looks forward to reading the report in detail and reviewing any recommendations that the Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, has for the City.

In 2005, the City received 3,706 new access requests under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) - that’s 10% more than in 2004. Of these requests, 82.9% were completed with the 30-day statutory timeframe. This is a substantial improvement over 2004, where compliance was just 65.1%.

The City of Toronto receives more access requests than any other government institution in Ontario, and receives approximately 10 times more requests than any other municipality in the province.

The City has renewed its commitment to “routine disclosure,” whereby the public can access information without making a formal FOI request. This year, for example, the City has begun quarterly reporting to City Council of insurance claims information. The City’s Insurance & Risk Management Office has gone a step further, developing a proactive disclosure policy with semi-annual reporting of police claims to the Police Services Board.

“My office has undertaken a rigorous training program for City staff to ensure they understand what routine disclosure is what the public has a right to without using the FOI process,” said City Clerk, Ulli Watkiss. “We are also training business units, such as building inspectors, to address the kinds of questions they receive from the public about building permits and inspection records.”

The City’s Corporate Access and Privacy Office is also responsible for ensuring the privacy of individuals is not contravened through access requests and routine disclosure. As such, they are working closely with the City’s Corporate Security staff to develop a policy surrounding video surveillance on City-owned property.

Media contact:

Brad Ross
City of Toronto Media Relations
416-919-6503 (cell)



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