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May 29, 2007
City of Toronto continues to improve access to information and protection of privacy
  
The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) today announced that the City of Toronto’s 2006 compliance rate for responding to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests within the 30-day statutory timeframe was 86.1 per cent, up from 82.9 per cent in 2005.

The City received 5,152 FOI requests in 2006, as compared to 3,706 in 2005 - an increase of 39 per cent. Details about the Toronto government’s compliance rate, along with the initiatives it implemented to improve privacy and access to information at the City of Toronto, were provided to the IPC by City Clerk, Ulli Watkiss. Additional information is available online at http://www.toronto.ca/cap.

“Given the volume of formal requests the City receives, we are proud of our improved compliance rate,” said Watkiss. “City divisions have been diligent about ensuring deadlines are met and that information that does not require a formal request is promptly and routinely disclosed.”

For example, the City’s Purchasing and Materials Management Division routinely and actively discloses prices and quotes on tenders and Requests for Quotation, posting results online and via a purchasing hotline. Bids are opened publicly and vendor meetings are held routinely to answer questions about an RFP, the answers, to which, are made available to all interested bidders. It’s the public’s right to know who, and which firms, are successful in securing City contracts paid for by taxpayer monies.

To promote an environment of openness, that also protects the privacy of individuals, the City of Toronto has provided:

- more privacy, access and routine disclosure training for staff
- implementation of mandatory Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA) for new City of Toronto IT applications and services that have a significant impact on personal/health information and security
- adoption of the Security Video Surveillance Policy that allows the City to be in compliance with privacy legislation in relation to security video cameras and
- creation of the Routine Disclosure Guidelines for City of Toronto Staff that provides City staff with information about access and privacy as it relates to the work they do and services they provide through active disclosure rather than waiting for an access request, and the importance of the right of access to information and openness in the democratic process.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact: Brad Ross, Strategic Communications Division, 416-392-8937


 

 

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