Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP)


Overview

The purpose of the Access to Information Act is to provide all individuals or corporations present in Canada with the right of access to information contained in records (any format) under the control of federal government institutions. This right of access is subject to certain specific and limited exceptions.

The Privacy Act ensures that federal government institutions respect privacy rights of individuals by limiting the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. It also gives individuals the right to access and request correction of their personal information held by these institutions.

General Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) enquiries may be sent by email to the ATIP Coordinator or by contacting the office at (819) 639-8704.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I access information under the Access to Information Act?

You can submit a request in writing or by using the online request form. Instructions on how to submit a request can be found on the ATIP Requests Forms page.

Your request must clearly explain what records you are requesting and you must include a $5.00 cheque or money order made payable to the Receiver General for Canada to cover the application fee.

Please note that additional charges may occur in keeping with the regulations of the Act.

What information is accessible under the Access to Information Act?

All information in records, regardless of the format, held under the control of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) is accessible under the Access to Information Act, with the exception of:

  • Documents that are published or available for purchase, and
  • Confidences of the Queen's Privy Council.

Both are excluded and, therefore, are not subject to the Act. Information contained in all other types of records may be subject to specific and limited exemptions (e.g., personal information, third-party confidential, solicitor–client privilege, etc.).

For details on the type of information we hold, please see the FedDev Ontario Info Source.

How can I access my personal information under the Privacy Act?

You can submit a request in writing or by using the online request form. For instructions on how to submit a request, visit the ATIP Requests Forms page.

When can I expect a response to my request submitted under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act?

Both Acts allow for a legal response time of 30 calendar days from the date of receipt of an official request. The Acts also allow for legal extensions to this first 30 calendar-day response time.

  • The Privacy Act provides for one legal extension of no more than 30 days, which means the Agency may take up to 60 days to provide you with a response.
  • The Access to Information Act also provides for a legal extension to the response time, for reasons such as the volume of records and consultations with other parties required for the request.

You will be notified should an extension to the response time be required under either Act.

Can personal information be released?

The Privacy Act sets out the rules governing the collection, retention and disposal of personal information.

Personal information about an individual can only be disclosed to someone else if:

  • The information is publicly available,
  • The individual to whom it relates has provided consent for its release, or
  • The release of the personal information is in accordance with section 8 of the Privacy Act.

Can I complain under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act?

You may lodge a complaint with the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada about any matter related to the administration of the Access to Information Act following the submission of a formal request.

If your complaint relates to your request for access to a record, it must be made within 60 days after the day on which you:

  • Receive a notice of a refusal under section 7,
  • Are given access to all or part of the record, or, in any other case,
  • Become aware that grounds for the complaint exist.

For example, your complaint may involve applied exemptions, delays in providing a response, fee assessed, etc.

If you believe that the Agency has not respected your access to information rights, you may submit a complaint in writing to:

Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Québec K1A 1H3
Toll Free number: 1-800-267-0441
Fax: 819-994-1768
Web site: www.oic-ci.gc.ca

If you believe that the Agency has not respected your privacy rights, you may submit a complaint in writing to:

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
30 Victoria Street, 1st floor
Gatineau, Québec K1A 1H3
Tel.: 819-994-5444
Toll Free number: 1-800-282-1376
Fax.: 819-994-5424
Web site: www.priv.gc.ca

Info Source

What is Info Source?

Info Source is a reference tool to help the public identify the federal organization that may hold information of interest, be it personal or other, and is normally used for the purposes of submitting official requests under the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act.

Each organization is responsible for publishing its own Info Source chapter on its respective website and updating it on an annual basis. The Info Source chapter describes the institution's mandate, structure and type of information it manages.

To learn about FedDev Ontario's mandate, structure and the type of information we hold, visit the FedDev Ontario Info Source page.

To determine if another institution holds the information you are looking for, see the list of institutions subject to the Access to Information and Privacy Acts or the list of ATIP coordinators across the federal government.

Completed Access to Information Requests

FedDev Ontario posts summaries of completed access to information requests processed by the ATIP office. To view summaries for all requests processed in the last 24 months, visit the Completed Access to Information Requests page. You may request a copy of the records released for any of these completed access to information requests informally, by contacting the ATIP Coordinator.

ATIP Reports to Parliament

Section 72 of the Access to Information Act and Section 72 of the Privacy Act require that the head of every government institution prepare, for submission to Parliament, an annual report on the administration of the Acts within the institution during each financial year.