Orders of Note – December 2017

Every month, the IPC makes decisions on access to information appeals and privacy complaints. Here is a sampling of four recent decisions:

PO-3801 – A request was made to the Independent Electricity System Operator for financial information in a refurbishment agreement relating to the Bruce Power nuclear station. The IESO denied access citing a section of the Electricity Act which allows  the IESO to consider certain information exempt under the mandatory third party information exemption of FIPPA. The requester appealed the decision claiming that the “public interest override” applies. The IPC found the exemption provision in the Electricity Act applied and that the criteria for the public interest override was not met. The IESO’s decision was upheld.

MO-3541 – The City of Oshawa received a request for a copy of a confidential attachment to the municipal Auditor General’s report, which was submitted at a closed meeting of council. The city denied access citing the secrecy provision found in the Municipal Act and exemptions under MFIPPA including “closed meetings,” “third party information,” and “personal privacy.” The requester appealed and referred to the public interest override provision. The IPC found that the records did not meet the criteria for the secrecy provision and that the exemptions for third party information and closed meetings also did not apply. Further, the personal privacy exemption applied to small portions of the record but the public interest override did not apply to those portions. The IPC ordered the bulk of the information to be released to the requester.

MO-3544 – The Region of Peel received a request under MFIPPA for current contracts and agreements between the region and a named organization in regards to the operation of homeless shelters. The region notified the named organization and sought its views regarding disclosure. After considering the named organization’s concerns, the region granted partial access to the records but not all citing the exemption of third party information. Both the named organization and the requester appealed the region’s decision. The named organization advised that it did not consent to the disclosure of any information and the requester advised that he wanted access to all the information. The IPC heard both appeals together, and during this process the region decided to grant access to all the records which was upheld by the IPC.

MO-3545 – The Municipality of Mississippi Mills received a request for access to the appraisal information relating to five properties. The municipality denied access citing the “economic and other interests” exemption. In its decision the IPC ordered the municipality to disclose to the value of one property but not the others since the one property was already sold and no longer qualified for the cited exemption.

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