The Municipal Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act
Acronyms, an idiosyncrasy which is sure to set a professional group apart from the rest, we municipal law lawyers are no exception! Today we will discuss the Municipal Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act (MFIPPA).
MFIPPA requires that a municipal institution protect the privacy of an individual’s personal information existing in government records. MFIPPA contains rules regarding a municipal institution’s collection, use, disclosure and disposal of personal information in their custody and control. In other words, MFIPPA is a privacy protection act. Many of our municipal clients are well acquainted with this piece of legislation, as the requirements are such that it has changed the way municipalities conduct business. Citizens, however may not be so similarly informed.
An update for all to be aware of are those amendments to MFIPPA that were proposed in Bill 8. Bill 8 proposed adding a requirement that reasonable measures be put into place to preserve records. This amendment further strengthens MFIPPA’s purpose, which is to provide a right of access to information, by requiring that not only must municipalities make information available to the public, they also must take reasonable steps to preserve information. Preserve is the key word. These amendments are based on a desire to enhance municipal accountability; not shocking from a Bill entitled An Act to Promote Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency by Enacting the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act, 2014 and Amending Various Acts.
If you would like to review the Act, it can be found here.
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