Process of the Request
What happens when a request is submitted?
Day 1-3 Request Received
FOI Office will review each request for completion (i.e. sufficient detail and initial fee paid). The Department Lead(s) will be notified to generate a fee estimate. Once the fees are agreed by the requester, then the Department Lead(s) will search for the requested information.
Day 4-17 Record Search & Review
Department Lead(s) will review the request and start the process of locating the information requested. The Department Lead(s) will complete the Records Search Form which documents the date, length and areas searched. The completed form and the information will then be sent to the FOI Office for review.
If a request contains a large number of records, requires an extensive search or consultation with an external third party, the time limit can be extended. You will be advised of any time extension.
Once this information is received in the FOI Office, it will be reviewed thoroughly. Upon reviewing the information the FOI Office will consider any mandatory or discretionary exemptions, exclusion and determine the information that will need to be severed. A written recommendation will be sent along with the information to the Decision Maker.
Day 18-29 Disclosure Decision
The Decision Maker will review the information as well as recommendations from the FOI Office and consultation with legal counsel if necessary and will make a decision on the level of access. All requests will be accompanied with a decision letter. The levels of accesses are:
- Records do not exist
- Complete access
- Partial access
- Refusal access
In some cases a record will be given partial access with some of the information severed. Severing is the process of blacking out sections ensuring that only the exempt information is withheld and all the remaining information is released.
- Freedom of Information requests do not include the right to require the hospital to provide answers to specific questions, only to a right of access to an existing document on which information has been recorded.
- Requests received in the form of questions will not be processed as Freedom of Information requests.
- The hospital is not obligated to create a record in response to a request, except in limited circumstances where the record can reasonably be created from an existing computer system. Your right under the Act is to information contained in a record existing at the time of the request.
- Fees must be paid before you can receive a copy of the information. (Get more information on Freedom of Information fees)
Some types of records are excluded from FIPPA meaning that FIPPA does not apply to these records. The public does not have a right of access to excluded records. The list includes:
- Personal Health Information - defined under Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)
- If you would like access to your personal health record please click on the Personal Health Information Tab and make your request under PHIPA.
- Quality of Care Information – defined under Quality of Care Information Protection Act (QCIPA)
- Ecclesiastical records of a church or religious organization that is affiliated with the hospital;
- Records relating to the operations of a hospital foundation;
- Administrative records of a member of a health profession listed in Schedule 1 to the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, that relate to that member’s personal practice;
- Records relating to charitable donations made to the hospital;
- Records relating to the provision of abortion services;
- Records relating to certain labour relations, employment, and placement matters;
- Records relating to certain appointment and privileging matters;
- Records associated with research (including clinical trials);
- Records of teaching materials collected, prepared or maintained by the hospital
Mandatory exemptions: If the Decision Maker determines that a record (or part of a record) falls within a mandatory exemption, the Decision Maker must refuse access to the record (or part of the records).
The list includes:
- Third-Party Information (section 17)
- Personal Privacy (section 21)
Discretionary exemptions: If the Decision Maker determines that a record (or part of a record) falls within a discretionary exemption, the Decision Maker has the discretion to refuse access to the record (or part of the record).
The list includes:
- Advice or recommendations (section 13);
- Law enforcement (section 14);
- Economic and other interests of the hospital (section 18);
- Certain information related to the quality of health care in a hospital (section 18);
- Information with respect to closed meetings (section 18.1);
- Legally privileged information (section 19);
- Danger to safety or health (section 20);
- Information published or soon to be published (section 22);
- Personal information (section 49).