Submitting an Access to Information Request
The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 gives people the right to access information and records in the custody or under the control of any municipality in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Anyone can request information. You do not need to be a journalist and you do not need a lawyer to request information. Municipalities can withhold information if it falls under certain exceptions (e.g. someone else’s personal information).
The following is a step-by-step guide for submitting an Access to Information Request.
Step 1 – Find out who to talk to at the municipality
Every municipality has an ATIPP Coordinator who is responsible for processing access to information requests.
Please contact Todd Sauve at (709) 748-1136 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 2 – Ask if an Access to Information Request is required
Let the ATIPP coordinator know what information you want to request – some information can be given out without a formal access to information request.
Under the Municipalities Act, 1999, the following records should be available without a formal request:
- Adopted Minutes of Council
- Assessment Roll
- Regulations (also known as bylaws)
- Municipal Plan
- Opened Public Tenders
- Financial Statements
- Auditor’s Reports
- Adopted Budgets
- Any documents tabled or adopted by council at a public meeting
Step 3 – Complete an Access to Information Request Form
The Access to Information Request Form is available here: Access to Information Request Form
Make only one request per form, and try to be as clear as possible about the information you want.
If you need assistance completing the form, please contact the ATIPP Office at 729-7072 or toll-free at 1-877-895-8891. You can also reach them at email@example.com.
Step 4 – Submitting the Form
After you have completed the form, you should email, fax or mail the form to the ATIPP Coordinator with the City of Mount Pearl, Todd Sauve:
City of Mount Pearl
3 Centennial Street
Mount Pearl, NL A1N 1G4
Phone: (709) 748-1136
Fax: (709) 748-1150
There is no cost for submitting an access to information request. In rare circumstances, you may be asked to pay costs for copying records, mailing records, or for time spent locating the records you have requested. However, you will be told if costs are expected and will have a chance to approve any costs before the Coordinator proceeds with your request.
What to Expect
You should be aware of the following:
- The Coordinator has a duty to assist Please feel free to ask any questions about the request. Also keep in mind that they may ask for clarification about what information you are looking for.
- Requests should be completed in 20 business days. You should be told in writing if your request will take longer.
- For most requests, the Coordinator should not tell anyone else who submitted the request. If you are requesting your own personal information, the coordinator may need to tell other people who submitted the request in order to locate records.
- When you receive the requested documents, some information may be blacked out. This is because the municipality may withhold certain information, such as personal information. Where information is blacked out, you should be told why it was blacked out.
If you have concerns about how a request was processed
You have the right to appeal any decision about access to records made by a municipality, including how your access to information request was processed.
You can make a complaint to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner:
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
2 Canada Drive
P.O. Box 13004, Stn. A
St. John’s, NL A1B 3V8
Phone: (709) 729-6309
Fax: (709) 729-6500