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Access to Information and the Protection of Privacy Policy

Classification number LCG 1102
Framework category Legal, Compliance and Governance
Approving authority Senior Leadership Team
Policy owner University Secretary
Approval date June 2006
Review date To be assigned

Preamble

UOIT is committed to the principle of freedom of information, and strives to conduct its operations in a spirit of openness, transparency and accountability.  At the same time, UOIT is committed to the protection of privacy for all who work and study at the university. 

UOIT is guided by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990 (the “Act”).  This provincial legislation came into effect on January 1, 1988, and was extended to Ontario universities on June 10, 2006.  The Act has two main purposes:

  • To make public bodies more open and accountable by providing the public with the right of access to records; and
  • To protect personal information from unauthorized collection, use or disclosure by public bodies.

The Act applies to all records in the custody or under the control of the university.  This includes all records of information created by or received in connection with university-related business, whether in printed or electronic form, and subject to certain exemptions or exclusions from the Act.

Access Procedures

UOIT strives to provide access to information to both the university community and the broader public, while at the same time protecting the privacy rights of individuals.  Most information about UOIT can be found on its website at www.uoit.ca or made available through an informal request. 

  1. Informal Requests
    As a first step, individuals are encouraged to make an informal request to the university office that they believe has the information they wish to access. To do so, individuals may contact the dean or director of that office to determine whether the particular record exists and whether it can be disclosed through regular procedures. 

  2. Formal Requests
    Formal requests for access can be made under the Freedom of Information and Privacy of Information Act using the UOIT Access Request Form.  This form can be used to request access to general university records, to request access to an individual’s own personal information, or to request that a correction be made to one’s own personal information. 

    Requests made under the Act should be:

    1. Made in writing and accompanied by a $5.00 application fee payable to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and

    2. Sufficiently clear, detailed and specific in identifying the record being requested.

Individuals are encouraged to contact the UOIT Freedom of Information Coordinator for assistance in formulating an access request.  

Access decisions will be made in accordance with, and following careful consideration of, the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the UOIT Act, and the policies and procedures of the University.  The University will make every reasonable effort to respond no later than 30 calendar days, unless specific exceptions apply that warrant an extended period of time for the response. 

Under the Act, access decisions may be appealed to the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner within 30 days from the date of the decision.  Appeals must include a letter describing the circumstances of the case, a copy of the decision letter, the appropriate fee, and a copy of the original request for information that was sent to UOIT.  

Protection of Privacy

The University remains committed to protecting the privacy of individuals and ensuring that all records containing personal information are safeguarded from unauthorized collection, use and disclosure.

  1. Collection, Use and Disclosure of Personal Information
    UOIT undertakes to collect only the specific personal information that is required to carry out its academic mandate and perform related administrative functions.  Personal information will be collected in a manner that is consistent with the Act, and its use and disclosure will be limited to the purposes for which it was intended.  In addition, a number of safeguards have been put in place to ensure these records are retained and protected from unauthorized access. 

  2. Access to and Correction of Personal Information
    Individuals wishing access to their own personal information, or to request a correction to their information, may make a request under the Freedom of Information and Privacy of Information Act using the UOIT Access Request Form.   Requests under the Act must be made in writing, and accompanied by a $5.00 application fee payable to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.