Information And Privacy Commissioner Ontario Issues Interim Order – Town of Amherstburg To Conduct Another Search For Responsive Records That Predate March 2012

The October 30 Interim Order is the result of a Freedom of Information request submitted to the Town of Amherstburg in May 2014 and subsequent appeal, mediation, and adjudication.

Summary:

The appellant sought access to all correspondence between the town and its insurer relating to the town’s transition to the insurer and benefits for employees over the age of 60. The town located a number of responsive records and issued a decision disclosing them in part. The appellant appealed the town’s decision on the basis that the town did not conduct a reasonable search for responsive records. The town located additional records during the course of the appeal and disclosed them to the appellant, who maintained that more responsive records ought to exist. The adjudicator finds that the town did not conduct a reasonable search and orders it to conduct another search for responsive records that predate March 2012.

Parts of the town’s reply representations are found at paragraphs 17 and 18 below:

[17] The town continues that the appellant, as a member of the Amherstburg Police Association, was entitled to receive information from the Association. It also notes that the appellant has not provided any representations from the Association that additional records exist; he just asserts without any proof that the Association and the Chief of Police have stated that other records exist.

[18] The town asserts that its Manager of Human Resources is an experienced employee who expended reasonable efforts in conducting her searches. It states that it is entitled to reply to the request made; it need not conduct searches for records not contemplated by the request. The town concludes by stating that the appellant’s assertion about the grievance statement in the records is unfounded and is indicative of his ulterior motive for making his request.

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