Making an Access to Information Request

How to Request Access to Information or Correction of Personal Information under FIPPA

Follow these steps to make a request for access to a York University record or personal information under Ontario's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

Step 1 - Determine what records you wish to request

Before submitting a request in writing for access to information, contact the University department or office that has the record(s) to which you seek access.  If you are unsure what records you seek, consult York's Common Records Schedule/Directory of Records.

Discuss your request with a staff member to determine if the records exist that respond to your request and if the records can be disclosed to you routinely through regular procedures. Most records are available through an informal process. Records that contain confidential or third party personal information are subject to exemptions under the Act and are not disclosed routinely.

If you are seeking access to York University records containing personal information for a research purpose, see the Protocol for Requesting Access to Personal Information in a York University Record for a Research Purpose, or for personal health information, the Protocol for Requesting Access to Personal Health Information in a York University Record for a Research Purpose.

Step 2 - Submit a formal Access to Information request

If the department does not provide access to the record(s), submit your signed request form in writing with the required $5.00 application fee, either delivering it by hand or mailing it to the Information, Privacy and Copyright Office (complete address below). Make your cheque or money order payable to YORK UNIVERSITY. Requests received by electronic mail will not be processed until receipt of the application fee.

When making a written request, be clear and identify the specific record(s) or personal information to which you seek access. If applicable, identify the personal information bank. Also, specify dates or a time period for the record(s)/personal information you request. Keep the scope of your request narrow and specific. A clearly defined request with a narrow scope will greatly assist the University to search, locate and retrieve the record(s)/personal information and answer your request quickly.

Pursuant to section 24(1) of FIPPA, you must provide sufficient detail in your request to enable an experienced University employee, with a reasonable effort, to identify the record(s)/personal information sought. If you are unsure how to describe the record(s)/personal information, contact the Information, Privacy and Copyright Office for help formulating your request.

Step 3 - Await the University’s response

FIPPA requires institutions to provide a decision on access within thirty (30) days. The time limit may be extended under reasonable circumstances as outlined in section 27 and section 28 of the Act. When your request is received, the University will send you an acknowledgement letter and may notify you of any time extensions or fees that may apply.

The University will issue an access decision within the appropriate timeframe. Records to which exemptions apply may be withheld entirely or be "severed" (i.e., portions blacked-out). The decision letter will explain in detail the exemptions applied and give reasons.

Records will be provided to you when all fees are paid. If you requested access to records containing personal information about yourself, the University may ask you to present yourself in person with one piece of photo ID before the records are released to you.

If you requested continuing access to the record(s)/personal information and access is granted, the decision letter will set out a schedule of dates. The University will explain why these dates were chosen.

If you are not satisfied with the University's access decision and disclosure of records or the schedule for continuing access, you have thirty days (30) from the date of the University's decision letter to request a review by Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Mailing Address and Contact Information

Information, Privacy and Copyright Office
1050 Kaneff Tower
York University
4700 Keele Street, Toronto ON
Canada M3J 1P3

Telephone:   (416) 736-2100