Filing an appeal

You have the right to file an appeal to our office if you are dissatisfied with a decision made by a provincial or municipal government institution in response to your freedom of information request. Learn more about your access and correction rights.

What is an appeal?

An appeal is a way for you to ask our office to review a government institution’s response to a freedom of information request. There are a number of reasons why you might decide to appeal the government institution’s response, including:

  • you have been denied access to some or all of the information you requested
  • you do not agree with the amount of the fee being charged
  • it has been more than 30 days since you submitted your request for information and you have not received a decision yet (deemed refusal)
  • you have been advised that an extension of the 30-day time period is necessary and you do not agree with the extension
  • your request for a correction of your personal information has been denied
  • someone is requesting your personal information or other information in which you have an interest from a public institution; the institution has decided to release the information and you disagree with the decision

If you disagree with a decision concerning your records of personal health information, you can make a complaint. If you disagree with a child and family service provider’s decision about access or corrections to your personal information in your file, you can make a complaint.

How do I file an appeal?

To file an appeal, you will need to prepare the following:

  • A copy of the institution’s decision about your request (Note: If 30 days have passed since you submitted your request and you have not received a decision letter, you can file your appeal without one under the “deemed refusal” option)
  • A copy of your original request to the institution (if available)
  • An IPC appeal form
  • An appeal fee payment. The fee for personal information requests is $10.00 and for all other requests it is $25.00.

Once you have all that you need, fill out the IPC’s appeal form and pay an appeal fee. There are two ways you can do this:

  • Online: Visit our online payment system to fill out the appeal form, upload your documentation and pay your appeal fee using Visa credit, Visa debit, Mastercard credit, or Mastercard debit.
  • By mail: Download and print an appeal form, fill it out, and mail it to our office with your supporting documents and a cheque or money order payable to “Minister of Finance.”

Mail-in forms and payments should be sent to:

Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON
M4W 1A8

Note: The online appeal form and payment system work together. If you submit your appeal online, you must also provide payment online. Similarly, if you submit your appeal form by mail, you must also send in your fee payment together by mail.

Once you have completed this process and we have received your submission, you will generally receive a formal Notice of Appeal from the IPC within ten business days. You will then be contacted by an IPC staff member once your file has been assigned. Learn more about the appeal process.

Learn more about submitting appeals online.

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