The IPC is often asked how institutions should handle FOI requests that they deem to be frivolous and vexatious. Ontario’s access and privacy laws give individuals the right to access their own personal information and government-held records unless an exemption applies, or the request is found to be frivolous or vexatious. There are a number of reasons an institution may find a request to be frivolous or vexatious. These can include a requester who abuses the right of access, a request may impede the operations of the institution, or a request that is made in bad faith or for reasons other than obtaining information.
Today, the IPC released its latest fact sheet, Frivolous and Vexatious Requests, directed at both institutions and individuals. This fact sheet explains what a frivolous or vexatious request is, what institutions should do when they receive this type of request, what a requester can do if an institution claims their request is frivolous or vexatious and the IPC’s role in an appeal.