The Metropolitan Toronto Police Services Board (the Police) received a request under theMunicipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act). The request was for access to computer data relating to Metropolitan Toronto police officers which was collected on the service’s Public Complaints System (the PCS database) between 1990 and 1996. Specifically, the requesters sought access to the officers’ names and rank, information about the charges or allegations made and the disposition of each complaint. In addition, the requesters sought access to a list of the data fields tracked for each of the tracking systems used. The requesters are newspaper reporters.

The Police responded to the requests by providing the requesters with a computer printout listing the data fields contained in the database used in its Public Complaints Bureau. Access to the computer data relating to individual officers was denied on the basis that this information is outside the scope of the Act, under sections 52(3)1 and 3.

The requesters, now the appellants, appealed the Police’s decision. During the mediation of the appeal, the Police provided this office with a list of data field codes representing the possible entries for each of the data fields and a description of what the numeric codes represent, rather than sending paper copies of all of the data which is responsive to the request.

A Notice of Inquiry was provided to the appellants and the Police. Representations were received from both parties.