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Request a Review
If you have made an access to information request under the Freedom of Information Act (PDF) or the Health Information Act (PDF) and you disagree with the public body or custodian’s decision, or if you received no response to your request, you may ask the Information and Privacy Commissioner for a review.
You may also ask the Commissioner for a review if you have received a notice that you are a third party, and a public body is planning to disclose your business or your personal information.
What does it mean if I am a 'third party'?
Records requested by someone may include information about a person or a business who is not the applicant. This individual or business is a 'third party'.
When this happens under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and when the Public Body is considering disclosing the record to the applicant, the public body sends a letter to the third party to let them know that records have been requested that contain their information. The public body will include a copy of the record, and ask for consent to disclose, or give the the opportunity to explain to the public body why the information should not be disclosed.
If I am the third party, can I keep the public body from disclosing the record?
A public body or custodian is not permitted to withhold information just because it is personal information or business information. There are legal tests to assess whether they are required to withhold the information.
If you have received notice from a public body that they are planning to disclose your business or personal information and you don't think the public body has properly applied the test, you can ask the Commissioner for a review.
How do I request a review?
If you request a review by letter, you should include the following details:
- include all relevant information, including the name of the public body and the file number it has assigned to your request
- attach a copy of the decision letter you received from the public body;
- include a copy of your access request, if you have it;
- include your telephone number and mailing address so the staff of the Commissioner's office can contact you.
Is there a fee?
There is no fee to file a request for review.
How long do I have to make a request?
In their decision letter, public bodies or custodians should tell you how long you have to request that the Commissioner conduct a review.
If you requested access to information, you have 60 days after you receive the public body or custodian’s decision letter or email. A longer period may be allowed by the Commissioner.
If you are a third party under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, you have 20 days from the date you received notice of the decision. The Commissioner does not have the ability to extend this 20-day time period.
You may contact the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner to confirm the office has received your request if it was sent by mail, or to arrange a different form of delivery to meet the deadline.
What happens after I send in my request for review?
The Commissioner will send a copy of your request for review to the public body or custodian, and to any other person affected by the review. The public body or custodian must then deliver a copy of the records to the Commissioner's office.
You will be asked to provide the Commissioner's office with a letter outlining your reasons for disagreeing with the public body's decision. This letter is called your "representations" or "submissions". Your representations should include your position and include detail to persuade the Commissioner.
The Commissioner will examine the records, the decision of the public body, your representations, and those of the public body. If the Commissioner requires further submissions from those involved, the office will contact the parties to clarify outstanding issues.
Are my representations confidential?
It is the normal practice of this office to forward the submissions to the other party, where possible. However, the Commissioner may blackout information considered confidential before giving a copy of your representations to the public body or custodian or any other person affected by the request.
If you do not want your submissions to be disclosed to the other parties, you should explain which materials you do not wish disclosed and include your reasons why. Similarly, the public body may also make representations that they may want withheld from you.
How will I know the Commissioner's decision?
Once the inquiry is complete, the Commissioner will issue an order. A copy of the order is sent to all of the parties of the review and posted on this site about a week later.
What if I'm not satisfied with the Commissioner's decision?
The Commissioner's orders are final. However, if you are not satisfied with the decision of the Commissioner, you may apply to the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island for a judicial review.