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BURLINGTON FREEDOM OF INFORMATION RESPONSES NOW ON TRACK

BURLINGTON FREEDOM OF INFORMATION RESPONSES NOW ON TRACK

The City of Burlington claims that it is now meeting its statutory obligation to respond to Freedom of Information requests within 30 days.

Amanda Fusco, Manager of Records and Information made the comment after a news media Freedom of Information request (FOI) took over four months to complete. It was submitted in early August and not resolved until mid-December.

“Public institutions must…….within 30 calendar days of receipt of a request, make records available”, according to the Provincial regulation.

The August request was an attempt to obtain the cost of outside legal advice related to the Meridian quarry.

After the 30-day deadline passed, the City’s Access and Privacy Coordinator wrote in October; “We currently have a significant backlog of case files that we are working through”. Staff further advised that they were experiencing technical issues and had “purchased additional software to assist”.

This week, in an e-mail exchange, Manager Fusco reported that the software required to prepare and process records for FOI requests has now been installed and only one FOI request remains past the deadline.

She added that the pandemic played a role in recent delays.

“Due to the pandemic we had difficulty obtaining records as staff could not get access to city facilities, and the pandemic has reduced response times as staff resources have been dedicated to pandemic response”

By Rick Craven

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