Accountability Mechanisms

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas & Minutes – agendas are available on the Thursday before a meeting and draft minutes are available once prepared by the Clerk’s department.

Closed Meeting Investigator By-Law

Closed Meeting Investigator By-law (pdf) –  All meetings of Council are open to the public; portions of a meeting may be closed to the public to discuss certain matters as prescribed within the Municipal Act but the decisions of Council must be made in the open portion of a meeting. The public (individuals and agencies) may request an investigation as to whether Council has violated the “open meeting” provisions of the Municipal Act by submitting a written request together with the fee. Council has appointed Local Authority Services Limited (LAS) to act as the Township’s meeting investigator in the event that a written request is received.

Freedom of Information Requests

Municipal Freedom of Information Requests

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) requires that municipalities protect an individual’s personal information existing in government records. The Act also gives you the right to request access to your personal information in these records.

Accessing information

Certain information and records require you to submit a formal written request for access to this information under the MFIPPA. Contact us to find out if the information you want requires a formal written request. It is the policy of the Township that access to building permit files requires a formal request under MFIPPA.

To submit a request you must:

  • Submit the Freedom of Information Request Form (pdf)
  • Provide enough information and detail to find the correct records.
  • Pay the $5 application fee.
  • Pay any additional costs for preparing the records you have requested. This may include search time, photocopying, etc. If this amount is over $25, the municipality will provide you with a written estimate of the fees expected to be incurred.

Processing your request includes the following:

  1. The Clerk’s Department will contact the applicable department to request those records for review.
  2. The Clerk’s Department determines if the records contain confidential information as outlined in the MFIPPA (confidential information is not included in the public’s right of access to information).
  3. A decision letter advising you of the available records, information not provided, and the fees to be paid.
  4. Fees must be paid before you may receive a copy of the records.

The Township of Brock must respond within 30 days of receiving your request. If the request is for a large number of records and requires more time to process or consultation with an external third party is required, the Township will advise you of any time extension required.

Exemptions

Mandatory exemptions

Mandatory exemptions require the municipality to deny access to a record. This includes:

  • Information received in confidence from another government;
  • Financial or commercial information supplied in confidence where providing the information could harm the interests of another party; and
  • Personal information about individuals other than yourself, if the disclosure would constitute an unjustified invasion of personal privacy.

Discretionary exemptions

Discretionary exemptions allow the municipality to decide whether it should deny access to the requested record. This includes:

  • Draft by-laws and records of closed meetings of Council or its committees;
  • Advice or recommendations of an employee or consultant;
  • By-law enforcement matters;
  • Release of information that could harm the financial or other interests of the municipality;
  • Information under solicitor-client privilege, such as legal advice;
  • Information which could endanger the health and safety of an individual;
  • Information already available to the public through another means, or soon to be published; and
  • Draft reports prepared by the Municipal and/or Provincial Ombudsman.

Appeals

If you disagree with the decision regarding your request, you can make an appeal in writing to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario within 30 calendar days of receiving the municipality’s decision. The Commissioner makes impartial decisions under the MFIPPA.

The municipality has 30 days from the date we receive your request to respond. If you haven’t received a decision or notice of extension regarding your request after 30 days, this can be appealed.

Your letter of appeal must include a copy of your original request for information and a copy of the municipality’s decision letter. Forward your request for an appeal, with the appropriate fee, to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario office.

Appeal fees

If you appeal a request for access to your personal information or a correction to your personal information, the appeal fee is $10.

If you are appealing a request for access to general records, the appeal fee is $25.

You must send your appeal fee with your request. Cheques or money orders must be payable to the Minister of Finance.

Municipal Conflict of Interest Act

Municipal Conflict of Interest Act – members of Council are required to disclose any direct or indirect pecuniary interest at a meeting and shall not take part in a discussion, attempt to influence a vote,  nor vote on the matter. The Act provides for a number of situations where a member would not have a pecuniary interest. In addition, the Act provides for a number of penalties, inclusive of expulsion from Council, as may be directed by the Courts.

Financial Reporting & Statements

Financial Reporting & Statements – on an annual basis Council adopts an operating and capital budget in order to establish the tax rate for billing purposes. In addition, the municipality is required to produce an audited financial statement.

Procedural By-law

Procedural By-law (pdf)– to regulate the proceedings of Council together with meeting times, etc.

Public Complaint Policy

Public Complaint Policy (pdf) – this policy addresses the procedure for the Township to follow in the event that a member of the public wishes to file a complaint with respect to a Township program, service, facility or staff member.

Information on submitting a public complaint.

 

Privacy Breach Policy

Privacy Breach Policy (pdf) – this policy addresses the procedure taken when an alleged Privacy Breach is reported.

Municipal Ombudsman

The Township of Brock, in conjunction with the Region of Durham, has appointed ADR Chambers Inc. as the municipality’s Ombudsman to provide the following services:

  • review complaints that are the result of an act, decision or recommendation done or omitted in course of the administration of the municipality;
  • maintain confidentiality of complaints and matters related to an investigation;
  • act at an arm’s length role from Council; and,
  • provide an annual report summarizing the number and type of complaints received.

A formal terms of reference has been developed to govern procedures related to the receipt of written complaints (on a prescribed complaint form) and investigation techniques that are employed by the municipal ombudsman. The involvement of the ombudsman should only occur after all efforts to resolve the complaint have been exhausted.

The Municipal Ombudsman cannot investigate decisions or recommendations of Council for which there is a right of appeal or objection, or the right to apply for a hearing or review by a tribunal (e.g. Ontario Municipal Board for planning applications) until the right has been exercised or the time to file an appeal has expired; and, persons who provide legal advice to the municipality or local board.

The Municipal Ombudsman also has the right not to investigate a complaint in the following circumstances:

  • the complaint is deemed to be trivial, frivolous, vexatious, or not made in good faith;
  • the person complaining does not have a sufficient personal interest in the matter; or,
  • there are other remedies available to resolve the issue.

Any recommendations made by the Ombudsman are non-binding.