Sample access request policy and checklist
In a number of reports issued by my office, we have recommended that the towns/villages/municipalities develop an operational policy regarding processing access to information requests. After a number of questions, it became clear that there didn’t seem to be a sample policy developed for small towns/villages/municipalities. Larger organizations have developed policies that are applicable to an organization that has many employees and probably legal staff. In fact, the policy that has been developed here was tailored from the City of Regina’s operational policy but for a smaller organization.
Anything that is labeled a “sample policy” should be treated as a starting point for drafting. In using this sample, one should feel free to delete language that isn’t applicable to their organization and add language that speaks specifically to them.
In The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the “head” is the Mayor or Reeve in a town or village. It is a recommended practice to delegate the “head’s” responsibility to the administrator or city clerk.
Following the posting of the sample operational policy, we have had discussions with people about the need for an access request checklist. Something simple that the head, Reeve or administrators could follow when they receive an access request. So we developed a sample checklist. Again, the checklist is a “sample” or “guide”. Public bodies should adapt it to their needs: add things and delete things. We have also updated the sample policy to refer to the checklist.
You can find the sample policy link here. The Sample Access Request and Checklist can be found attached at the end of the Sample Operational Policy, Access to Information.