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REGISTRAR'S OVERVIEW

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REGISTRAR'S OVERVIEW Powered By Docstoc
					Information And Privacy
Commissioner/Ontario

     THE APPEAL PROCESS
           IN ACTION

         Robert Binstock, Registrar
         Leslie McIntyre, Mediator
         Irena Pascoe, Adjudicator
            September 14, 2001
               TOPICS
 Welcome and Introductions
 Intake
 Mediation
 Adjudication
 Questions
 Wrap up


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Intake




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          Intake - Screening
 Registrar and Intake Analysts have delegated
  authority to screen out files where:
 (a) The matter, on its face, is not within the IPC’s
  jurisdiction; or
 (b) The matter falls within the IPC’s jurisdiction,
  but the matter, on its face, is one that the IPC
  believes should not proceed through the appeal or
  privacy complaint process.

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           Intake – Streaming

   Registrar streams files into different dispute
    resolution and adjudicative streams - Intake,
    Mediation and Adjudication.




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          Role of Intake Analyst
 Public Contacts – mail, phone and in-
  person.
 Screen out appeals.
 Other types of duties:
    –   clarify appeals
    –   explain appeal process
    –   redirect to other government organizations
    –   deemed refusals
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    Role of Program Assistant

 Intake - open files, request records and
  appeal fees.
 Program support to Intake Analysts,
  Mediators and Adjudicators.



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     Intake – Case Example
 Request: All records concerning an
  Employment Standards claim against
  requester’s company.
 Decision: Partial disclosure. Personal
  Information denied as compiled as part of
  investigation into possible violation of law.
  Copies of IPC orders included.

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     Intake – Case Example
 Intake: Matter decided before. Wrote to
  appellant requesting submissions. Included
  3 orders on point.
 Decision: Appeal was dismissed and
  screened out as matter had been decided
  before. FOIC copied on letter to appellant.


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          Intake - Statistics
IN 2000 :
 20% (173) of all appeals closed (853) were
  closed at Intake
 For appeals closed at Intake 78% were
  withdrawn, 16% were screened out, and 6%
  were abandoned.


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Mediation




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        Mediation - Streams
 An appeal that moves to the Mediation
  stage, is assigned to one of the following
  streams:
 Regular Appeal;
 Straightforward Appeal; or
 Reasonable Search Appeal.


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          Mediation - Regular
 The vast majority of appeals are processed
  in the Regular stream.
 The Mediator contacts the parties,
  investigates the circumstance of the appeal
  and attempts to:
    – Settle all issues in the appeal; or
    – If not settled, narrow the issues that proceed to
      Adjudication.
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    Mediation – Straightforward
 Appeals where the sole issue is a deemed
  refusal, time extension, transfer or
  adequacy of decision.
 The assigned Mediator also acts as an
  Adjudicator.
 After a short period of mediation, the
  Mediator has the authority to issue an
  Order, if not mediated.
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    Mediation – Reasonable
            Search
 Appeals where the sole issue is whether the
  institution has conducted a reasonable
  search for records responsive to the request.
 One Mediator attempts to settle appeal.
 Another Mediator is designated as an
  Acting- Adjudicator, who can issue an
  Order if not settled.

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          Role of Mediator
 The goal of the Mediator is to assist the
  parties:
 to fully and clearly understand issues in
  dispute;
 to reach a voluntary, mutually acceptable
  resolution of some or all of the issues in
  dispute; and
 to reduce the number of records at issue.

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      Methods of Mediation
 Primary method used is shuttle mediation
  by telephone i.e. one phone call to one
  party, then to another party.
 Conference calls.
 Face-to-Face mediation.
 We are increasing our usage of the last two
  methods due to the real benefits they
  present to the parties.
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      Advantages of Mediation
   Each party can explain it’s position.
   Retain control by working together.
   Issues are clarified, options generated, and
    agreements negotiated.
   Quicker than formal dispute resolution.
   Win-win settlement that might not be possible
    through Adjudication.
   Builds trust, understanding and communication
    between parties.
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    Mediation – Case Example
 REGULAR APPEALS - Example 1:
 An unsuccessful applicant for a job as a police
  officer, requested his application file.
 During mediation, it was clear what he really
  wanted was to know why he wasn’t hired.
 Mediator settled by arranging a meeting between
  the appellant and the person who interviewed him.


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    Mediation – Case Example
 REGULAR APPEALS – Example 2:
 The appellant requested all records of complaints
  to Animal Control about the dogs at a specific
  address.
 The Mediator was able to clarify that what he
  really wanted was to know whether there was
  more than one complainant.
 The institution agreed to tell him the number of
  complainants and the file was closed.

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    Mediation – Case Example
 STRAIGHTFORWARD APPEALS:
 The appellant appealed a lengthy time
  extension.
 The Mediator was able to settle the appeal
  when the institution agreed to release
  records in “batches”, as the were ready,
  rather than as a whole.

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    Mediation – Case Example
 REASONABLE SEARCH:
 An appellant appealed the municipalities decision
  that no records existed relating to the removal of
  trees near his property.
 The Mediator was able to determine that what the
  appellant really wanted was to understand why the
  trees were removed.
 After the Mediator arranged for the appellant to
  receive an explanation, he agreed to close the
  appeal.
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        Mediation - Statistics
IN 2000:
 60% of appeals processed through the Mediation
  stage were closed within that stage, while 40%
  proceeded to the Adjudication stage.
 For appeals closed at Mediation, 88% were
  mediated, 6% were withdrawn, 2% were
  abandoned, and 4% were closed by Order.
 45% (381) of all appeals closed (853) were closed
  at Mediation

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Adjudication




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             Adjudication
 Appeals may be steamed to the
  Adjudication stage either directly from
  Intake or from Mediation.
 At the Adjudication stage, an Adjudicator
  will conduct an inquiry to dispose of the
  issues in the appeal.


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    Overview of Inquiry Process
 Generally an inquiry involves:
 Parties submitting written representations (reps)
  on the issues in the appeal, one party at a time;
 Reps being shared with other parties unless there
  is an overriding confidentiality concern; and
 Adjudicator issuing an order disposing of some or
  all of the issues in the appeal.


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            Inquiry - Step 1
 Party with onus (usually institution)
  proceeds first.
 Initial Notice of Inquiry (NOI) sets out the
  issues in the appeal and seeks reps.
 First party has 3 weeks to submit reps.
 Adjudicator decides whether to invite reps
  from the second party, or issue an order.
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           Inquiry - Step 2
 Second party (usually appellant) proceeds
  next.
 Same or modified NOI, along with a copy
  of first party’s non-confidential reps.
 Second party has three weeks to submit
  reps.
 Adjudicator decides whether to invite reply
  reps, or issue an order.
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           Inquiry - Step 3
 Adjudicator may send a modified NOI to
  the first party, along with a copy of the
  second party’s non-confidential reps.
 First party has 2 weeks to submit reply reps.
 First party may not raise any new issues in
  reply.
 Adjudicator issues order.

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    Sharing of Representations
 In their reps, parties must indicate clearly
  and in detail:
 which information in the reps, if any, the
  party wishes the Adjudicator to withhold;
  and
 its reasons for this request.



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    Sharing of Representations
   Effective reps can be prepared by:
    – Preparing a single set of reps;
    – Highlighting the confidential portions to be severed;
    – Providing reasons for each severance;
    – Connecting reasons to IPC confidentiality criteria;
    – Addressing sharing of reps and attachments, even if
      everything can be shared; and
    – Avoiding actual names (use pseudonym e.g. affected
      person, accused).

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    Sharing of Representations
 Adjudicator will review reps and, based on
  the confidentiality criteria, decide which
  portions (if any) will be shared with the
  other party/parties.
 If Adjudicator does not accept the party’s
  request for confidentiality, he/she will
  provide advance notice of the decision to
  disclose the reps/portions of reps.
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        Confidentiality Criteria
   Adjudicator may withhold information contained
    in a party’s reps where:
    – Disclosure would reveal substance of a record claimed
      exempt – e.g., quotation from record at issue
    – The information would be exempt under Acts- e.g.,
      personal information
    – The information is otherwise confidential – e.g.,
      “Wigmore” four criteria for confidential
      communication

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Adjudication – Case Example
   Order PO-1931
   Intake: Resolved the deemed refusal appeal.
   Appellant subsequently appealed the access
    decision.
   Mediation: Narrowed the scope of records and
    issues in dispute.
   Adjudication: Involved all three steps.
   Ministry was asked to respond to certain new
    issues/information raised by appellant.
   Narrowed the scope of records and issues in
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Reconsideration of a Decision
   Criteria for reconsideration of order or any other
    decision:
    – A fundamental defect in the adjudication process;
    – Some other jurisdictional defect in the decision; or
    – A clerical error, accidental error or omission or other
      similar error in the decision
   IPC will not reconsider simply on basis of new
    evidence being provided.

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       Adjudication - Statistics
 35% (299) of all cases closed last year (853) were
  closed during the Adjudication stage.
 Of the appeals that were closed during the
  adjudication stage;
    – 74% were closed by order;
    – 12% settled after the beginning of an inquiry;
    – 8% were withdrawn;
    – 4% were dismissed without an inquiry; and
    – 2% percent were abandoned.
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       Adjudication - Statistics
   Cases resolved by step:
    – Step 1: 35%
    – Step 2: 50%
    – Step 3: 15%
 Many cases resolved after Step 1 – result: one
  party never had to make reps.
 Most Step 1 cases involved reverse onus –
  institution never had to make reps.
 Tip: Issue more detailed decisions to increase
  chance of reverse onus.
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       IPC Resources

Code of   Procedure

IPC Web site:        www.ipc.on.ca



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    Thank You

Questions welcome.

				
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