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Records and Information Requests

On this page:

Authority and Policy

Requests for Information and Record Searches

Exemptions to Disclosure

Types of Requests, Fees and Processing Times

Examples of Requests and ESA Responses


 

Authority and Policy

As a Delegated Administrative Authority, ESA is not subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection and Privacy Act (FIPPA).  Instead, and as required by ESA’s Administrative Agreement with government, ESA has established an Access and Privacy Code and related procedures. 

ESA’s Access and Privacy Code was approved by the Minister of Government and Consumer Services.

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Requests for Information and Record Searches

Requests can be made for information or access to records in the custody of the Electrical Safety Authority. Information and records are released in accordance with ESA’s Access and Privacy Code and applicable federal and provincial privacy legislation. 

Every person has a right of access to a record in the custody and under the control of ESA unless all or part of the information qualifies for an exemption.

Below is information on ESA’s authority in this area, exemptions to disclosure, types of requests, how to request information, and examples of various requests and likely ESA responses.

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Exemptions to Disclosure

ESA will not disclose some records, including:

  1.  Personal information, disclosure of which violates an individual’s right to privacy, unless the individual consents to the disclosure; or
  2.  Records containing commercial, proprietary, technical or financial information of ESA or of an y person or business that has supplied the records to ESA in confidence, if disclosure results in undue loss or gain, prejudice a competitive position or interferes with contractual or other negotiations.

ESA may also choose not to disclose records where the disclosure:

  1.  Violates a legally recognized privilege;
  2.  Compromises ongoing ESA investigation and enforcement activities;
  3.  Impairs ESA’s ability to provide a fair, safe and informed marketplace that supports a competitive economy;
  4.  Involves bulk data and aggregate accident and other sensitive aggregate data identifying a specific person;
  5.  Involves information that is the substance of deliberations by ESA’s Board of Directors and its committees, or committees established by ESA, including but not limited to agenda, minutes, policy options and analysis, internal advice, proprietary information, and advice to government; or
  6.  Violates a provision of the designated Act.

If ESA determines that all information in a request meets the requirements for exemption, the request will be denied and the requestor notified. 

If ESA determines that some of the information in a request meets the requirements for exemption that information will be redacted in the response.

For more information, refer to the Access and Privacy Code.

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Types of Requests, Fees and Processing Times

 

Record Search

A Record Search is a request to confirm whether there are any open or outstanding ESA notifications pertaining to a particular address. The fee for a Record Search is $67 per address. Requests are processed in 48 hours.

Download the Record Search application form

Completed applications can be submitted to: esa.cambridge@electricalsafety.on.ca or by fax to 1-800-667-4278.

 

Request for Access to Information

A Request for Access to Information is broader in scope than a Record Search and may involve specific information and notes recorded in a notification, copies of ESA correspondence, and/or lists of notifications filed by a specific contractor or within a geographic area.  

There are three different types of Requests for Access to Information:

  1. Simple Request - A simple request involves records specific to an address. The fee is $67. Some requests are fulfilled free of charge such as a property owner or tenant requesting information specific to their own dwelling, a licensed electrical contractor taking over a job requesting outstanding defects that need to be corrected, or authorities having jurisdiction requesting information about a fire or contact incident occurring at a specific address. Processing times can vary; most are fulfilled within 15 business days. Download the application form.
  2. Complex Request - A complex request is one that requires additional review or the compilation of data from various sources. The fee is charged at $146 per hour.  A fee estimate will be provided before fulfilling the request.  Processing times vary due to the complex nature of the request. Download the application form.
  3. Bulk Data Request - A bulk data request is a request for permit holders’ inspection records where such request is not limited to a specific address. Account holders whose records are responsive to the request will be notified of the request and offered the opportunity to comment on the request prior to the records being released.  Fees and processing times vary depending on the size of the request and the number of involved account holders. ESA will provide a written fee estimate and anticipated processing time before fulfilling the request. Download the application form.

All requests must be submitted through the Request to Access Information Application.

Completed applications can be sent to: RFI@electricalsafety.on.ca or by fax 1-800-667-4278.

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Examples of Requests and ESA Responses

(All examples are hypothetical and not intended to represent any real individuals or organizations)

Example #1:  Bob Smith owns an industrial building. He submits a Request for Information to ESA for the history of all electrical permits for the site going back to before he owned it – what permits were taken out by which contractor, for what work, and whether the permits were closed.

ESA response: this “simple” request is fulfilled as no exemptions apply. However all records released will be redacted for privacy per the Access and Privacy Code including such information as contractor account number, ACP number, purchase order number, or individuals’ names, addresses and phone numbers. 

 

Example #2:  A. Jenkins lawyer requests all details and copies of correspondence pertaining to permits filed for a home at 12 Main Street to support a real estate transaction.

ESA response: this “simple” request is fulfilled as no exemptions apply.

 

Example #3:  Mary LaPierre requests confirmation that a permit was taken out by Smart Sam Electrical Contracting for 12 Main Street.

ESA response: this “simple” request is fulfilled as no exemptions apply.

 

Example #4:  Louise and Martin Lewis request a copy of a Defect Notice issued to their landlord as a result of a Hazard Investigation done at their rented premises to support them at a landlord/tenant hearing.

ESA response: this “simple” request is fulfilled as no exemptions apply.

 

Example #5:  Ace Engineering requests a copy of Acme Engineering’s electrical plans for a fast food restaurant that were submitted as part of ESA’s Plan Review program.

ESA response:  this “simple” request is denied as the electrical plans are proprietary information.

 

Example #6:  Smith & Smith Insurance requests information about Master Electrician Serge Romanov; specifically the name of all contractors for whom Romanov has ever been listed as the Designated Master Electrician.

ESA response: this “complex” request is denied as the information constitutes Romanov’s employment history, which is personal.

 

Example #7:  Quality Building Management requests a list of permits taken out by Grade A Electrical Contractor in the last 12 months.

ESA response: this “bulk data” request is fulfilled as no exemptions apply.

 

Example #8:  ABC Solar Power Company requests a list of all permits for renewable energy installations in Bruce County, including site addresses and all applicants’ electrical contractor licence number.

ESA response:  this “bulk data” request is fulfilled as no exemptions apply.

 

Example #9:  Smith & Long Legal Firm requests full disclosure, including but not limited to copies of all records, correspondence, field notes, and incident and investigation reports relating to 123 Main St in Ottawa.

ESA response: this “complex” request is fulfilled as no exemptions apply. However all records released will be redacted for privacy per the Access and Privacy Code including such information as contractor account number, ACP number, purchase order number, or individuals’ names, addresses and phone numbers.   Additionally, if it is determined that there is an ongoing investigation relating to that address, the records will be reviewed to determine which documents can be disclosed in light of that investigation.

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