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Hospitals and Ontario's Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010

December 20, 2010

BILL 122 -- The impact of the application of Ontario's Freedom on Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and The Broader Financial Accountability Rules. 

On December 8, 2010, Bill 122 was passed.  As a result, as of January 1, 2012, FIPPA will apply to public hospitals, and to private hospitals that have received public funds.  The impact on hospital administration will be profound.    

The Act's financial accountability rules, applicable to hospitals as well as other broader public sector entities will come into force on a date to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.  These rules will include a prohibition on certain engagements of lobbyists, a requirement to report on the use of consultants and the public posting of information about expense claims. 

The application of FIPPA to hospitals will require that hospitals process access requests, consider whether exemptions or exclusions apply to records and address issues such as transparency and public interest in their operations. Efficient implementation of FIPPA requires records management, training of staff and the development of procedural protocols.  

While FIPPA and the amendments may seem extraordinarily complicated and technical, our experience in dealing with this legislation can help not only to simplify its application, but also to streamline procedures for implementation.  

We have developed an electronic guide to the legislation called The Public Sector Source.  It explains how FIPPA has been interpreted since its inception in 1988 and is available by annual subscription at www.accessprivacy.ca.

Heenan Blaikie LLP is a full service law firm that regularly provides advice on access to information and on FIPPA in particular, as well as on governance issues.  

We can help hospitals get ready for the application of FIPPA on January 1, 2012. Please contact us at info@accessprivacy.ca to learn more about how Heenan Blaikie and AccessPrivacy can help.

Legislation; FIPPA Share This