Useful Terms

Many terms which are used in FIPPA are defined in Section 1 of the Act. Here are some of the most important ones.

Access and Privacy Coordinator: the person designated in each public body to receive FIPPA applications and to handle the daily administration of FIPPA matters. The Coordinator will tell you whether a formal application for access is necessary and explain the process. For the address, telephone and fax number of the Access Coordinator in each public body, see Where to send your request for access.

Local Public Bodies: public bodies, other than Manitoba government departments and agencies, to which FIPPA applies. Includes Local Government bodies (City of Winnipeg, municipalities, Municipal Government districts, community councils, watershed districts, planning districts); educational bodies (school divisions and districts, universities and community colleges); and health care bodies (regional health authorities and hospitals). For a complete list of all local public bodies that fall under FIPPA, see Where to Send Your Application.

Personal Health Information: recorded information about an identifiable individual that relates to that person’s health, health care history, provision of health care to the individual, or payment for health care. Includes identifying numbers or symbols assigned to an individual, such as the personal health information number, as well as identifying information about an individual that is collected in the course of the provision of health care. Access to your own personal health information is governed by The Personal Health Information Act.

Personal Information: recorded information about an identifiable individual including name, home address and telephone number, age, family status, ethnicity, income, sexual orientation etc. Also any identifying numbers or symbols assigned to an identifiable individual, for example a social insurance number. Information about corporations, businesses, or organizations is not personal information. Oral comments about an individual, which have not been recorded, are not personal information.

Public Body: a Manitoba Government department, a government agency or a local public body. For more information, see Public Bodies Under FIPPA.

Record: information in any form, including written, photographed, recorded or stored on any storage medium or by any means. Examples of records are minutes, letters, memoranda, reports, notes, blueprints, financial transaction records, photographs, audiovisual material and information stored and retrieved electronically. Copies of documents, drafts and other working materials are also records under FIPPA.

Severing: the process of concealing information in a record that the public body has decided either cannot be, or should not be, disclosed to an applicant, because it falls under an exception to access in FIPPA. The information that is not to be released is covered by opaque tape or blacked out with a marker, and the section, subsection and clause number of the applicable exception (or exceptions) is written on the tape or in the margin. A copy of the record is then made for the applicant to view.

Third Party: a person, group or organization who is not the applicant requesting access and is not a public body. Public bodies hold large quantities of information about individuals, groups, corporations and non-profit organizations which, if disclosed to others, might result in harm to them. FIPPA contains third party notice and intervention provisions to protect the personal information or business interests of third parties.