Annual Report on the Access to Information Act 2014-15

From April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015

 

Introduction

Description of the institution's structure

Delegation

Interpretation of the statistical report

Education and training activities

Overview of new or revised institutional policies, guidelines and procedures

Key issues related to Access to Information complaints and / or investigations

Time monitoring for processing access to information requests

Appendix A

Appendix B

 

 

Introduction

The Access to Information Act (ATIA) gives Canadians the broad legal right to information contained in federal government records.

The Act provides government institutions with 30 days to respond to access requests. Additional time may be granted if there are many records to examine, other government agencies to be consulted, or third parties to be notified.  Access rights are subject to specific and limited exemptions.

This annual report to Parliament is submitted by the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (the Commissioner) pursuant to section 72 of the ATIA. On April 15, 2007, the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA) entered into force. It created the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada (the Office). The new legislation replaced the Treasury Board Policy on the Internal Disclosure of Information Concerning Wrongdoing in the Workplace.

The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner is mandated to establish a safe, independent, and confidential process for public servants and members of the public to disclose potential wrongdoing in the federal public sector. The Office also helps to protect from reprisal public servants who have filed disclosures or participated in related investigations.

The Public Sector Integrity Commissioner is an independent agent, reporting directly to Parliament.

 

Description of the institution’s structure

The ATIP Coordinator is the only employee dedicated, on a part-time basis, to fulfil the Access to Information Act responsibilities. The Coordinator is assisted by a contractor for the processing of the requests.

 

Delegation

The Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada, as the head of the government institution, has designated, pursuant to section 73 of the ATIA, the person(s) holding the position(s) set out below, or the persons occupying on an acting basis those positions, to exercise the powers, duties or functions of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner as specified below. A copy of the delegation order is included in Appendix A.

PositionAccess to Information Act
Deputy Commissioner Full Authority
ATIP Coordinator Full Authority

 

Interpretation of the statistical report

Appendix B provides a summary statistical report on the ATIA applications processed by the Office between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015.

In 2014-15, the Office experienced a decrease in requests over the previous reporting period. The number of requests received this reporting period is consistent with what was seen in previous years, with the exception of the 2013-14 reporting year (see table 1). The Office received seven new requests in this reporting period and four requests were carried over from the previous period for a total of eleven requests. All requests were completed on time and two requests were carried over to the next reporting period. Nine requests were closed during this reporting period and all within legislated time frame. Nine consultations were received from other government institutions, similar to previous reporting periods.

Portions of the documents requested were exempted under the following sections of the ATIA: 16.4 (1) (a), 19 (1), 21 (1) (a) (b), and 23. Four extensions were applied under s. 9 (1) (a) of the ATIA.

No translations were required to respond to the requests. The Office collected $45 in fees and spent close to $33,000.00 in resources administering the ATIA.

 

Table 1 – Five-year overview of requests received and processed under the ATIA

Chart of five-year overview of ATIA requests

*Total requests processed include any requests carried over from previous reporting periods.

 

Education and training activities

Training on access to information was provided to PSIC employees throughout the year on an ad hoc basis. A total of eleven training sessions were provided to eleven employees.

 

Overview of new or revised institutional policies, guidelines and procedures

There were no new or revised institutional polices implemented in the reporting period that had an impact on Access to Information.

 

Key issues relating to Access to Information complaints and/or investigations

One complaint was received by the Office during this reporting period, initiated by the Information Commissioner. A decision has yet to be rendered in respect of the complaint.

 

Time monitoring for processing access to information requests

Though no formal time monitoring was conducted during the reporting period, the Office uses a case management system to track processing times regarding access to information requests. This tool assists the Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator and the contractor dedicated to this function in monitoring timelines to ensure compliancy with legislated deadlines.

 

Appendix A

 

Access to Information Act Delegation Order


The Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada, as the head of the government institution, hereby designates pursuant to section 73 of the Access to Information Act, the person holding the position set out below, or the persons occupying on an acting basis those positions, to exercise the powers, duties or functions of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner as specified below.

 

PositionSections of Access to Information Act
Deputy Commissioner Full Authority
ATIP Coordinator Full Authority

I name France Duquette as Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator.

Date: April 13, 2013

Signed by: Mario Dion, Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

2015-09-29