Annual Report to Parliament on the Administration of the Access to Information Act 2019–2020

Table of Contents

Introduction
Purpose of the Access to Information Act
Mandate of the Department of Finance Canada
Administration of the Access to Information Act

  Access to Information and Privacy Division
  Principles on Assistance to Applicants

Policies, Guidelines, Procedures and Initiatives

  Bill C-58, "An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts"
  Proactive Publication under Bill C-58

Training and Awareness
Impact of COVID-19 on ATIP Operations
Delegation of Authority
Information Holdings
Interpretation of the Statistical Report (Annex A)

  Part 1 – Requests under the Access to Information Act

    Number of Formal Requests
    Other Requests
    Sources of Requests

  Part 2 – Decline to act on vexatious, made in bad faith or abuse of right requests

    Number of Requests

  Part 3 – Requests Closed During the Reporting Period

    Disposition of Requests
    Completion Time
    Exemptions Invoked
    Exclusions Cited
    Format of Information Released
    Complexity
    Deemed Refusals
    Translations

  Part 4 – Extensions
  Part 5 – Fees and Service Fees Act
  Part 6 – Consultations Received from Other Institutions and Organizations
  Part 7 – Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences
  Part 8 – Complaints/Investigations/Audits
  Part 9 – Appeals to the Federal Court of Canada
  Part 10 – Resources Related to the Access to Information Act

Monitoring Compliance
ANNEX A Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act

Introduction

This Annual Report to Parliament on the Administration of the Access to Information Act within the Department of Finance Canada (the ‘Department’) is prepared and tabled in Parliament in accordance with section 94 of the Access to Information Act and section 20 of the Service Fees Act, and covers the period from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

Purpose of the Access to Information Act

The Access to Information Act (the Act) came into force on July 1, 1983, and saw its most significant amendments during this reporting period with the passage of Bill C-58 on June 21, 2019. Its purpose is to provide a right of access to information in records under the control of a government institution in accordance with the principles that such information should be available to the public, that necessary exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific, and that decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government. The Act is intended to complement existing procedures for access to government information; it is not intended to limit access to information that is normally available to the general public. Under the Act, Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or any person or corporation present in Canada have the right to request access to information contained in government records. The Act also puts into practice the principle of ‘open by default’ in the digital age by making key information available proactively, without the need to make a request.

The Department recognizes that the right of access to information in records under its control and other federal government institutions is an essential element of our system of democracy. It is committed to openness and transparency, respecting both the spirit and the requirements of the Act, its regulations and related policy instruments. The Department further acknowledges the importance of facilitating access to records by requiring that its employees make every reasonable effort to assist applicants.

Mandate of the Department of Finance Canada

The Department helps the Government of Canada develop and implement strong and sustainable economic, fiscal, tax, social, security, international and financial sector policies and programs. It plays an important central agency role, working with other departments to ensure that the government's agenda is carried out and that ministers are supported with high-quality analysis and advice.

The Department’s responsibilities include:

The Minister of Finance is accountable for ensuring that their responsibilities are fulfilled both within the portfolio and with respect to the authorities assigned through legislation. In particular, the Minister has direct responsibility for a number of acts as well as fiscal and tax policy relating to other acts that are under the responsibility of other ministers.

Administration of the Access to Information Act

Access to Information and Privacy Division

The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Division is part of the Consultations and Communications Branch. The ATIP Division is responsible for administering the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act for the Department. As a centralized operation, the ATIP Division coordinates the timely processing of requests under the legislation, conducts interdepartmental consultations, handles complaints lodged with the Information Commissioner, and responds to informal inquiries. Division staff also provides guidance to departmental officials on matters involving the Act. As of March 31, 2020, 18 employees within the ATIP Division were dedicated to the administration of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act along with related functions. The ATIP Division is comprised of a director, supported by two managers, twelve ATIP analysts, an administrative assistant, and two students. The Department of Finance Canada did not enter into any service agreements pursuant to section 96 of the Access to Information Act.

Principles on Assistance to Applicants

Section 4(2.1) of the Act reads as follows:

“The head of a government institution shall, without regard to the identity of a person making a request for access to a record under the control of the institution, make every reasonable effort to assist the person in connection with the request, respond to the request accurately and completely and, subject to the regulations, provide timely access to the record in the format requested.”

The Department is committed to both the spirit and intent of these principles, and adheres to the Act and to the Directive on the Administration of the Access to Information Act with respect to their application when processing requests under the Act.

Policies, Guidelines, Procedures and Initiatives

Bill C-58, ‘‘An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts’’

Bill C-58 received received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019, bringing into force important improvements to the openness and transparency of government.

Key changes in the updated Access to Information Act include:

All members of the ATIP Division participated in the June 2019 technical briefing led by the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Office of the Information Commissioner immediately following the coming into force of Bill C-58. The Division then updated the Department’s ATIP practices, adjusted its instructions to branch officials informing them of the Information Commissioner’s new powers and reminding them of the importance of respecting deadlines, and delivered training and awareness sessions to employees across the department.

Proactive Publication under Bill C-58

In addition to the regularly scheduled postings now required under the Access to Information Act, such as lists of briefing note titles, information related to travel and hospitality, and contracts over $10,000, the Department also published the transition briefing material that was provided to the Minister of Finance and to the Minister of Middle Class Properity and Associate Minister of Finance following their Cabinet appointments in November 2019. The transition material was posted on the Department’s web site on March 6, 2020, prior to the deadline established by the Access to Information Act.

The Department did not post any Question Period notes during the reporting period as no notes were in use by the Ministers on the last sitting day in December 2019. Likewise, although the Minister of Finance appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (FINA) on February 19, 2020, a briefing package was not required for the Minister’s appearance, and therefore no information was posted.

The Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance and the Deputy Minister of Finance appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (FINA) on February 5, 2020. The briefing material to support their appearances was not yet ready for publication at the end of March 2020. The material was posted on June 4, 2020 within the permitted timelines.

In 2019-2020, the Department met the deadline for posting briefing note titles in every month except for one; the titles for Febuary 2020 briefing notes were posted after the March 30 due date as a result of operational and systems contraints relating to COVID-19 described below.

Training and Awareness

During the reporting period, the ATIP Division provided 17 training and awareness sessions to 403 participants.

There was a particular attention on ATIP training and awareness activites this year in order to inform employees of the new requirements under the Act as a result of Bill C-58. In addition to drop-in sessions open to all employees following the passing of Bill C-58, sessions were also given to various fora across the Department, including senior management and employees at all levels.

An ATIP awareness session was delivered to employees of the Minister’s Office following the appointment of a new minister in the Finance Canada portfolio in November 2019.

Two departmental orientation sessions were provided to new employees who join the Department as a means to introduce them to the activities of each Branch. These sessions provided information to 140 employees about the ATIP Division, the administration of ATIP legislation, and information management practices.

The remaining sessions were given to employees and managers within various branches of the Department on various topics, for example, the effective processing of ATIP requests, understanding legislative requirements, in addition to the provisions of exemptions and exclusions under both Acts.

Impact of COVID-19 on ATIP Operations

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the health and economic well-being of people around the world.

A sudden worldwide wave of lockdown measures, based on the guidance of public health officials, were put in place to contain the virus and save lives. In Canada, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in late January. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the global outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic.

Like other workplaces across Canada, the Government of Canada implemented exceptional workplace measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 and protect federal employees and the public. From March 16 to March 31 (and beyond the end of the reporting period), the Department of Finance and other institutions were operating with significantly reduced on-site workforces, with most employees asked to work remotely. As a result, the Department’s ability to meet the legislated timelines under the Access to Information Act was significantly constrained, resulting in delays in responding to requests.

Given the nature of the work processes and reliance on physical files stored in the workplace and systems limitations, operations within the ATIP Division were halted for the last remaining weeks of March 2020 and part of the first quarter of 2020-2021. During this period, efforts were focused on informing ATIP stakeholders and clients of the Department’s reduced operational capacity caused by the exceptional measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. For example, email communications were sent to requesters and a notice was posted on the Department’s web site. The Division also provided advice and guidance to other ATIP offices with respect to communicating with stakeholders and other operational considerations. In the first quarter of 2020-2021, ATIP Division modernized its work processes, resulting in an end-to-end digital paperless delivery model permitting the resumption of ATIP activities. These activities will be discussed in the 2020-2021 annual report.

Incoming requests were also tracked and logged during this period. The Department received seven requests between March 16 and March 31, 2020, and was able to respond to one of them by the by the end of the fiscal year. The remaining six were carried over forward to the next fiscal year.

Delegation of Authority

The delegation of authority approved on December 1, 2015, provides the authority to approve or deny the release of departmental information requested under the Act.This is shared by the Deputy Minister, the Associate Deputy Minister, the Assistant Deputy Ministers, General Directors, Executive Directors, Senior Director of Communications Policy, the Access to Information and Privacy Director, ATIP Team Leaders and Senior ATIP Analysts to sign off on more administrative matters. Generally, the ATIP Director approves all exemptions.

DESIGNATION / DÉLÉGATION

ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT / LOI SUR L’ACCÈS À L’INFORMATION

Access to Information Act Designation Order

The Minister of Finance Canada, pursuant to section 73 of the Access to Information Act, hereby designates the persons holding the positions set out in the schedule hereto, or the persons occupying on an acting basis those positions, to exercise the powers, duties and functions of the Minister as the head of the Department of Finance, under the provisions of the Act and related regulations set out in the schedule opposite each position.

This designation replaces all previous delegation orders.

Arrêté sur la délégation en vertu de la Loi sur l’accès à l’information

En vertu de l'article 73 de la Loi sur l'accès à l'information, le ministre des Finances Canada délègue aux titulaires des postes mentionnés à l'annexe ci-après, ainsi qu'aux personnes occupant à titre intérimaire lesdits postes, les attributions dont [il ou elle] est, en qualité de responsable du Ministère des Finances, investi[e] par les dispositions de la Loi ou de son règlement mentionnées en regard de chaque poste.

Le présent document remplace et annule tout arrêté antérieur.

Dated in Ottawa on this 1st day
of December, 2015

Fait à Ottawa en ce 1erjour
de décembre 2015

Original signed by:


Minister of Finance Canada/
Le ministre des Finances Canada

SCHEDULE 1 Designation Order—Access to Information Act
Powers, duties, or functions Section Deputy Minister Associate Deputy Minister Associate Deputy Minister and G7 Deputy for Canada Senior Assistant Deputy Ministers
Assistant Deputy Ministers
Chief of Audit and Head of Evaluation
General Directors
Executive Directors
Senior Director, Communications Policy
Director, ATIP ATIP Team Leaders, Senior ATIP Analysts
Responsibility of government institutions 4(2.1) No No No No Yes Yes
Notice when access requested 7(a) No No No No Yes Yes
Giving access to record 7(b) No No No No Yes Yes
Transfer of request to another government institution 8(1) No No No No Yes Yes
Extension of time limits 9 No No No No Yes Yes
Additional fees 11(2), (3), (4), (5), (6) No No No No Yes Yes
Language of access 12(2)(b) No No No No Yes Yes
Access in an alternative format 12(3)(b) No No No No Yes Yes
Exemption - Information obtained in confidence 13 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Exemption - Federal-provincial affairs 14 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Exemption - International affairs and defence 15 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Exemption - Law enforcement and investigations 16 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Exemption - Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act 16.5 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Exemption - Safety of individuals 17 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Exemption - Economic interests of Canada 18 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Exemption - Economic interest of the Canada Post Corporation, Export Development Canada, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board and VIA Rail Canada Inc. 18.1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Exemption - Personal information 19 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Exemption - Third-party information 20 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Exemption - Operations of Government 21 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Exemption - Testing procedures, tests and audits 22 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Exemption - Audit working papers and draft audit reports 22.1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Exemption - Solicitor-client privilege 23 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Exemption - Statutory prohibitions 24 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Severability 25 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Exception - Information to be published 26 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Third-party notification 27(1), (4) No No No No Yes Yes
Third-party notification 28(1)(b), (2), (4) No No No No Yes Yes
Where the Information Commissioner recommends disclosure 29(1) No No No No Yes Yes
Advising Information Commissioner of third-party involvement 33 No No No No Yes Yes
Right to make representations 35(2)(b) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Access to be given to complainant 37(4) No No No No Yes Yes
Notice to third party (application to Federal Court for review) 43(1) No No No No Yes Yes
Notice to applicant (application to Federal Court by third party) 44(2) No No No No Yes Yes
Special rules for hearings 52(2)(b), (3) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Facilities for inspection of manuals 71(1) No No No No Yes Yes
Annual report to Parliament 72 No No No No Yes Yes
Access to Information Regulations No No No No No No No
Transfer of request 6(1) No No No No Yes Yes
Search and preparation fees 7(2) No No No No Yes Yes
Production and programming fees 7(3) No No No No Yes Yes
Providing access to record(s) 8 No No No No Yes Yes
Limitations in respect of format 8.1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Information Holdings

All government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act publish an inventory of their information holdings as well as relevant details about personal information under their control. The information can assist individuals in making an access to information or personal information request, or in exercising their privacy rights.

A description of the Department’s programs, activities, and information holdings, including its classes of records and personal information banks can be found in Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information.

Some programs and activities, such as human resources and financial management, are common to most government institutions. These are known as internal services and they involve the following types of information:

Interpretation of the Statistical Report (Annex A)

Part 1 – Requests under the Access to Information Act

Number of Formal Requests

The number of formal requests received in this reporting period was 744, a 56.8% decrease from the 1,724 formal requests received the previous reporting year. The total number of requests considered was 1,142 as 398 requests remained outstanding from 2018-2019. By the end of 2019‑2020, 794 requests were completed and 348 were carried forward to 2020-2021.

This is the first time in more than five years where the number of new requests decreased. Although there was a substantial reduction compared to the previous fiscal year, the five‑year trend in Table 1 (Overview of Access to Information Act Requests) illustrates that 2018-2019 saw an abnormally large number of requests. Although 2019-2020 also shows a decrease compared to two years prior, it is not as significant a drop as period to the previous one, the number of pages processed corresponds to a much smaller reduction, 13.9%, versus the 56.8% decrease in volume of files.

The decrease might be associated with the passing of Bill C-58, which saw all government institutions required to post their briefing note lists on the Open Government web site, having a distilling effect on the Department of Finance Canada who had adopted this practice before it was required by legislation. With a number of institutions posting their titles for the first time, requesters had a larger pool of briefing notes from which to select. Another perhaps less significant factor might be the timing of the pandemic, which resulted in an observed decrease in requests submitted in the last two weeks of March 2020 (seven requests during that two‑week period compared to an average of 45 requests every two weeks in the previous ten weeks).

2019-2020 was also the first time in more than five years where the Department completed more requests than it received.

Table 1 illustrates a five-year trend.

Table 1
Overview of Access to Information Act Requests
Fiscal Year New Requests Received Requests Completed Number of Pages Processed Number of Pages Released On-Time Compliance Rate %
2019-2020 744 794 52,558 21,921 78.0%
2018-2019 1,724 1,598 61,009 30,623 84.3%
2017-2018 913 874 63,838 32,039 83.9%
2016-2017 839 780 96,174 43,685 83.8%
2015-2016 622 560 36,710 21,163 92.5%

Other Requests

In 2018-2019, the Department received 473 informal requests; this reporting year, the Department received 365 informal requests, a 22.8% decrease.

In 2018-2019, the Department received 332 consultations from other government institutions and organizations on matters of interest to the Department. This reporting year, the Department received 400, a 20.5% increase. The total number of consultations considered was 488 as 88 remained outstanding from 2018-2019. By the end of 2019-2020, 445 consultations were completed and 43 were carried forward to 2020-2021.

Table 2 illustrates a five-year trend of the total number of received formal Access to Information Act requests, Privacy Act requests, informal requests, and consultations received from other government institutions and organizations. Similar to the trend observed in Table 1 for Access to Information Act requests, 2018-2019 was an abnormal year. Compared to the other years, the workload in 2019-2020 was not substantially reduced.

Table 2
ATIP Division Overall Caseload
Fiscal Year Overall Caseload Increase/Decrease from Previous Reporting Period
2019-2020 1,523 (40.3%)
2018-2019 2,550 53.4%
2017-2018 1,662 4.1%
2016-2017 1,594 64.4%
2015-2016 969 (21.7%*)

Sources of Requests

The greatest change seen in 2019-2020 in sources of requests were in the number of requests received from requestors in the Media and Business categories and those choosing to decline to identify their category of requestor:

Source 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
Media 275 879 374
Academia 15 27 12
Business 297 435 124
Organization 28 19 39
Public 132 116 99
Decline to Identify 166 248 96
Total 913 1724 744

Part 2 – Decline to act on vexatious, made in bad faith or abuse of right requests

Number of Requests

The Department of Finance did not decline to act on any requests in 2019-2020.

Part 3 – Requests Closed During the Reporting Period

Disposition of Requests

The following table indicates the disposition of the 794 requests completed during this reporting period:

Disposition Number of Requests Percentage of Requests
All disclosed 57 7.2%
Disclosed in part 559 70.4%
All exempted 9 1.1%
All excluded 32 4.0%
No records exist 110 13.9%
Request transferred 6 0.8%
Request abandoned 21 2.6%
Neither confirmed or denied 0 0%
Decline to act 0 0%
Total 794 100.00%

The following is a comparison of the disposition of requests completed for the last three reporting periods:

Disposition 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
All disclosed 61 124 57
Disclosed in part 597 1,180 559
All exempted 10 6 9
All excluded 17 80 32
No records exist 135 140 110
Request transferred 18 10 6
Request abandoned 36 58 21
Neither confirmed or denied 0 0 0
Decline to act N/A N/A 0
Completed 874 1,598 794

Completion Time

Six hundred and ninety-one (87.0%) of the 794 requests were closed within six months or less, with 245 of these requests (30.9% of the total) having received a response within 30 days, 177 of them (22.3%) requiring between 31 and 60 days, 202 requests (25.4%) requiring between 61 and 120 days, and 67 requests (8.4%), between 121 and 180 days.

One hundred and three requests (13.0%) required 181 days or more. Requests requiring more than six months to complete usually involve large numbers of documents that require extensive internal consultations, consultations with third parties and, often, consultations with other government institutions. Given the nature of the work done by the Department, consultations must be conducted with other federal government institutions on many of its requests and completion time is consequently impacted by the amount of time required of the other institutions to respond to those consultations.

Exemptions Invoked

In 2019-2020, the Department invoked a total of 2,154 exemptions pursuant to specific sections of the Act (more than one exemption can be applied to a specific request).

These exemptions were as follows:

Section of the Act Description of the Exemptions Number of Times Exemptions Applied
Section 13 Information obtained in confidence from other governments 68
Section 14 Federal-provincial affairs 192
Section 15 International affairs and defence 105
Section 16 Law enforcement and investigations 196
Section 17 Safety of individuals 1
Section 18 Economic interests of Canada 206
Section 19 Personal information 119
Section 20 Third party information 235
Section 21 Operations of government 969
Section 22 Testing procedures, tests and audits 3
Section 23 Solicitor-client privilege 43
Section 24 Statutory prohibitions 15
Section 26 Information to be published 2

Exclusions Cited

The Access to Information Act does not apply to information that is already publicly available, such as government publications and material in libraries and museums. It also excludes material such as Cabinet confidences. Consistent with the Act, exclusions were invoked 748 times: 32 for information that could be found in the public domain, available for purchase or found in a library and 716 times under section 69 for confidences of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada. Because the Department is responsible for preparing the federal Budget and develops legislation and associated policies, it has a large number of documents classified as Cabinet confidences.

Format of Information Released

Records were provided to applicants in 616 cases, 75 of those (12.2%) in paper format and 541 (87.8%) electronically. No applicants asked to view the records as opposed to receiving a copy.

Complexity

Four hundred and sixty-one requests processed by the Department in 2019-2020 involved complex issues which required the need to consult with several other government institutions and/or third parties. Fifteen files had an added level of complexity in that legal advice was sought. The number of pages in any given file is also a factor in the length of time it takes to complete a file. This year saw five files which contained more than 1,000 pages, with the largest comprising 4,020 pages.

Deemed Refusals

Of the 794 requests completed this fiscal year, 619 (78.0%) were closed on time, a decrease from 2018-2019’s 84.3%, owing in large part to the number of older requests outstanding from the previous reporting period that were completed in 2019-2020.

The remaining 175 requests were closed after the statutory deadline for various reasons including consultations, both external and internal, workload pressures and shortage of staff. In 136 instances, extensions of the statutory time limit had been claimed but the files were nonetheless late, due mainly to the volume of pages processed and the consultations both external and internal. In the other 39 instances, no extension of the statutory deadline was taken.

Table 3 provides the completion time for the 175 requests closed past the statutory deadline in 2019-2020.

Table 3
Requests Closed Past the Statutory Deadline
Number of Requests Completion Time After the Deadline
41 within 1 to 15 days
17 within 16 to 30 days
21 within 31 to 60 days
29 within 61 to 120 days
13 within 121 to 180 days
24 within 181 to 365 days
30 more than 365 days

Translations

No requests for translations were received.

Part 4 – Extensions

Subsection 9(1) of the ATI Act sets out circumstances under which the initial 30-day time limit for response may be extended. Extensions may be taken for the following reasons:

During 2019-2020, the Department claimed 157 extensions under s. 9(1)(a) due to the volume of records and interference with government operations, versus 207 the previous fiscal year. Third party notifications required 75 extensions under s. 9(1)(c), down slightly from 89. This is in part due to the increase of requests for processing individual briefing notes.

Two hundred and two extensions for consultations on Confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council and 178 extensions for other types of consultations, for a total of 380 extensions claimed under s. 9(1)(b). Extensions for consultations down from the 615 extensions taken in 2018-2019.

Part 5 – Fees and Service Fees Act

As previously noted, only the $5.00 application can be charged when processing Access to Information Act requests.

The Service Fees Act requires a responsible authority to report annually to Parliament on the fees collected by the institution.

With respect to fees collected under the Access to Information Act, the information below is reported in accordance with the requirements of section 20 of the Service Fees Act:

Part 6 – Consultations Received from Other Institutions and Organizations

The Department received a total of 400 consultations from other government institutions and organizations this reporting year, carried over 88 from the previous fiscal year, and closed 445.

Of the 445 consultations that were completed in 2019-2020, the Department responded to 248 (55.7%) in 30 days or less; 89 (20.0%) were responded to in 31 to 60 days, 59 (13.3%) required 61 to 120 days, and 47 (10.6%) required mor than 121 days to complete.

Part 7 – Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences

The departmental Legal Services Unit responded to 223 consultations to confirm whether documents were Cabinet Confidences. All but five consultations were responded to within 120 days.

No consultations on Cabinet confidences were forwarded to the Privy Council Office.

Part 8 – Complaints/Investigations/Audits

There were 49 complaints lodged against the Department received during the reporting period:

The Office of the Information Commissioner rendered 43 findings this year:

None of the Information Commissioner’s investigations raised any specific issues or concerns with respect to the Department’s handling of these requests and no further action was required of the Department.

No audits were initiated or concluded this fiscal year.

Part 9 – Appeals to the Federal Court of Canada

No appeals to the Federal Court were made in this reporting period.

Part 10 – Resources Related to the Access to Information Act

Administration of the Act cost the Department $1,285,733 this reporting year. Costs incurred in the reporting period include the salaries of ATIP staff and the administrative expenses associated with administration of the Act. Costs do not include salaries of other departmental personnel involved in processing requests.

Monitoring Compliance

In addition to producing statistics on branch performance across the Department, the ATIP Division continues to send targeted reports showing lists of outstanding branch actions related to Access to Infromation Act requests and consultations from other government departments. These statistics are shared on a weekly basis with senior management, branch ATIP contacts, the Deputy Minister’s Office and the Ministers’ Offices.

The ATIP Division also updated senior management throughout the fiscal year with a focus on departmental performance, current ATIP activities and implementation of Bill C-58.

ANNEX A
Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act

(including Supplemental Statistical Report – Requests affected by COVID-19 measures)

Section 1: Requests Under the Access to Information Act

1.1 Number of requests
Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 744
Outstanding from previous reporting period 398
Total 1,142
Closed during reporting period 794
Carried over to next reporting period 348
1.2 Sources of requests
Source Number of Requests
Media 374
Academia 12
Business (private sector) 124
Organization 39
Public 99
Decline to Identify 96
Total 744
1.3 Informal requests
Completion Time
1 to 15 Days 16 to 30 Days 31 to 60 Days 61 to 120 Days 121 to 180 Days 181 to 365 Days More Than 365 Days Total
359 5 1 0 0 0 0 365

Note: All requests previously recorded as “treated informally” will now be accounted for in this section only.

Section 2: Decline to act on vexatious, made in bad faith or abuse of right requests

Number of Requests
Outstanding from previous reporting period 0
Sent during reporting period 0
Total 0
Approved by the Information Commissioner during reporting period 0
Declined by the Information Commissioner during reporting period 0
Carried over to next reporting period 0

Section 3: Requests Closed During the Reporting Period

3.1 Disposition and completion time
Disposition of Requests Completion Time
1 to 15 Days 16 to 30 Days 31 to 60 Days 61 to 120 Days 121 to 180 Days 181 to 365 Days More Than 365 Days Total
All disclosed 4 18 20 13 1 1 0 57
Disclosed in part 55 67 121 166 62 42 46 559
All exempted 0 3 2 2 0 2 0 9
All excluded 5 0 8 14 2 3 0 32
No records exist 30 46 25 6 1 2 0 110
Request transferred 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
Request abandoned 8 3 1 1 1 1 6 21
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Decline to act with the approval of the Information Commisioner 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 108 137 177 202 67 51 52 794
3.2 Exemptions
Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests
* I.A.: International Affairs * Def.: Defence of Canada * S.A.: Subversive Activities
13(1)(a) 19 16(2) 21 18(a) 27 20.1 0
13(1)(b) 12 16(2)(a) 0 18(b) 62 20.2 0
13(1)(c) 29 16(2)(b) 0 18(c) 4 20.4 0
13(1)(d) 0 16(2)(c) 163 18(d) 102 21(1)(a) 440
13(1)(e) 8 16(3) 0 18.1(1)(a) 1 21(1)(b) 408
14 80 16.1(1)(a) 0 18.1(1)(b) 10 21(1)(c) 87
14(a) 51 16.1(1)(b) 0 18.1(1)(c) 0 21(1)(d) 34
14(b) 61 16.1(1)(c) 0 18.1(1)(d) 0 22 3
15(1) 64 16.1(1)(d) 0 19(1) 119 22.1(1) 0
15(1) - I.A.* 33 16.2(1) 0 20(1)(a) 9 23 43
15(1) - Def.* 7 16.3 0 20(1)(b) 134 23.1 0
15(1) - S.A.* 1 16.31 0 20(1)(b.1) 0 24(1) 15
16(1)(a)(i) 1 16.4(1)(a) 0 20(1)(c) 63 26 2
16(1)(a)(ii) 0 16.4(1)(b) 0 20(1)(d) 29
16(1)(a)(iii) 3 16.5 0
16(1)(b) 0 16.6 0
16(1)(c) 8 17 1
16(1)(d) 0
3.3 Exclusions
Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests
68(a) 32 69(1) 3 69(1)(g) re (a) 123
68(b) 0 69(1)(a) 29 69(1)(g) re (b) 0
68(c) 0 69(1)(b) 0 69(1)(g) re (c) 111
68.1 0 69(1)(c) 11 69(1)(g) re (d) 62
68.2(a) 0 69(1)(d) 29 69(1)(g) re (e) 179
68.2(b) 0 69(1)(e) 97 69(1)(g) re (f) 59
69(1)(f) 13 69.1(1) 0
3.4 Format of information released
Paper Electronic Other
75 541 0

3.5 Complexity

3.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Number of Pages Processed Number of Pages Disclosed Number of Requests
52,558 21,921 678
3.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
Disposition Less Than 100 Pages Processed 101-500 Pages Processed 501-1000 Pages Processed 1001-5000 Pages Processed More Than 5000 Pages Processed
Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed
All disclosed 55 607 2 312 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 467 6,940 74 8,927 13 2,921 5 2,202 0 0
All exempted 8 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 26 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 21 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 577 7,559 82 9,239 14 2,921 5 2,202 0 0
3.5.3 Other complexities
Disposition Consultation Required Assessment of Fees Legal Advice Sought Other Total
All disclosed 28 0 1 0 29
Disclosed in part 396 0 14 0 410
All exempted 4 0 0 0 4
All excluded 31 0 0 0 31
Request abandoned 2 0 0 0 2
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0
Total 461 0 15 0 476

3.6 Closed requests

3.6.1 Number of requests closed within legislated timelines
Requests closed within legislated timelines
Number of requests closed within legislated timelines 619
Percentage of requests closed within legislated timelines (%) 78

3.7 Deemed refusals

3.7.1 Reasons for not meeting legislated timelines
Number of Requests Closed Past the Legislated Timelines Principal Reason
Interference with Operations / Workload External Consultation Internal Consultation Other
175 91 22 30 32
3.7.2 Requests closed beyond legislated timelines (including any extension taken)
Number of Days Past Legislated Timelines Number of Requests Past Legislated Timeline Where No Extension Was Taken Number of Requests Past Legislated Timeline Where an Extension Was Taken Total
1 to 15 days 14 27 41
16 to 30 days 4 13 17
31 to 60 days 1 20 21
61 to 120 days 9 20 29
121 to 180 days 3 10 13
181 to 365 days 2 22 24
More than 365 days 6 24 30
Total 39 136 175
3.8 Requests for translation
Translation Requests Accepted Refused Total
English to French 0 0 0
French to English 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0

Section 4: Extensions

4.1  Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests
Disposition of Requests Where an Extension Was Taken 9(1)(a)
Interference With Operations
9(1)(b) Consultation 9(1)(c)
Third-Party Notice
Section 69 Other
All disclosed 8 2 15 9
Disclosed in part 123 160 157 58
All exempted 3 4 0 1
All excluded 4 23 3 1
No records exist 13 9 0 1
Request abandoned 6 4 3 5
Total 157 202 178 75
4.2 Length of extensions
Length of Extensions 9(1)(a)
Interference With Operations
9(1)(b) Consultation 9(1)(c)
Third-Party Notice
Section 69 Other
30 days or less 86 1 24 6
31 to 60 days 35 4 83 49
61 to 120 days 31 191 65 17
121 to 180 days 2 5 4 2
181 to 365 days 3 1 2 1
365 days or more 0 0 0 0
Total 157 202 178 75

Section 5: Fees

Fee Type Fee Collected Fee Waived or Refunded
Number of Requests Amount Number of Requests Amount
Application 476 $2,380 317 $1,585
Other fees 0 $0 0 $0
Total 476 $2,380 317 $1,585

Section 6: Consultations Received From Other Institutions and Organizations

6.1  Consultations received from other Government of Canada institutions and organizations
Consultations Other Government of Canada Institutions Number of Pages to Review Other Organizations Number of Pages to Review
Received during reporting period 398 11,450 2 121
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 87 2,158 1 2
Total 485 13,608 3 123
Closed during the reporting period 443 11,599 2 15
Carried over to next reporting period 42 2,009 1 108
6.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other Government of Canada institutions
Recommendation Number of Days Required to Complete Consultation Requests
1 to 15 Days 16 to 30 Days 31 to 60 Days 61 to 120 Days 121 to 180 Days 181 to 365 Days More Than 365 Days Total
Disclose entirely 99 62 46 44 31 15 0 297
Disclose in part 18 50 42 13 1 0 0 124
Exempt entirely 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Exclude entirely 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Consult other institution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 14 2 1 2 0 0 0 19
Total 131 117 89 59 32 15 0 443
6.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations
Recommendation Number of Days Required to Complete Consultation Requests
1 to 15 Days 16 to 30 Days 31 to 60 Days 61 to 120 Days 121 to 180 Days 181 to 365 Days More Than 365 Days Total
Disclose entirely 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Disclose in part 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Exempt entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2

Section 7: Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences

7.1 Requests with Legal Services
Number of Days Fewer Than 100 Pages Processed 101-500 Pages Processed 501-1000 Pages Processed 1001-5000 Pages Processed More Than 5000 Pages Processed
Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed
1 to 15 75 546 5 127 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 64 390 11 337 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 44 345 5 44 0 0 1 29 0 0
61 to 120 10 71 2 67 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 2 7 1 23 0 0 1 21 0 0
181 to 365 1 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 1 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 197 1385 24 598 0 0 2 50 0 0
7.2 Requests with Privy Council Office
Number of Days Fewer Than 100 Pages Processed 101‒500 Pages Processed 501-1000 Pages Processed 1001-5000 Pages Processed More Than 5000 Pages Processed
Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed
1 to 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Section 8: Complaints and investigations

Section 32 Notice of intention to investigate Subsection 30(5) Ceased to investigate Section 35 Formal representations Section 37 Reports of finding received Section 37 Reports of finding containing recommendations issued by the Information Commissioner Section 37 Reports of finding containing orders issued by the Information Commissioner
49 0 1 43 0 0

Section 9: Court Action

9.1 Court actions on complaints received before June 21, 2019 and on-going
Section 41 (before June 21, 2019) Section 42 Section 44
0 0 0
9.2 Court actions on complaints received after June 21, 2019
Section 41 (after June 21, 2019)
Complainant (1) Institution (2) Third Party (3) Privacy Commissioner (4) Total
0 0 0 0 0

Section 10: Resources Related to the Access to Information Act

10.1  Costs
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $1,250,999
Overtime $0
Goods and Services $34,734
   • Professional services contracts $0
   • Other $34,734
Total $1,285,733
10.2  Human Resources
Resources Person Years Dedicated to Access to Information Activities
Full-time employees 15.73
Part-time and casual employees 0.50
Regional staff 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 0.00
Students 0.79
Total 17.02

Note: Enter values to two decimal places.

2019-2020 Supplemental Statistical Report – Requests affected by COVID-19 measures

In addition to completing the forms for the Statistical Reports on the ATIA and Privacy Act for 2019-20, institutions are asked to complete this Supplemental Report to help identify the impact of COVID-19 measures on institutional performance for 2019-20 and going forward. The data requirements are set out in the tables below.

Supplemental Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act

The following table reports the total number of formal requests received during two periods; 2019-04-01 to 2020-03-13 and 2020-03-14 to 2020-03-31.

Table 1 - Requests Received
Column (Col.) 1
Number of requests
1 – Total for Row 3 should equal the total in the ATI Statistical Report section 1.1 Row 1
Row 1 Received from 2019-04-01 to 2020-03-13 737
Row 2 Received from 2020-03-14 to 2020-03-31 7
Row 3 Total1 744

The following table reports the total number of requests closed within the legislated timelines and the number of closed requests that were deemed refusals during two periods 2019-04-01 to 2020-03-13 and 2020-03-14 to 2020-03-31.

Table 2 - Requests Closed
Col. 1 Col. 2
Number of requests closed within the legislated timelines Number of requests closed past the legislated timelines
2 – Total for Row 3 Col. 1 should equal the total in the ATI Statistical Report section 3.6.1 Row 1 -- Total for Row 3 Col. 2 should equal the total in the ATI Statistical Report section 3.7.1. Col. 1 Row 1
Row 1 Received from 2019-04-01 to 2020-03-13 and outstanding from previous reporting periods 618 175
Row 2 Received from 2020-03-14 to 2020-03-31 1 0
Row 3 Total2 619 175

The following table reports the total number of requests carried over during two periods; 2019-04-01 to 2020-03-13 and 2020-03-14 to 2020-03-31.

Table 3 - Requests Carried Over
Col. 1
Number of requests
3 – Total for Row 3 should equal the total in the ATI Statistical Report section 1.1 Row 5
Row 1 Requests received from 2019-04-01 to 2020-03-13 and outstanding from previous reporting period that were carried over to the 2020-2021 reporting period 342
Row 2 Requests received from 2020-03-14 to 2020-03-31 that were carried over to the 2020-2021 reporting period 6
Row 3 Total3 348
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: