2020-2021 Annual Report to Parliament – Administration of the Access to Information Act – DND

Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces

1. Introduction

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are pleased to present to Parliament their annual report on the administration of the Access to Information ActFootnote 1 (ATI Act). Section 94 of the ATI Act requires the head of every federal government institution to submit an annual report to Parliament on the administration of the Act each financial year. This report describes National Defence activities that support compliance with the Act for the Fiscal Year commencing 1 April 2020 and ending 31 March 2021.

1.1 Purpose of the Access to Information Act

The purpose of the ATI Act is to enhance the accountability and transparency of federal institutions in order to promote an open and democratic society and to enable public debate on the conduct of those institutions. In furtherance of that purpose:

Back to top

2. Access to Information and Privacy at National Defence

2.1 Mandate of National Defence

Who we are

The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) make up the largest federal government department. Under Canada’s defence policy, the Defence Team will grow to over 125,000 personnel, including 71,500 Regular Force members, 30,000 Reserve Force members and 25,000 civilian employees.

What we do

DND and the CAF have complementary roles to play in providing advice and support to the Minister of National Defence, and implementing Government decisions regarding the defence of Canadian interests at home and abroad.

At any given time, the Government of Canada can call upon the CAF to undertake missions for the protection of Canada and Canadians and to maintain international peace and stability.

Canada’s defence policy presents a strategic vision for defence: Strong, Secure, Engaged.Footnote 2 This is a vision in which Canada is:

Strong at home, with a military ready and able to defend its sovereignty, and to assist in times of natural disaster, support search and rescue, or respond to other emergencies.

Secure in North America, active in a renewed defence partnership in the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and with the United States to monitor and defend continental airspace and ocean areas.

Engaged in the world, with the Canadian Armed Forces doing its part in Canada’s contributions to a more stable, peaceful world, including through peace support operations and peacekeeping.

The National Defence Act (NDA) establishes DND and the CAF as separate entities, operating within an integrated National Defence Headquarters as they pursue their primary responsibility of providing defence for Canada and Canadians.

2.2 National Defence organization

Senior leadership

The Governor General of Canada is the Commander-in-Chief of Canada. DND is headed by the Minister of National Defence. The Associate Minister of National Defence supports the Minister of National Defence. The Deputy Minister of National Defence is the Department’s senior civil servant. The CAF are headed by the Chief of the Defence Staff, Canada’s senior serving officer. These senior leaders each have different responsibilities:

Defence organization

The National Defence organizational structure is represented in the diagram below. Additional information about the National Defence organization is available online.Footnote 3

Figure 1 : National Defence Organization Chart

2.3 The Directorate of Access to Information and Privacy

Delegation of authority

In accordance with section 95(1) of the Access to Information Act, a delegation of authority, signed by the Minister, designates the Deputy Minister, Corporate Secretary, Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Director, and ATIP Deputy Directors to exercise all powers and functions of the Minister, as the head of institution under the Act. It also designates other specific powers and functions to employees within the Directorate Access to Information and Privacy (DAIP).

Under the authority of the Corporate Secretary, the ATIP Director administers and coordinates the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, and acts as the departmental ATIP Coordinator. In the administration of the Act, the ATIP Directorate seeks advice on legal, public affairs, policy, and operational security matters from other organizations and specialists as required.

A copy of the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act Designation Order is provided at Annex A.

The ATIP Directorate

The ATIP Directorate is responsible for matters regarding access to information and privacy protection within the National Defence portfolio, except in the case of the following organizations: the Military Police Complaints Commission, the Military Grievances External Review Committee, the Communications Security Establishment, the Office of the National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman, the Office of the Chief Military Judge and the Director of Defence Counsel Services, and the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services.

The Director Access to Information and Privacy is managed by an Executive Director and supported by a Chief of Operations position that oversees ATI Operations from intake to disclosure.

The Chief of Operations centralizes all activities with access to information. It ensures consistency across teams, performs quality assurance activities for data and compliance to processes, tracks performance as well as monitoring for the identification of trends and horizontal issues. The ATIP Intake team, Systems Liaison Team and ATI Operations teams report to the Chief of Operations. The Chief of Operations, Privacy Operations, Policy and Governance Team and the Chief of Staff report to the Executive Director.

The Directorate’s ATIP program management workforce is divided functionally into four main areas, and supported by Defence organization liaison officers, as illustrated in the diagram at FIGURE 2.

Figure 2: National Defence ATIP Operational Workforce

Figure 2: Long description

National Defence ATIP operational workforce

ATIP Intake receive requests from outside of the Department, send tasking notices to request records from National Defence organizations and prepare records for review.

ATI Operations process access to information requests, conduct line-by-line review of records, consult other parties for disclosure recommendations and apply Access to Information Act provisions.

ATI Liaison Officers is a role performed within each of the organizations identified in the National Defence organization chart.  This role supports the ATIP program by coordinating the ATI activities for their respective groups.

Privacy Operations process personal information requests, conduct line-by-line review of records, apply Privacy Act provisions, process requests for disclosures in the public interest and retain records of disclosures to investigative bodies.

Policy and Governance provides strategic advice and issues management support, develop policy instruments, deliver training and awareness program, perform data analysis and report on program performance, manage privacy incident response process, and conduct privacy risk assessments.

The Privacy Liaison Officers is a role performed within each of the organizations identified in the National Defence organization chart.  This role supports the ATIP program by coordinating the privacy incident response activities for their respective groups.

The ATIP Directorate is supported by a Systems Liaison Team that maintains the ATIP application system/database and provide technical support to members of the team. A corporate services team assures the administrative and management functions of the directorate that include business planning, financial management, human resources, physical security, and information and records management (IM/RM).

In response to a key National Defence priority, The ATIP Directorate provides a supporting role to the Departmental Litigation Oversight- Litigation Implementation Team. This unit performs an ATIP-like review of records in support of class action settlements such as the LBGT Class Action and Sexual Misconduct Class Action settlements.

Back to top

3. Highlights of the Satistical report

The statistical report at Annex B consists of data submitted by National Defence as part of the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) annual collection of ATIP-related statistics. The following sections contain highlights, trends and an analysis of notable statistical data from a departmental perspective.

3.1 Requests received

In Fiscal Year 2020-21, DND/CAF received 2,028 new ATI requests, a 2.8% increase in requests from the previous reporting period. Combined with a carry-over of 1,271 files from Fiscal Year 2019-20, this represents a total ATI workload of 3,299 requests during this reporting period. The number of request files carried over increased from 1,013 requests in Fiscal Year 2019-20 to 1,271 in the current reporting period.

Figure 3: ATI request workload (Last five years)

Figure 3: Long description

Access to Information Request workload

In 2016-2017, 2838 requests were received, 673 requests were carried over from the previous reporting period. A combined workload of 3511 requests.

In 2017-2018, 2055 requests were received, 1279 requests were carried over from the previous reporting period. A combined workload of 3334 requests.

In 2018-2019, 2275 requests were received, 1256 requests were carried over from the previous reporting period. A combined workload of 3531 requests.

In 2019-2020, 1972 requests were received, 1013 requests were carried over from the previous reporting period. A combined workload of 2985 requests.

In 2020-2021, 2028 requests were received, 1271 requests were carried over from the previous reporting period. A combined workload of 3299 requests.

Sources of requests

The general public remains the largest source of requests, accounting for over half of all requests received. The remaining sources of requests were more evenly distributed across the remaining categories than noted in previous reporting periods.

Figure 4: Sources of requests received (FY 2020-21)

Figure 4: Long description

Sources of Requests Received

211 requests were received from Media

209 requests were received from Academia and Organizations

233 requests were received from Business (Private Sector)

1034 requests were received from the Public

341 requests were received where the source decline to identify

3.2 Requests completed

A total of 1,888 requests were completed during the reporting period, 197 more requests than in Fiscal Year 2019-20 representing an 11.6% increase. The total pages processed also increased by 29,716 which represents an increase of 14.6% as depicted in FIGURE 5.

One request was completed during Fiscal Year 2020-21 in which National Defence neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the records, in accordance with subsection 10(2) of the ATI Act. National Defence only invokes this provision in those limited circumstances where the mere confirmation of a record’s existence (or non-existence) would reveal information that could be protected under the ATIA. Typically, these situations relate to the defence of Canada or the possible disclosure of personal information.

Figure 5: Disposition of Requests Completed and Total Requests Completed (Last Five Years)

Figure 5: Long Description

Disposition of Request Completed and Total Requests Closed

In 2016-2017, 353 were all disclosed, 823 were disclosed in part, 50 where nothing was disclosed, 338 were transferred or does not exist, and 668 were abandoned.  A total of 2232 requests were closed.

In 2017-2018, 285 were all disclosed, 773 were disclosed in part, 29 where nothing was disclosed, 405 were transferred or does not exist, and 590 were abandoned.  A total of 2082 requests were closed.

In 2018-2019, 344 were all disclosed, 1047 were disclosed in part, 61 where nothing was disclosed, 349 were transferred or does not exist, and 717 were abandoned.  A total of 2518 requests were closed.

In 2019-2020, 164 were all disclosed, 449 were disclosed in part, 30 where nothing was disclosed, 386 were transferred or does not exist and 662 were abandoned. A total of 1691 requests were closed.

In 2020-2021, 181 were all disclosed, 504 were disclosed in part, 23 where nothing was disclosed, 519 were transferred or does not exist and 661 were abandoned. A total of 1888 requests were closed.

A number of requests (492) were abandoned within the first 15 days primarily as a result of the TBS ATIP Online Request initiative where a large number of requests for personal information were submitted under the ATI Act. These files were initially opened as ATI requests but were determined to be more appropriately administered under the Privacy Act.

Disposition: Percentage of requests all disclosed vs. disclosed in part

During the reporting period, National Defence responded to a total of 1,888 requests. A total of 9.6% of all requests were “all disclosed” (181) and 26.7% (504) were “disclosed in part”.

Figure 6: All Disclosed Vs. Disclosed in Part (Fiscal Year 2020-21)

Figure 6: Long Description

Requests All Disclosed and Disclosed in Part

504 All disclosed

181 Disclosed in part

Pages reviewed

The volume of pages reviewed continues to increase with 232,550 processed during the reporting period – representing a 14.7% increase in pages processed by the ATIP Directorate as compared to Fiscal Year 2019-20.

As represented in FIGURE 7, the number of pages reviewed represents the total processed pages for completed requests this Fiscal Year. This number does not include the number of pages processed for requests that were not completed this Fiscal Year and carried over into the next reporting period.

Figure 7: Number of Pages Reviewed for Requests Completed Where Records Existed (Last Three Years)

Figure 7: Long Description

Number of Pages Reviewed for Requests Closed, where Records Existed 

In 2018-2019, 203 685 pages reviewed for 2169 requests closed

In 2019-2020, 202 834 pages reviewed for 1305 requests closed

In 2020-2021, 232 550 pages reviewed for 1369 requests closed

Exemptions and exclusions

Consistent with previous reporting periods, in Fiscal Year 2020-21, Defence applied the majority of exemptions under the following four sections of the ATI Act:

Extensions

The ATI Act provides for extending the statutory time limits to respond to a request beyond 30 days if:

  • It involves a large number of records or requires a search through a large number of records, and meeting the original time limit would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the institution
  • External consultations are necessary and cannot reasonably be completed within the original time limit
  • Notice to a third party is required to advise them their information is the subject of a request

Figure 8: Reasons for Extension (FY 2020-21)

Figure 8: Long description

Reasons for Extension

159 extensions were taken for external consultations

58 extensions were taken for interference with operations

32 extensions were taken for third-party notice

In Fiscal Year 2020-21, 76.6% of all extensions taken for closed requests were required to conduct consultations with other bodies such as federal government institutions, provincial or municipal governments, or international organizations or governments. The majority of these extensions (75%) were for 60 days or less.

The number of extensions taken should not be interpreted as the number of files for which extensions are claimed. A single file could, and quite often does, qualify for multiple extensions. For example, a file could be extended because it has a large volume of records, and also be extended because consultations (one or multiple) are required. This appears in the statistical report as multiple extensions but only for a single file.

Completion time

The Department noted an 8.6% decrease in files closed within 30 days over the last reporting period. This reporting period 50.6% of files were closed within 30 days as compared to 59.2% closed within 30 days during the previous reporting period.

Figure 9: Request Completion Time (Last Five Years)

Figure 9: Long Description

Request Completion Time

In 2016-2017, 1061 requests were closed in 30 days or less, 335 requests were closed between 31-60 days, 363 requests were closed between 61-120 days and, 472 requests were closed in 121 days or more

In 2017-2018, 870 requests were closed in 30 days or less, 158 requests were closed between 31-60 days, 247 requests were closed between 61-120 days and, 806 requests were closed in 121 days or more

In 2018-2019, 1222 requests were closed in 30 days or less, 306 requests were closed between 31-60 days, 288 requests were closed between 61-120 days and, 702 requests were closed in 121 days or more

In 2019-2020, 1001 requests were closed in 30 days or less, 137 requests were closed between 31-60 days, 152 requests were closed between 61-120 days and 401 requests were closed in 121 days or more

In 2020-2021, 956 requests were closed in 30 days or less, 128 requests were closed between 31-60 days, 183 requests were closed between 61-120 days and 621 requests were closed in 121 days or more

On-time compliance

On-time compliance decreased in Fiscal Year 2020-21 with National Defence responding to 53% of requests within legislated timelines which represents a 13% decrease over the last reporting period where 66% of requests were closed within legislated timelines.

The most common reason for deemed refusal was “Other”, cited for over 52% of requests closed late during the reporting period. TBS defines “Other” as the unavailability of key officials, difficulties in obtaining relevant records, labour disputes or lengthy power outages. As demonstrated in FIGURE 10, the reasons contributing to late file closures in Fiscal Year 2020-21.

Figure 10: Reasons for Deemed Refusal (FY 2020-21)

Figure 10: Long Description

Reasons for Deemed Refusal

1005 requests were closed on time while 875 requests were closed late

359 requests closed late is due to workload

36 requests closed late is due to internal consultations

28 requests closed late is due to external consultation

460 requests closed late is due to other factors

Overall, Defence performance decreased during this reporting period; however, some factors affecting performance and deemed refusal rates include:

3.3 Consultations received and completed

During the reporting period, Defence received a total of 170 requests for consultation – 161 from other Government of Canada institutions and 9 from other organizations. The total workload for consultation requests decreased by 58% over Fiscal Year 2019-20.

While the number of new request for consultations received by DND decreased this fiscal year, the number of consultations DND carried over from the previous year increased. National Defence had 200 consultations pending at the end of this reporting period.

Figure 11: ATI Consultation Workload (Last Five Years)

Figure 11: Long Description

Access to Information Consultation Workload

In 2016-2017, 400 consultations were received during the reporting period, 71 were carried over, for a total of 471

In 2017-2018, 433 consultations were received during the reporting period, 116 were carried over, for a total of 544

In 2018-2019, 376 consultations were received during the reporting period, 211 were carried over, for a total of 587

In 2019-2020, 404 consultations were received during the reporting period, 176 were carried over, for a total of 580

In 2020-2021, 170 consultations were received during the reporting period, 250 were carried over, for a total of 420

3.4 Informal Requests

To support increased transparency and the principles of Open Government, National Defence encourages informal access to records wherever possible. As a result of the online posting of summaries of completed ATIA requests, National Defence continues to see an increase of informal requests for previously released information. In Fiscal Year 2020-21, National Defence responded to 433 informal requests and 322 of these were completed in 30 days or less.

Figure 12: Informal Requests (Last Five Years)

Figure 12: Long Description

Informal Requests

In 2016-2017, 252 were closed in less than 30 days and 2 in more than 30 days for a total of 254 Informal Requests

In 2017-2018, 209 were closed in less than 30 days and 8 in more than 30 days for a total of 217 Informal Requests

In 2018-2019, 251 were closed in less than 30 days and 237 in more than 30 days for a total of 488 Informal Requests

In 2019-2020, 149 were closed in less than 30 days and 97 in more than 30 days for a total of 246 Informal Request

In 2020-2021, 369 were closed in less than 30 days and 64 in more than 30 days for a total of 433 Informal Requests

Informal requests reported in this section include:

Back to top

4. COVID-19 Impacts to Access to Information Operations

On March 13, 2020 DND/CAF initiated its Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in response to the evolving COVID-19 Pandemic which continued into the Fiscal Year 20/21 reporting period. DND/CAF has played a significant role in the Government of Canada’s response to COVID-19. Operation LASERFootnote 4 is the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to save lives, assist federal, provincial and territorial partners, and maintain CAF readiness, effectiveness and resilience. Ensuring the health and well-being of employees and CAF members and supporting Operation LASER remains a key departmental priority. The Defence Team including the ATIP Directorate pivoted to alternate work arrangements and a remote work posture immediately in response to the Pandemic. Initially, remote work challenges such as limited access to Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and remote access to the ATIP redaction software as well as Office of Primary Interest (OPI) access to paper records impacted productivity and processing of ATI and Privacy requests. Remote connectivity quickly stabilized and continued to improve as the Defence Team optimized the remote work posture. Key functions within the ATIP Directorate that could only be performed physically on site such as receipt of mail, opening of new requests, scanning of paper records, urgent requests and processing of secret materials were carried out while respecting public health measures. As per TBS guidance and best practices, the ATIP Directorate contacted requesters directly to notify of potential delays in processing requests as a result of the pandemic. National Defence took proactive steps at the beginning of the pandemic and leveraged technology to enable remote work by adopting and implementing the use of e-signatures, electronic record sharing, and the use of the Canada Post epost service to limit the reliance on paper records and traditional mail. The ATIP directorate continued to expand remote access to redaction which allowed National Defence to process records classified Protected B and below. ATIP employees were supported and equipped with the tools, equipment, systems and training to conduct their work remotely.

In May 2020, the Deputy Minister and Chief of Defence Staff issued a joint directive to the Defence Team which identified key departmental priorities including the continued performance of activities mandated by legislation and regulation. The ATIP Program and adherence to legislation was included within this priority and in early June the ATIP Directorate invoked its Business Resumption Plan and resumed on-site operations with a reduced capacity while adhering to stringent public health measures to safe guard health of employees. The ATIP Directorate’s employee orientation plan and approach to resumption of on-site work was adopted across the Defence Team as a best practice and was shared with other government departments ATIP Offices.

Consistent with other ATIP offices located in the National Capital Region, National Defence was impacted by the Ontario provincial lockdowns. The limitations on the number of staff allowed physically on-site while respecting public health guidance impacted the ability to process paper records and secret material; this has resulted in a backlog of ATI and Privacy requests and impacted overall performance for Privacy requests. In spite of the constraints associated with the pandemic, National Defence reviewed more pages and closed more ATI files compared to the previous year. The innovations and improvements adopted during the pandemic have improved the overall ATIP Program and will continue to be built upon in the coming years as we continue to modernize ATIP program delivery.

Back to top

5. Complaints, audits and reviews

5.1 Complaints from the Office of the Information Commissioner

In Fiscal Year 2020-21, National Defence received a total of 61 complaints from the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) as compared to 216 received in the previous reporting period; a decrease of 71.8%. The number of well-founded complaints increased from 30 well-founded in Fiscal Year 2019-20 to 69 well founded complaints this reporting period.

Figure 13: OIC findings and nature of well-founded complaints (FY 2020-2021)

Figure 13: Long description

OIC Findings and Nature of Well-Founded Complaints

28 complaints were discontinued, settled, or resolved

69 complaints were well founded, 48 of which were administrative in nature (delays and time extensions), and 19 of which were refusal complaints (application of exemptions or possible missing records) 2 Miscellaneous

9 complaints were not well founded

Statistical reporting requirements for complaints and investigations with the OIC are noted below:

Systemic Investigation

In December 2018, the Information Commissioner initiated a systemic investigation into the DND/CAF processing of access requests during the period from January 1, 2017, to December 21, 2018.  

In January 2020, the OIC issued its Final Report of Findings to National Defence which included nine (9) areas of concerns and provided recommendations to address each of the nine areas.  The Department agreed with the recommendations and developed a comprehensive Management Action Plan (MAP) to address the findings. In her report, the Information Commissioner noted the collaboration of the Department.

The Department of National Defence’s MAP response has been adopted by other institutions as a best practice in their response to the OIC’s investigations.

To date the Department has implemented more than 75% of the MAP.

Complaints Team

The ATIP Directorate continued to operate a dedicated team to manage complaints from the OIC.  Dedicated personnel in the ATIP Directorate continued to serve as the primary point of contact for the OIC and assist in complaint-related reporting to both the OIC and DAIP Management.  Regular monthly meetings were undertaken between the OIC and the ATIP Directorate to discuss file progression.  These monthly meetings resulted in resolution of complaints and better collaboration with OIC and the ATIP Directorate.

5.2 Court decisions

In Fiscal Year 2020-21, there were no court proceedings actioned in respect of requests processed by National Defence.

Back to top

6. Policies and Procedures

6.1 Internal procedures

The ATIP Directorate continues to review and update the ATI Procedure Guide to document improvements to request processing and ensure alignment with Treasury Board policies and directives.

A procedure for Reporting Allegations of Obstruction under the ATIA was implemented this reporting period. It outlines the responsibilities for DAIP employees and provides direction on procedures for responding to allegations of obstruction under S. 67.1 of the ATI Act.

Back to top

7. Training and Awareness

7.1 ATIP training program

Departmental ATIP training was initially impacted by the COVID pandemic. Formal ATIP training resumed in July 2020 on a virtual platform. National Defence uses a three-pronged approach for training, where Directorate training resources delivered the following training sessions to DND civilian and CAF military members with specific emphasis on those staff with ATIP responsibilities:

7.2 Training and awareness activities

A total of 59 training sessions were delivered to approximately 1,659 which represents a 6% increase in individuals trained over the previous Fiscal Year. This training was provided to Defence employees and CAF members on the administration of both the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act, as well as on appropriate management of personal information under the control of the institution. These virtual training sessions included ATIP 101, ATIP 201, and targeted training sessions for specific Defence organizations. Most training sessions were delivered by ATIP Directorate staff through video teleconference technologies, and some organizations conducted their own courses and sessions. An example of an organization conducting their own training sessions is the Canadian Forces Health Services group, which covered a variety of Privacy topics.

In keeping with promoting awareness, ATIP Directorate employees also provided guidance to third parties and requesters on the requirements of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, Treasury Board (TB) policies and directives, and associated institutional procedures as required.

7.3 Tasking Liaison officer engagement

The ATIP Directorate conducted a virtual Town Hall in Fiscal Year 2020-21 with ATIP Directorate staff, OPI Tasking Liaison Officers and other departmental officials to promote ATIP awareness, best practices and new virtual Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

7.4 Employee well-being

In response to challenges caused by the COVID Pandemic and the impacts of remote work, the ATIP Directorate placed increased emphasis on directorate staff mental health, well-being and resilience. In addition to the ongoing ATIP operational training, virtual workplace well-being sessions were provided to all staff focusing on stress management, resilience, nutrition, and physical exercise to maintain mental health during the Pandemic. To support telework and ensure that supervisors were equipped to lead in a virtual work environment, training sessions on establishing effective virtual teams and managing remote teams were provided to all supervisors and managers in the Directorate. These courses provided tools to build virtual relationships, establish communication standards, leverage appropriate communication tools, support remote team members, and lead virtual team meetings.

Back to top

8. Initiatives and Projects

8.1 Backlog Reduction Team

The ATIP Directorate established a dedicated Backlog Reduction Team in October 2019 to address the inventory of late files. This Fiscal Year 121 backlog files were closed totalling 93,192 pages reviewed. This initiative enables other ATI Operations Teams to focus on on-time compliance.

8.2 Technological Improvements

Remote access to Redaction Software

National Defence continues to explore and implement technological solutions to enhance ATIP business processes. The ATIP Directorate implemented remote access to the ATIP processing and redaction software to employees this Fiscal Year. This allowed for employees to continue to process ATI request remotely during the COVID Pandemic. New procedures, training and tools were developed and implemented to support the successful shift to remote processing.

The ATIP Directorate also widely adopted the use of Microsoft Teams and SMART Bridgit software to stay connected for meetings as well as onboarding and training new employees.

Shift to Paperless processing

A shift towards paperless processing of ATIP requests continued this Fiscal Year. The adoption of electronic processes to reduce paper records such as use of network shared drives to share records electronically between DND/CAF record holders and the ATIP Directorate increased during the COVID Pandemic. The majority of OPIs switched over to electronic processes and are no longer providing paper records to the ATIP Directorate. Electronic signatures on letters to applicants and using Canada Post epost service to share records with applicants versus traditional mail has led to faster access to records for Canadians. This shift to paperless processing enabled the continued processing of ATI requests throughout the various Provincial lock downs.

New Case Management Solution

The ATIP Directorate completed implementation of a new case management system this Fiscal Year to manage Privacy Incident Management, Privacy Impact Assessments, Personal Information Disclosures, and managing and tracking legal matters. This new case management system, ATIP OMNI, improves tracking and trend analysis for governance and compliance activities. It also includes features to maintain Personal Information Banks and Info Source management in a more automated manner.

Back to top

9. Monitoring Compliance

The ATIP Directorate regularly monitors and reports on a number of ATIP metrics. In Fiscal Year 2020-21, the Departmental ATIP Performance Dashboard that tracks OPI record retrieval timeliness and overall ATIP compliance continued to be refined to provide better overall awareness to senior leadership on ATIP performance and metrics. This monitoring allows the ATIP Directorate track ATIP performance across the Department and identify areas for process improvements. This year National Defence piloted a new analytics tool which will enable senior leaders and OPI’s to easily monitor overall ATIP compliance and track individual request stats. The ATIP Directorate continues to receive ad hoc requests for statistics and performance reports to inform program delivery and identify trends

Back to top

10. Access to Information Fees and Operating Costs

10.1 Reporting on ATI fees for the purposes of the Services Fees Act

The Service Fees Act (SFA) 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 SFA section 20.

Enabling authority: Access to Information Act
Fee amount for 2020-21: $5 application fee for each ATIA request
Total revenue: $8,890
Fees waived: In accordance with the Interim Directive on the Administration of the Access to Information Act, issued on May 5, 2016, and the changes to the Access to Information Act that came into force on June 21, 2019, National Defence waives all fees prescribed by the Act and Regulations, other than the $5 application fee set out in paragraph 7(1)(a) of the Regulations. A total of $1,250 in fees have been waived during this reporting period.
Cost of operating the program: $5,579,425

The cost of operations includes salaries, overtime, goods and services, contracts and all other expenses specific to the access to information office. Costs associated with time spent by program areas searching for and reviewing records are not included here.

Back to top

Annex A: Designation Order

National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces

Access to Information Act and Privacy Act Designation Order

  1. Pursuant to section 73 of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, the Minister of National Defence, as the head of a government institution under these Acts, hereby designates the persons holding the following positions, or the persons occupying those positions on an acting basis, to exercise or perform all of the powers, duties and functions of the head of a government institution under these Acts:
    1. the Deputy Minister;
    2. the Corporate Secretary;
    3. the Director Access to Information and Privacy; and
    4. Deputy Directors Access to Information and Privacy.
  2. Pursuant to section 73 of the above-mentioned Acts, the Minister also designates the following:
    1. those persons holding the position of Access Team Leader, or the persons occupying this position on an acting basis, to exercise or perform the powers, duties and functions in respect of:
      • The application of the following provisions under the Access to Information Act: section 9; subsection 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), 11(5), 11(6); sections 19, 20, 23 and 24; subsections 27(1) and 27(4); paragraph 28 (1)(b), subsections 28(2) and 28(4); and
      • The response to requests made under the Access to Information Act if no records exist.
    2. those persons holding the position of Privacy Team Leader, or the persons occupying this position on an acting basis, to exercise or perform any of the powers, duties and functions of the head of an institution under the Privacy Act, other than under sub-paragraphs 8(2)(j) and 8(2)(m); and
    3. those persons holding the position of Privacy Senior Analyst, or the persons occupying this position on an acting basis, to exercise or perform the powers and duties in respect of the application of section 26 of the Privacy Act.

 

Original signed by

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, PC, OMM, MSM, CD, MP
Minister of National Defence
Date: 2016-01-12

Back to top

Annex B: Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act for 2020-2021

Government of Canada

Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act

Name of institution: National Defence

Reporting period: 2020-04-01 to 2021-03-31

Section 1: Requests Under the Access to Information Act

1.1 Number of requests

- Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 2,028
Outstanding from previous reporting period 1,271
Total 3,299
Closed during reporting period 1,888
Carried over to next reporting period 1,411

1.2 Sources of requests

Source Number of Requests
Media 211
Academia 100
Business (private sector) 233
Organization 109
Public 1,034
Decline to identify 341
Total 2,028

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
322 47 44 0 3 8 9 433

Note: All requests previously recorded as "treated informally" will now be acounted for in this section only.

Section 2: Decline to act 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 1 27 25 49 36 27 16 181
Disclosed in part 4 18 36 72 56 99 219 504
All exempted 1 1 1 3 2 6 3 17
All excluded 0 0 2 1 0 0 2 5
No records exist 307 50 39 48 31 19 12 506
Request transferred 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 13
Request abandoned 492 42 25 10 9 12 71 661
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Decline to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 818 138 128 183 135 163 323 1,888

3.2 Exemptions

Section Number of Requests
13(1)(a) 65
13(1)(b) 18
13(1)(c) 4
13(1)(d) 2
13(1)(e) 0
14 0
14(a) 2
14(b) 0
15(1) 86
15(1) - I.A.* 51
15(1) - Def.* 128
15(1) - S.A.* 4
16(1)(a)(i) 16
16(1)(a)(ii) 3
16(1)(a)(iii) 1
16(1)(b) 11
16(1)(c) 18
16(1)(d) 0
16(2) 34
16(2)(a) 0
16(2)(b) 0
16(2)(c) 23
16(3) 0
16.1(1)(a) 0
16.1(1)(b) 0
16.1(1)(c) 0
16.1(1)(d) 0
16.2(1) 0
16.3 0
16.31 0
16.4(1)(a) 0
16.4(1)(b) 0
16.5 2
16.6 0
17 7
18(a) 10
18(b) 6
18(c) 0
18(d) 1
18.1(1)(a) 0
18.1(1)(b) 0
18.1(1)(c) 0
18.1(1)(d) 0
19(1) 343
20(1)(a)
8
20(1)(b)
89
20(1)(b.1)
0
20(1)(c)
87
20(1)(d)
4
20.1
0
20.2 0
20.4 0
21(1)(a) 130
21(1)(b)
138
21(1)(c)
25
21(1)(d)
11
22
2
22.1(1) 0
23 81
23.1 0
24(1) 24
26 0

3.3 Exclusions

Section Number of Requests
68(a) 7
68(b) 0
68(c) 0
68.1 0
68.2(a) 0
68.2(b) 0
69(1) 5
69(1)(a) 6
69(1)(b) 0
69(1)(c) 0
69(1)(d) 4
69(1)(e) 8
69(1)(f) 0
69(1)(g) re (a) 24
69(1)(g) re (b) 0
69(1)(g) re (c) 19
69(1)(g) re (d) 3
69(1)(g) re (e) 7
69(1)(g) re (f) 0
69.1(1) 0

3.4 Format of information released

Paper Electronic Other
137 548 0

3.5 Complexity

3.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Number of Pages Processed Number of Pages Disclosed Number of Requests
232,550 146,752 1,369
3.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
Disposition Less Than 100 Pages Processed 101-500 Pages Processed 501-1,000 Pages Processed 1,001-5,000 Pages Processed More Than 5,000 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 162 2,720 17 3,848 1 935 0 0 1 11,446
Disclosed in part 304 7,197 138 24,417 31 15,798 28 34,857 3 45,250
All exempted 15 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Request abandoned 645 0 4 284 5 0 5 0 2 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Declined to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1,131 9,917 160 28,549 38 16,733 34 34,857 6 56,696
3.5.3 Other complexities
Disposition Consultation Required Assessment of fees Legal advice sought Other Total
All disclosed 43 0 2 1 46
Disclosed in part 197 0 48 1 246
All exempted 6 0 2 0 8
All excluded 1 0 5 0 6
Request abandoned 40 0 14 0 54
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0
Declined to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0 0 0 0
Total 287 0 71 2 360

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 1,005
Percentage of requests closed within legislated timelines (%) 53.2

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
883 359 28 36 460

3.7.2 Requests closed behond legislated timelines (including any extention taken)

Number of Days Past Legislated Timelines Number of Requests Past Legislated Timeline Where No Extension Was Taken Number of Requests Past Legislated Timelines Where an Extension Was Taken Total
1 to 15 days 55 9 64
16 to 30 days 48 12 60
31 to 60 days 94 8 102
61 to 120 days 120 16 136
121 to 180 days 75 11 86
181 to 365 days 118 33 151
More than 365 days 205 79 284
Total 715 168 883

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 3 22 3
Disclosed in part 37 6 111 27
All exempted 2 0 3 0
All excluded 0 1 2 0
No records exist 3 0 2 2
Request abandoned 8 0 9 0
Decline to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0 0 0
Total 58 10 149 32

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 25 7 62 3
31 to 60 days 14 2 48 26
61 to 120 days 11 0 27 2
121 to 180 days 2 1 7 0
181 to 365 days 6 0 4 1
365 days or more 0 0 1 0
Total 58 10 149 32

Section 5: Fees

Fee type Fee collected Fee waived or refunded
Number of requests Amount Number of requests Amount
Application 1,778 $8,890 250 $1,250
Other fees 0 $0 0 $0
Total 1,778 $8,890 250 $1,250

Section 6: Consultations Received From Other Institutions and Organizations

6.1 Consultations received from other Government of Canada institutions and other organizations

Consultations Other Government of Canada Institutions Number of Pages to Review Other Organizations Number of Pages to Review
Received during reporting period 161 11,100 9 349
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 239 30,495 11 3,707
Total 400 41,595 20 4,056
Closed during the reporting period 200 22,708 17 1,410
Carried over to next reporting period 200 18,887 3 2,646

6.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other Government of Canada institutions

Recommendations 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
Disclosed entirely 23 15 26 21 8 12 9 114
Disclosed in part 0 2 8 8 8 9 35 70
Exempted entirely 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3
Excluded  entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 2 1 0 2 1 2 5 13
Total 25 18 34 31 17 24 51 200

6.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations

Recommendations 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
Disclosed entirely 1 1 1 1 0 2 3 9
Disclosed in part 1 1 0 1 0 1 2 6
Exempted entirely 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Excluded 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 1 1
Total 2 2 2 2 0 3 6 17

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 37 534 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 11 91 3 162 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 7 37 2 295 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 3 17 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 5 24 2 70 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 1 117 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 63 703 9 644 0 0 0 0 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 1001-5,000 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 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Section 8: Complaints and investigations

Section 32 Notice of intention to investigate 61
Subsection 30(5) Ceased to investigate 0
Section 35 Formal representations 18
Section 37 Reports of finding received 69
Section 37 Reports of finding containing recommendations issued by the Information Commissioner 3
Section 37 Reports of finding containing orders issued by the Information Commissioner 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 $4,007,934
Overtime $21,668
Goods and services $1,501,891
- • Professional services contracts $1,317,076 -
- • Other $184,815
Total $5,531,493

10.2 Human resources

Resources Person Years Dedicated to Access to Information Activities
Full-time employees 46.630
Part-time and casual employees 0.875
Regional staff 0.000
Consultants and agency personnel 9.125
Students 0.375
Total 57.005

Note: Enter values to three decimal places.

Back to top

Annex C: Supplemental Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act for 2020-2021

Supplemental Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act

Name of institution:

National Defence

Reporting period:

2020-04-01 to 2021-03-31

Section 1: Capacity to Receive Requests

Enter the number of weeks your institution was able to receive ATIP requests through the different channels.

- Number of Weeks
Able to receive requests by mail 52
Able to receive requests by email 52
Able to receive requests through the digital request service 52

Section 2: Capacity to Process Records

2.1 Enter the number of weeks your institution was able to process paper records in different classification levels.

- No Capacity Partial Capacity Full Capacity Total
Unclassified Paper Records 0 27 25 52
Protected B Paper Records 0 35 17 52
Secret and Top Secret Paper Records 0 42 10 52

2.2 Enter the number of weeks your institution was able to process electronic records in different classification levels.

- No Capacity Partial Capacity Full Capacity Total
Unclassified Paper Records 0 26 26 52
Protected B Paper Records 0 35 17 52
Secret and Top Secret Paper Records 0 41 11 52

Back to top

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: