Health Canada Access to Information Act: Annual Report 2018 to 2019

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. Access to Information Act

The Access to Information Act (the Act) gives the Canadian public a right to access information contained in federal government records, subject to certain specific and limited exceptions.

The Act requires the head of every federal government institution to submit an annual report to Parliament on the administration of the Act following the close of each fiscal year. This annual report is prepared and is being tabled before each House of Parliament in accordance with section 94 of the Act and Section 20 of the Service Fees Act. This report summarizes how Health Canada has fulfilled its access to information responsibilities during the fiscal year 2018–2019.

2. About Health Canada

Health Canada is the federal department responsible for helping the people of Canada maintain and improve their health.

Health Canada is committed to improving the lives of all Canadians and to making this country's population among the healthiest in the world as measured by longevity, lifestyle and effective use of the public health care system.

By working with others in a manner that fosters the trust of Canadians, Health Canada strives to:

Health Canada has regional offices in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic and Northern Regions.

For more information about Health Canada, please visit our website.

Access to Information Infrastructure

1. The Access to Information and Privacy Division

The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Division resides in the Planning, Integration and Management Services Directorate of the Corporate Services Branch at Health Canada.

The ATIP Coordinator is accountable for the development, coordination and implementation of effective policies, guidelines, systems and procedures in order to enable efficient processing of requests under the Act. The Coordinator is also responsible for the implementation of relevant government-wide policies, systems and procedures. The ATIP Division is responsible for all Access to Information (ATI) legislative requirements pursuant to the Act such as:

In 2018–2019, 62.90 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees administered the Access to Information Act with the support of consultant services (11.26 FTEs) and part-time and casual employees (2.27 FTEs) for a total complement of 76.43 FTEs.

2. Reading Room

Health Canada has a reading room available where members of the public may make arrangements to review materials used by employees of the institution in administering or carrying out programs or activities of the institution that affect the public. The public reading room is available at:

Access to Information and Privacy Division
1600 Scott Street, Holland Cross,
Tower B, 7th Floor, Suite 700
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9

Delegation of Authority

The most recent delegation order for the Act, signed by the Minister of Health, is included in this report (Appendix A). In keeping with Treasury Board Secretariat recommendations on best practice, the delegation order extends authorities to multiple positions including the Coordinator, the Corporate Services Branch’s Assistant Deputy Minister and Director General of Planning Integration and Management Services Directorate. As appropriate, certain administrative authorities are delegated to various senior levels within the ATIP Division to support the effective and efficient administration of the Act.

Requests under the Access to Information Act - Statistical Figures, Interpretation and Explanation

1. Statistical Report

This section of the report includes an interpretation and explanation of the data contained in Health Canada’s statistical report, which summarizes ATI-related activity for the period between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019 (Appendix B).

2. Number of Access Requests and Case Load

Number of Access Requests

In 2018–2019, Health Canada received 1,942 requests, representing an increase of 7.5% compared to the 1,806 requests received in 2017–2018.

Health Canada has taken significant steps to manage the growing level of total requests, by allocating additional resources to the ATIP Division. The Department introduced changes to support greater efficiency, hired additional staff, implemented a development program and put in place a backlog reduction initiative. These activities allowed Health Canada to increase the number of closed requests by almost 25%, with 2,255 closed requests in 2018–2019 compared to 1,808 in the previous fiscal year.

Source of Requests: Trends

As in previous years, the largest number of requests received by Health Canada come from companies operating in a wide range of sectors. These sectors include pharmaceuticals, medical devices and natural health products, as well as cannabis products. The number of new requests from the business sector represents 43% of all new requests, while the requests from the media, represents 26% of the volume of the requests. Thirteen percent of the applicants came from the general public during 2018–2019.

A significant number of requests processed by Health Canada require complex third-party consultations to identify confidential business information that must be protected. These files often involve large volumes of technical and scientific information, which may take longer to review.

The table below shows the proportion of requests from different sources, including changes from 2017–2018.

Figure 1. Source of Requests
Figure 1
Proportion of Requests Among Sources
Source Number of Requests Proportion of Requests Number of requests
fluctuation from 2017–2018
Business (Private Sector) 831 43% -9%
Media 513 26% +12%
Public 259 13% -1%
Decline to Identify 189 10% 0%
OrganizationsFootnote * 96 5% -2%
Academia 54 3% 0%
Total 1,942 100%  
Footnote *

Examples – Associations, Political Parties and Unions

Return to footnote * referrer

Informal Requests

Requests can be made for records previously released under the Act; these are referred to as “Access Informal requests”. In 2018–2019, Health Canada processed 574 informal requests compared to 627 in 2017–2018. Health Canada continues to support the Government of Canada’s commitment to openness and transparency by posting summaries of the requests completed every month.

Case Load

The amount of files received has increased since 2015–2016 (1,222) to 2018–2019 where Health Canada received 1,942 requests. This represents an increase of 59% in files received. Despite the increased volume, performance has improved by 120% in 2018–2019 where 2,255 files were closed as opposed to 2015–2016 where only 1,026 files closed were closed.

The increase in the number of pages reviewed is equally striking. We can see that in 2015–2016, each closed file represented an average of 209 pages reviewed, while in 2018–2019, each closed file represented an average of 424 pages reviewed. As well as average files size, Health Canada processed 2,255 of the 3,552 active requests (63%). Active requests included 1,942 new requests received and 1,610 requests carried forward from the 2017–2018 fiscal year.

Figure 2. Access to Information Requests Received/Completed
Figure 2
Key Statistics by Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Number of Requests Received Number of Requests Carried Over Total Caseload Number of Requests Closed # of Pages Reviewed for Closed Files
2014–2015 1,569 702 2,271 1,420 526,849
2015–2016 1,222 851 2,073 1,026 214,792
2016–2017 1,959 1,047 3,006 1,388 1,891,795Footnote *
2017–2018 1,806 1,612 3,418 1,808 374,021
2018–2019 1,942 1,610 3,552 2,255 955,667
Footnote *

Note that this number includes of 1.4 million pages on one subject matter that was later abandoned.

Return to footnote * referrer

Consultations Completed from Other Institutions

In 2018–2019, Health Canada completed 237 consultations from other federal institutions and 23 from institutions other than federal institutions. The number of completed consultations is higher compared to 2017–2018 where 172 consultations from other federal institutions and 75 from institutions other than federal institutions were closed.

Number of Consultations and Pages Reviewed From Other Federal Institutions
Federal Institutions Number of Consultations Completed Pages Reviewed
Treasury Board Secretariat 30 687
Privy Council Office 27 2,139
Canadian Food and Inspection Agency 17 750
Environment and Climate Change 15 1,811
Public Health Agency of Canada 14 525
Department of Finance Canada 14 786
Public Safety 13 530
Department of Justice 10 119
Global Affairs Canada 10 271
Public Service and Procurement Canada 8 249
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada 8 972
Employment and Social Development Canada 8 169
Other 63 1,376
Total 237 5,058

3. Disposition of Requests Completed

Approximately 68% of the requests completed in 2018–2019 were either disclosed in part (53%) or all disclosed (15%). Completed requests were classified as follows:

Figure 3. Disposition of Requests Completed
Figure 3
Disposition of Requests Completed
Disposition of Requests Requests Completed by Percentage
Disclosed in part 53%
Request abandoned 17%
All disclosed 15%
No records exist 9%
Request Transferred 2%
Neither confirmed or denied 2%
All exempted 1%
All excluded 1%

A slight decrease in abandoned requests was noted. Seventeen percent of requests were closed because they were abandoned in 2018–2019. The average of abandoned files over the last four years has been 20%. Requests submitted to Health Canada may be discontinued for a variety of reasons, including:

Please note that case law (Yeager v. Canada, 2017 FC 330) has clarified the circumstances under which a request may be transferred between federal government institutions. This has significantly restricted the ability to transfer poorly directed requests, thereby resulting in several abandonments by requestors because they have to re-submit their requests to the correct institution.

4. Exemptions Invoked

Sections 13 through 24 of the Act set out the exemptions intended to protect information pertaining to a particular public or private interest, and section 26 of the Act is a temporary exception relating to information to be published.

The vast majority of Health Canada's 2,574 exemptions fall into three sections of the Act: Section 19 (Personal Information), Section 20 (Third Party Information) and Section 21 (Government Operations). Together, they represent 2,005 cases or 78% of the exemptions applied in 2018–2019. The application of section 19 on 994 occasions represents Health Canada’s commitment to ensure that personal information is properly safeguarded. The application of section 20 on 562 occasions required many consultations with commercial entities in order to confirm the need to protect the information as proprietary and commercially sensitive information. These consultations, some of which led to Federal Court prosecutions, are complex and resource demanding.

Principal Exemptions Applied
Exemptions Number of Requests with Exemptions Applied
Section 19 – Personal information 994
Section 20 – Third party information 562
Section 21 – Operations of Government 449
Section 16 – Law enforcement and investigation 147
Section 23 – Solicitor-client privilege 123
Section 13 – Obtained in confidence 89
Section 15 – Injurious to international affairs 78
Section 14 – Federal-provincial affairs 67
Section 17 – Threatens the safety of individuals 32
Section 18 – Economic interests 12
Section 22 – Prejudices results of tests or audits 11
Section 24 – Restricted under Schedule II 7
Section 26 – Will be published within 90 days 3

5. Exclusions Cited

The Access to Information Act does not apply to published material, material available to the public for purchase, or for public reference (section 68), nor does it apply to confidences of the Queen's Privy Council (section 69). Requests containing proposed exclusions under section 69 require consultation with the Department of Justice, and potentially the Privy Council Office.

During 2018–2019, Health Canada applied 28 exclusions pursuant to section 68 of the Act and 185 exclusions for section 69 of the Act.

6. Completion Time

A total of 1,148 (51%) of requests were processed within the legislated timeline, with 709 (31%) being closed within 30 days or less and 439 (20%) requiring a legislated extension. Most extensions were taken to allow for consultations or due to large volume requests.

During the fiscal year, an initiative to reduce the inventory of overdue files (i.e. backlog) was put in place. This initiative was very successful, resulting in a significant number of files closed after more than 120 days.

Percentage of Files per Completion Time Category
Completion Time Completed Within Legislative Deadline Completed After Legislative Deadline
No Extension Extension Taken No Extension Extension Taken
30 days or less 706 (31%) 3 (0.1%) n/a n/a
31–60 days n/a 171 (8%) 124 (5%) 1 (0.04%)
61–120 days n/a 249 (11%) 49 (2%) 58 (3%)
More than 120 days n/a 19 (1%) 297 (13%) 578 (26%)
Total 706 442 470 637

7. Extensions

Extensions provided under the Act were invoked to provide time to complete consultations and to process voluminous records. Of the 2,255 files closed in 2018–2019, Health Canada invoked 1,350 extensions under section 9(1) of the Act, an increase from the 827 invoked in 2017–2018.

Extensions Invoked
Length of extensions 9(1)(a)
Interference with operations
9(1)(b)
Consultation
9(1)(c)
Third party notice
#of times invoked Pourcentage #of times invoked Pourcentage #of times invoked Pourcentage
30 days or less 103 8% 93 7% 2 1%
More than 30 days 209 15% 343 25% 600 44%

8. Translations

No translations were required to respond to requests in 2018–2019.

9. Format of Information Released

Of the requests that were fully or partially disclosed, 854 were released in paper format, while the remaining 669 were released as electronic copies. Electronic copies are available through CD or E-Post. E-Post is a service offered by Canada Post that provides an accessible platform to share information. E-Post was introduced in fiscal year 2018–2019 to provide requesters with easier and more timely access to information.

10. Fees

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.

Training and Awareness

Training, Orientation and Awareness for Health Canada Employees

Training sessions on the Act and related processes are delivered to Health Canada employees on a regular basis. In fiscal year 2018–2019, the ATIP Division delivered 33 training sessions entitled “ATI 101” to 638 participants. In addition, 14 virtual sessions were delivered to reach those in various parts of Canada. The basic objectives of the sessions are to impart an understanding of the Act, roles and responsibilities, the handling of formal and informal requests, basic grounds for withholding information and how to process an ATI request. Significant efforts have been put into updating training materials and tools.

A process to identify and strategically assess training needs and provide customized training to target groups has been implemented to improve the effectiveness of training sessions. In addition, the ATIP Division worked with various program areas to promote awareness and develop customized training to meet Health Canada's needs. This collaboration resulted in four general awareness sessions for 60 participants.

Complaints and Court Applications for Reviews

1. Complaints to the Information Commissioner

In 2018–2019, 126 complaints under the Act were filed with the Office of the Information Commissioner for Health Canada's requests. Although the number of complaints seems large, 44 complaints are associated with the same subject.

Complaints Filed with the OIC
Reason Number of Complaints
Deemed Refusal 68
Exemptions 39
Time Extension 9
Other 10
Total 126

The Department reviews the outcomes of all OIC investigations, and where appropriate, incorporates lessons learned into business processes.

2. Types of Complaints and their Disposition Completed in 2018–2019

Types of Complaints and their Disposition Completed in 2018–2019
Subject of Complaint Number of Closed Complaints Final Disposition by OIC
Deemed Refusal (delay) 31
  • 18 Well Founded
  • 9 Resolved
  • 2 Not Well Founded
  • 2 Abandoned
Exemptions 12
  • 3 Well Founded
  • 1 Resolved
  • 4 Not Well Founded
  • 4 Abandoned
Time Extension 10
  • 1 Well Founded
  • 4 Resolved
  • 4 Not Well Founded
  • 1 Abandoned
Other 8
  • 2 Well Founded
  • 4 Not Well Founded
  • 2 Abandoned
Total 61
  • 24 Well Founded
  • 14 Not Well Founded
  • 14 Resolved
  • 9 Abandoned

3. Applications/Appeals Submitted to the Federal Court/Federal Court of Appeal

Application by Third Parties

When Health Canada decides to release third party information under the Access to Information Act, the third party is formally notified and has the opportunity to challenge the release through a judicial review. This can happen prior to initial release of the documents (section 28 notice), or following a formal complaint through the Office of the Information Commissioner and subsequent recommendation to reconsider the release (section 29 notice).

In 2018–2019, Health Canada had five judicial reviews close, and an additional nine that are still active. These cases are summarized as follows:

Apotex Inc. v. Minister of Health, AGC and Information Commissioner of Canada

A judicial review application was filed in September 2015 to contest Health Canada’s decision to partially release records related to an Abbreviated New Dug Submission that the third party considers confidential. Two additional applications for judicial review were filed in October 2015 in relation to two other ATI requests for the same information. A number of motions have been filed to address various procedural aspects of the file. In 2018, the third party expressed an interest in attempting to resolve the judicial reviews and the parties are engaging in settlement discussions

Abbott Laboratories Limited v. Minister of Health and AGC

In August 2018, Abbott Laboratories Limited (the Applicant) filed a judicial review application to contest the decision to partially release records the company considers confidential. In October 2018, the parties were granted a Confidentiality Order for the proceedings. The Applicant cross-examined Health Canada affiants in March, 2019 and the public version of the affidavits are being finalized.

Elanco Canada Limited v. Canada (Minister of Health)

In December 2017, Elanco filed a judicial review application to oppose the disclosure of information through an ATI request. A number of motions have been filed, and the parties have agreed to a revised schedule for the proceedings.

Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. v. Minister of Health

In September 2018 an application was filed for a judicial review of Health Canada’s intention to partially release records related to potential safety issues concerning certain top load, high efficiency washing machines. Affidavits have been filed, and the matter is ongoing at this time.

Pure North S’Energy Foundation vs. Health Canada

A judicial review application was filed in October 2018 to oppose the partial release of records related to the Applicant, arguing that the records are not relevant to the scope of the request and subject to third party exemption under the ATIA. The ATI requester has been added as a party to the proceedings. On March 28, 2019, the Applicant filed a Notice of Discontinuance without costs.

Provital Health v. Canada (Minister of Health),
Preventous Collaborative Health v. Canada (Minister of Health),
Copeman Healthcare v. Canada (Minister of Health)

In January 2019, three private health care clinics each filed judicial review applications in relation to one ATI request. The applications for judicial review concern the partial release of audit reports in relation to the three clinics. The parties are filing confidentiality orders to protect the records at question during the proceedings. The Applicant will be filing their affidavit evidence in June 2019.

Ferring Inc. v. Minister of Health (Closed File)

A judicial review application was filed in April 2018 to review a decision to partially release records related to the fertility drug ‘Bravelle’ and the recall that occurred in October 2015. The ATI requestor asked to be added as a party to the proceeding. In September 2018, Ferring Inc. filed a Notice of discontinuance, following which Health Canada proceeded with the release of information as indicated in the section 28 notice.

Laboratoire Riva Inc.vs. Attorney General of Canada (Closed File)

A judicial review application was filed in October 2018 to review a decision to partially release records related to Riva’s drug submission for a generic drug product at issue. While the type of information in question was historically protected, Health Canada now releases patent hold dates once a drug application has reached a certain stage of review. In November 2018, Riva discontinued the application for judicial review. Health Canada proceeded to process and release the records and the ATI file is now closed.

Pro Doc Ltée vs. Minister of Health (Closed File)

A judicial review application was filed in July 2018, to partially release records related to Pro Doc’s drug submission for a generic drug product at issue. Specifically, the Applicant opposed the disclosure of the date of the drug notification forms, the DIN assignment date and the patent hold date. Several motions were filed in fall 2018. In November 2018, the Applicant discontinued the application for judicial review without costs. Health Canada proceeded to process and release the records and the ATI file is now closed.

Applications by Requesters

Litigation can also be brought forward by requesters regarding ‘deemed refusal’ (when records are not provided within the legislated timeframe), or other matters.

Estate {name protected as personal information}(Closed File)

The executor of an estate submitted an ATI request for information related to the deceased. As it was not originally established that the information was needed for administration of the estate, no information could be provided. The decision was investigated by the Office of the Information Commissioner, who found in favour of Health Canada’s decision.

In December 2018, Health Canada was served with legal documents seeking production of the information as necessary for ongoing litigation. Health Canada worked with the lawyer for the applicant to determine what information should be shared in the circumstances and the matter was resolved.

Gan vs. Health Canada (Westlake) (Closed File)

In August 2018, a petition was filed in the BC Supreme Court on behalf of Wei Ping Gan against Health Canada. The petition alleges that the petitioner has made attempts to obtain information from Health Canada, including through ATI requests, regarding information the department provided to the Abbotsford Police Department that the petitioner claims was erroneous.

In October 2018, Health Canada provided additional records in response to the ATI requests and closed the ATI file. In March 2019, the case was discontinued without costs.

Gilles LAVOIE vs. Attorney General of Canada (Closed File)

In December 2018, a judicial review application was filed in relation to two Privacy Act requests, alleging that Health Canada refused to disclose the requested records. The Applicant discontinued the application in February 2019 after receiving the records.

4. Responses to Recommendations raised by other Agents of Parliament

There were no recommendations raised by other Agents of Parliament during fiscal year 2018–2019.

Policies, Guidelines, Procedures and Initiatives

Health Canada has continued to provide significant funding to reduce the number of overdue requests received prior to April 2017. This has supported a significant decrease in these overdue files, with 549 requests closed in fiscal year 
2018–2019, up 37% from the 345 requests closed during the fiscal year 2017–2018.

A software update to ATIP’s case management system has also been finalized and has resulted in greater efficiency in processing requests.

In 2018–2019, Health Canada continued its efforts to formalize the internal operating procedures and carry out the ATI Action Plan. Several internal ATIP Division procedures were created or modified to continue to reinforce accountability, clarity and consistency.

Other successes arising from the Action Plan included stabilizing the case management and imaging software through the correction of various bugs and the improved availability of performance reports. To support personnel development and consistency, training and information sessions took place both in the ATIP Division and with stakeholders throughout Health Canada. Working group meetings continued with participants from all Health Canada branches. The objective of those meetings was to identify and leverage best practices and improve collaboration and information sharing.

Recruitment efforts proceeded well despite a shortage of specialized resources across the Government of Canada.

Monitoring Compliance

ATIP has undertaken the production of weekly, monthly and quarterly reporting to senior management in order to monitor the performance of Health Canada.

Appendix A: Access to Information Act and Privacy Act – Delegation Order

Delegation Order

Access to Information Act and Privacy Act

I, the Minister of Health, pursuant to section 95 of the Access to Information Act and section 73 of the Privacy Act, hereby delegate the persons holding the positions set out in the Delegation of Authority Schedule attached hereto, or the persons occupying on an acting basis those positions, to exercise the powers, duties and functions of the Minister as head of Health Canada, under the provisions of the Acts and related regulations set out in the schedule opposite each position. This delegation supersedes all previous delegation orders.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
January 22, 2020

Delegation of Authority Schedule

Access to Information Act - Part 1 and 3
Provisions Description DM ADM CSB DG PIMSD Dir ATIP Ops Deputy Dir ATIP Ops
 All Provisions All powers, duties and functions under the Access to Information Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-1 (prior to and following June 21, 2019) and related regulations (prior to and following June 21, 2019) Full authority
Access to Information Act - Part 1 and 3 Continued
Provisions Description Dir, PMD Manager Team Leader Senior Analyst Analyst
4(2.1) Responsibility of government institutions No Yes Yes Yes Yes
6.1(1) Reasons for declining to act on request No Yes No No No
6.1(1.3), (1.4), (2) Notice – suspension, end of suspension No Yes Yes Yes No
7 Notice when access requested No Yes Yes Yes Yes
8(1) Transfer of request No Yes Yes No No
9(1) Extension of time limits No Yes Yes No No
9(2) Notice of extension to Information Commissioner No Yes Yes Yes Yes
10 Where access is refused No Yes Yes No No
11(2) Application Fee Waiver No Yes Yes No No
12(2)(b) Language of access No Yes Yes No No
12(3)(b) Access to record in alternative format No Yes Yes No No
Exemption Provisions of the Access to Information Act
13 Information obtained in confidence No Yes No No No
14 Federal-provincial affairs No Yes No No No
15 International affairs and defence No Yes No No No
16 Law enforcement and investigations No Yes Yes No No
16.5 Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act No Yes No No No
17 Safety of individuals No Yes No No No
18 Economic interests of Canada No Yes No No No
18.1 Economic interest of certain government institutions No Yes No No No
19 Personal information No Yes Yes No No
20 Third party information No Yes Yes No No
21 Advice, etc. No Yes No No No
22 Testing procedures, tests and audits No Yes No No No
22.1 Internal Audits No Yes No No No
23 Protected information – solicitors, advocates and notaries No Yes Yes No No
23.1 Protected information – patents and trade-marks No Yes Yes No No
24 Statutory prohibitions against disclosure No Yes Yes No No
Other Provisions of the Access to Information Act
25 Severability No Yes Yes No No
26 Refusal of access if information to be published No Yes No No No
27(1), (4) Notice to third parties No Yes Yes Yes No
28(1)(b),
(2), (4)
Representations of third party and decision No Yes No No No
33 Notice to Information Commissioner of notices to third parties No Yes Yes Yes No
35(2)(b) Right to make representations No No No No No
37(1)(c) Notice of actions to implement recommendations of Commissioner No Yes No No No
37(4) Access to be given to complainant No Yes No No No
41(2) Review by Federal Court – government institution No No No No No
43(2) Service or notice of application to Federal Court for review No Yes Yes No No
44(2) Notice to person who requested record No Yes Yes No No
52(2)(b), 52(3) Special rules for hearings No No No No No
94 Annual report – government institutions No No No No No
96(3) Notice of Provision of services related to access to information No No No No No
96(5) Spending authority No No No No No
Access to Information Act – Regulations
6(1) Transfer of request No Yes No No No
8 Method of access No Yes No No No
8.1 Limitations in respect of format support No Yes No No No

Legend

Yes - Delegated

No - No Delegation

Privacy Act
Provisions Description DM ADM CSB DG PIMSD Dir ATIP Ops Deputy Dir ATIP Ops
All Provisions All powers, duties and functions under the Act and Regulations Full authority
Privacy Act Continued
Provisions Description Dir, PMD Manager Team Leader Senior Analyst Analyst
8(2)(j) Disclosure for research or statistical purposes Yes No No No No
8(2)(m) Disclosure in the public interest or in the interest of the individual Yes No No No No
8(4) Copies of requests under paragraph 8(2)(e) Yes No No No No
8(5) Notice of disclosure under paragraph 8(2)(m) Yes No No No No
9(1) Record of disclosures to be retained Yes No No No No
9(4) Consistent uses Yes No No No No
10 Personal information to be included in personal information banks Yes No No No No
14(a) Notice where access requested No Yes Yes Yes No
14(b) Giving access to the record No Yes Yes No No
15 Extension of time limits No Yes Yes Yes No
16 Where access is refused No Yes Yes No No
17(2)(b) Language of access No Yes Yes No No
17(3)(b) Access in an alternative format No Yes Yes No No
Exemption Provisions of the Privacy Act
18(2) Exempt banks No Yes No No No
19 Information obtained in confidence No Yes No No No
20 Federal-provincial affairs No Yes No No No
21 International affairs and defence No Yes No No No
22 Law enforcement and investigations No Yes No No No
22.3 Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act No Yes No No No
23 Security clearances No Yes No No No
24 Individuals sentenced for an offence No Yes No No No
25 Safety of individuals No Yes No No No
26 Information about another individual No Yes Yes No No
27 Protected information – solicitors, advocates and notaries No Yes Yes No No
27.1 Protected information – patents and trade-marks No Yes Yes No No
28 Medical records No Yes No No No
Other Provisions
33(2) Right to make representations Yes No No No No
35(1)(b) Notice of actions to implement recommendations of Commissioner Yes Yes No No No
35(4) Access to be given to complainant Yes Yes No No No
36(3)(b) Notice of actions to implement recommendations of Commissioner concerning exempt banks Yes Yes No No No
51(2)(b),(3) Special rules for hearings Yes No No No No
72 Annual report to Parliament Yes No No No No
73.1(3) Notice of Provision of services related to privacy Yes No No No No
73.1(5) Spending authority Yes No No No No
Privacy Regulations
7 Retention of personal information requested under paragraph 8(2)(e) Yes No No No No
9 Examination of information Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
11(2),11(4) Notification concerning corrections Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
13(1) Disclosure of personal information relating to physical or mental health Yes Yes Yes No No
14 Examination in presence of medical practitioner or psychologist Yes Yes Yes No No

Legend

Yes - Delegated

No - No Delegation

Appendix B: Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act

TBS/SCT 350-62
Name of institution:
Health Canada
Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2019-03-31

Part 1: Requests Under the Access to Information Act

1.1 Number of requests
Requests Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 1,942
Outstanding from previous reporting period 1,610
Total 3,552
Closed during reporting period 2,255
Carried over to next reporting period 1,297
1.2 Sources of requests
Source Number of Requests
Media 513
Academia 54
Business (private sector) 831
Organization 96
Public 259
Decline to Identify 189
Total 1,942
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
75 51 57 34 10 17 330 574

Part 2: Requests Closed During the Reporting Period

2.1 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 32 129 62 54 14 14 30 335
Disclosed in part 41 124 158 279 68 109 409 1,188
All exempted 0 4 1 6 6 2 8 27
All excluded 0 1 3 10 0 1 5 20
No records exist 123 54 15 2 0 0 11 205
Request transferred 43 6 0 1 0 0 0 50
Request abandoned 106 42 12 2 2 13 200 377
Neither confirmed nor denied 5 2 45 0 0 1 0 53
Total 350 362 296 354 90 140 663 2,255
2.2 Exemptions
Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests
13(1)(a) 40 16(2) 14 18(a) 4 20.1 4
13(1)(b) 19 16(2)(a) 0 18(b) 4 20.2 0
13(1)(c) 27 16(2)(b) 2 18(c) 0 20.4 0
13(1)(d) 2 16(2)(c) 114 18(d) 4 21(1)(a) 201
13(1)(e) 1 16(3) 0 18.1(1)(a) 0 21(1)(b) 190
14 18 16.1(1)(a) 0 18.1(1)(b) 0 21(1)(c) 43
14(a) 34 16.1(1)(b) 0 18.1(1)(c) 0 21(1)(d) 15
14(b) 15 16.1(1)(c) 0 18.1(1)(d) 0 22 10
15(1) 51 16.1(1)(d) 0 19(1) 994 22.1(1) 1
15(1) - I.A. Table 2.2 footnote 1 25 16.2(1) 1 20(1)(a) 20 23 123
15(1) - Def. Table 2.2 footnote 2 2 16.3 0 20(1)(b) 288 24(1) 7
15(1) - S.A. Table 2.2 footnote 3 0 16.4(1)(a) 0 20(1)(b.1) 1 26 3
16(1)(a)(i) 1 16.4(1)(b) 0 20(1)(c) 215 no data no data
16(1)(a)(ii) 3 16.5 0 20(1)(d) 34 no data no data
16(1)(a)(iii) 0 17 32 no data no data no data no data
16(1)(b) 4 no data no data no data no data no data no data
16(1)(c) 7 no data no data no data no data no data no data
16(1)(d) 1 no data no data no data no data no data no data

Table 2.2 footnotes

Footnote 1

I.A.: International Affairs

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Def.: Defence of Canada

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

S.A.: Subversive Activities

Return to footnote 3 referrer

2.3 Exclusions
Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests
68(a) 23 69(1) 31 69(1)(g) re (a) 40
68(b) 0 69(1)(a) 4 69(1)(g) re (b) 0
68(c) 0 69(1)(b) 0 69(1)(g) re (c) 9
68.1 5 69(1)(c) 2 69(1)(g) re (d) 9
68.2(a) 0 69(1)(d) 3 69(1)(g) re (e) 28
68.2(b) 0 69(1)(e) 33 69(1)(g) re (f) 26
no data no data 69(1)(f) 0 69.1(1) 0
2.4 Format of information released
Disposition Paper Electronic Other Formats
All disclosed 231 104 0
Disclosed in part 623 565 0
Total 854 669 0

2.5 Complexity

2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Disposition of Requests Number of Pages Processed Number of Pages Disclosed Number of Requests
All disclosed 34,402 34,402 335
Disclosed in part 232,176 203,204 1,188
All exempted 577,437 0 27
All excluded 1,892 0 20
Request abandoned 109,760 0 377
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 53
2.5.2 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 294 4,342 29 5,904 6 3,745 5 13,643 1 6,768
Disclosed in part 769 21,210 303 63,455 77 46,714 36 54,997 3 16,828
All exempted 19 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
All excluded 17 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 311 0 38 0 9 0 16 0 3 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 53 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1,463 25,552 375 69,359 93 50,459 57 68,640 12 23,596
2.5.3 Other complexities
Disposition Consultation Required Assessment of Fees Legal Advice Sought Other Total
All disclosed 56 0 2 53 111
Disclosed in part 371 0 27 204 602
All exempted 12 0 1 0 13
All excluded 10 0 4 5 19
Request abandoned 0 0 0 15 15
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0
Total 449 0 34 277 760

2.6 Deemed refusals

2.6.1 Reasons for not meeting statutory deadline
Number of Requests Closed Past the Statutory Deadline Principal Reason
Workload External Consultation Internal Consultation Other
1,095 792 101 29 173
2.6.2 Number of days past deadline
Number of Days Past Deadline Number of Requests Past Deadline Where No Extension Was Taken Number of Requests Past Deadline Where An Extension Was Taken Total
1 to 15 days 44 42 86
16 to 30 days 71 21 92
31 to 60 days 30 39 69
61 to 120 days 38 40 78
121 to 180 days 17 33 50
181 to 365 days 44 69 113
More than 365 days 216 391 607
Total 460 635 1,095
2.7 Requests for translation
Translation Requests Accepted Refused Total
English to French 0 0 0
French to English 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0

Part 3: Extensions

3.1 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 12 2 41 54
Disclosed in part 187 51 256 463
All exempted 4 1 6 10
All excluded 0 11 1 0
No records exist 3 3 2 4
Request abandoned 106 8 54 71
Total 312 76 360 602
3.2 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 103 6 87 2
31 to 60 days 101 18 181 570
61 to 120 days 73 52 81 25
121 to 180 days 21 0 10 4
181 to 365 days 13 0 1 1
365 days or more 1 0 0 0
Total 312 76 360 602

Part 4: Fees

4.1 Fees
Fee Type Fee Collected Fee Waived or Refunded
Number of
Requests
Amount Number of
Requests
Amount
Application 1,819 $9,100 419 $2,095
Search 0 $0 3 $300
Production 0 $0 19 $354
Programming 0 $0 0 $0
Preparation 0 $0 1 $29
Alternative format 0 $0 1 $5
Reproduction 0 $0 479 $3,376
Total 1,819 $9,100 922 $6,159

Part 5: Consultations Received From Other Institutions and Organizations

5.1 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 234 8,560 21 605
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 21 2,634 5 270
Total 255 11,194 26 875
Closed during the reporting period 237 10,370 23 764
Pending at the end of the reporting period 18 824 3 111
5.2 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 91 64 15 6 0 0 0 176
Disclose in part 8 11 10 2 0 1 0 32
Exempt entirely 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 5
Other 7 9 3 1 1 1 1 23
Total 109 86 29 9 1 2 1 237
5.3 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 5 9 3 0 0 0 0 17
Disclose in part 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 3
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 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 3
Total 7 12 4 0 0 0 0 23

Part 6: Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences

6.1 Requests with Legal Services
Number of Days Fewer Than 100
Pages Processed
101-500
Pages Processed
501-1,000
Pages Processed
1001-5,000
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
1 to 15 24 28 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 38 118 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 33 94 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 4 9 1 59 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 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 100 249 6 61 0 0 0 0 0 0
6.2 Requests with Privy Council Office
Number of Days Fewer Than 100
Pages Processed
101‒500
Pages Processed
501-1,000
Pages Processed
1001-5,000
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
1 to 15 5 48 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 10 43 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 7 18 1 260 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 2 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 24 109 1 260 0 0 0 0 0 0

Part 7: Complaints and Investigations

7.1 Complaints and Investigations
Section 32 Section 35 Section 37 Total
126 1 61 188

Part 8: Court Action

8.1 Court Action
Section 41 Section 42 Section 44 Total
1 0 7 8

Part 9: Resources Related to the Access to Information Act

9.1 Costs
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $4,777,259
Overtime $63,507
Goods and Services
  • Professional services contracts ($2,607,885)
  • Other ($241,368)
$2,849,253
Total $7,690,019
9.2 Human Resources
Resources Person Years Dedicated to Access to Information Activities
Full-time employees 62.90
Part-time and casual employees 2.27
Regional staff 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 11.26
Students 0.00
Total 76.43
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