2018-2019 Annual Report to Parliament on the Access to Information Act

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Introduction

The Privy Council Office (PCO) reports directly to the Prime Minister and is headed by the Clerk of the Privy Council and the Secretary to the Cabinet. PCO is both the Cabinet secretariat and the Prime Minister’s source of public service advice across the entire spectrum of policy questions and operational issues facing the Government. As the hub of non-partisan, public service support to the Prime Minister, Cabinet and its decision-making structures, PCO ensures that the Government and canadians are served by the highest quality public service.

PCO also provides support to the Prime Minister in his capacity as Minister of Youth, as well as to the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and the Minister of Democratic Institutions.

PCO has three main roles:

This is the 36th Annual Report to Parliament on the administration of the Access to Information Act (ATIA) by PCO, submitted as required by section 72 of the ATIA and section 20 of the Service Fees Act. This report covers the reporting period of April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019.

Additional copies of this report may be obtained from the:

Highlights

  1. Despite an increase in the number of pages reviewed over the last three fiscal years, the Privy Council Office (PCO) has maintained a high level of performance in access to information. In the 2018-2019 reporting period, PCO received 578 requests, down from the 792 received in the 2017-2018 reporting period. In 2018-2019, 347,593 pages were processed, which represents a 50% increase in the pages reviewed from last fiscal year and 171% more than the amount reviewed in 2016-2017. These pages have to undergo a thorough review process in which multiple PCO Secretariats and government departments are consulted. Considering the complexity and increased page volume, it is an achievement that 100% of the requests were completed on time.
  2. There were no requests closed past their legislated deadline in this reporting period. PCO has shown a significant improvement in the completion time of requests. In the 2015-2016 reporting period, PCO had 13 requests completed past their legislative deadlines. This number has consistently decreased in subsequent reporting periods, with 100% of requests completed on time for the last two fiscal years.
  3. In November 2017, PCO ATIP introduced a development program to recruit, develop, and accelerate the progression of talent from the PM-01 to the PM-04 level. The development program is a structured competency-based training framework that enables participants to develop key competencies required for all aspects of processing ATIP files. This process accurately reflects PCO’s position as a high-achieving employer of choice for ATIP Officers in the Federal Public Service and addresses current and future operational requirements. The 2018-2019 fiscal year is the first full year of the program since implementation. The program has been successful in training and promoting junior staff to meet the ATIP division’s operational needs.

Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) division – organizational structure

The ATIA provides a right of access to information in records under the control of government institutions. The ATIA is not a substitute for other access mechanisms, but is intended to complement other informal procedures that allow public access to government information. The ATIA stipulates that government information should be available to the public, necessary exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific, and decisions made by government institutions about the disclosure of information should be reviewed by a body independent of government.

The ATIP division is the focal point for access to information and privacy within PCO. The ATIP division is responsible for managing requests for departmental or personal information, ensuring corporate understanding and compliance with the ATIA and the Privacy Act (PA), and fostering corporate awareness of access and privacy rights and responsibilities. On matters of access and privacy, the ATIP division also acts as a primary liaison with the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC), the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC), Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS), and partner departments.

The ATIP division has a personnel complement of approximately 30 full-time equivalents (FTEs) that are organized into two areas of responsibility. The two areas of responsibility are organized as follows:

  1. ATIP Operations (24 FTEs)
    • Processes access to information and privacy requests;
    • Oversees the collection and release of personal and/or business information;
    • Provides expertise in access to information and privacy policy;
    • Researches trends and best practices in access to information and privacy; and
    • Develops and delivers ATIP training programs.
  2. Client Services (6 FTEs)
    • Organizes training and develops promotional products;
    • Coordinates responses to parliamentary questions and petitions on behalf of PCO; and
    • Provides database administration.

Monitoring compliance

In order to meet the legislative deadlines for access to information requests, the timelines of individual requests are strictly monitored. Regular meetings and various reports are used to ensure all requests are on track to meet the deadlines. Given our delegation orders (described in the next section), PCO ATIP works very closely with our Offices of Primary Interest (OPIs) to ensure tasking and signoff timelines are respected.

Privy Council Office delegation orders

The Minister heading each government institution is responsible for the implementation of the ATIA within his or her institution. The Prime Minister, as the Head of the Privy Council Office and pursuant to s. 73 of the ATIA, is responsible for the implementation of the ATIA within PCO. Through the PCO delegation order, the Prime Minister has designated the Director, ATIP, as the individual within PCO to perform the powers, duties, functions, or administrative tasks pertaining to the ATIA. PCO Secretariats, or OPIs, holders of the information identified in an access request, approve the release of information to requesters and the application of exemptions or exclusions and supporting rationales. This shared delegation of authority for the disposition of information is exercised diligently within PCO, and recorded formally at appropriate stages in the process. The PCO delegation orders, which were in effect in 2018-2019, are attached at Appendix A.

Activities and accomplishments

Key operational statistics
Access to information requests 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
Requests received 559 879 792 578
Requests completed 620 827 769 632
Requests completed on-time (%) 98.3% 99.6% 100% 100%
OIC grade A A A A (projected)
Total relevant pages processed 106,358 128,448 231,738 347,593

Since receiving an “F” performance rating by the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) for the 2006-2007 fiscal year, PCO has steadily improved its performance to the public. For the last 4 fiscal years (2015-2016 to 2018-2019), the percentage of requests responded to on time by PCO has been 98% or better, despite a 227% increase in page volume over the same period. PCO continues to focus on training, support throughout the fiscal year, and making diligent use of resources in a tight marketplace to reach this goal.

Summary of key issues and actions taken on complaints or audits

PCO has made meaningful progress on working with the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) to resolve complaints. PCO ATIP meets regularly with officials from the OIC to discuss complaints and to prioritize the workload to allow progress on the complaints, while ensuring proper attention is being paid to the active access to information requests.

Education and training activities

PCO promotes ATIP requirements and best practices in face-to-face meetings, presentations, special events, learning products, on the intranet and through its training program. It fosters strong working relationships with clients, and operates under clearly established timelines and procedures.

In 2018-2019, PCO delivered ATIP training or awareness sessions to 114 employees through 13 training events during the reporting year. The majority of these training sessions provided an overview of ATIP to internal secretariats, as well as delivering insight on the process and the application of exemptions.

To promote understanding of access and privacy responsibilities, PCO senior officials were provided with a summary of access and privacy statistics, performance and compliance. The Director of ATIP maintained regular contact with senior staff in the department, and ATIP senior staff met with senior officials in PCO Secretariats to clarify roles and strengthen working relationships. Throughout 2018-2019, PCO ATIP analysts liaised with clients to explain the five-stage request timeline, train on processes such as the search for records, assist with records review, and explain their working role. 

PCO personnel are provided with multiple channels to information on access and privacy, such as instructional ATIP handouts, an email box for questions, takeaway learning tools, as well as comprehensive and educational electronic content on PCO’s intranet.

Information-related policies, guidelines, procedures and initiatives

a) Posting of completed Access to Information requests

As part of the Open Government Initiative, PCO provides monthly summaries of completed access to information requests online. This information includes: summary of request text, disposition, and number of pages disclosed. Summaries are available here from June 2017 onward with direct links for requesting a copy of records. The public can also submit informal requests for completed files by mail or via the generic email on the PCO website. Requests related to the Public Appointments Commission Secretariat are processed by PCO and are included in the lists. Records are provided in the form that they were released under the ATIA including format, language(s) and any exemptions or exclusions that were applied.

As reported in the Statistical report, PCO released a total of 378 previously released ATI packages informally between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019.

b) Transitioning to an electronic office

As part of the Beyond 2020 plan, which advocates for green government operations and a paperless office, PCO began the process of transforming into a paperless office. In 2016-2017, we introduced electronic tasking and notification of releases. These two processes alone have proven to be very successful and have greatly reduced the number of pages being printed on a daily basis. In 2018-2019, PCO was part of the first wave of institutions brought on by Treasury Board Secretariat to accept requests through the online portal. Currently, PCO ATIP is working with IT to develop an electronic approval process and record retrieval process.

Other activities

a) Reading room

In compliance with s. 12(1) of the ATIA, the ATIP division also provides a reading room where the public may examine requested departmental records, manuals, and publications related to access to information. The reading room is located on the first floor of the Hope Building at 63 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario. This secure location allows for an appropriate separation from office activities and provides requesters with a suitable environment to review documents. ATIP officers can reserve the space in advance to ensure that it is available to requesters. In 2018-2019, no individual made use of this means of access to information.

b) Proactive disclosure

In compliance with mandatory proactive disclosure requirements for government organizations, the PCO website continued to make available information concerning PCO travel and hospitality expenses, reclassification of positions, contracts over $10,000, and grant and contribution awards.   

Interpretation of the Statistical report

The 2018-2019 Statistical report on the ATIA can be found at Appendix B.

Part 1 – Requests under the Access to Information Act (ATIA)

1.1 Requests

Between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019, PCO received 578 requests for information under the ATIA. While the number of requests has decreased from the two previous fiscal years, the number of pages processed has steadily increased, as there is a greater number of high-volume files. As can be seen in 2.5.1 and in the graphs below, the 578 closed requests received last fiscal year consisted of 347,593 relevant pages processed, compared to 231,738 relevant pages processed in 2017-2018 and 128,448 in processed in 2016-2017.

Volume of requests by year
Volume of requests by year
Text version - Volume of requests by year
2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019
559 879 792 578
Relevant pages processed by year
Relevant pages processed by year
Text version - Relevant pages processed by year
2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019
106,358 128,448 231,738 347,593

A total of 225 requests are carried forward into 2019-2020, while a total of 279 requests were carried into 2018-2019.

1.2 Sources of requests

The sources of access to information requests, in descending order by volume, were media, public, organization, academia and business.

The breakdown of the requests received during 2018-2019 is as follows:

At 300, requests from the media formed the largest source of the requests (52%), as is consistent with previous reporting periods. Media accounted for 15% more of the requests in 2018-2019 than in 2017-2018. The number of requests from academia and organizations remained near constant from 2017-2018; requests from academia decreased by one (1) to 66, while requests from organizations decreased by four (4) to 69. The business sector, which includes law firms, saw a significant decline from 160 requests in 2017-2018 to 51 in 2018-2019. However, it is worth noting that the high number of requests from the business sector in 2017-2018 was an anomaly compared to previous fiscal years. Requests from the public also saw a sharp decrease from 202 in 2017-2018 to 92 in 2018-2019, shrinking by 54% and only accounting for 16% of requests received in 2018-2019.

1.3 Informal requests

In 2018-2019, 378 informal requests were completed, compared to 368 in 2017-2018. This represents an increase of 3%. Most informal requests were completed in 121 to 180 days, representing 34% of all requests, or 130 files. Fifteen (15) percent of requests were completed in 0 to 60 days. Twenty-six (26) percent of requests were completed in 61 to 120 days. Another 21% of requests were completed in 181 to 365 days. Finally, 4% of requests were completed in more than 365 days.

1.4 Types of information requested

The subject matter varies by year and is often linked to current events. Broad types of information requested from PCO include:

Part 2 – Requests closed during the reporting period

2.1 Disposition and completion time

In 2018-2019, PCO ATIP division completed 632 requests, 18% less than were completed in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The breakdown of the disposition of records is as follows:

As these figures indicate, 452 or 71% of all requests were fully or partially disclosed, up from 64% in 2017-2018. The percentage of requests for which no records were disclosed (either exempted or excluded) decreased by 2% to 7% of requests completed in 2018-2019. Approximately 16% of requests in 2018-2019 did not produce responsive records, which is a decrease from 22% in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. No requests were transferred in 2018-2019, down from two (2) transferred requests in 2017-2018.

In terms of completion times, 234 or 37% of requests sent to PCO were completed within 30 days in fiscal year 2018-2019, which is in line with 2017-2018. One hundred and eight (108) or 17% of requests were completed within 61 to 120 days. The number of requests completed between 121 and 180 days also came to 108. Approximately 17% of requests (107) took 31 to 60 days to complete. Sixty-six (66) or 10% of all requests were completed between 181 and 365 days. Nine (9) or 1% of all requests were completed in more than 365 days. The complex, sensitive and multi-jurisdictional nature of PCO records is a factor in the time required to complete requests.

2.2 Exemptions

While the ATIA promotes disclosure, there are instances where information qualifies for necessary protection under the ATIA.

Totals for the six (6) most commonly used exemptions were, in order:

The use of these exemptions is consistent with the role of PCO and the content of the records it controls, both of which involve confidential consultations, deliberations and advice provided to Government on issues of national and international scope. Nonetheless, excluding requests abandoned, and those where no records existed, 91% of requests resulted in records released (in whole or in part) to applicants in response to their requests.

2.3 Exclusions

The ATIA does not apply to certain information described by s. 68 of the ATIA (published material) or to confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council pursuant to s. 69. In 2018-2019, s. 68 was cited on 19 occasions, and s. 69 was cited on 288 occasions. The application of exclusions under s. 69(1) reflects the role of PCO in providing advice and information to the Prime Minister and to Cabinet and its decision-making structures.

Totals for the six (6) most commonly used exclusions were, in order:

2.4 Format of information released

Of the requests for which records existed and were disclosed in whole or in part, 390 requests were released in electronic form on CD. Another 62 requests were released on paper, down from 166 in 2017-2018. Requesters have the option of receiving the response by mail or by picking it up in person. Nearly all replies were sent to the requester by mail.

2.5 Complexity

2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed

A total of 347,593 relevant pages were processed by PCO in 2018-2019, an increase of over 100,000 pages from 2017-2018, and another similar increase from 2016-2017 to 2017-2018. For ATI requests which were “all disclosed” or “disclosed in part”, 264,131 pages were processed and 91,985 pages were disclosed, compared to 88,682 disclosed in 2017-2018 and 61,758 in 2016-2017.

2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of request

Forty-six (46) percent of requests, or 290 out of 632, required the processing of less than 100 pages, down from 52% in 2017-2018. A total of 111 requests involved the processing of 101-500 pages, and 53 requests involved the processing of between 501-1000 pages. Requests of between 1001-5000 pages in size, which require significant time and resources to process, increased from 55 requests in 2017-2018 to 67 in 2018-2019. These requests accounted for 34,911 pages disclosed, representing over a third of total pages disclosed this fiscal year. In addition, 11 requests greater than 5000 pages were processed; totalling 18,583 pages disclosed. Only four (4) requests greater than 5000 pages were processed in 2017-2018.

Note that the number of pages processed is not an accurate gauge of the time required to process an access file. A request of many pages may involve basic records that require relatively little time to review, while small requests of a few pages could contain a complex combination of high-level content from several departments, requiring in-depth analysis and consultation.

2.5.3 Other complexities

Consultations were the primary “other complexity” for 195 (31%) of the 632 requests completed in 2018-2019. Legal advice sought for the assessment of s. 23 of the ATIA was the second largest “other complexity”, applying to 32 (5%) requests. As this report requires that requests be counted only once, in the complexity column that best applies, this table does not represent the total number of requests for which an “other complexity” was applicable, as several files required both consultation and legal advice. Also, note that the PCO does not track any complexities under “Other.”

2.6 Deemed refusals

In 2018-2019, no access to information requests were completed past the deadline, or in “deemed refusal”. This is a significant achievement reflecting the diligence and leadership present in the ATIP team as well as the ongoing cooperation of the OPIs in PCO.

2.7 Requests for translation

The ATIA states at s. 12(2) that “where access to a record or a part thereof is to be given under this Act and the person…requests that access be given in a particular official language, a copy of the record or part thereof shall be given to the person in that language”: if the record already exists in that language, or if the head of the government institution considers its translation in the public interest. There were no translations requested during the reporting period.

Part 3 – Extensions

3.1 Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests

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

In 2018-2019, PCO took 302 extensions under s. 9(1)(a) for interference with operations due to the volume of records, versus 381 the previous year. Third party notifications required 51 extensions under s. 9(1)(c), less than the 60 extensions for the same reason for the previous fiscal year. 

Consultations were a significant driver of extensions during the reporting year. A total of 95 extensions for consultations on Confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council, and 133 extensions for other types of consultations (228 extensions combined) were taken under s. 9(1)(b). Extensions for consultations were down from the 266 extensions taken in 2017-2018.

Consultations remain inherent to processing the often complex, interdepartmental records under the control of PCO. When PCO sends a consultation request to another federal institution, it first contacts the department to obtain an estimated response time. For consultations with institutions with large workloads, PCO verifies whether a previously recommended consultation period is still accurate. These efforts provide requesters with a more accurate estimate of when they will receive a response. Contacting the institution being consulted to mutually determine how long the consultation will take is considered a best practice by the Office of the Information Commissioner.

3.2 Length of extensions

Of the six timeframes shown at section 3.2 of the Statistical report, 30 days or less was the most common extension, accounting for 40% (230) of all extensions in 2018-2019. The second most employed extension was 61 to 120 days, accounting for 30% (175) of all extensions. The 31 to 60 days timeframe was the third most used extension at 100 extensions, or 17%. Reporting requires that separate extensions are recorded under each column. As such, one request may be reflected in more than one column if an extension was required under more than one paragraph of the ATIA. These statistics can be considered representative of PCO's consultative requirements and the department’s heavy workload. PCO remains committed to the responsible use of extensions under the ATIA, consistent with operational demands. 

Part 4 – Fees

The fees collected during the reporting period totalled $2,700 on 578 requests, down from $3,750 in 2017-2018 and $4,290 in 2016-2017. In 2018-2019, PCO waived the application fees for 38 requests, totalling $190.

Part 5 – Consultations received from other institutions and organizations

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

PCO received 520 consultations from other government institutions and organizations during the reporting year.

Volume of consultations received by year
Volume of consultations received by year
Text version - Volume of consultations received by year
2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019
403 353 490 524 513 431 381 438 511 591 520

There was a 12% decrease in total consultations received from the previous year, as well as a 28% decrease in the number of pages received for review. However, PCO completed the review of 7,876 or 35% more pages than in 2017-2018. Some institutions which sought the views of PCO included Library and Archives Canada, the Department of National Defence, Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Department of Finance, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Natural Resources Canada, and Public Safety Canada.

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

Over the last 10 years, the volume of consultations sent to PCO has remained high. Consultations account for a significant portion of the workload and make demands on both PCO ATIP resources and on the PCO records authorities who provide consultative guidance. Nonetheless, in 2018-2019, the Department responded to 61% of consultations (321) from other Government of Canada institutions in 30 days or less. An additional 24% of consultations (126) were responded to in 31 to 60 days. These numbers are consistent with the 2017-2018 fiscal year. PCO recognizes that a prompt rate of response to consulting institutions contributes to more timely service to the public at the broader government level. The majority of recommendations given by PCO in response to these consultations were to disclose the records, either in full or in part.

5.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations

A total of 11 consultation requests from a third-party organization were completed by PCO during 2018-2019. Nine (9) were completed in 30 days or less, and another two (2) were completed in 31 to 60 days. 

Part 6 – Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences

6.1 Requests with legal services

Note that in regard to ATIP, PCO consults only with the Office of the Counsel to the Clerk of the Privy Council (PCO Counsel). Therefore, no data appears in the table entitled “Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences under the ATIA - Requests with Legal Services.”

6.2 Requests with Privy Council Office

In accordance with Treasury Board guidelines in force in 2018-2019, PCO ATIP consulted with PCO Counsel for the review and determination of Cabinet confidences contained in government records. PCO ATIP sent 68 consultations to PCO Counsel in the reporting period, down from the 103 in 2017-2018. This number does not reflect the total number of consultations sent to PCO Counsel in 2018-2019; to be counted for the purposes of the report, both the consultation and request must be completed during the reporting period. This excludes consultations completed during the reporting period, but for which the request was carried forward.

Part 7 – Complaints and investigations

7.1 Complaints

In the 2018-2019 reporting period, 66 complaints were submitted to the OIC. These complaints were made on requests received in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, as well as previous fiscal years. This is a decrease from the 106 complaints that were received in the 2017-2018 reporting period. 

In the 2018-2019 reporting period, complaints related to a range of issues, including the exemptions invoked or exclusions cited on records, and extensions taken to complete consultations and meet PCO operational requirements.

The breakdown of complaints by source received in 2018-2019 is as follows:

By the end of the reporting period for 2018-2019, PCO closed 73 complaints. Of these closed complaints, 25% were discontinued, 18% were resolved, 42% were deemed to be well founded, and 15% were not substantiated. PCO continues to optimize its work processes by developing expertise and staff appropriately. PCO has spent a considerable amount of time training employees and ensuring they have the proper tools to deal with complaints and investigations from the OIC. PCO also works in close cooperation with the OIC to ensure that expectations are met and to ensure that PCO ATIP analysts and OPIs have a clear understanding of the complaint process.

7.2 Investigations

In the 2018-2019 reporting period, no investigations were undertaken in relation to PCO ATIP by the OIC.

Part 8 – Court action

In 2018-2019, no court actions involving PCO were initiated by the OIC in regard to the ATIA.  There is one (1) ongoing court action from 2015-2016.

Part 9 – Resources related to the Access to Information Act

9.1 Costs

Salary costs associated with administration of the ATIA were $1,861,757 for 2018-2019, up from $1,742,311 in 2017-2018. Overtime costs totalled $11,248, down from $24,107 in 2017-2018 and $51,705 in 2016-2017. Goods and services amounted to $267,204, up from 2017-2018 ($87,654) but down from 2016-2017 ($355,988). PCO did not contract any professional services in 2017-2018, which accounts for the significant reduction in the total costs for goods and services that fiscal year. In 2018-2019, PCO spent $267,204 on goods and services, of which the majority was professional services contracts. Total costs were $2,140,209, up from $1,854,072 in 2017-2018.

9.2 Human resources

It remains a challenge to attract and retain ATIP personnel, given the shortage of qualified analysts across the federal government. Currently, PCO uses various staffing methods to fill vacancies, including working with other departments to staff from pools of qualified candidates as well as running our own staffing processes. PCO offers a supportive work environment and growth opportunities for staff in an effort to retain qualified ATIP personnel. Moreover, the Professional Developmental Program launched in the 2017-2018 fiscal year boosts the retention of employees by encouraging them to learn and grow within the team from the PM-01 level to the PM-04 level. Taken with the successful hiring of students, the program will contribute to the recruitment and professional development of qualified analysts within the PCO ATIP team for years to come.

FTEs by year
FTEs by year
Text version - FTEs by year
2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019
21.66 29 30

PCO human resources capacity for the 2018-2019 reporting period was 30 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees as shown in the chart above. This is a minor increase in resources over the 29 FTEs of the previous year.

Appendices

Appendix A: Delegation orders

Access to Information Act

The Prime Minister, as head of the Privy Council Office and pursuant to section 73 of the Access to Information Acta, hereby designates the officers or employees holding the positions set out in the schedule hereto, and any persons acting in those positions, to exercise or perform the powers, duties and functions of the Prime Minister as the head of a government institution under the sections of the Act and the regulations opposite each position in the schedule.

This delegation order supercedes all previous delegation orders.

Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau

December 23, 2015

a R.S. 1985, c. A-1

Schedule

Position Sections of the Access to Information Acta Sections of the Access to Information Regulationsb
1. Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet. Full delegation. Full delegation.
2. Any senior management position within the Privy Council Office that reports directly to the position set out in paragraph 1 above. Full delegation. Full delegation.
3. All Assistant Secretaries and Assistant Deputy Ministers within the Privy Council Office. Full delegation. Full delegation.
4. Any management position that is responsible for a unit within the Privy Council Office and that reports directly to a position covered by paragraph 2 above other than the Assistant Deputy Minister of Corporate Services Branch. Full delegation. Full delegation.
5. Coordinator of Access to Information within the Privy Council Office. 7; 8(1); 9; 10; 11(2); 11(3); 11(4); 11(5); 11(6); 12(2)(b); 12(3)(b); 13; 19; 20; 27(1); 27(4); 28(1)(b); 28(2); 28(4); 29(1); 33; 37(4); 43(1); 44(2). 6(1); 8.
a R.S. 1985, c. A-1
b SOR/83-507

Appendix B: 2018-2019 Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act

Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2019-03-31

Part 1 - Requests under the Access to Information Act

1.1 Number of Requests
  Number of requests
Received during reporting period 578
Outstanding from previous reporting period 279
Total 857
Closed during reporting period 632
Carried over to next reporting period 225
1.2 Sources of requests
Source Number of Requests
Media 300
Academia 66
Business (Private Sector) 51
Organization 69
Public 92
Decline to Identify 0
Total 578
1.3 Informal requests
Completion Time
1-15 Days 16-30 Days 31-60 Days 61-120 Days 121-180 Days 181-365 Days More Than 365 Days Total
30 7 21 97 130 78 15 378
Note: All requests previously recorded as "treated informally" will now be accounted for in this section only.

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 1 10 6 3 0 0 0 20
Disclosed in part 24 75 99 96 87 43 8 432
All exempted 0 2 1 6 9 18 1 37
All excluded 0 0 1 0 5 2 0 8
No records exist 16 79 0 2 1 2 0 100
Request transferred 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 17 10 0 0 6 1 0 34
Neither confirmed or denied 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Total 58 176 107 108 108 66 9 632
2.2 Exemptions
Section Number of requests
13(1)(a) 50
13(1)(b) 0
13(1)(c) 4
13(1)(d) 2
13(1)(e) 0
14 130
14(a) 2
14(b) 2
15(1) 253
15(1) - I.A.* 0
15(1) - Def.* 0
15(1) - S.A.* 0
16(1)(a)(i) 34
16(1)(a)(ii) 0
16(1)(a)(iii) 0
16(1)(b) 0
16(1)(c) 1
16(1)(d) 0
16(2) 196
16(2)(a) 0
16(2)(b) 0
16(2)(c) 2
16(3) 0
16.1(1)(a) 0
16.1(1)(b) 9
16.1(1)(c) 1
16.1(1)(d) 0
16.2(1) 0
16.3 0
16.4(1)(a) 0
16.4(1)(b) 0
16.5 0
17 1
18(a) 1
18(b) 46
18(c) 0
18(d) 4
18.1(1)(a) 0
18.1(1)(b) 4
18.1(1)(c) 0
18.1(1)(d) 0
19(1) 424
20(1)(a) 12
20(1)(b) 99
20(1)(b.1) 0
20(1)(c) 95
20(1)(d) 32
20.1 0
20.2 0
20.4 0
21(1)(a) 128
21(1)(b) 236
21(1)(c) 38
21(1)(d) 17
22 4
22.1(1) 0
23 137
24(1) 55
26 1
* I.A.: International Affairs, Def.: Defence of Canada, S.A.: Subversive Activities
2.3 Exclusions
Section Number of requests
68(a) 19
68(b) 0
68(c) 0
68.1 0
68.2(a) 0
68.2(b) 0
69(1) 4
69(1)(a) 21
69(1)(b) 0
69(1)(c) 18
69(1)(d) 8
69(1)(e) 33
69(1)(f) 2
69(1)(g) re (a) 56
69(1)(g) re (b) 0
69(1)(g) re (c) 62
69(1)(g) re (d) 22
69(1)(g) re (e) 43
69(1)(g) re (f) 19
69.1(1) 0
2.4 Format of information released
Disposition Paper Electronic Other formats
All disclosed 3 17 0
Disclosed in part 59 373 0
Total 62 390 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 3,279 3,279 20
Disclosed in part 260,852 88,706 432
All exempted 47,948 0 37
All excluded 6,731 0 8
Request abandoned 28,783 0 34
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 1
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 18 528 1 128 0 0 1 2623 0 0
Disclosed in part 236 5,785 93 15,677 47 16,373 49 32,288 7 18,583
All exempted 5 0 13 0 5 0 12 0 2 0
All excluded 2 0 2 0 1 0 3 0 0 0
Request abandoned 28 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 2 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 290 6,313 111 15,805 53 16,373 67 34,911 11 18,583
2.5.3 Other complexities
Disposition Consultation required Assessment of fees Legal advice sought Other Total
All disclosed 0 0 4 0 4
Disclosed in part 166 0 25 0 191
All exempted 25 0 3 0 28
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 4 0 0 0 4
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0
Total 195 0 32 0 227
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
0 0 0 0 0
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 0 0 0
16 to 30 days 0 0 0
31 to 60 days 0 0 0
61 to 120 days 0 0 0
121 to 180 days 0 0 0
181 to 365 days 0 0 0
More than 365 days 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0
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 request
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 7 0 1 3
Disclosed in part 254 72 104 40
All exempted 26 13 17 6
All excluded 5 8 0 0
No records exist 3 2 5 0
Request abandoned 7 0 6 2
Total 302 95 133 51
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 208 1 13 8
31 to 60 days 53 2 32 13
61 to 120 days 29 75 61 10
121 to 180 days 10 16 16 7
181 to 365 days 2 1 11 13
365 days or more 0 0 0 0
Total 302 95 133 51

Part 4: Fees

Fee Type Fee Collected Fee Waived or Refunded
Number of requests Amount Number of requests Amount
Application 540 $2,700 38 $190
Search 0 0 0 0
Production 0 0 0 0
Programming 0 0 0 0
Preparation 0 0 0 0
Alternative format 0 0 0 0
Reproduction 0 0 0 0
Total 540 $2,700 38 $190

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 509 22,347 11 187
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 114 46,856 0 0
Total 623 69,203 11 187
Closed during the reporting period 522 29,872 11 187
Pending at the end of the reporting period 101 39,331 0 0
5.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other government 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 76 47 28 2 0 0 2 155
Disclose in part 70 113 89 35 9 5 12 333
Exempt entirely 1 3 7 5 0 0 4 20
Exclude entirely 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 6
Consult other institution 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Other 1 2 2 0 0 1 0 6
Total 155 166 126 42 9 6 18 522
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 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 3
Disclose in part 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 7
Exempt entirely 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
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 6 3 2 0 0 0 0 11

Part 6 - Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences 

6.1 Requests with Legal Services
Number of Days 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
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
6.2 Requests with Privy Council Office
Number of Days 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
1 to 15 18 138 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 7 134 1 276 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 17 393 3 200 1 973 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 11 282 5 368 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 1 50 2 210 0 0 1 178 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 1 18 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 54 997 12 1,072 1 973 1 178 0 0

Part 7 - Complaints and investigations

Section 32 Section 35 Section 37 Total
66 34 8 108

Part 8 - Court action

Section 41 Section 42 Section 44 Total
0 0 0 0

Part 9 - Resources related to the Access to Information Act

9.1 Costs
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $1,861,757
Overtime $11,248
Goods and Services $267,204
• Professional services contracts $235,510  
• Other $31,694  
Total $2,140,209
9.2 Human resources
Resources Person Years Dedicated to Access to Information Activities
Full-time employees 24.00
Part-time and casual employees 0.00
Regional staff 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 1.00
Students 5.00
Total 30.00

Appendix C: Exemptions and exclusions

Exemptions invoked

The total numbers of requests for which specific exemptions were invoked during the 2018-2019 reporting period are as follows:

Exemptions not invoked

The following exemptions were not invoked by PCO during the 2018-2019 reporting period:

Exclusions cited

The total numbers of requests for which specific exclusions were cited during the 2018-2019 reporting period are as follows:

Exclusions not cited

The following exclusions were not cited by PCO during the 2018-2019 reporting period:

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