2020-2021 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 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, as well as to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, the President of the Queen’s Privy Council and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, and the Special Representative for the Prairies.

PCO’s three main roles are to:

  1. Provide professional non-partisan advice to the Prime Minister, portfolio ministers, Cabinet and Cabinet committees on matters of national and international importance.
  2. Ensure that the Cabinet decision-making process runs smoothly and help implement the Government’s agenda.
  3. Foster a high-performing and accountable Public Service.

This is the 38th Annual Report to Parliament on the administration of the Access to Information Act (ATIA) by PCO, submitted as required by section 94 of the ATIA and section 20 of the Service Fees Act. This report covers the reporting period of April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

Additional copies of this report may be obtained by contacting:

Highlights

In the 2020-2021 reporting period, PCO received 616 requests and closed 332 requests, compared to 489 requests received and 530 requests closed in 2019-2020.

In 2020-2021, 42,958 relevant pages were processed, which represents a 62% decrease in the pages reviewed from last year and an 88% decrease in the amount reviewed in 2018-2019. The page volume does not account for proactive disclosure of briefing note titles, transition material, Question Period cards and committee binders.

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 it 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 within PCO 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 27.5 full-time equivalents (FTEs) that are organized into two areas of responsibility. The two areas of responsibility are as follows:

  1. ATIP Operations (21.5 FTEs)
    • Processes ATIP requests;
    • Oversees the collection and release of personal and/or business information;
    • Provides expertise in ATIP policy;
    • Researches trends and best practices in ATIP;
    • Develops and delivers ATIP training programs; and
    • Proactively discloses and publishes briefing note titles, transition material, Question period cards and committee binders.
  2. Client Services (6 FTEs)
    • Coordinates training and prepares promotional products;
    • Processes responses to parliamentary questions and petitions on behalf of PCO; and
    • Provides database administration.

Of the personnel complement of 27.5 FTEs in 2020-2021, approximately 26.5 FTEs were dedicated to activities related to the administration of the Access to Information Act and 1 FTE was dedicated to activities related to the administration of the Privacy Act.

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), the ATIP division 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.95(1) of the ATIA, is responsible for the implementation of the ATIA within PCO. Through the PCO delegation order, the Prime Minister has designated the Executive 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. PCO delegation orders, which were in effect in 2020-2021, can be found in Appendix A.

Activities and accomplishments

Key operational statistics
Access to information requests 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Requests received 792 578 489 616
Requests completed 769 632 530 332
Requests completed on-time (%) 100% 100% 100% 68.1%
Total relevant pages processed 231,738 347,593 112,341 42,958

PCO received an “F” on performance rating by the OIC for the 2006-2007 fiscal year. Since then, PCO has steadily improved its performance. While the COVID-19 pandemic impacted PCO’s access to information operations in 2020-2021, with the resources available and the training given, PCO is committed to responding to requests on time. 

Summary of key issues and actions taken on complaints or audits

Over the last few fiscal years, PCO has continued to make progress on complaints by working with the OIC to resolve them. The ATIP division meets regularly with officials from the OIC to discuss complaints and manage the workload to allow progress on the complaints, while maintaining appropriate focus on active requests to meet legislated due dates.

Education and training activities

Within the ATIP division, meetings are held on a weekly basis to ensure all requests meet the legislated due dates, as well as to review legislated extensions and discuss any new processes. PCO provides information on ATIP requirements and best practices through learning products, special events in the branch and/or the department, as well as on the intranet.

In 2020-2021, PCO provided ATIP training or awareness sessions to approximately 88 employees through 10 training events during the reporting period. These sessions consisted of an overview of ATIP to internal secretariats to deliver insight on the ATIP process, information management, and the application of exemptions.

PCO senior officials were provided with a summary of the access and privacy statistics on performance and compliance to promote understanding of access and privacy responsibilities. The Executive 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 the roles and enhance working relationships. Throughout the 2020-2021 reporting period, ATIP analysts liaised with clients to explain the five-stage request timeline and their working role, as well as train on processes such as the search for records.

PCO personnel have access to key information on access and privacy. This information is readily available 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 a summary of request text, disposition, and number of pages disclosed. Summaries are available from September 2019 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. 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 229 previously released ATI packages informally between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

b) Transitioning to an electronic office

As part of the Beyond 2020 plan, which advocates for green government operations, PCO began the process of transforming into a paperless office in 2016-2017, by introducing electronic tasking and notification of releases. These two processes alone have proven to be very successful and have greatly reduced the number of pages printed on a daily basis. In 2018-2019, PCO was part of the first wave of institutions brought on by TBS to accept requests through the online portal.

Towards the end of 2019-2020, the ATIP division officially became a paperless office; with help from the PCO Information Technology directorate, the ATIP division initiated electronic processes for record retrieval, consultations with other institutions, internal approvals and final responses.

Other activities

a) Reading room

In compliance with subsection 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 analysts can reserve the space in advance to ensure that it is available to requesters. In 2020-2021, 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, grant and contribution awards, briefing note titles for the Prime Minister, Ministers, and the Clerk of the Privy Council, transition material for Ministers and the Prime Minister, as well as committee binders.

Interpretation of the Statistical report

The 2020-2021 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, 2020 and March 31, 2021, PCO received 616 requests for information under the ATIA. The number of requests has increased from the two previous fiscal years, and the number of pages processed has decreased from the two previous fiscal years. There was a greater number of requests with a large volume of pages reviewed and determined not to be relevant, and therefore excluded from this statistic. As seen in the graphs below, the 332 requests closed during the reporting period consisted of 42,958 relevant pages processed, compared to 112,341 pages processed in 2019-2020 and 347,593 pages processed in 2018-2019.

Volume of requests by year
Text version - Volume of requests by year
2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
792 578 489 616
Relevant pages processed by year
Text version - Relevant pages processed by year
2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
231,738 347,593 112,341 42,958

A total of 506 requests were carried over to the 2021-2022 reporting period, while 222 requests were carried into 2020-2021 from the previous fiscal year.

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 2020-2021 is as follows:

For this reporting period, the largest source of requests was the media at 43%, consistent with previous reporting periods. Media accounted for 1% more of the requests in 2020-2021 than in 2019-2020. The requests from academia remained constant at 12% of all requests while requests from organizations decreased by 3%. The business sector, which includes law firms, saw an increase from 22 requests in 2019-2020 to 83 in 2020-2021. Requests from the public decreased by thirteen (13) to 103 in 2020-2021, accounting for 17% in 2020-2021, compared to 24% in 2019-2020.

1.3 Informal requests

In 2020-2021, 229 informal requests were completed, compared to 768 in 2019-2020 where a backlog was addressed.

Most informal requests (67%) were completed between 0 to 60 days, compared to 51% of informal requests completed in that period in 2019-2020. Many informal requests were completed in 1 to 15 days, representing 24% of all requests. Twenty-five (25) percent of requests were completed between 61 to 120 days, compared to 16% of requests in the previous reporting period. Another 7% of the requests were completed between 121 to 365 days in 2020-2021, compared to 31% of requests in 2019-2020. No requests were completed in more than 365 days, compared to 5% of the requests completed in 2019-2020. The ATIP division has continued to improve the timeliness of informal requests completed through its transition to a paperless office.

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

During the 2020-2021 reporting period, ATIP did not decline to act on an access request under the Access to Information Act that was found vexatious, made in bad faith or an abuse of the right of access.

Part 3 – Requests closed during the reporting period

3.1 Disposition and completion time

In 2020-2021, ATIP division completed 332 requests. The breakdown of the disposition of requests is as follows:

As these figures demonstrate, 192 or 57.8% of all requests were fully or partially disclosed. The percentage of requests for which no records were disclosed (either exempted or excluded) decreased by 3% to 2% of requests completed in 2020-2021. Approximately 33% of requests in 2020-2021 did not produce responsive records, which is an increase of approximately 18% from 2019-2020. No requests were transferred from PCO to another institution in 2020-2021. A smaller proportion of requests were abandoned in 2020-2021, down by 2.5% from 2019-2020.

In terms of completion times, 155 or 47% of requests sent to PCO were completed within 30 days in 2020-2021, up from 43% in 2019-2020. Forty-four (44) or 13% of requests were completed within 31 to 60 days, and 41 (12%) requests were completed between 61 to 120 days. Approximately 15% of requests (51) took 121 to 180 days to complete. Twenty-four (24) or 7% of all requests were completed between 181 to 365 days. Seventeen (17) or 5% 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.

3.2 Exemptions

While PCO endeavours to release as much information as possible, there are instances where information is protected 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 the Government on issues of national and international scope.

3.3 Exclusions

The ATIA does not apply to certain information described by section 68 of the ATIA (published material) or to confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council pursuant to section 69. The application of exclusions under subsection 69(1) reflects the role of PCO in providing advice and information to the Prime Minister as well as to Cabinet and its decision-making structures.

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

3.4 Format of information released

Of the requests for which records existed and were disclosed in whole or in part, 188 requests were released in electronic form. Another 4 requests were released on paper, down from 34 in 2019-2020. Requesters have the option of receiving the response by mail or by picking it up in person. In 2020-2021, PCO added the option for the response to be sent to the requester by email, if the size of the request allows. Nearly all replies were sent to the requester by mail or by email.

3.5 Complexity

3.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed

A total of 42,958 relevant pages were processed in 2020-2021. For requests which were “all disclosed” or “disclosed in part”, 32,882 pages were disclosed.

In compliance with changes made to the ATIA in 2019-2020, PCO now proactively discloses briefing note titles, transition material for the Prime Minister and Ministers, reference numbers of memoranda received by Ministers, Deputy Heads, and committee binders which are not captured in the relevant pages processed but require a significant amount of resources.

3.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of request

One hundred and forty one (141) out of the 222 requests where PCO had relevant records, or 63.5%, required the processing of less than 100 pages, up from 4% of requests in 2019-2020. A total of 65 requests involved the processing of 101-500 pages, and nine (9) requests involved the processing of between 501-1000 pages. Six (6) requests involved the processing of between 1001-5000 pages in 2020-2021. These requests account for 3,322 pages disclosed, representing 10% of pages disclosed this fiscal year. In addition, only one request required processing over 5,000 pages in 2020-2021, for which 6,651 pages were disclosed.

Note that the number of pages processed is not an accurate gauge of the time required to process an access to information 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.

3.5.3 Other complexities

Consultations were the primary “other complexity” for 93 (28%) of the 332 requests completed in 2020-2021. Legal advice sought for assessment of s. 23 of the ATIA was the second largest “other complexity”, applying to 4 (1%) of 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 charge any other fees other than the $5 application fee.

3.6 Closed requests

3.6.1 Number of requests closed within legislated timelines

In this reporting period, 226 requests were closed within legislated timelines.

3.7 Deemed refusals

3.7.1 Reasons for not meeting legislated timelines

In 2020-2021, 106 access to information requests were completed past the deadline, or in “deemed refusal”. Eight of these requests were not completed within the legislated timeline due to external consultations, while the remaining 98 of these requests were not completed within the legislated timelines primarily due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

3.7.2 Requests closed beyond legislated timelines (including any extensions taken)

In 2020-2021, 88 requests were closed past legislated timelines where no extension was taken and 18 requests were closed past legislated timelines where an extension was taken.

3.8 Requests for translation

Pursuant to subsection12(2) of the ATIA, which states that “where access to a record or a part thereof is to be given under this Part and the person to whom access is to be given 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, (a) if the record or part thereof already exists under the control of a government institution in that language; or (b) within a reasonable period of time, if the head of the government institution that has the control of the record considers it to be in the public interest to cause a translation to be prepared,” no translations were requested during the reporting period.

Part 4 – Extensions

4.1 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 2020-2021, PCO took 134 extensions in total. Seventy-seven (77) or 56% extensions were under paragraph 9(1)(a) for interference with operations due to the volume of records, versus 241 the previous year. Third-party notifications required 11 extensions under paragraph 9(1)(c), 53 less than the 64 extensions for the same reason for the previous fiscal year.

Consultations were another significant driver of extensions during the reporting period. A total of 27 extensions for consultations on Confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council, and 19 extensions to consult other institutions (46 extensions combined) were taken under paragraph 9(1)(b). Extensions for consultations were down from the 199 extensions taken in 2019-2020.

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.

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 OIC.

4.2 Length of extensions

Of the six timeframes shown at 4.2 of the Statistical Report, 30 days or less was the most common extension, accounting for 48.5% (65) of all extensions in 2020-2021. The second most employed extension was 31 to 60 days, accounting for 25% (33) of all extensions. The 61 to 120 days timeframe was the third most used extension at 16% (21). 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 5 – Fees

In accordance with the Interim Directive on the Administration of the ATIA, issued on May 5, 2016, and the changes to the ATIA that came into force on June 21, 2019, PCO 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.

The fees collected during the reporting period totaled at $2,790 on 558 requests, up from $2,305 in 2019-2020 and $2,700 in 2018-2019. In 2020-2021, PCO waived or refunded 58 requests with an amount totaling $290.

Part 6 – Consultations received from other institutions and organizations

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

PCO received 257 consultations during the reporting period, including 247 consultations from Government of Canada institutions and 10 consultations from other organizations.

Volume of consultations received by year
Text version - Volume of consultations received by year
2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
511 591 520 500 257
 

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

Consultations continue to account for a significant portion of the workload and make demands on both ATIP resources and on the PCO records authorities who provide consultative guidance.

In 2020-2021, PCO received 247 consultations from other government of Canada institutions and 89 consultations were carried over from the previous fiscal year.

PCO responded to 234 consultations from other government of Canada institutions, of those 47% (111) were completed in 30 days or less. This represents a 21% decrease from 2019-2020. Twenty-one percent of consultations (49) were responded to in 31 to 60 days and sixteen percent of consultations (37) were responded to in 61 to 120 days. The remaining 37 consultations took longer than 120 days to complete and 102 consultations were carried forward to 2021-2022. 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, in either full or in part.

6.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations

A total of ten consultation requests from a third-party organizations were received by PCO during 2020-2021. Six were completed in 30 days or less, two were completed in 31 to 60 days, one was completed in 61 to 120 days, and one was carried forward into 2021-2022.

Part 7 – Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences

7.1 Requests with legal services

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

7.2 Requests with Privy Council Office

ATIP consulted PCO LSS on 21 of the requests that were closed in the reporting period, down from 77 in 2019-2020.

This figure represents consultations where the request was completed in the reporting period, and excludes both active consultations and completed consultations in ongoing requests, which will be carried forward into the next reporting period.

Part 8 – Complaints and investigations

8.1 Complaints

In the 2020-2021 reporting period, 64 complaints were submitted to the OIC. These complaints were made on requests received in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, as well as previous fiscal years. This is a decrease from the 70 complaints that were received in the 2019-2020 reporting period.

In the 2020-2021 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.

8.2 Breakdown of complaints by source

The breakdown of complaints by source received in 2020-2021 is as follows:

During the 2020-2021 reporting period, PCO closed 50 complaints. Of those complaints, 10% (5) were not substantiated, 12.5% (8) were discontinued, 12.5% (8) resolved and 58% (29) were well-founded. In addition, PCO received 4 reports of finding recommendations by the Information Commissioner in 2020-2021.

Part 9 – Court action

In 2020-2021, no court actions involving PCO were initiated by the OIC or were ongoing concerning the ATIA.

Part 10 – Resources related to the Access to Information Act

10.1 Costs

Salary costs associated with administration of the ATIA were $2,200,213 for 2020-2021, on par with $2,203,390 for 2019-2020. Overtime costs totaled $32,865 for 2020-2021 on par with $32,082 for 2019-2020. Goods and services amounted to $55,432. This amount is down from $92,516 from 2019-2020. Total costs were $2,288,510, down slightly from $2,327,988 in 2019-2020.

10.2 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, progressing 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 ATIP team for years to come.

Full-time equivalents by year
Text version - FTE's by year
2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
30 30.75 26.5
 

In 2020-2021, ATIP had a personnel complement of 27.5 FTEs. Of those, 26.5 FTEs were dedicated to activities related to the administration of the Access to Information Act, as shown in the chart above. This represents a decrease in resources over the 30.75 FTEs of the previous year.

Part 11 – Impact of COVID-19

Since mid-March 2020, COVID-19 has affected ATIP’s ability to task secretariats for relevant information and to respond to requests in a timely manner. As described in the Supplemental Statistical Report (Appendix C), while PCO maintained its ability to receive requests throughout 2020-2021, PCO operated at a partial capacity when it comes to processing ATIP requests. Like most other institutions, a large percentage of PCO employees have been working from home since the beginning of the pandemic. One of the main challenges with working remotely is dealing with classified information at the Secret level or above. Most employees working from home do not have access to secure networks. Consequently, ATIP encountered challenges with reliably tasking secretariats for any information that is stored on a secure network. In addition, PCO is largely an aggregator of information; a great deal of the information we hold originates from, or is of interest to, other institutions. Even when the ATIP office was able to receive the relevant information from the secretariats, consultations with other institutions are often required, and only a limited number of institutions were able to process consultation requests.

The ATIP division has adapted new procedures to transform into a more paperless office in order to function remotely. PCO implemented GCdocs in 2019 and we have used this repository to transfer and submit information electronically. This has allowed us to continue with approvals for files in the remote work environment.

Appendices

Appendix A: Delegation orders

Access to Information Act

The Prime Minister, as head of the Privy Council Office and pursuant to section 95(1) 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

October 2, 2020

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); 12(2)(b); 12(3)(b); 13; 19; 20; 27(1); 27(4); 28(1)(b); 28(2); 28(4); 33; 37(4); 43(2); 44(2). 6(1); 8.
a R.S. 1985, c. A-1
b SOR/83-507

Appendix B: 2020-2021 Statistical report on the Access to Information Act

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 616
Outstanding from previous reporting period 222
Total 838
Closed during reporting period 332
Carried over to next reporting period 506
1.2 Sources of requests
Source Number of requests
Media 265
Academia 72
Business (Private sector) 83
Organization 93
Public 103
Decline to identify 0
Total 616
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
56 33 65 58 11 6 0 229
Note: All requests previously recorded as "treated informally" will now be accounted for in this section only.

Section 2 - Decline to act on vexatious, made in bad faith or abuse of rights 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 3 8 10 2 1 2 0 26
Disclosed in part 7 64 23 22 29 6 15 166
All exempted 0 0 0 2 2 2 0 6
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
No records exist 9 50 11 11 15 12 2 110
Request transferred 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 10 4 0 4 4 1 0 23
Neither confirmed or denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Decline to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 29 126 44 41 51 24 17 332
3.2 Exemptions
Section Number of requests
13(1)(a) 9
13(1)(b) 0
13(1)(c) 1
13(1)(d) 0
13(1)(e) 0
14 16
14(a) 2
14(b) 0
15(1) 60
15(1) - I.A. 0
15(1) - Def. 0
15(1) - S.A. 0
16(1)(a)(i) 6
16(1)(a)(ii) 0
16(1)(a)(iii) 0
16(1)(b) 0
16(1)(c) 0
16(1)(d) 0
16(2) 44
16(2)(a) 0
16(2)(b) 0
16(2)(c) 1
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 0
16.6 0
17 0
18(a) 0
18(b) 4
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) 137
20(1)(a) 1
20(1)(b) 8
20(1)(b.1) 0
20(1)(c) 18
20(1)(d) 4
20.1 0
20.2 0
20.4 0
21(1)(a) 30
21(1)(b) 45
21(1)(c) 6
21(1)(d) 1
22 0
22.1(1) 0
23 12
23.1 0
24(1) 9
26 0
3.3 Exclusions
Section Number of requests
68(a) 1
68(b) 0
68(c) 0
68.1 0
68.2(a) 0
68.2(b) 0
69(1) 1
69(1)(a) 4
69(1)(b) 0
69(1)(c) 10
69(1)(d) 2
69(1)(e) 7
69(1)(f) 2
69(1)(g) re (a) 15
69(1)(g) re (b) 0
69(1)(g) re (c) 16
69(1)(g) re (d) 9
69(1)(g) re (e) 12
69(1)(g) re (f) 9
69.1(1) 0
3.4 Format of information released
Paper Electronic Other formats
4 188 0
3.5 Complexity
3.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Number of pages processed Number of pages disclosed Number of requests
42,958 32,882 222
3.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests

Disposition
Less than 100 pages processed 101-500 pages processed 501-1000 pages processed 1001-5000 pages processed More than 5000 pages processed
Number of requests Pages disclosed Number of requests Pages disclosed Number of requests Pages disclosed Number of requests Pages disclosed Number of requests Pages disclosed
All disclosed 23 521 2 273 1 669 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 91 1,883 60 16,228 8 3,197 6 3,322 1 6,651
All exempted 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 21 0 2 138 0 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Decline to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 141 0 65 16,639 9 3,866 6 3,322 1 6,651
3.5.3 Other complexities
Disposition Consultation required Assessment of fees Legal advice sought Other Total
All disclosed 1 0 1 0 2
Disclosed in part 90 0 3 0 93
All exempted 2 0 0 0 2
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0
Decline to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0 0 0 0
Total 93 0 4 0 97
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 226
Percentage of requests closed within legislated timelines (%) 68.1
3.7 Deemed refusals
3.7.1 Reasons for not meeting statutory deadline
Number of requests closed past the statutory deadline Principal reason
Interference with operations / Workload External consultation Internal consultation Other
106 0 8 0 98
3.7.2 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 3 0 3
16 to 30 days 9 0 9
31 to 60 days 9 2 11
61 to 120 days 30 1 31
121 to 180 days 25 1 26
181 to 365 days 12 5 17
More than 365 days 0 9 9
Total 88 18 106
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 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 9 0 1 0
Disclosed in part 66 26 17 11
All exempted 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 1 0 0
No records exist 1 0 0 0
Request abandoned 1 0 1 0
Decline to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0 0 0
Total 77 27 19 11
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 53 0 8 4
31 to 60 days 20 3 6 4
61 to 120 days 4 13 1 3
121 to 180 days 0 5 1 0
181 to 365 days 0 6 1 0
365 days or more 0 0 2 0
Total 77 27 19 11

Section 5 - Fees

Fee type Fee collected Fee waived or refunded
Requests Amount Requests Amount
Application 558 $2,790 58 $290
Other fees 0 $0 0 $0
Total 558 $2,790 58 $290

Section 6 - Consultations received from other institutions and organizations

6.1 Consultations received from other government of Canada institutions and organizations
Consultations Other government of Canada institutions Number of pages to review Other organizations Number of pages to review
Received during reporting period 247 8,817 10 86
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 89 49,575 0 0
Total 336 58,392 10 86
Closed during the reporting period 234 15,001 9 78
Pending at the end of the reporting period 102 43,391 1 8
6.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other government of Canada institutions
Recommendation Number of days required to complete consultation requests
1 to 15 days 16 to 30 days 31 to 60 days 61 to 120 days 121 to 180 days 181 to 365 days More than 365 days Total
Disclose entirely 32 19 16 6 2 1 0 76
Disclose in part 29 24 33 29 10 16 5 146
Exempt entirely 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 5
Exclude entirely 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Consult other institution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 2 0 0 2 1 0 0 5
Total 68 43 49 37 13 18 6 234
6.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations
Recommendation Number of days required to complete consultation requests
1 to 15 days 16 to 30 days 31 to 60 days 61 to 120 days 121 to 180 days 181 to 365 days More than 365 days Total
Disclose entirely 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 5
Disclose in part 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 3
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 4 2 2 1 0 0 0 9

Section 7 - Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences

7.1 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
7.2 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 1 18 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 1 196 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 3 141 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 3 49 1 17 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 2 56 2 300 1 595 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 5 735 1 11 1 44 0 0
Total 9 264 9 1,248 2 606 1 44 0 0

Section 8 - Complaints and investigations

Section 32 Notice of intention to investigate Subsection 30(5) Ceased to investigate Section 35 Formal representations Section 37 Reports of finding received Section 37 Reports of finding containing recommendations issued by the Information Commissioner Section 37 Reports of finding containing orders issued by the Information Commissioner
64 50 7 4 4 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 $2,200,213
Overtime $32,865
Goods and services $55,432
• Professional services contracts $0  
• Other $55,432  
Total $2,288,510
10.2 Human resources
Resources Person years dedicated to Access to Information activities
Full-time employees 22.000
Part-time and casual employees 0.600
Regional staff 0.000
Consultants and agency personnel 0.000
Students 3.900
Total 26.500
Note: Enter values to three decimal places.

Appendix C: Supplemental Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act

Name of institution: Privy Council Office

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

Section 1: Capacity to receive requests

1.1 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 52 0 52
Protected B paper records 0 52 0 52
Secret and Top Secret paper records 0 52 0 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 electronic records 0 52 0 52
Protected B electronic records 0 52 0 52
Secret and Top Secret electronic records 0 52 0 52

Appendix D: Exemptions and exclusions

Exemptions and exclusions

The total numbers of requests for which specific exemptions were invoked during the 2020-2021 reporting period are as follows:

Exemptions not invoked

The following exemptions were not invoked by PCO during the 2020-2021 reporting period:

Exclusions cited

The total numbers of requests for which specific exclusions were cited during the 2020-2021 reporting period are as follows:

Exclusions not cited

The following exclusions were not cited by PCO during the 2020-2021 reporting period:

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