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

Introduction

In keeping with section 94 of the Access to Information Act and section 20 of the Service Fees Act, each year the head of every federal government institution prepares and submits an annual report to Parliament on how their institution has administered the Access to Information Act.

The following report is tabled in Parliament under the direction of the Minister of National Revenue.  The report describes how the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administered and fulfilled its obligations under the Access to Information Act between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. The report also discusses emerging trends, program delivery and areas of focus for the year ahead.

Access to Information Act

The Access to Information Act came into force on July 1, 1983 and was significantly amended on June 21, 2019, with the coming into force of Bill C-58, An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. 

The Act extends the present laws of Canada that provide access to information under the control of the Government of Canada and provide for the proactive publication of certain information.

The purpose of the Act is to enhance the accountability and transparency of federal institutions in order to promote an open and democratic society, as well as enable public debate on the conduct of those institutions.

The Access to Information Act is based on three main principles:

  • government information should be available to the public
  • exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific
  • decisions about disclosures should be reviewed independently of government

The Access to Information Act’s formal processes are meant to complement, not replace other ways of getting federal government information. The CRA encourages individuals, businesses and other groups to consider getting information online at canada.ca/en or through the CRA’s toll free phone lines.

 

ISSN: 2563-3481

About the Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) promotes compliance with Canada’s tax legislation and regulations and plays an important role in the economic and social well-being of Canadians. The CRA does this by administering tax programs for the Government of Canada and for most provinces and territories. It also administers various social and economic benefit and incentive programs delivered through the tax system. In addition, the CRA has the authority to partner with the provinces, territories and other government bodies to share information and it can administer enhanced services at the request of provinces and territories on a fee-for-service basis.  

The minister of national revenue is accountable to Parliament for all of the CRA’s activities, including administering and enforcing the Income Tax Act and the Excise Tax Act.

The Board of Management, established by the Canada Revenue Agency Act, is made up of 15 directors appointed by the Governor in Council, 11 of whom are nominated by the provinces and territories. The other four directors include: the chair; the commissioner and chief executive officer of the CRA; and two directors nominated by the Government of Canada. The board oversees the administration and management of the CRA, including the development of the corporate business plan and management of policies related to resources, services, property and personnel. In fulfilling this role, the board brings a forward-looking strategic perspective to the CRA’s administration, fosters sound management practices and is committed to efficient and effective service delivery.

As the CRA’s chief executive officer, the commissioner is responsible for the day-to-day administration and enforcement of the program legislation that falls under the minister of national revenue’s delegated authority. The commissioner ensures that operations are guided by the CRA’s vision to be trusted, to be helpful and to put people first. As well, the commissioner is accountable to the board for the management of the CRA, which includes supervising employees, implementing policies and managing budgets. The commissioner also assists and advises the minister regarding legislated authorities, duties, functions and Cabinet responsibilities.

The CRA is made up of 12 functional branches and four regional offices across the country:

Branches

  • Appeals
  • Assessment, Benefit, and Service
  • Audit, Evaluation, and Risk
  • Collections and Verification   
  • Compliance Programs 
  • Finance and Administration
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs
  • Legal Services
  • Public Affairs
  • Service, Innovation, and Integration

Regions

  • Atlantic
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Western

Access to Information and Privacy Directorate

The Access to Information and Privacy Directorate helps the CRA meet its requirements under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. To fulfill this mandate, the directorate:

  • responds to requests and questions under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act
  • responds to consultations, complaints and informal disclosure requests
  • offers advice and guidance to CRA employees on how to properly manage and protect personal information under the CRA’s control
  • coordinates the privacy assessment process within the CRA, including giving expert advice to CRA employees on privacy implications and how to avoid or reduce risks
  • gives training and awareness sessions on access to information and privacy
  • responds to and manages privacy breaches, enquiries and complaints
  • communicates with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the offices of the information and privacy commissioners of Canada about policy and legislative requirements, complaints and audits
  • fulfills corporate planning and reporting obligations, such as the CRA’s annual reports to Parliament on administering the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act

The director general of the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate has the full delegated authority of the minister of national revenue under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The director general also manages and coordinates the Access to Information and Privacy Program, leads strategic planning and development initiatives and supports the assistant commissioner of the Public Affairs Branch and chief privacy officer of the CRA in the role of privacy governance. 

The directorate supports two main functions: processing and program support, which includes privacy management. Directorate employees are located in Ottawa, Montréal and Vancouver. In 2020–2021, an equivalent of 185 full-time employees administered the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

The following chart shows the structure of the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate.

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First row Assistant Commissioner of the Public Affairs Branch and Chief Privacy Officer

Second row Director General, Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Directorate, Public Affairs Branch

The three areas of responsibility of the Director General, Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Directorate, Public Affairs Branch are listed in the three circles below. They are:

First the Privacy and Access Policy DivisionSecond the Access, Operations, and Analysis DivisionThird and the ATIP Way Forward Modernization Initiative

The four areas of responsibility of the Director, Privacy and Access Policy Division are listed in the four boxes to the right. They are: the Privacy, Policy and Governance Section, the Privacy, Risk and Incident Management Section, the Access to Information Policy and Governance Section, and the Program Support Section.

The six areas of responsibility of the Director, Access, Operations, and Analysis Division are listed in the six boxes below. They are: the Regional Operations Case Section, Vancouver, the Regional Operations Case Section, Montreal, the Strategic Compliance Section, the Complaints and Intake Section, the Corporate and Complex Case Section, and the Legislative & Headquarters Operations Case Section .

The two areas of responsibility of the Director, ATIP Way Forward Modernization Initiative are listed in the two boxes to the far right column. They are: the Analytics and Innovation Section, and the Business Process Improvement Section .

The four teams of responsibility of the Regional Operations Case Section, Vancouver are listed in the four boxes in the far left row. They are: Team A, Team B, Team C and Team D.

The two teams of responsibility of the Strategic Compliance Section are listed in the bottom row first two boxes. They are: the Tax Compliance Team and the Operations and Training Manuals Team.

The two teams of responsibility of the Complaints and Intake Section are listed in the bottom row last two boxes. They are: the Business Process Team and the Operations and the Complaints Team.

The three teams of responsibility of the Legislative & Headquarters Operations Case Section are listed in the three far right row boxes. They are: the HQ Operations Team, the Business Compliance and Risk Assessment Case Team, and the Operations and the Legislative Case Team.

Delegating responsibilities under the Access to Information Act

As head of the CRA, the minister of national revenue is responsible for how the CRA administers and complies with the Access to Information Act, the Access to Information Regulations and related Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat policy instruments. Subsection 95(1) of the act gives the minister the authority to designate one or more officers or employees of the CRA to exercise or perform all or part of the minister’s powers, duties and functions under the act. 

The Minister of National Revenue signed the CRA’s current delegation order for the Access to Information Act on May 15, 2020. The order identifies specific provisions of the act and its regulations that the minister delegated to various positions within the CRA.

The Access to Information and Privacy Directorate’s director general, directors and assistant directors, as well as managers of the units, approve responses to requests under the act. Delegations are also extended to the commissioner, the deputy commissioner and the assistant commissioner of the Public Affairs Branch and chief privacy officer.

For the delegation order and schedule, see Appendix C.

Operational environment including the impact of COVID-19

The CRA’s Access to Information and Privacy Directorate processes one of the largest volumes of access to information requests and pages of all federal institutions. According to the most recent Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat statistics, in fiscal year 2019–2020, the CRA processed the second largest volume of pages, (just under two million) of all federal institutions and received the fourth largest number of requests. 

Fiscal year 2020–2021 was a year like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic had an unprecedented impact on the lives of Canadians. The CRA played a leading role in the Government of Canada’s response and continues to do so. At the start of the pandemic, the CRA quickly adapted and rapidly launched new programs to help deliver the government’s Economic Response Plan: building on the CRA’s people-first approach to service, innovative mindsets and a solid tax and benefit administration foundation. The CRA also adapted its information technology infrastructure and deployed new technology quickly to meet this challenge. The agency’s employees demonstrated their resilience and delivered the support Canadians needed. 

To support critical operations at the CRA during the pandemic, the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate management mobilized to resume operations on an urgent basis. This included making sure employees had the required tools to work remotely in a secure manner and coordinating re-entry. Weekly reporting to management was also established at this time. This work continued into fiscal year 2020–2021, including expediting technological solutions as part of the ATIP Way Forward Modernization Initiative. These measures were very successful in helping to minimize the number of employees needed on-site to process requests. For more details on the technological solutions implemented, see the ATIP Way Forward Modernization Initiative.

At the onset of the pandemic, the processing of requests under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act was suspended when the agency focused on critical services to Canadians. However, at the end of the fiscal year, both the backlog and the active inventory of existing requests were lower than what was carried over in the previous fiscal year. This is remarkable, considering the directorate could not task for records or consultations for a three-month period while the agency provided critical services. In fact, in June 2020, following the three-month pause in operations, the backlog of Access to Information Act requests was at 1,327 and at the end of the fiscal year it was reduced to 658, which represents a 50% decrease. Further, the active inventory was reduced from 1,680 requests to 1,205, a 28% decrease.

The number of requests received under the Access to Information Act in fiscal year 

2020–2021, 2,202, was 23% lower than in fiscal year 2019–2020 when 2,864 requests were received. The number of requests completed, 2,319, was 15% lower than the 2,731 requests completed last fiscal year. The volume completed is impressive, given the three-month pause in tasking. For more information about the impact of COVID-19 on operations, see Appendix B

 

The following chart shows the trend of requests received under the Access to information Act over the past five years.

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Access to Information Act request trend

In 2016–2017, 2,747 requests were received, 3,112 requests were completed and 1,406,334 pages were processed

In 2017–2018, 2,750 requests were received, 2,772 requests were completed and 1,641,339 pages were processed

In 2018–2019, 2,931 requests were received, 2,845 requests were completed and 2,013,227 pages were processed

In 2019–2020, 2,864 requests were received, 2,731 requests were completed and 1,953,575 pages were processed

In 2020–2021, 2,202 requests were received, 2,319 requests were completed and 1,804,108 pages were processed

ATIP Way Forward Modernization Initiative 

The Access to Information and Privacy Way Forward Modernization Initiative developed in fiscal year 2018–2019 supports the overall improvement of the directorate’s capacity to effectively and efficiently process access to information and privacy requests. To expedite that goal, in 2020–2021, through the hiring of a senior project lead and a team, a full-scale business transformation was launched using Lean improvement methodology. On an ongoing basis, the ATIP Way Forward Modernization Initiative identifies and manages the implementation of new technologies and processes to improve and modernize operational processes. To support this transformation, technology will be modernized with the goal of being paperless, that is completely digital, by fiscal year 2021–2022.

 

In 2020–2021, beyond organizational changes as detailed under the Organization changes section of this report, key changes made to enhance productivity and efficiency in the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate included the implementation of the following initiatives:

epost Connect™

The Access to Information and Privacy Directorate fully implemented Canada Post’s epost Connect™ secure solution on November 30, 2020. This solution allows the agency to send access to information and privacy requests to the public electronically. This initiative improved the directorate’s ability to respond to access to information and privacy requests due to restrictions put in place as a result of COVID-19. Adoption of epost Connect™ has been promising, since most responses are now completed electronically.

eFax® 

On March 22, 2021, the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate acquired and implemented eFax®. Through this tool, faxes are digitally uploaded to searchable electronic files that are accessible through the network. The implementation of this initiative was even more significant this fiscal year, because the directorate had a reduced ability to receive information by facsimile from Canadians due to restrictions put in place as a result of COVID-19. In fiscal year 2021–2022, keeping with our Lean continuous improvement mandate, the CRA will continue to innovate by introducing methods to modernize the ability to receive documentation from requesters and to enable remote work. 

Legal opinion repository

The CRA developed a legal opinion repository and implemented it on March 26, 2021. The repository provides an organized, readily searchable means to access legal opinions received by the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate since 1990. This tool supports the CRA’s ability to consistently apply access to information and privacy legislation. The legal opinions in the repository do not contain any personal or tax-related information.

In 2021–2022, in support of the ATIP Way Forward Modernization Initiative, changes to enhance productivity and efficiency in the directorate include:

  • continuing to entrench Lean methodology into business processes, to reduce waste, improve efficiency and introduce a culture of continuous improvement 
  • modernizing reporting and improving business analytics for data-driven business decisions
  • implementing a modernized case management system
  • digitizing operations to eliminate paper processes, reduce manual work, improve response times, reduce backlogs and enable remote work
  • identifying, fast-tracking and redirecting low-complexity requests that can be resolved more quickly and at a lower cost than through the access to information and privacy process. It is expected that Lean process improvement such as this will reduce workloads significantly and it will enable the directorate to focus resources on higher complexity files

Organizational changes

In support of the ATIP Way Forward Modernization Initiative, in 2020–2021, a new organizational structure was approved. The new structure supports the workload of the directorate, increases its productivity and improves its capacity to address the expanded access to information and privacy roles within the CRA. Among other changes, two new directors report to the director general: director, Access, Operations and Analysis Division; and director, Privacy and Access Policy Division and an executive was hired on a two-year assignment to lead to the ATIP Way Forward Modernization Initiative.

During the fiscal year, to support the success of the organizational structure, the Access to Information and Privacy Strategic Plan 2021–2024 was drafted. The plan outlines the directorate’s vision and purpose, strategic priorities and initiatives. The plan will be implemented in Q1, 2021–2022.

Human resources

In 2020–2021, the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate undertook many staffing actions to increase its workforce and to fill vacant and planned positions. This included launching several selection processes, including one to permanently staff the two new EX-01 positions, an SP-05Footnote 1  and three SP-06 processes, one in each of the directorate’s regions. These processes provided opportunities for the entire directorate. During the fiscal year, the directorate also recruited talent through the CRA mobility bank, a new initiative launched by the agency.

The directorate also stabilized various management positions through a Public Affairs Branch staffing initiative. Moving forward, the strategy will be to continue to run selection processes to create pools at all levels to facilitate filling any position that is or becomes vacant.

To ensure cohesiveness and promote a one-office model within the directorate, managers are asked to consider all three directorate locations (the National Capital Region, Montréal and Vancouver) when planning staffing. The one-office model is supported by monthly directorate all-staff meetings, where employees receive directorate updates and participate.

in special presentations that support health and wellness or those that are specific to the work of the directorate, such as the application of the access to information and privacy legislation.

Modernizing the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act

On June 21, 2019, Bill C-58, An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, received royal assent. This resulted in important improvements to the openness and transparency of government.

A provision in the bill requires a review of the act within a year of royal assent and every five years thereafter.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat is leading the Access to Information Act review which was launched in June 2020. The goals of the review are aimed at supporting government openness and transparency and improving access to information for Canadians. 

In response to the consultation process to seek input from government institutions, the CRA welcomed the opportunity to share ways to improve openness, transparency and, ultimately, the access to information regime.

During the fiscal year, the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate provided oversight to make sure program areas posted their required proactive disclosures within the legislated timeline. The directorate was also responsible for reviewing briefing note titles and tracking numbers, transition material and Question Period responses to determine if sensitive information needed to be protected according to legislation. The directorate also managed the publication of the briefing note titles and tracking numbers.

The Privacy Act is also in the process of being modernized. In summer 2020, the CRA reviewed the Department of Justice Canada draft policy proposals contained in a discussion paper on the modernization of the Privacy Act. This discussion paper was based on the department’s technical engagement which occurred in summer 2019 when the CRA provided a response which outlined the agency’s major concerns with the existing Privacy Act. The CRA was very pleased that its concerns were outlined within the updated discussion paper.

In 2021–2022, the CRA will continue to work closely with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, the Department of Justice Canada and other stakeholders on the Government of Canada’s commitment to modernize the acts.

Training

The Access to Information and Privacy Directorate is committed to promoting and providing access to information and privacy training to CRA employees. This training varies, depending on the needs of the employees. For instance, employees who have little or no knowledge of the subject are encouraged to take the Canada School of Public Service’s Fundamentals of Access to Information and Privacy course or its Access to Information in the Government of Canada course. Subject matter experts are advised to take more specific training, such as on how to provide complete recommendations in response to requests.

The CRA’s Legal Services Branch provides specialized training on the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act to advise CRA staff on how to prepare documents for release, on informal disclosure of records and the interpretation of the acts for specialized CRA employees such as auditors.

Members of the Privacy Team deliver privacy training sessions to other areas of the agency. This past fiscal year they collaborated with the Legal Services Branch to deliver training to subject matter experts at the agency.

In 2020–2021, the CRA continued to offer its suite of 10 web-based modules, which consist of specialized technical training, to directorate employees. This series of modules is the first of its kind for access to information and privacy professionals in the Public Service of Canada.

In November 2020, as part of the ATIP Way Forward Modernization Initiative, directorate employees took part in mandatory Lean White Belt training. Employees who could not attend the training and those on-boarded after it was offered will participate in the training in 2021–2022.

During the reporting period, directorate employees also participated in the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ training in preparation for information privacy manager certification. This training complements and builds on the association’s training taken by several employees in the previous reporting period, which prepared participants to become certified as information privacy professionals.

In 2020–2021, an agency-wide privacy and access to information training and awareness strategy was established. The strategy will be the foundation for privacy and access to information learning at the agency. Activities toward implementation of the strategy are taking place over the 2021–2022 fiscal year.  

An Access Policy and Governance section will be created in 2021–2022 in support of the ATIP Way Forward Modernization Initiative. Part of the mandate of the new section will involve coordinating and providing training to directorate and CRA employees as a whole, incorporating the streamlined business processes identified through the Lean Project.

Raising awareness                                                              

Every year, about 40 countries and 60 non-government organizations celebrate Right to Know Week to raise awareness of an individual’s right to access government information, while promoting freedom of information as essential to both democracy and good governance.

In 2020–2021, the CRA promoted Right to Know Week for the tenth consecutive year. The theme of the week was open government, with a focus on open data, open information and open dialogue. Open government webinars, coordinated by the Service, Innovation and Integration Branch, were promoted during this week.

The CRA also raised awareness about access to information through multiple committee meetings and in regular communication with CRA employees and senior management. Of note, Caroline Maynard, the Information Commissioner of Canada, presented to Access to Information and Privacy Directorate employees and followed up with a presentation to the CRA’s commissioner-chaired, Corporate Management Committee. During the presentations, Information Commissioner Maynard spoke of the need for a fundamental reform of the access to information regime in Canada and the role of government departments in it. She also acknowledged the work done by the agency to address challenges with the access to information regime.

Collaborating with oversight bodies and other organizations

The CRA continues to work closely with the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and other organizations to strengthen access to information at the CRA. Notably, in 2020–2021, the CRA:

  • communicated frequently with the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada on various subjects, including the management of specific complaint files
  • coordinated a meeting between the Information Commissioner of Canada and the Minister of National Revenue
  • participated in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat one-year review of the Access to Information Act, following royal assent of Bill C-58 in June 2019
  • worked closely with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to develop draft corporate policy instruments, to identify potential request-processing software solutions for the Public Service of Canada and to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • collaborated with the access to information and privacy community by co-chairing the A Coordinators Working Group. Through this group, best practices are shared amongst the departments that receive a large volume of requests
  • collaborated with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canadian Heritage, Public Safety Canada, Transport Canada, National Defence, Veterans Affairs Canada, Health Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on the implementation of epost Connect™
  • met with the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Employment and Social Development Canada, Library and Archives Canada and Revenu Québec to review business processes and share best practices to support the business modernization initiative being undertaken by the CRA. Information obtained will be used to support the streamlining of directorate business practices

Policies, guidelines, and procedures

The Access to Information and Privacy Directorate dedicated significant time in 2020–2021 to the review of CRA corporate documents, including policy instruments.

The CRA continues to provide feedback to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat on draft corporate policy instruments and promotes their compliance.

Internal procedures manual

The internal procedures manual is an Access to Information and Privacy Directorate guide for all major procedures involved in processing requests made under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The purpose of the manual is to promote consistent practices across the directorate.

In 2020–2021, the directorate finalized and made available to staff an online version of the manual.

Updating Info Source

Info Source provides information about the functions, programs, activities and related information holdings of government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Info Source also provides guidance to individuals on how to access information held by government institutions to exercise their rights under these acts.

Each institution subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act must update its Info Source chapter annually by the due date set by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, normally in June.

Because of the operational realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the CRA program areas were focused on providing critical services during the fiscal year. So the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate updated the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat on the information the directorate had already reviewed during the fiscal year. The directorate also updated the list of the manuals available in the public reading room.

The CRA's Info Source chapter can be found at canada.ca/cra-info-source.

Monitoring compliance

The Access to Information and Privacy Directorate produces several monthly reports that capture key statistics about the CRA’s inventory of access to information and privacy requests. Management regularly uses the reports to monitor trends, measure the directorate’s performance and identify any process changes needed to improve performance. The reports are presented monthly to senior management at the commissioner-chaired Corporate Management Committee.

In 2020–2021, the Access to Information and Privacy Business Analytics Team reviewed the existing reports and introduced new reports to improve awareness of outstanding access to information and privacy requests. The reports monitor active and closed requests, the status of requests by branch and region, the carry-forward inventory, complaints and deemed refusal volumes.

In addition to the monitoring and reporting mechanisms in place, the CRA’s work to develop enhanced business analytics for its access to information and privacy program continued in 2020–2021. The directorate’s analytics team improved its ability to query the database by using Power Query software, and new software is being tested to boost the team’s reporting capacity.

The directorate’s goal is to produce reports that are directly linked to the source data, with better data visualization and using modern tools such as Microsoft’s Power BI to produce more accurate, user-friendly, automated and customized reports. The directorate has invested in business analytics and will continue to make it a priority as management supports and recognizes the value of using data to make informed business decisions.

Interpretation and explanation of Appendix A – Statistical report

Appendix A provides a statistical report on the CRA’s activities under the Access to Information Act for the period of April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021. The following explains and interprets the statistical information and includes additional statistics about access to information at the CRA.

Note

Some totals may be more than 100% due to rounding.

Part 1 – Requests under the Access to Information Act

During the reporting period, the CRA received 2,202 new requests under the Access to Information Act. This is a decrease of 662 requests (23%) from last year’s total of 2,864. Including the 1,322 requests carried forward from the 2019–2020 reporting period, the CRA had 3,524 active requests in its inventory. Although the number of pages processed during the fiscal year was very high, there was a decrease of 149,467 (8%).

 

The following table shows the number of requests the CRA received and closed, as well as the number of pages processed over the past five fiscal years. The number of requests received and pages processed decreased significantly this fiscal year, as a result of COVID-19. 

The following table shows the number of requests the CRA received and closed, as well as the number of pages processed over the past five fiscal years.
Fiscal year Requests received Requests closed Pages processed
2016–2017 2,747 3,112 1,406,334
2017–2018 2,750 2,772 1,641,339
2018–2019 2,931 2,845 2,013,227
2019–2020 2,864 2,731 1,953,575
2020–2021 2,202 2,319 1,804,108

The following table shows the breakdown of the sources of the 2,202 requests received during the 2020–2021 reporting period.

The following table shows the breakdown of the sources of the 2,202 requests received during the 2020–2021 reporting period.
Source Number of requests Percentage
Media 50 2%
Academia 32 1%
Business (private sector) 898 41%
Organization 23 1%
Public 989 45%
Decline to identify 210 10%

Informal requests

During the fiscal year, the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate completed 380 informal requests for previously released information. Informal requests are those that are not processed under the Access to Information Act. 

Other requests and workload

Beyond the 2,202 requests received under the Access to Information Act, the CRA processed a high volume of other requests. The additional volume significantly affected operations, since resources had to be diverted to manage the workload. The additional requests included external and internal consultations, general enquiries and complaints. During the fiscal year, the Intake Team of the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate responded to 4,500 emails and 820 phone enquiries received through the general enquiries mailbox and toll free phone line.

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

After the coming into force of Bill C-58, An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, the Access to Information Act was amended to add section 6.1, which allows government institutions to decline to act on a request for information deemed to be vexatious, made in bad faith or otherwise an abuse of the right of access. To invoke section 6.1, institutions must first get the approval of the Information Commissioner of Canada through a prescribed application process.

In fiscal year 2020–2021, the CRA did not submit any decline to act applications to the Information Commissioner of Canada.

Although frivolous, vexatious, or otherwise abusive requests are rare, dealing with them can place a strain on public resources, delay delivery of other services and have a negative impact on the rights of other requesters. Where warranted, the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate will exercise the ability to refuse to process a request where it clearly meets these grounds. 

Part 3 – Requests closed during the reporting period

Disposition and completion time

During the reporting period, the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate closed 2,319 requests under the Access to Information Act:

  • 344 were fully disclosed (15%)
  • 1,039 were disclosed in part (45%)
  • 7 were exempted in their entirety (0.03%)
  • 166 resulted in no existing records (7%)
  • 116 were transferred to another institution (5%)
  • 646 were abandoned by requesters (28%)
  • 1 was neither confirmed nor denied (0.04%)

For more details, see table 3.1 of Appendix A.

The following chart shows the completion time for the 2,319 requests closed in 2020–2021.

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Completion time

682 (29%) in 30 days or under

235 (10%) from 31 to 60 days

369 (16%) from 61 to 120 days

1,033 (45%) in 121 days or more

Exemptions

The Access to Information Act allows an institution to refuse access to specific information when necessary. For example, information about an individual other than the requester cannot be disclosed if the individual has not given their consent. For detailed information on each of the exemptions that may be applied, see section 13 of the Access to Information Act.

In 2020–2021, the CRA applied the following exemptions, in full or in part, for requests closed during the reporting period:

  • section 13 – Information obtained in confidence (76 times)
  • section 14 – Federal-provincial affairs (4 times)
  • section 15 – International affairs and defence (13 times)
  • section 16 – Law enforcement and investigation and security (951 times)
  • section 17 – Safety of individuals (3 times)
  • section 18 – Economic interests of Canada (5 times)
  • section 19 – Personal information (722 times)
  • section 20 – Third-party information (56 times)
  • section 21 – Operations of government (209 times)
  • section 22 – Testing procedures, tests and audits (8 times)
  • section 23 – Solicitor-client privilege (145 times) 
  • section 24 – Statutory prohibitions (900 times) 

Exclusions

The Access to Information Act does not apply to information that is publicly available, such as information in government publications, libraries, and museums. Also, the act does not apply to Cabinet confidences.

In 2020–2021, the CRA applied exclusions 33 times:  28 times for information that was publicly available and 5 times for Cabinet confidences.

Format of information released

   

In 2020–2021, of the 1,383 requests for which information was disclosed in full or in part, 1,167 requests (84%) were released in electronic format.

Complexity

   

In 2020–2021, the directorate processed an average of 886 pages per request.

For example, to process the 2,037 requests closed during the fiscal year (excluding the dispositions of no records exist and request transferred), the CRA processed 1,804,108 pages. A significant number of requests involved a large volume of pages: 832 (41%) requests required the processing of more than 100 pages. Of these requests, 53 involved the processing of more than 5,000 pages including one request that required the review of 104,508 pages. For more details, see table 3.5.2 of Appendix A

In addition to requests with a large volume of pages, the CRA processed many sensitive requests, such as those involving tax litigation and consultation with third parties, including provincial, federal and international bodies. Other requests were considered complex because of the nature and sensitivity of the subject matter being processed. For more details, see table 3.5.3 of Appendix A.

In 2020–2021, the CRA processed 80 fewer complex requests compared to the previous reporting period. This represents a 12% decrease.

The following chart shows the volume of complex files processed over the past three years.

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Complex requests

832 requests in fiscal year 2018–2019

685 requests in fiscal year 2019–2020

605 requests in fiscal year 2020–2021

Closed requests

The Access to Information and Privacy Directorate closed 1,120 (48%) requests within the timelines required by law. This means that responses were provided within 30 calendar days or within an extended deadline.

Deemed refusals 

A deemed refusal is a request that was closed after the deadline of 30 calendar days or if a time extension was taken, after the extended deadline.

Of the 2,319 requests closed during the reporting period, 1,199 were closed after the deadline, resulting in a deemed refusal rate of 52%. This is a result of the temporary pause in the tasking of requests from April 1, 2020, to June 16, 2020, while the agency provided critical services to Canadians as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Requests closed beyond legislated timelines (including any extension taken)

The Access to Information Act sets the timelines for responding to access to information requests and allows time extensions when there is a large volume of records to be processed or a need to complete consultations (for example, with a government institution or third party). 

Of the 2,319 requests closed during the reporting period, 621 requests were closed past the legislated timeline when no extension was taken. A further 578 cases were closed after the legislated timeline when an extension was taken. 

Requests for translation

Records are normally released in the language in which they exist. However, records may be translated to an official language when requested and when the institution considers it in the public interest to do so.

The CRA did not receive any requests to translate records in response to access to information requests in 2020–2021.

Part 4 – Extensions 

Of the 2, 319 requests closed in 2020–2021, the CRA applied extensions for 1,037 (45%) of them. Extensions were applied 98% of the time because of workload and meeting the original 30-day time limit would have resulted in unreasonable interference with CRA operations. The remaining 2% of the time was for consulting with third parties or other government institutions, as well as converting records into other formats.

Part 5 – Fees and the Service Fees Act

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

With respect to the 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: 

  • Enabling authority: Access to Information Act.
  • Fee amount: There is a $5 fee for requests under the Access to Information Act. 
  • Total revenue: A total of $10,605 in fees was collected during the reporting period. 
  • Fees waived: In accordance with the Interim Directive on the Administration of the Access to Information Act, issued on May 5, 2016, and the changes to the Access to Information Act that came into force on June 21, 2019, the CRA 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. In the 2020–2021 fiscal period, the CRA waived a total of $350 for 70 requests.
  • Cost of operating the program: $6,195,045.

Part 6 – Consultations received from other institutions and organizations

   

The total number of external access consultation requests received has decreased 37% since the last fiscal year.

Beyond external consultations, the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate received 7 consultation requests from CRA branches and regions in 2020–2021. These requests are informal reviews that comply with the CRA’s informal disclosure prerequisites and do not fall under the Access to Information Act. During the fiscal year, 7 internal consultation requests were completed. 

Part 7 – Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences

Although Cabinet confidences are not included in the application of the Access to Information Act (section 69), the policies of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat require agencies and departments to consult their legal services to determine if requested information should not be included. If there is any doubt or if the records contain discussion papers, legal counsel must consult the Office of the Counsel to the Clerk of the Privy Council Office.

In 2020–2021, the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate did not need to consult the Legal Services Branch at the CRA or the Privy Council Office regarding Cabinet confidence exclusions. 

Part 8 – Complaints and investigations

The total number of complaints received from the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada decreased during the reporting period, from 193 in 2019–2020, to 119 this fiscal year, representing a 38% decrease. The complaints received were related to the following issues: 

  • time delay (38)
  • miscellaneous (1)
  • non-disclosure (23)
  • refusal due to exemption (22)
  • refusal due to general reasons (26)
  • time extensions (9)

During the fiscal year, 145 complaints were closed. At the end of the fiscal year there were 554 active complaints.

The following chart shows the number of complaints received and closed since 2018–2019.

Image described below
Image description

Complaints

In 2018–2019, 206 complaints were received, 292 complaints were completed.

In 2019–2020, 193 complaints were received, 196 complaints were completed

In 2020–2021, 119 complaints were received, 145 complaints were completed

 

The following chart shows the disposition of the complaints closed during the fiscal year.

Image described below
Image description

Complaint dispositions

Of all of the complaints,

53 (37%) were well-founded

32 (22%) were discontinued

18 (12%) were not well-founded

42 (29%) were resolved

For definitions of the complaint disposition categories, go to: oic-ci.gc.ca/en/disposition-categories.

Part 9 – Court action

In fiscal year 2020–2021, there were no complaints pursued to the Federal Court. 

Part 10 – Resources related to the Access to Information Act

Costs

In 2020–2021, the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate’s direct cost to administer the Access to Information Act was $6,195, 045. This does not include significant support and resources from the branches and regions. For more details, see section 10.1 of Appendix A.

Human resources

In 2020–2021, the equivalent of 57 full-time employees was dedicated to administering the Access to Information Act in addition to 6 part-time and casual employees, 7 consultants and agency personnel and 1 student.

Interpretation and explanation of Appendix B – Supplemental statistical report

New data on requests affected by COVID-19 measures

In 2020–2021, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat included a requirement for institutions to demonstrate the capacity to receive and process requests as a result of COVID-19 measures.

The following is a brief overview of the tables included in Appendix B: 

  • The CRA received and processed requests for 44 of the 52 weeks in 2020–2021. Requests could not be received or processed during the eight-week period of April1, 2020, to May 27, 2020, because the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate’s intake team was not equipped to process requests remotely. 
  • The CRA had partial capacity to process electronic records for 27 weeks and it had full capacity for 17 weeks due to the full implementation of epost Connect™ on November 30, 2020.

Conclusion

The CRA is committed to improving the access to information regime in Canada.

In 2020–2021, despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the CRA continued to make significant progress in addressing challenges and providing greater access to information by: 

  • advancing the ATIP Way Forward Modernization Initiative, including implementing technological solutions and Lean methodology
  • implementing a new organizational structure
  • addressing the significant backlog of requests received under the Access to Information Act
  • collaborating with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and other federal agencies and departments 

In 2021–2022, the Access to Information and Privacy Directorate will continue its work to enhance access to information at the agency and to make operations more efficient by focussing on the priorities in its strategic plan. These priorities include implementing business transformation and technology initiatives, with a focus on digital enhancements, as well as collaborating with stakeholders, oversight bodies and the access to information and privacy community at large.

Appendix A – Statistical report

Statistical report on the Access to Information Act

Name of institution: Canada Revenue Agency
Reporting period: April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021

Part 1 – Requests under the Access to information Act

1. 1    Number of requests

Part 1 - Requests under the Access to information Act - 1.1 Number of requests
Requests Number of requests
Received during reporting period 2,202
Outstanding from previous reporting period 1,322
Total 3,524
Closed during reporting period 2,319
Carried over to next reporting period 1,205

1.2    Sources of requests

Part 1 - Requests under the Access to information Act - 1.2 Sources of requests
Source Number of requests
Media 50
Academia 32
Business (Private sector) 898
Organization 23
Public 989
Decline to identify 210
Total 2,202

1.3    Informal requests

Completion time 

Part 1 - Requests under the Access to information Act - 1.3 Informal 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
16 19 59 101 6 178 1 380

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

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

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period

3.1    Disposition and completion time

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period - 3.1 Disposition and completion time
Disposition of 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
All disclosed 19 64 81 57 67 53 3 344
Disclosed in part 6 38 112 163 149 356 215 1,039
All exempted 0 0 0 2 2 3 0 7
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No records exist 4 28 20 83 9 20 2 166
Request transferred 69 30 5 6 6 0 0 116
Request abandoned 386 38 16 58 54 48 46 646
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Decline to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 484 198 235 369 287 480 266 2,319

3.2   Exemptions

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period - 3.2 Exemptions
Section Number of requests
13(1)(a) 16
13(1)(b) 3
13(1)(c) 53
13(1)(d) 4
13(1)(e) 0
14 0
14(a) 4
14(b) 0
15(1) 3
15(1) - International Affairs 9
15(1) - Defence of Canada 1
15(1) - Subversive Activities 0
16(1)(a)(i) 6
16(1)(a)(ii) 13
16(1)(a)(iii) 0
16(1)(b) 230
16(1)(c) 529
16(1)(d) 0
16(2) 5
16(2)(a) 0
16(2)(b) 0
16(2)(c) 168
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
16.4(1)(a) 0
16.4(1)(b) 0
16.5 0
16.6 0
17 3
18(a) 1
18(b) 1
18(c) 0
18(d) 3
18.1(1)(a) 0
18.1(1)(b) 0
18.1(1)(c) 0
18.1(1)(d) 0
19(1) 722
20(1)(a) 1
20(1)(b) 33
20(1)(b.1) 0
20(1)(c) 20
20(1)(d) 2
20.1 0
20.2 0
20.4 0
21(1)(a) 62
21(1)(b) 140
21(1)(c) 2
21(1)(d) 5
22 8
22.1(1) 0
23 145
23(1) 0
24(1) 900
26 0

3.3   Exclusions

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period - 3.3 Exclusions
Section Number of requests
68(a) 28
68(b) 0
68(c) 0
68.1 0
68.2(a) 0
68.2(b) 0
69(1) 0
69(1)(a) 1
69(1)(b) 0
69(1)(c) 0
69(1)(d) 0
69(1)(e) 1
69(1)(f) 0
69(1)(g) re (a) 3
69(1)(g) re (b) 0
69(1)(g) re (c) 0
69(1)(g) re (d) 0
69(1)(g) re (e) 0
69(1)(g) re (f) 0
69.1(1) 0

3.4   Format of information released

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period - 3.4 Format of information released
Paper Electronic Other formats
216 1,167 0

3.5    Complexity

3.5.1    Relevant pages processed and disclosed

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period - 3.5 Complexity - 3.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Number of pages
processed
Number of pages
disclosed
Number of
requests
1,804,108 1,381,282 2,037

3.5.2    Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests

Less than 100 pages processed

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period - 3.5 Complexity - 3.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests - Less than 100 pages processed
Disposition of requests Number of requests Pages disclosed
All disclosed 301 8,528
Disclosed in part 266 12,070
All exempted 7 0
All excluded 0 0
Request abandoned 630 72
Neither confirmed nor denied 1 0
Declined to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0
Total 1,205 20,670

101 - 500 pages processed

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period - 3.5 Complexity - 3.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests - 101 - 500 pages processed
Disposition of requests Number of requests Pages disclosed
All disclosed 41 7,968
Disclosed in part 301 77,140
All exempted 0 0
All excluded 0 0
Request abandoned 8 1,529
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0
Declined to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0
Total 350 86,637

501 - 1000 pages processed

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period - 3.5 Complexity - 3.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests - 501 - 1000 pages processed
Disposition of requests Number of requests Pages disclosed
All disclosed 1 542
Disclosed in part 168 119,465
All exempted 0 0
All excluded 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0
Declined to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0
Total 169 120,007

1001 - 5000 pages processed

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period - 3.5 Complexity - 3.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests - 1001 - 5000 pages processed
Disposition of requests Number of requests Pages disclosed
All disclosed 0 0
Disclosed in part 255 548,668
All exempted 0 0
All excluded 0 0
Request abandoned 5 10,727
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0
Declined to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0
Total 260 559,395

More than 5000 pages processed

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period - 3.5 Complexity - 3.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests - More than 5000 pages processed
Disposition of requests Number of requests Pages disclosed
All disclosed 1 45,000
Disclosed in part 49 518,211
All exempted 0 0
All excluded 0 0
Request abandoned 3 31,362
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0
Declined to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0
Total 53 594,573

3.5.3    Other complexities

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period - 3.5 Complexity - 3.5.3 Other complexities
Disposition Consultation
required
Assessment
of fees
Legal advice
sought
Other Total
All disclosed 0 0 0 18 18
Disclosed in part 0 0 3 42 45
All exempted 0 0 0 1 1
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 126 126
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 1 0 1
Declined to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 4 187 191

3.6    Closed requests

3.6.1    Number of requests closed within legislated timelines

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period - 3.6 Closed requests
- Requests closed within legislated timelines
Number of requests closed within legislated timelines 1,120
Percentage of requests closed within legislated timelines (%) 48.3%

3.7    Deemed refusals

3.7.1    Reasons for not meeting legislated timelines

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period - 3.7 Deemed refusals - 3.7.1 Reasons for not meeting legislated timelines
Number of requests closed past the legislated timelines Principal reason - Interference with operations / workload Principal reason - External consultation Principal reason - Internal consultation Principal reason - Other
1,119 739 6 5 449

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

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period - 3.7 Deemed refusals - 3.7.2 Requests closed beyond legislated timelines (including any extension taken)
Number of days
past legislated timelines
Number of requests past
legislated timelines where
no extension was taken
Number of requests past
legislated timelines where
an extension was taken
Total
1 to 15 37 54 91
16 to 30 21 28 49
31 to 60 33 41 74
61 to 120 171 129 300
121 to 180 187 71 258
181 to 365 156 109 265
More than 365 16 146 162
Total 621 578 1,199

3.8      Requests for translation

Part 3 - Requests closed during the reporting period - 3.7 Deemed refusals - 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

Part 4 - Extensions

4.1    Reasons for extensions and disposition of requestsFootnote 2 

Part 4 - Extensions - 4.1 Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests
Disposition of requests where an extension was taken 9(1)(a) Interference with operations 9(1)(b) Consultation - Section 69 9(1)(b) Consultation - Other 9(1)(c) Third-party notice
All disclosed 129 0 3 0
Disclosed in part 735 0 7 2
All exempted 4 0 1 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0
No records exist 95 0 0 0
Request abandoned 58 1 1 0
Declined to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0 0 0
Total 1,021 1 12 2

 

4.2    Lenght of extensions

Part 4 - Extensions - 4.2 Length of extensions
Length of extensions 9(1)(a) Interference with operations 9(1)(b) Consultation - Section 69 9(1)(b) Consultation - Other 9(1)(c) Third-party notice
30 days or less 244 0 1 0
31 to 60 days 216 0 5 1
61 to 120 days 377 1 5 1
121 to 180 days 84 0 1 0
181 to 365 days 74 0 0 0
365 days or more 27 0 0 0
Total 1,022 1 12 2

Part 5 - Fees

Part 5 - Fees
Fee type Fees collected - Number of requests Fees collected - Amount Fees waived or refunded - Number of requests Fees waived or refunded - Amount
Application 2,121 $10,605 70 $350
Other fees 0 $0 0 $0
Total 2,121 $10,605 70 $350

Part 6 - Consultations received from other institutions and organizations

6.1    Consultations received from other Government of Canada institutions and organizations

Part 6 - Consultations received from other institutions and organizations - 6.1 Consultations received from other Government of Canada institutions and organizations
Consultations Other government institutions Number of pages to review Other organizations Number of pages to review
Received during reporting period 83 7,770 4 94
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 10 603 1 315
Total 93 8,373 5 409
Closed during the reporting period
75 4,328 4 94
Carried over to next reporting period 18 4,045 1 315

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

Part 6 - Consultations received from other institutions and organizations - 6.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other Government of Canada institutions
Recommendation Completion time -
1 to 15 days
Completion time -
16 to 30 days
Completion time -
31 to 60 days
Completion time -
61 to 120 days
Completion time -
121 to 180 days
Completion time -
181 to 365 days
Completion time -
More than 365 days
Total
Disclose entirely 13 33 8 4 2 0 0 60
Disclose in part 0 3 6 1 2 0 0 12
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 0 0 2 0 0 0 3
Total 14 36 14 7 4 0 0 75


6.3    Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations

Part 6 - Consultations received from other institutions and organizations - 6.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations
Recommendation Completion time -
1 to 15 days
Completion time -
16 to 30 days
Completion time -
31 to 60 days
Completion time -
61 to 120 days
Completion time -
121 to 180 days
Completion time -
181 to 365 days
Completion time -
More than 365 days
Total
Disclose entirely 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
Disclose in part 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2
Exempt entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other organization 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 2 1 0 1 0 0 4

Part 7 - Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences

7.1   Requests with Legal Services

Part 7 - Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences - 7.1 Requests with Legal Services
Number of days Less than 100 pages processed - Number of requests Less than 100 pages processed - Pages disclosed 101 - 500 pages processed - Number of requests 101 - 500 pages processed - Pages disclosed 501 - 1000 pages processed - Number of requests 501 - 1000 pages processed - Pages disclosed 1001 - 5000 pages processed - Number of requests 1001 - 5000 pages processed - Pages disclosed More than 5000 pages processed - Number of requests More than 5000 pages processed - 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

Part 7 - Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences - 7.2 Requests with Privy Council Office
Number of days Less than 100 pages processed - Number of requests Less than 100 pages processed - Pages disclosed 101 - 500 pages processed - Number of requests 101 - 500 pages processed - Pages disclosed 501 - 1000 pages processed - Number of requests 501 - 1000 pages processed - Pages disclosed 1001 - 5000 pages processed - Number of requests 1001 - 5000 pages processed - Pages disclosed More than 5000 pages processed - Number of requests More than 5000 pages processed - 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

Part 8 - Complaints and investigations

Part 8 - Complaints and investigations
Section 32 - Notice of intention to investigate Section 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
119 32 0 145 0 0

Part 9 - Court action

9.1    Court actions on complaints received before June 21, 2019 and ongoing

Part 9 - Court action - 9.1 Court actions on complaints received before June 21, 2019 and ongoing
Section 41
(before June 21, 2019)
Section 42 Section 44
0 0 0

9.2    Court actions on complaints received after June 21, 2019

Part 9 - Court action - 9.2 Court actions on complaints received after June 21, 2019
Section 41
(after June 21, 2019) – Complainant
Section 41
(after June 21, 2019) – Institution
Section 41
(after June 21, 2019) –
Third party
Section 41
(after June 21, 2019) – Privacy Commissioner
Section 41
(after June 21, 2019) – Total
0 0 0 0 0

Part 10 - Resources related to the Access to Information Act

10.1    Costs

Part 10 - Resources related to the Access to Information Act - 10.1 Costs
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $5,225,846
Overtime $202,258
Goods and Services $766,941
  • Professional services contracts
$578,848
  • Other
$188,093
Total $6,195,045

10.2    Human Resources

Part 10 - Resources related to the Access to Information Act - 10.2 Human Resources
Resources Person years dedicated to access to information activities
Full-time employees 57
Part-time and casual employees 6
Regional staff 0
Consultants and agency personnel 7
Students 1
Total 71

Appendix B – Supplemental statistical report

In 2020–2021, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat included a requirement for institutions to demonstrate the capacity to receive and process requests as a result of COVID-19 measures.

Table 1 – Capacity to receive requests

The following table reports the total number of weeks the CRA was able to receive Access to Information and Privacy requests through different channels.

Requests affected by COVID-19 measures
Number of weeks
Able to receive requests by mail 44
Able to receive requests by email 44
Able to receive requests through the digital request service 44

Table 2.1 

The following table reports the total number of weeks the CRA was able to process paper records in different classification levels.

Table 2 - Requests closed
No capacity Partial capacity Full capacity Total
Unclassified paper records 8 44 0 52
Protected B paper records 8 44 0 52
Secret and top secret paper records 8 44 0 52

Table 2.2 

The following table reports the total number of weeks the CRA was able to process electronic records in different classification levels.

Table 2 - Requests carried over
No capacity Partial capacity Full capacity Total
Unclassified paper records 8 27 17 52
Protected B paper records 8 27 17 52
Secret and top secret paper records 8 27 17 52

Appendix C – Delegation order

Image described below
Image description

Access to Information Act

Delegation Order

I, Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, do hereby designate, pursuant to section 95(1) of the Access to Information Act, the officers or employees of the Canada Revenue Agency who hold the positions set out in the attached Schedule to exercise or perform the powers, duties or functions that have been given to me as head of a government institution under the provisions of the Access to Information Act as set out in the Schedule.

This designation replaces all previous delegation orders.

Diane Lebouthillier
Minister of National Revenue

Signed in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada this 15th day of May, 2020

The CRA positions that are authorized to perform the powers, duties, and functions given to the Minister of National Revenue under the provisions of the Access to Information Act and its Regulations are:

Commissioner

  • Full authority

Deputy Commissioner

  • Full authority

Assistant Commissioner, Public Affairs Branch, and Chief Privacy Officer

  • Full authority

Director General, Access to Information and Privacy Directorate, Public Affairs Branch

  • Full authority

Director, Access to Information and Privacy Directorate, Public Affairs Branch

  • Full authority

Assistant directors, Managers, Technical Reviewers / Advisors, Access to Information and Privacy Directorate, Public Affairs Branch

  • Full authority
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