Canada launches updated Access to Information and Privacy online platform
July 13, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
As part of its commitment to openness and transparency, the Government of Canada is providing simpler and more efficient access to government held information.
Today, the Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board of Canada, announced enhancements to the Government’s Access to Information and Privacy Online Request Service platform, making the process of requesting information faster and easier for Canadians.
Updates to the platform, which allows access to information requests and personal information requests to be submitted for 227 institutions, will now provide users with the ability to:
- create secure user accounts so that basic information is saved and can be used for subsequent requests
- track the status of their requests in real time
- receive requested information electronically via the platform versus through the mail or third-party services
These updates will streamline the process of requesting information and are part of a series of key actions TBS is taking to improve access to information in ways that have an immediate impact. These changes include enhancing proactive disclosure, operational capacity, processing tools, and digital solutions to ensure a more efficient access to the information regime.
The updated platform will also allow international users to submit Privacy Act requests.
TBS will continue to seek opportunities to enhance the ATIP portal. Officials will engage and gather feedback from Canadians and departments and agencies, making refinements as needed to ensure the system is meeting the needs of users.
“The service improvements to the ATIP portal reflect the government’s ongoing commitment to openness, transparency, and accountability. We will continue to pursue opportunities to enhance the ATIP request process, leveraging technology and continuous improvement to meet Canadians’ expectations and rights for accessible, timely, and trustworthy information.”
- The Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board
In October 2018, the government launched the ATIP Online Request Service (AORS), a central website where Canadians can submit access to information and personal information requests to government institutions.
These improvements to the request portal will streamline and improve the service experience for requesters and provide the foundation for changes already in development to make it easier and more efficient for institutions processing requests.
As of July 13, 2022, users can make requests with 227 institutions through the ATIP Online Request Service. Additional departments will be onboarded to the system in the future.
TBS conducted two rounds of user testing for version 3.1 with users of different genders, ages, levels of education and locations, and with varying degrees of experience making an ATIP request. ATIP Online also obtained feedback from technical briefings with the media, user feedback survey in AORS, and user feedback from the ATIA review survey.
As part of the ongoing ATI review, the government released a list of key actions, implemented, planned or underway, to improve access to information and transparency, which includes the improvement of the ATIP Online system.
The ongoing digital transformation of this enterprise government service continues to be informed by the views of the Information Commissioner of Canada who continues to speak to the importance and urgency of this work.
Office of the President of the Treasury Board
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Toll-free: 1-855-TBS-9-SCT (1-855-827-9728)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 613-369-9371
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