Info Source Bulletin 38B - Statistical Reporting, 2014-15

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Bulletin on Statistical Reporting is an annual compilation of statistical information about requests made under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act to federal institutions.

The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act both came in to effect on .

Section 70(1)(c.1) of the Access to Information Act assigns responsibility to the President of the Treasury Board, as the designated Minister, to collect statistics on an annual basis for the purpose of assessing compliance with the provisions of the Act.

Similarly, the President of the Treasury Board, as designated Minister, issues policy instruments and prescribed forms to support the Acts. Two such forms are the Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act and the Statistical Report on the Privacy Act, which are used to collect statistics annually for the purpose of assessing compliance.

The tables and figures that follow summarize the combined results of all institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act that submitted reports for Fiscal Year 2014‒15. Cumulative information from 1983 to , is also presented.

Access to Information Act Statistics

The following is the collection of tables and figures that offer insights regarding requests made under the Access to Information Act and closed during the period of , to . These figures are based on the statistical reports provided by government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act.

Requests Under the Access to Information Act: 2014—15

Requests Received and Closed Under the Access to Information Act
Requests Under the Access to Information Act Number of Requests
Received during 2014—15 reporting period 68,193
Outstanding from 2013—14 reporting period Footnote 1 10,611
Total 78,804
Closed during 2014—15 period 67,032
Carried over to 2015—16 reporting period 11,772
Figure 1: Requests Received and Closed Under the Access to Information Act: Comparison of 2013—14 and 2014—15
Requests Received and Closed Under the Access to Information Act: Comparison of 2013—14 and 2014—15. Text version below:
Figure 1 - Text version

This table compares the number of requests under the Access to Information Act received, closed and carried forward within the 2014-15 reporting period with those from 2013-14.

Requests Under the Access to Information Act 2013-14 2014-15
Received during reporting period 60,105 68,193
Closed during reporting period 58,475 67,032
Carried over to next reporting period 11,175 11,772
Outstanding from previous reporting period 9,545 10,611

The preceding figure shows a 13.5% increase in requests received in 2014—15, as compared with the previous period. It also shows that, of the 78,804 requests that were received in 2014-15 or outstanding from the previous period, 85.1% of requests were closed. The closure rate increased by 1.1% when compared to the previous period.

Sources of Received Access to Information Act Requests
Source Number of Requests
Public 28,082
Business (private sector) 25,170
Media 7,873
Organization 3,297
Academia 2,008
Decline to identify Footnote 2 1,763
Total 68,193
Figure 2: Sources of Received Access to Information Act Requests: Comparison of 2013—14 and 2014—15
Sources of Received Access to Information Act Requests: Comparison of 2013—14 and 2014—15. Text version below:
Figure 2 - Text version

This table compares the categories of requestor for the 2014–15 reporting period with those from 2013–14.

Category of Requestor 2013–14 2014–15
Public 23,723 28,082
Business 23,129 25,170
Media 8,421 7,873
Organization 2,898 3,297
Academia 1,934 2,008
Decline to identify - 1,763
Disposition and Time Required to Close Access to Information Act Requests
Disposition of Requests (Including Requests for which Extensions were Required) Closure Time
0 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 13,320 3,918 698 134 138 45 18,253
Disclosed in part 18,200 8,253 4,146 1,459 1,468 1,019 34,545
All exempted 427 117 103 27 33 20 727
All excluded 208 49 75 27 11 7 377
No records exist 5,765 502 129 36 45 16 6,493
Request transferred 587 3 1 0 0 0 591
Request abandoned 4,986 271 180 68 121 225 5,851
Neither confirmed nor denied 148 20 13 7 4 3 195
Total number of requests 43,641 13,133 5,345 1,758 1,820 1,335 67,032
Total as percentage 65.1% 19.6% 8.0% 2.6% 2.7% 2.0% 100.0%

The preceding table illustrates that 65.1% of requests had been closed within the initial statutory deadline of 30 days and that 78.8% of closed requests disclosed records either in full or in part.

Disposition of Closed Access to Information Act Requests: Comparison of 2013-14 and 2014-15
Disposition of Closed Requests Requests as Percentage Number of Requests
2013-2014 2014—15 2013—14 2014—15
All disclosed 26.8% 27.2% 15,684 18,253
Disclosed in part 50% 51.5% 29,250 34,545
All exempted 1.2% 1.1% 679 727
All excluded 0.9% 0.6% 521 377
No records exist 10.5% 9.7% 6,143 6,493
Request transferred 0.7% 0.9% 436 591
Request abandoned 7.7% 8.7% 4,520 5,851
Treated informally Footnote 3 2.1% - 1,242 -
Neither confirmed nor denied Footnote 4 - 0.3% - 195
Total 100.0% 100.0% 58,475 67,032
Figure 3: Disposition of Closed Access to Information Act Requests: Graphic Comparison of 2013—14 and 2014—15
Disposition of Closed Access to Information Act Requests: Graphic Comparison of 2013—14 and 2014—15. Text version below:
Figure 3 - Text version

This table compares the disposition of closed requests for the 2013–14 reporting period with that from 2014–15.

Disposition of Closed Requests 2013–14 2014–15
Disclosed in part 29,250 34,545
All disclosed 15,684 18,253
No records exist 6,143 6,493
Request abandoned 4,520 5,851
Treated informally 1,242 -
All exempted 679 727
All excluded 521 377
Request transferred 436 591
Neither confirmed nor denied - 195
Time Required to Close Access to Information Act Requests According to Time Period: Comparison of 2013—14 and 2014—15 Footnote 5
Closure Time Requests as Percentage Number of Requests
2013—14 2014—15 2013—14 2014—15
0 to 30 days 61.0% 65.1% 35,653 43,641
31 to 60 days 18.0% 19.6% 10,522 13,133
61 to 120 days 10.4% 8.0% 6,053 5,345
121 to 180 days 3.8% 2.6% 2,227 1,758
181 to 365 days 4.9% 2.7% 2,892 1,820
More than 365 days 1.9% 2.0% 1,128 1,335
Total 100.0% 100.0% 58,475 67,032

The preceding table demonstrates a 4.1% increase in the rate of requests closed within the first 30 days after they were received and a 1.6% increase in the closure rate for the period between 31 and 60 days, as compared with the previous reporting period.

Figure 4: Five-Year Comparison of Time Required to Close Access to Information Act Requests According to Time Period Footnote 6
Five-Year Comparison of Time Required to Close Access to Information Act Requests According to Time Period. Text version below:
Figure 4 - Text version

This table compares the time required closing requests according to time periods for the last five years from 2010 to 2015. Data is shown in percentages.

Closure Time 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
0 to 30 days 56.9% 55.3% 64.8% 61.0% 65.1%
31 to 60 days 21.1% 21.3% 17.2% 18.0% 19.6%
61 to 120 days 11.5% 12.9% 9.8% 10.4% 8.0%
121 days or more 10.6% 10.5% 8.1% 10.7% 7.3%
Relevant Pages Processed and Disclosed Regarding Closed Access to Information Act Requests
Disposition of Requests Number of Pages Processed Number of Pages Disclosed Number of Requests
All disclosed 982,150 846,581 18,253
Disclosed in part 7,136,655 4,669,409 34,545
All exempted 1,363,960 0 727
All excluded 14,463 0 377
Request abandoned 422,121 57,139 5,851
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 195
Total 9,919,349 5,573,129 59,948

The preceding table shows that, of the 9,919,349 pages processed in the closure of requests, 56.2% were disclosed.

Other Considerations Regarding Complexity of Closed Access to Information Act Requests
Disposition Consultation Required Assessment of Fees Legal Advice Sought Other Footnote 7 Total
All disclosed 692 55 16 420 1,183
Disclosed in part 6,003 348 292 1,817 8,460
All exempted 157 16 15 47 235
All excluded 141 1 13 40 195
Request abandoned 233 327 2 125 687
Neither confirmed nor denied 15 3 1 2 21
Total 7,241 750 339 2,451 10,781
Reasons for Deemed Refusals Footnote 8 Regarding Closed Access to Information Act Requests
Number of Requests Closed Past the Statutory Deadline or Not Within the Timeframe Covered by an Extension (Deemed Refusal) Principal Reason
Workload External Consultation Internal Consultation Other Footnote 9
8,405 6,829 474 523 579
Status of Closed Access to Information Act Requests
Status of Closed Requests Requests as Percentage Number of Requests
2013—14 2014-15 2013—14 2014-15
Closed within the statutory deadline including extensions 86.0% 87.5% 50,278 58,627
Closed in deemed refusal 14.0% 12.5% 8,197 8,405
Total 100.0% 100.0% 58,475 67,032

The preceding table demonstrates that there was a 1.5% decrease in the percentage of requests closed in deemed refusal in 2014-15, as compared with the previous reporting period.

Reasons for Extensions and Disposition of Closed Access to Information Act Requests
Disposition of Requests Where an Extension Was Taken 9(1)(a)
Interference With Operations
9(1)(b)
Consultation
9(1)(c)
Third-Party Notice
Section 69 Footnote 10 Other Footnote 11
All disclosed 723 10 420 137
Disclosed in part 4,590 676 3,214 1,599
All exempted 96 18 88 41
All excluded 29 81 51 1
No records exist 209 1 53 11
Request abandoned 280 24 208 111
Total 5,927 810 4,034 1,900
Length of Extensions Regarding Closed Access to Information Act Requests
Length of Extensions Footnote 12 9(1)(a) - Interference With Operations 9(1)(b) - Consultation 9(1)(c) - Third-Party Notice
Section 69 Other
30 days or less 2,471 30 943 149
31 to 60 days 1,905 85 1,241 1,152
61 to 120 days 936 516 1,261 414
121 to 180 days 295 130 388 101
181 to 365 days 275 48 179 53
365 days or more 45 1 22 31
Total 5,927 810 4,034 1,900
Format of Released Information Regarding Closed Access to Information Act Requests
Disposition Paper Electronic Other Formats Footnote 13
All disclosed 6,872 11,420 23
Disclosed in part 7,930 26,841 53
Total 14,802 38,261 76

The preceding table illustrates that 72.0% of closed requests disclosed records electronically.

Exemptions Applied Under the Access to Information Act Regarding Closed Requests

Information Obtained in Confidence
Provision Number of Requests
13(1)(a) 1,798
13(1)(b) 277
13(1)(c) 787
13(1)(d) 335
13(1)(e) 19
Total 3,216
Federal-Provincial Affairs
Provision Number of Requests
14 383
14(a) 416
14(b) 156
Total 955
International Affairs and Defence
Provision Number of Requests
15(1) 480
15(1) International Affairs 1,915
15(1) Defence 1,301
15(1) Subversive activities 8,194
Total 11,890
Law Enforcement and Investigations
Provision Number of Requests
16(1)(a)(i) 1,116
16(1)(a)(ii) 698
16(1)(a)(iii) 155
16(1)(b) 746
16(1)(c) 6,293
16(1)(d) 76
16(2) 1,156
16(2)(a) 31
16(2)(b) 75
16(2)(c) 1,239
16(3) 2
16.1(1)(a) 22
16.1(1)(b) 22
16.1(1)(c) 83
16.1(1)(d) 72
16.2(1) 7
16.3 13
16.4(1)(a) 2
16.4(1)(b) 1
16.5 13
Total 11,822
Safety of Individuals
Provision Number of Requests
17 309
Total 309
Economic Interests of Canada
Provision Number of Requests
18(a) 237
18(b) 450
18(c) 26
18(d) 254
18.1(1)(a) 49
18.1(1)(b) 42
18.1(1)(c) 7
18.1(1)(d) 24
Total 1,089
Personal Information
Provision Number of Requests
19(1) 25,254
Total 25,254
Third-Party Information
Provision Number of Requests
20(1)(a) 195
20(1)(b) 2,389
20(1)(b.1) 50
20(1)(c) 1,900
20(1)(d) 603
20.1 20
20.2 0
20.4 0
Total 5,157
Operations of Government
Provision Number of Requests
21(1)(a) 3,535
21(1)(b) 3,935
21(1)(c) 941
21(1)(d) 467
Total 8,878
Testing Procedures, Tests and Audits
Provision Number of Requests
22 452
22.1(1) 66
Total 518
Solicitor-Client Privilege
Provision Number of Requests
23 2,255
Total 2,255
Statutory Prohibitions
Provision Number of Requests
24(1) 1,860
Total 1,860
Information to Be Published
Provision Number of Requests
26 193
Total 193

Exclusions Applied Under the Access to Information Act Regarding Closed Requests

Act Does Not Apply to Certain Materials
Provision Number of Requests
68(a) 439
68(b) 1
68(c) 1
68.1 119
68.2(a) 79
68.2(b) 18
Total 657
Cabinet Confidences
Provision Number of Requests
69(1) 30
69(1)(a) 229
69(1)(b) 16
69(1)(c) 52
69(1)(d) 195
69(1)(e) 410
69(1)(f) 54
69(1)(g) re (a) 750
69(1)(g) re (b) 21
69(1)(g) re (c) 357
69(1)(g) re (d) 294
69(1)(g) re (e) 484
69(1)(g) re (f) 197
69.1(1) 33
Total 3,122
Consultations by Other Federal Institutions Regarding Access to Information Act Requests: Comparison of 2013—14 and 2014—15
Consultations Number of Requests Number of Pages to Review
2013—14 2014-15 2013—14 2014-15
Received during reporting period 9,086 7,918 471,101 409,533
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 1,216 622 183,775 119,479
Total 10,302 8,540 654,876 529,012
Closed during the reporting period 9,515 7,877 547,748 456,120
Pending at the end of the reporting period 787 663 107,128 72,892

The preceding table shows that while the number of Access to Information Act requests received during the 2014-15 reporting period increased, the number of consultations undertaken between federal institutions in the same period dropped significantly.

Consultations by Other Organizations Footnote 14 Regarding Access to Information Act Requests: Comparison of 2013—14 and 2014—15
Consultations Number of Requests Number of Pages to Review
2013—14 2014-15 2013—14 2014-15
Received during reporting period 265 435 14,171 31,666
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 23 38 2,073 4,205
Total 288 473 16,244 35,871
Closed during the reporting period 252 428 12,143 25,919
Pending at the end of the reporting period 36 45 4,101 9,952

The preceding table shows a significant increase in the number of consultations received from other organizations, such as provincial or municipal institutions, as well as a sharp increase in the number of pages to review, as compared with the previous reporting period.

Recommendations and Closure Time for Consultations by Other Federal Institutions Regarding Access to Information Act Requests
Recommendation Number of Days Required to Close Consultation Requests Footnote 15
1 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 3,285 510 96 14 13 40 3,958
Disclose in part 1,787 823 348 63 58 31 3,110
Exempt entirely 141 41 15 1 2 1 201
Exclude entirely 19 5 1 0 0 0 25
Consult other institution Footnote 16 105 27 14 5 4 1 156
Other 343 38 19 3 5 19 427
Total 5,680 1,444 493 86 82 92 7,877
Recommendations and Closure Time for Consultations by Other Organizations Regarding Access to Information Act Requests
Recommendation Number of Days Required to Close Consultation Requests
1 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 227 31 8 1 0 0 267
Disclose in part 68 37 17 5 0 1 128
Exempt entirely 7 5 0 0 0 0 12
Exclude entirely 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Consult other institution 5 0 5 0 0 0 10
Other 9 0 0 0 1 0 10
Total 317 73 30 6 1 1 428
Fees and Cost of Operations Regarding Access to Information Act Requests
Description of Fees and Costs Amount
Cost of operations Footnote 17 $67,073,342.00
Requests closed 67,032
Average cost per closed request Footnote 18 $1000.62
Pages processed 9,919,349
Average cost per processed page $6.76
Number of requests in which fees were collected 62,391
Fees collected $367,654
Average fees collected per request $5.89
Number of requests in which fees were waived or refunded 12,733
Fees waived or refunded $128,795
Average fees waived per request $10.12
Institutions That Received the Most Access to Information Act Requests
Rank Name of Institution Received Requests as Percentage Number of Received Requests Number of Pages Processed Footnote 19
1 Citizenship and Immigration Canada 50.0% 34,066 1,615,772
2 Canada Border Services Agency 9.8% 6,705 442,779
3 Royal Canadian Mounted Police 4.9% 3,343 646,785
4 Canada Revenue Agency 4.4% 3,006 1,306,661
5 National Defence 3.0% 2,073 224,634
6 Health Canada 2.3% 1,569 205,132
7 Environment Canada 2.2% 1,488 110,557
8 Employment and Social Development Canada 1.7% 1,160 139,549
9 Transport Canada 1.4% 937 306,012
10 Office of Infrastructure of Canada 1.3% 919 326,699
Other Institutions 19.0% 12,927 4,594,769
Total 100.0% 68,193 9,919,349

Access to Information Act Requests Since 1983

Please note that the statistics reflect adjustments made throughout the years.

Number of Access to Information Act Requests Since 1983
Requests Under the Access to Information Act Number of Requests
Requests received 706,009
Requests closed 689,662
Figure 5: Disposition of Closed Access to Information Act Requests Since 1983
Disposition of Closed Access to Information Act Requests Since 1983. Text version below:
Figure 5 - Text version

This table identifies the disposition of closed requests since 1983. Data is shown in percentages.

Disposition of Closed Requests Requests as Percentage
Disclosed in part 47.1%
All disclosed 26.7%
Unable to process 20.1%
Withheld entirely 2.7%
Other 3.4%

In the preceding figure:

  • "Withheld entirely" includes categories "all exempted" and "all excluded."
  • "Other" includes the categories "transferred," "neither confirmed nor denied" and "treated informally."
  • "Unable to process" includes the categories "no records exist"Footnote 20, "abandoned"Footnote 21 and "requests that could not be processed".Footnote 22
Disposition of Closed Access to Information Act Requests Since 1983
Disposition of Closed Requests Requests as Percentage Number of Requests
Disclosed in part 47.1% 325,064
All disclosed 26.7% 183,860
All exempted 2.0% 14,049
All excluded 0.7% 4,557
No records exist 3.5% 24,185
Abandoned 2.8% 19,589
Transferred 1.4% 9,400
Neither confirmed nor denied 0.0% 195
Treated informally 2.0% 14,057
Requests that could not be processed 13.7% 94,706
Total 100.0% 689,662
Time Required to Close Access to Information Act Requests Since 1983
Closure Time (Including Requests for Which Extensions Were Required) Requests as Percentage Number of Requests
0 to 30 days 60.0% 413,586
31 to 60 days 18.4% 126,804
61 days or more 21.6% 149,272
Total 100.0% 689,662
Total Fees and Cost of Operations Regarding Access to Information Act Requests Since 1983
Description of Fees and Costs of Operations Amount
Requests closed 689,662
Cost of operations $737,544,121.70
Average cost per closed request Footnote 23 $1,069.43
Fees collected $6,484,395.02
Average fees collected per closed request Footnote 24 $9.40
Fees waived $3,234,374.94
Average fees waived per closed request Footnote 25 $4.69

Privacy Act Statistics

The following is the collection of tables and figures that offer insights regarding requests made under the Privacy Act and closed during the period of , to March 31, 2015. These figures are based on the statistical reports provided by government institutions subject to the Privacy Act.

Requests Under the Privacy Act: 2014‒15

Requests Received and Closed Under the Privacy Act
Requests Under the Privacy Act Number of Requests
Received during 2014‒15 reporting period 67,399
Outstanding from 2013‒14 reporting period Footnote 26 11,548
Total 78,947
Closed during 2014‒15 reporting period 63,650
Carried over to 2015‒16 reporting period 15,297
Figure 6: Requests Received and Closed Under the Privacy Act: Comparison of 2013‒14 and 2014‒15
Requests Received and Closed Under the Privacy Act: Comparison of 2013‒14 and 2014‒15. Text version below:
Figure 6 - Text version

This table compares the number of requests under the Privacy Act received, closed and carried forward from the 2013-14 reporting period with those from 2014-15.

Requests Under the Privacy Act 2013–14 2014-15
Requests received during reporting period 56,338 67,399
Closed during reporting period 54,912 63,650
Carried over to next reporting period 11,436 15,297
Outstanding from previous reporting period 10,010 11,548

The preceding figure shows a 19.6% increase in requests received in 2014—15, as compared with the previous period. It also shows that, of the 78,947 requests that were either received in 2014-15 or outstanding from the previous period, 80.6% of requests were closed. The closure rate decreased by 2.2% when compared to the previous period.

Disposition and Time Required to Close Privacy Act Requests
Disposition of Requests Closure Time
0 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 13,544 3,048 592 337 657 88 18,266
Disclosed in part 16,934 6,107 1,894 1,118 2,260 976 29,289
All exempted 352 61 29 9 18 7 476
All excluded 7 2 2 0 0 0 11
No records exist 9,442 633 209 67 59 43 10,453
Request abandoned 4,064 239 92 57 100 446 4,998
Neither confirmed nor denied Footnote 27 141 6 8 0 0 2 157
Total 44,484 10,096 2,826 1,588 3,094 1,562 63,650
Total percentage 69.9% 15.9% 4.4% 2.5% 4.9% 2.5% 100.0%

The preceding table illustrates that 69.9% of requests had been closed within the initial statutory deadline of 30 days and that 74.7% of closed requests disclosed records either in full or in part.

Disposition of Closed Privacy Act Requests: Comparison of 2013-14 and 2014-15
Disposition of Closed Requests Requests as Percentage Number of Requests
2013‒14 2014-15 2013‒14 2014-15
Disclosed in part 48.3% 46.0% 26,529 29,289
All disclosed 31.0% 28.7% 17,010 18,266
No records exist 13.2% 16.4% 7,271 10,453
Request abandoned 6.6% 7.9% 3,639 4,998
All exempted 0.8% 0.7% 456 476
All excluded 0.0% 0.0% 7 11
Neither confirmed nor denied - 0.2% - 157
Total 100.00% 100.0% 54,912 63,650
Figure 7: Disposition of Closed Privacy Act Requests: Graphic Comparison of 2013‒14 and 2014‒15
Disposition of Closed Privacy Act Requests: Graphic Comparison of 2013‒14 and 2014‒15. Text version below:
Figure 7 - Text version

This table compares the disposition of closed requests for the 2013–14 reporting period with that from 2014–15.

Disposition of Closed Requests 2013-14 2014-15
Disclosed in part 26,529 29,289
All disclosed 17,010 18,266
No records exist 7,271 10,453
Request abandoned 3,639 4,998
All exempted 456 476
All excluded 7 11
Neither confirmed nor denied - 157
Time Required to Close Privacy Act Requests According to Time Period: Comparison of 2013‒14 and 2014‒15
Closure Time Requests as Percentage Number of Requests
2013‒14 2014-15 2013‒14 2014-15
0 to 30 days 64.7% 69.9% 35,552 44,484
31 to 60 days 16.0% 15.9% 8,763 10,096
61 to 120 days 5.8% 4.4% 3,200 2,826
121 to 180 days 4.7% 2.5% 2,605 1,588
181 to 365 days 4.5% 4.9% 2,484 3,094
More than 365 days 4.2% 2.5% 2,308 1,562
Total 100.0% 100.0% 54,912 63,650

The preceding table shows a 5.2% increase in the rate of requests closed within the first 30 days after they were received and a similar rate of closure for the period between 31 and 60 days, as compared with the previous reporting period.

Figure 8: Five-Year Comparison of Time Required to Close Privacy Act Requests According to Time Period Footnote 28
Five-Year Comparison of Time Required to Close Privacy Act Requests According to Time Period. Text version below:
Figure 8 - Text version

This table compares the time required closing requests according to time periods for the last five years from 2010 to 2015. Data is shown in percentages.

Closure Time 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
0 to 30 days 66.8% 68.9% 51.8% 64.7% 69.9%
31 to 60 days 18.2% 14.9% 23.7% 16.0% 15.9%
61 to 120 days 7.1% 6.4% 12.0% 5.8% 4.4%
121 days or more 7.9% 9.8% 12.6% 13.5% 9.8%
Relevant Pages Processed and Disclosed Regarding Closed Privacy Act Requests Footnote 29
Disposition of Requests Number of Pages Processed Number of Pages Disclosed Number of Requests
All disclosed 867,783 837,243 18,266
Disclosed in part 6,343,493 4,970,106 29,289
All exempted 64,173 0 476
All excluded 277 0 11
Request abandoned 69,532 28,875 4,998
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 157
Total 7,345,258 5,836,224 53,197

The preceding table demonstrates that, of the 7,345,258 pages processed in the closure of requests, 79.5% were disclosed.

Other Considerations Regarding Complexity of Closed Privacy Act Requests
Disposition Consultation Required Legal Advice Sought Interwoven Information Footnote 30 Other Footnote 31 Total
All disclosed 30 19 120 281 450
Disclosed in part 699 30 6,277 745 7,751
All exempted 10 3 40 9 62
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 8 25 41 33 107
Neither confirmed nor denied 9 0 13 6 28
Total 756 77 6,491 1,074 8,398
Reasons for Deemed Refusals Footnote 32 Regarding Closed Privacy Act Requests
Number of Requests Closed Past the Statutory Deadline or Not Within the Time Frame Covered by an Extension (Deemed Refusal) Principal Reason
Workload External Consultation Internal Consultation Other Footnote 33
11,362 10,076 128 526 632
Status of Closed Privacy Act Requests
Status of Closed Requests Requests as Percentage Number of Requests
2013‒14 2014-15 2013‒14 2014-15
Closed within the statutory deadline including extensions 76.4% 82.1% 41,944 52,288
Closed in deemed refusal 23.6% 17.9% 12,968 11,362
Total 100.0% 100.0% 54,912 63,650

The preceding table shows that there was a 5.7% decrease in the percentage of requests closed in deemed refusal in 2014-15, as compared with the previous reporting period.

Reasons for Extensions and Disposition of Closed Privacy Act Requests
Disposition of Requests Where an Extension Was Taken 15(a)(i) - Interference With Operations 15(a)(i) -Consultation 15(b) - Translation or Conversion
Section 70 Footnote 34 Other Footnote 35
All disclosed 1,020 1 66 1
Disclosed in part 3,740 9 830 15
All exempted 41 0 23 0
All excluded 1 0 1 0
No records exist 340 0 20 0
Request abandoned 399 0 15 0
Total 5,541 10 955 16

The preceding table demonstrates that 85.0% of extensions taken for closed requests invoked paragraph 15(a)(i) of the Privacy Act, relating to interference with operations, as rationale.

Length of Extensions Footnote 36 Regarding Closed Privacy Act Requests
Length of Extensions 15(a)(i) - Interference With Operations 15(a)(ii) - Consultation 15(b) - Translation or Conversion
Section 70 Other
1 to 15 days 31 0 12 1
16 to 30 days 5,510 10 943 15
Total 5,541 10 955 16
Format of Released Information Regarding Closed Privacy Act Requests
Disposition Paper Electronic Other Formats Footnote 37
All disclosed 13,779 4,395 67
Disclosed in part 13,784 16,200 65
Total 27,563 20,595 132

Exemptions Applied Under the Privacy Act Regarding Closed Requests

Exempt Banks
Provision Number of Requests
18(2) 0
Total 0
Personal Information Obtained in Confidence
Provision Number of Requests
19(1)(a) 681
19(1)(b) 94
19(1)(c) 1,760
19(1)(d) 1,079
19(1)(e) 6
19(1)(f) 5
Total 3,625
Federal-Provincial Affairs
Provision Number of Requests
20 2
Total 2
International Affairs and Defence
Provision Number of Requests
21 5,955
Total 5,955
Law Enforcement and Investigation
Provision Number of Requests
22(1)(a)(i) 2,442
22(1)(a)(ii) 1,362
22(1)(a)(iii) 36
22(1)(b) 5,218
22(1)(c) 1,151
22(2) 7
22.1 39
22.2 1
22.3 4
Total 10,260
Security Clearances
Provision Number of Requests
23(a) 32
23(b) 0
Total 32
Individuals Sentenced for an Offence
Provision Number of Requests
24(a) 23
24(b) 411
Total 434
Safety of Individuals
Provision Number of Requests
25 79
Total 79
Information About Another Individual
Provision Number of Requests
26 25,013
Total 25,013
Solicitor-Client Privilege
Provision Number of Requests
27 1,043
Total 1,043
Medical Records
Provision Number of Requests
28 50
Total 50

Exclusions Applied Under the Privacy Act Regarding Closed Requests

Act Does Not Apply to Certain Materials
Provision Number of Requests
69(1)(a) 1
69(1)(b) 0
Total 1
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Provision Number of Requests
69.1 0
Total 0
Confidences of the Queen's Privy Council of Canada
Provision Number of Requests
70(1) 1
70(1)(a) 1
70(1)(b) 0
70(1)(c) 1
70(1)(d) 1
70(1)(e) 1
70(1)(f) 1
Total 6
Certificate Under the Canada Evidence Act
Provision Number of Requests
70.1 1
Total 1
Consultations by Other Federal Institutions Regarding Privacy Act Requests: Comparison of 2013‒14 and 2014‒15
Consultations Number of Requests Number of Pages to Review
2013‒14 2014-15 2013‒14 2014-15
Received during reporting period 1,139 915 55,219 39,606
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 31 51 1,666 9,825
Total 1,170 966 56,885 49,431
Closed during the reporting period 1,115 931 47,613 45,411
Pending at the end of the reporting period 55 35 9,272 4,020

The preceding table illustrates that there were fewer consultations undertaken between federal institutions as well as fewer pages to review, as compared with the previous period.

Consultations by Other Organizations Footnote 38 Regarding Privacy Act Requests: Comparison of 2013‒14 and 2014‒15
Consultations Number of Requests Number of Pages to Review
2013‒14 2014-15 2013‒14 2014-15
Received during reporting period 35 48 457 184
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 0 0 0 0
Total 35 48 457 184
Closed during the reporting period 34 46 444 184
Pending at the end of the reporting period 1 2 13 0

The preceding table illustrates that the number of consultations received from other organizations, such as provincial and municipal institutions, increased in 2014-15, as compared with the previous period. However, there were fewer pages to review.

Recommendations and Closure Time for Consultations by Other Federal Institutions Regarding Privacy Act Requests
Recommendation Number of Days Required to Close Consultation Requests
1 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 346 13 1 0 0 0 360
Disclose in part 420 50 18 7 2 3 500
Exempt entirely 27 2 2 0 1 0 32
Exclude entirely 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
Consult other institution Footnote 39 13 2 2 1 0 0 18
Other 16 3 0 0 0 0 19
Total 823 71 23 8 3 3 931
Recommendations and Closure Time for Consultations by Other Organizations Regarding Privacy Act Requests
Recommendation Number of Days Required to Close Consultation Requests
1 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 30 1 1 0 0 0 32
Disclose in part 9 0 0 0 0 0 9
Exempt entirely 0 0 0 0 0 4 4
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Total 40 1 1 0 0 4 46
Cost of Operations Regarding Privacy Act Requests
Cost of operations Footnote 40 $36,879,018.00
Requests closed 63,650
Average cost per closed request Footnote 41 $579.40
Pages processed 7,345,258
Average cost per page processed $5.02
Institutions That Received the Most Privacy Act Requests
Rank Name of Institution Received Requests as Percentage Number of Received Requests Pages Processed Footnote 42
1 Citizenship and Immigration Canada 20.4% 13,778 611,545
2 Canada Border Services Agency 18.9% 12,769 348,357
3 Employment and Social Development Canada 11.9% 7,998 633,787
4 Correctional Service of Canada 10.9% 7,376 815,101
5 National Defence 10.4% 7,000 1,666,189
6 Royal Canadian Mounted Police 9.6% 6,458 1,291,606
7 Immigration and Refugee Board 5.6% 3,769 201,398
8 Canada Revenue Agency 3.8% 2,533 636,207
9 Parole Board of Canada 1.5% 1,039 105,874
10 Canada Post Corporation 1.1% 722 82,787
Other institutions 5.9% 3,957 952,407
Total 100.0% 67,399 7,345,258

Disclosures Under Subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act

Subsection 8(1) of the Privacy Act states that "personal information under the control of a government institution shall not, without the consent of the individual to whom it relates, be disclosed by the institution except in accordance with this section." Subsection 8(2) of the Act, subject to other Acts of Parliament, provides for limited instances in which it would be possible for federal institutions to disclose personal information without consent.

Disclosures Under Subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act
Paragraph 8(2)(e) Footnote 43 Paragraph 8(2)(m) Footnote 44 Total
4,139 83 4,222

Requests for Correction of Personal Information and Notations

Subsection 12(2) of the Privacy Act provides individuals with the right to request that federal institutions correct personal information under their control when they believe that it may contain errors or omissions or, alternatively, that institutions attach a notation to reflect any corrections that were requested but not made. Where the information has been disclosed to other individuals or organizations, federal institutions are required to advise them of the correction or notation.

Requests for Correction of Personal Information
Disposition of Received Requests Amount
Requests for correction accepted 17
Notations attached 39
Total 56

Privacy Impact Assessments

Privacy impact assessments (PIAs) provide a framework to ensure that privacy is considered throughout the design or redesign of programs, activities or service delivery. The PIAs identify the extent to which proposals comply with all appropriate statutes, assist managers and decision makers in avoiding or mitigating privacy risks, and promote fully informed policy, program and system design choices. Completed PIAs must be submitted to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat as well as to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

Number of Privacy Impact Assessments Initiated and Completed
Privacy Impact Assessments Amount
Number of PIAs completed Footnote 45 65

Personal Information Banks

Personal Information Banks (PIBs) provide a description of personal information about individuals that is held by federal institutions. The Privacy Act requires that PIBs describe all personal information that is organized and retrievable by a person's name or by an identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned only to that person. PIBs must include personal information that has been or is being used, or is available for use for an administrative purpose.

Institution-specific PIBs describe personal information that is contained in the records of a specific federal government institution, and standard PIBs describe personal information that may be found in records created, collected and maintained by most federal government institutions to support common internal functions, programs and activities such as communications, travel and employment.

Standard PIBs are created by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, and institutions can register against them.

Central PIBs describe personal information about members of the general public and employees (current and former) from all or several government institutions and are maintained by central government departments and agencies.

Personal Information Banks Amount
Number of institutions registering new PIBs in 2014-15 36
Number of new PIBs registered in 2014-15 178
Number of new institution-specific PIBs registered in 2014-15 27
Number of times standard PIBs were leveraged by institutions in 2014-15 Footnote 46 149
Number of central PIBs registered in 2014-15 2

Privacy Act Requests Since 1983

Please note that the statistics reflect adjustments made throughout the years.

Number of Privacy Act Requests Since 1983
Requests Under the Privacy Act Number of Requests
Requests received 1,435,156
Requests closed 1,419,274
Figure 9: Disposition of Closed Privacy Act Requests Since 1983
Disposition of Closed Privacy Act Requests Since 1983. Text version below:
Figure 9 - Text version

This table identifies the disposition of closed requests since 1983. Data is shown in percentages.

Disposition of Closed Requests Requests as Percentage
Disclosed in part 36.6%
All disclosed 45.5%
Unable to process 16.8%
Withheld entirely 1.0%
Other 0.0%

In the preceding figure:

  • "Withheld entirely" includes categories "all exempted" and "all excluded."
  • "Unable to process" includes the categories "no records exist"Footnote 47, "transferred"Footnote 48, "abandoned"Footnote 49 and "requests that could not be processed".Footnote 50
  • "Other" consists of the category "neither confirmed nor denied."
Disposition of Closed Privacy Act Requests Since 1983
Disposition of Closed Requests Requests as Percentage Number of Requests
All disclosed 45.5% 645,668
Disclosed in part 36.6% 519,701
Abandoned 4.9% 70,022
Transferred 2.3% 32,188
No records exist 2.5% 35,040
All exempted 1.0% 14,197
All excluded 0.0% 636
Requests that could not be processed 7.2% 101,665
Neither confirmed nor denied 0.0% 157
Total 100.0% 1,419,274
Time Required to Close Privacy Act Requests Since 1983
Closure Time (Including Requests for Which Extensions Were Required) Requests as Percentage Number of Requests
0 to 30 days 60.2% 854,552
31 to 60 days 18.0% 255,823
61 days or more 21.8% 308,899
Total 100.0% 1,419,274
Cost of Operations Regarding Privacy Act Requests Since 1983
Description of Cost of Operations Amount
Requests closed 1,419,274
Cost of operations $461,185,792.12
Average cost per closed request Footnote 51 $324.94
Figure 10: Cost of Operations Regarding the Access to Information Act vs. the Privacy Act Since 1983
Cost of Operations Regarding the Access to Information Act vs. the Privacy Act Since 1983. Text version below:
Figure 10 - Text version

This table compares the costs of operations relating to the administration of the Access to Information Act within institutions since 1983 with those regarding the Privacy Act.

Access to Information Act Costs $737,544,121.70
Privacy Act Costs $461,185,792.12

The Government of Canada has invested a total of $1,198,729,913.82 in the administration of the Access to Information and Privacy program since 1983.


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