2019–20 Annual Report on the Access to Information Act

From April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020

This document is also available in PDF.


Table of Content


Introduction

The Access to Information Act (ATIA – the Act) gives Canadians the broad legal right to information contained in federal government records.

The Act provides government institutions with 30 days to respond to access requests. Additional time may be granted if there are many records to examine, other government agencies to be consulted, or third parties to be notified. Access rights are subject to specific and limited exemptions.

This annual report to Parliament is submitted by the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada (the Commissioner) pursuant to section 72 of the Access to Information Act and to section 20 of the Service Fees Act.

On April 15, 2007, the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA) came into force. It created the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada (the Office). The new legislation replaced the Treasury Board Policy on the Internal Disclosure of Information Concerning Wrongdoing in the Workplace.

The Office is mandated to establish a safe, independent and confidential process for public servants and members of the public to disclose potential wrongdoing in the federal public sector. The Office also deals with reprisal complaints from public servants coming from their disclosures or their participation in related investigations.

The Commissioner is an independent Agent of Parliament.

Description of the Institution’s Structure

The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Coordinator is the only employee dedicated, on a part-time basis, to fulfil the Access to Information Act responsibilities. The Coordinator is assisted by a contractor for the processing of the requests, for training and education, and for reporting activities.

Delegation

The Commissioner, as the head of the government institution, has designated, pursuant to section 73 of the ATIA, the persons holding the positions set out in the delegation order, or the persons occupying on an acting basis those positions, to exercise the powers, duties or functions of the Commissioner as specified therein. A copy of the delegation order is included in Appendix A.

Interpretation of the Annual Statistical Report

Appendix B provides a statistical report on the ATIA applications processed by the Office between April 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020.

There were three formal requests received and closed during this reporting period, two of which required an extension under paragraph 9(1)(a) of the ATIA. None was carried over from the previous period. All three requests originated from the public and none was an informal request.

One request was fully exempted under the provisions of paragraph 16.4(1)(a) of the ATIA while the two other requests were partially exempted under the provisions of paragraph 16(1)(c) and subsection 19(1).

Some 668 pages were processed of which 664 were fully disclosed. The records of one request were provided on paper and the other electronically.

No fees were collected for these requests since these were received from the Government’s ATIP portal. Should fees have been collected, the Service Fees Act requires a responsible authority to report annually to Parliament on the fees collected by the institution.

No request of a vexatious, bad faith or abusive of right nature was received, and no fees were collected.

Ten consultations were received from other government institutions and processed within the 30-day timeframe. Nine were recommended for full release and one for partial release. Portions of the documents of the consultation recommended for partial release were exempted under the provisions of subsection 19(1) of the ATIA.

No translations were required to respond to the requests.

The Office spent $16,928 in resources administering the ATIA.

Table 1 – Five-Year Trend of Access Requests

Five-Year Trend of Access Requests
Text version
Fiscal year New requests received Total requests processed *
2015–16 44 36
2016–17 8 24
2017–18 2 2
2018–19 0 0
2019–20 3 3

Interpretation of the Supplemental Statistical Report

Appendix C provides a statistical report on the COVID-19 measures applied by the Office between March 1, 2020, and March 31, 2020.

There were no requests, formal or informal, nor any consultations received during this COVID-19 period.

Education and Training Activities

A formal briefing session covering the Bill C-58 amendments to the ATIA was delivered to all PSIC employees. The session also provided an overview of both the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

Overview of New or Revised Institutional Policies and Procedures

There were no new or revised institutional policies or procedures implemented in the reporting period that had an impact on access to information.

Key Issues Related to Access to Information Complaints and/or Investigations

One complaint was received by the Office of the Information Commissioner and it is pending investigation by this Office. Furthermore, as referred to in the report of the previous period, the complaints still remaining from the 2015–16 period were resolved in this reporting period.

Time Monitoring for Processing Access to Information Requests

Though no formal time monitoring was conducted during the reporting period, the Office uses a case management system to track processing times regarding access to information requests. This tool assists the Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator and the contractor dedicated to this function in monitoring timelines to ensure compliancy with legislated deadlines.


Appendix A – Delegation Order

Delegation Letter
Text version

The Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada, as the head of the government institution, hereby designates, pursuant to section 73 of the Access to Information Act, the person holding the position set out below, or the persons occupying on an acting basis those positions, to exercise the powers, duties or functions of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner as specified below.

Position Sections of the Access to Information Act
Deputy Commissioner Full Authority
ATIP Coordinator Full Authority

I name Denis Bilodeau as Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator.

(Original signed by)

Joe Friday
Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

June 28, 2018


Appendix B – Annual Statistical Report

Name of Institution: Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada

Reporting Period: 2019-04-01 to 2020-03-31

Section 1: Requests under the Access to Information Act

1.1 Number of Requests
  Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 3
Outstanding from previous reporting period 0
Total 3
Closed during reporting period 3
Carried over to next reporting period 0
1.2 Sources of Requests
Source Number of Requests
Media 0
Academia 0
Business (private sector) 0
Organization 0
Public 3
Decline to Identify 0
Total 3
1.3 Informal Requests
Completion Time
1–15 days 16–30 days 31–60 days 61–120 days 121–180 days 181–365 days More than 365 days Total
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Note: All requests previously recorded as “treated informally” will now be accounted for in this section only.

Section 2: Decline to Act on Vexatious, Made in Bad Faith or Abuse of Right Requests

  Number of Requests
Outstanding from previous reporting period 0
Sent during reporting period 0
Total 0
Approved by the Information Commissioner during reporting period 0
Declined by the Information Commissioner during reporting period 0
Carried over to next reporting period 0

Section 3: Requests Closed during the Reporting Period

3.1 Disposition and Completion Time
Disposition of Requests Completion Time
1–15 days 16–30 days 31–60 days 61–120 days 121–180 days 181–365 days More than 365 days Total
All disclosed 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 2
All exempted 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No records exist 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request transferred 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Decline to act with the approval of the Information Commissioner 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 3
3.2 Exemptions
Section Number of Requests
13(1)(a) 0
13(1)(b) 0
13(1)(c) 0
13(1)(d) 0
13(1)(e) 0
14 0
14(a) 0
14(b) 0
15(1) 0
15(1) – I.A. Footnote * 0
15(1) – Def. Footnote ** 0
15(1) – S.A. Footnote *** 0
16(1)(a)(i) 0
16(1)(a)(ii) 0
16(1)(a)(iii) 0
16(1)(b) 0
16(1)(c) 1
16(1)(d) 0
16(2) 0
16(2)(a) 0
16(2)(b) 0
16(2)(c) 0
16(3) 0
16.1(1)(a) 0
16.1(1)(b) 0
16.1(1)(c) 0
16.1(1)(d) 0
16.2(1) 0
16.3 0
16.31 0
16.4(1)(a) 1
16.4(1)(b) 0
16.5 0
16.6 0
17 0
18(a) 0
18(b) 0
18(c) 0
18(d) 0
18.1(1)(a) 0
18.1(1)(b) 0
18.1(1)(c) 0
18.1(1)(d) 0
19(1) 1
20(1)(a) 0
20(1)(b) 0
20(1)(b.1) 0
20(1)(c) 0
20(1)(d) 0
20.1 0
20.2 0
20.4 0
21(1)(a) 0
21(1)(b) 0
21(1)(c) 0
21(1)(d) 0
22 0
22.1(1) 0
23 0
23.1 0
24(1) 0
26 0
3.3 Exclusions
Section Number of Requests
68(a) 0
68(b) 0
68(c) 0
68.1 0
68.2(a) 0
68.2(b) 0
69(1) 0
69(1)(a) 0
69(1)(b) 0
69(1)(c) 0
69(1)(d) 0
69(1)(e) 0
69(1)(f) 0
69(1)(g) re (a) 0
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
Paper Electronic Other
1 1 0
3.5 Complexity
3.5.1 Relevant Pages Processed and Disclosed
Number of Pages Processed Number of Pages Disclosed Number of Requests
668 664 3
3.5.2 Relevant Pages Processed and Disclosed by Size of Requests
Disposition Fewer than 100 Pages Processed 101–500 Pages Processed 501–1,000 Pages Processed 1,001–5,000 Pages Processed More than 5,000 Pages Processed
Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed
All disclosed 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 1 16 0 0 1 648 0 0 0 0
All exempted 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 2 16 0 0 1 648 0 0 0 0
3.5.3 Other Complexities
Disposition Consultation Required Assessment of Fees Legal Advice Sought Other Total
All disclosed 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 0 0 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0
3.6 Closed Requests
3.6.1 Number of Requests Closed within Legislated Timelines
Number of requests closed within legislated timelines 1
Percentage of requests closed within legislated timelines (%) 33.3
3.7 Deemed Refusals
3.7.1 Reasons for Not Meeting Statutory Deadline
Number of Requests Closed Past the Statutory Deadline Principal Reason
Interference with Operations / Workload External Consultation Internal Consultation Other
2 2 0 0 0
3.7.2 Number of Days Past Deadline
Number of Days Past Deadline Number of Requests Past Deadline where No Extension Was Taken Number of Requests Past Deadline where an Extension Was Taken Total
1–15 days 0 0 0
16–30 days 0 0 0
31–60 days 0 0 0
61–120 days 0 2 2
121–180 days 0 0 0
181–365 days 0 0 0
More than 365 days 0 0 0
Total 0 2 2
3.8 Requests for Translation
Translation Requests Accepted Refused Total
English to French 0 0 0
French to English 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0

Section 4: Extensions

4.1 Reasons for Extensions and Disposition of 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 Other
All disclosed 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 2 0 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0
No records exist 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0
Total 2 0 0 0
4.2 Length of Extensions
Length of Extensions 9(1)(a) Interference with Operations 9(1)(b) Consultation 9(1)(c) Third-Party Notice
Section 69 Other
30 days or less 0 0 0 0
31–60 days 1 0 0 0
61–120 days 1 0 0 0
121–180 days 0 0 0 0
181–365 days 0 0 0 0
365 days or more 0 0 0 0
Total 2 0 0 0

Section 5: Fees

Fee Type Fee Collected Fee Waived or Refunded
Requests Amount Requests Amount
Application 0 $0 0 $0
Other fees 0 $0 0 $0
Total 0 $0 0 $0

Section 6: Consultations Received from Other Institutions and Organizations

6.1 Consultations Received from Other Government of Canada Institutions and Organizations
Consultations Other Government of Canada Institutions Number of Pages to Review Other Organizations Number of Pages to Review
Received during the reporting period 10 36 0 0
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 0 0 0 0
Total 10 36 0 0
Closed during the reporting period 10 36 0 0
Carried over to next reporting period 0 0 0 0
6.2 Recommendations and Completion Time for Consultations Received from Other Government of Canada Institutions
Recommendation Number of Days Required to Complete Consultation Requests
1–15 days 16–30 days 31–60 days 61–120 days 121–180 days 181–365 days More than 365 days Total
Disclose entirely 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 9
Disclose in part 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Exempt entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institutions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 10
6.3 Recommendations and Completion Time for Consultations Received from Other Organizations
Recommendation Number of Days Required to Complete Consultation Requests
1–15 days 16–30 days 31–60 days 61–120 days 121–180 days 181–365 days More than 365 days Total
Disclose entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclose in part 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Exempt entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institutions 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Section 7: Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences

7.1 Requests with Legal Services
Number of Days Fewer than 100 Pages Processed 101–500 Pages Processed 501–1,000 Pages Processed 1,001–5,000 Pages Processed More than 5,000 Pages Processed
Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed
1–15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16–30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
31–60 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
61–120 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
121–180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
181–365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7.2 Requests with Privy Council Office
Number of Days Fewer than 100 Pages Processed 101–500 Pages Processed 501–1,000 Pages Processed 1,001–5,000 Pages Processed More than 5,000 Pages Processed
Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed
1–15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16–30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
31–60 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
61–120 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
121–180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
181–365 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

Section 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

1 0 0 0 0 0

Section 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
Section 41 (after June 21, 2019)
Complainant (1) Institution (2) Third Party (3) Privacy Commissioner (4) Total
0 0 0 0 0

Section 10: Resources Related to the Access to Information Act

10.1 Costs
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $6,100
Overtime $0
Goods and Services $10,828
  • Professional service contracts
$10,628  
  • Other
$200
Total $16,928
10.2 Human Resources
Resources Person Years Dedicated to Access to Information Activities
Full-time employees 0.02
Part-time and casual employees 0.00
Regional staff 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 0.05
Students 0.00
Total 0.07

Appendix C – Supplemental Statistical Report

Requests Received Number of Requests
Received from 2019-04-01 to 2020-03-13 3
Received from 2020-03-14 to 2020-03-31 0
Total 3
Requests Closed Number of Requests Closed Within the Legislated Timelines Number of Requests Closed Past the Legislated Timelines
Received from 2019-04-01 to 2020-03-13 and outstanding from previous reporting periods 1 2
Received from 2020-03-14 to 2020-03-31 0 0
Total 1 2
Requests Carried Over Number of Requests
Requests received from 2019-04-01 to 2020-03-13 and outstanding from the previous reporting period that were carried over to the 2020–21 reporting period 0
Requests received from 2020-03-14 to 2020-03-31 that were carried over to the 2020–21 reporting period 0
Total 0