Annual Report to Parliament 2011-2012
Access to Information Act

PART II
REPORT ON THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT

REQUESTS UNDER THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT

I. Statistical Report

The annual statistical report for fiscal year 2011-2012 is included at the end of this chapter.

II. Interpretation of the Statistical Report

1. Informal Requests

The policy of the ATIP Office is to process requests on an informal basis when records have already been released in response to previous ATIA requests or where the documents have already been released informally elsewhere by the Department.

Fifty-eight (58) informal requests were received during the period under review. In addition to these, two (2) formal requests were treated informally with the consent of the applicant, bringing the total number of informal requests processed to sixty (60).

2. Formal Requests Processed

Three hundred and thirty-one (331) requests were received during the period under review. In addition, fifty-five (55) requests were outstanding from previous years, for a total of three hundred and eighty-six (386).

3. Sources of Formal Requests Received

The public was the largest group of requesters, followed by the media and business. The following table provides a comparison with the previous years:

 

2011-2012

2010-2011

2009-2010

Academia

3.0%

 0.6%

1.5%

Organizations

9.1%

11.7%

6.2%

Media

30.8%

21.9%

21.9%

Business

17.5%

23.7%

22.2%

Public

39.6%

42.2%

48.2%

 

 100%

 100%

100%

Sources of Formal Requests Received

[ Description image 2 ]

4. Formal Requests Completed

Three hundred and thirteen (313) access requests were completed during the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Seventy-three (73) requests were carried forward to be completed in fiscal year 2012-2013.

5. Disposition of Formal Requests Completed

The three hundred and thirteen (313) completed ATIA requests were released in the following manner:

 

Number of Requests

Percentage

All Disclosed

70

22.4%

Disclosed in Part

112

35.8%

All Exempted

10

3.2%

All Excluded

4

1.3%

No Records Exist

69

22.0%

Request Transferred

4

1.3%

Request Abandoned

42

13.4%

Treated Informally

2

0.6

 

313

100 %

Disposition of Formal Requests Completed

[ Description image 3 ]

a) No Records Exist
Sixty-nine (69) requests could not be processed as no relevant records existed under the control of the Department of Justice.
b) Abandoned
Forty-two (42) requests were abandoned. In the majority of cases, the applicants did not pursue the requests, either by withdrawing them or by not providing the clarification requested.
c) Transferred
Four (4) requests were transferred to other government institutions that possessed a greater interest in the subject matter of the request.
d) Treated Informally
Furthermore, two (2) formal requests were processed informally with the consent of the requester.
6. Extensions

Seventy-seven (77) requests had their time limit extended as follows:

Number of Days

Number of Requests

30 Days or Less

15

31 to 60 Days

24

61 to 120 Days

8

121 to 180 Days

27

181 to 365 Days

2

365 Days or More

1

 

77

Of the seventy-seven (77) extended requests, fourteen (14) included extensions under paragraph 9(1) (a) [large number of records or search through a large number of records], sixty-two (62) under paragraph 9(1) (b) [consultations with other institutions] and one (1) under paragraph 9(1) (c) [consultations with third parties].

Seventy-seven (77) requests had their time limit extended as follows

[ Description image 4 ]

7. Completion Time

The time required to process the requests is summarized below:

 

Number of Requests

Percentage

1 to 15 Days

119

38.0%

16 to 30 Days

122

39.0%

31 to 60 Days

25

8.0%

61 to 120 Days

27

8.6%

120 to 180 Days

5

1.6%

181 to 365 Days

12

3.8%

More than 365 Days

3

1.0%

 

313

100%

Completion Time

[ Description image 5 ]

8. Method of Access

Access to the relevant documents was given, in whole or in part, in response to one hundred and eighty-two (182) requests. Copies were provided in all cases on either CD-ROM or in paper form.

9. Fee Waivers

The policy of the Department of Justice is to waive the reproduction fees under 200 sheets (double-sided = 400 actual pages in total). However, when more than 200 sheets are released, fees are calculated for the total number of sheets. For extensive or complex requests, search and preparation fees are charged as determined on a case-by-case basis. The Department of Justice offers the applicants the possibility of receiving the release package on CD-ROM at no charge, an option which tends to be more widely accepted.

During the reporting period, the Department of Justice waived a total of $5,177.80 in reproduction fees.

III. Consultations by Other Federal Institutions or Departments

One thousand three hundred and forty (1340) ATIA consultations were received during the period under review. In addition, one hundred and twenty-one (121) ATIA consultations were outstanding from previous years, for a total of one thousand four hundred and sixty-one (1461). Of those 1461, one thousand two hundred and ninety-five (1295) ATIA consultations were completed during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, and the remaining one hundred and sixty-six (166) were carried forward to be completed in fiscal year 2012-2013.

Memoranda of Understanding, created in 2008, strengthen our commitment towards better service delivery with the institutions that consult the Department of Justice.

IV. Complaints and Investigations

The complaint findings are defined as follows:

  • Well founded: The Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) found evidence of the complainant's rights being denied under the ATIA.
  • Not well founded: As a result of the investigation, the OIC found that the institution applied the ATIA correctly.
  • Discontinued: The complaint was withdrawn or abandoned by the complainant before allegations were fully investigated.
  • Settled: The complaint was settled to the satisfaction of all parties without the need for the OIC to make a finding.

The following table summarizes the reasons for the complaints received in or carried over into the 2011-2012 fiscal year as well as the results of the investigations that were completed during this time:

Reporting Period 2011-2012
 

Received

Closed

Ongoing

Reason for Complaint

 

Discontinued

Not Well Founded

Settled

Well Founded

 

Delay

4

0

2

0

1

2

Extension

4

1

5

1

0

0

Fees

0

0

1

1

0

1

Language

0

0

0

0

0

0

Miscellaneous

2

0

1

0

1

2

Publications

0

0

0

0

0

0

Refusal – s. 69

4

0

3

1

1

3

Refusal – Exemption

20

2

0

1

4

30

Refusal – General

3

1

1

1

0

6

Subtotal

 

4

13

5

7

 

Total

37

29

44

1. Complaints Filed

Thirty-seven (37) complaints were filed with the OIC during the reporting period.

2. Completed Investigations

Twenty-nine (29) investigations were completed, including some of which had been carried forward from previous years. Out of the twenty-nine (29), five (5) complaints were resolved to the satisfaction of the OIC, and seven (7) were well-founded. Furthermore, thirteen (13) complaints were not well founded and four (4) were discontinued.

3. Ongoing Investigations

At the end of the fiscal year, forty-four (44) complaints were still under investigation by the OIC.

4. Review by the Federal Court of Canada

One (1) new application was filed before the Federal Court pursuant to section 41 of the ATIA during this fiscal year.

5. Review by the Federal Court of Appeal

One (1) new application was filed before the Federal Court of Appeal during this fiscal year.

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