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Information Commissioner works to improve timely access and full disclosure: annual report

Ottawa, June 16, 2011 -Information Commissioner of Canada, Suzanne Legault's first annual report, tabled in Parliament today, highlights her continuous efforts to reverse declining trends in timeliness and disclosure across the access to information regime in federal government institutions.

"When I became Commissioner last June, I was determined to make a difference in the way and the extent to which Canadians have access to government information," said Ms. Legault. "I have used all the powers and tools at my disposal to effectively investigate and resolve complaints about how federal institutions handle requests under the Access to Information Act (the Act)," she added.

These powers and tools include issuing subpoenas for records, reporting the results of investigations directly to the heads of institutions, conducting examinations under oath-notably in cases of alleged interference with the access to information process-and assessing the performance of select institutions new to the Act.

According to the report, the Office of the Information Commissioner continued to improve its own performance by closing more than 2,000 complaint files for the second consecutive year. This success results from increased process efficiencies, agile case management and collaboration with institutions

The report also summarizes noteworthy investigations and important legal cases that have raised issues of significance for the interpretation of the Act and access to information in general.

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The report, Paving the access ramp to transparency: Annual report 2010-2011, is available on the OIC website at: www.oic-ci.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr_ar-ra.aspx.

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Thérèse Boisclair
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