Significant Deterioration in the Federal Access to Information System

Information Commissioner Tables Annual Report to Parliament

Ottawa, October 17, 2013 – Suzanne Legault, Information Commissioner of Canada, tabled her annual report to Parliament today, highlighting weaknesses in the information system that need to be urgently addressed. The report cites both a lack of leadership and resources as the main failings.

“All together, these circumstances tell me in no uncertain terms that the integrity of the federal access to information program is at serious risk,” said Suzanne Legault.

The report contains cases of institutions not having enough staff to even acknowledge the receipt of access requests for six months. Other examples show the response time to requests can vary from a year-and-a-half to more than three years. 

“It is imperative that the problems in the system be fixed and fixed promptly and substantively,” said Ms. Legault.

The Commissioner’s report calls for leadership on the part of the government and federal institutions, increased funding to handle access to information requests and a modernization of the 30-year old Access to Information Act, including extending the legislation to Parliament.

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The report is available on the OIC website

For more information:

Josée Villeneuve
Director, Public Affairs
Office of the Information Commissioner
Tel.: 613-947-2223
Email: josee.villeneuve@oic-ci.gc.ca