Employment and Social Development CanadaFootnote 1

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is the focal point for social policies and programs in Canada. The institution is responsible for strengthening Canada’s social foundations by fostering the welfare of citizens, families, and communities, as well as their participation in society.

ESDC received 746 requests in 2012-13, an increase of 29% compared to 2011-12 (579 requests). ESDC ’s results declined in 2012-13 in terms of timeliness. Its performance in terms of disclosure of information was above the government-wide level.

Amongst all of the requests in its inventory (858), ESDC closed 630 in 2012-13, which is a completion rate of 73.4% (compared to 82.7% in 2011-12). This is the lowest completion rate accomplished by ESDC since 2003-04 (64.5%).

Most of the requests received in 2012-13 came from members of the public (33.8%), followed closely by businesses (28.4%) and the media (21%).Footnote 2 ESDC also responded to 154 informal requests for ATI packages already released.

Table 1: Workload

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Number of requests received 579 746 28.84%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 167 194 16.17%
Average number of pages processed per request closed 258 205 -53
% of requests for which more than 1000 pages were processed 4.29% 5.84% 1.55%
Note: The average number of pages processed per request closed and the percentage of requests for which more than 1,000 pages were processed are calculated from the total of requests completed for which the information was disclosed (in part or totally), exempted/excluded and for requests abandoned. It excludes requests completed for the following dispositions: no records exist, requests transferred and requests treated informally.

In 2012-13, ESDC processed a total of 112,087 pages, of which 97,127 (86.7%) were disclosed. A majority of the requests closed (71%) required processing 100 pages or less. The average number of pages processed per request for 2012-13 was 205 pages, which is a decrease compared to 2011-12 (258).


ESDC responded to 314 requests within 30 days or less, which represents 49.8% of the requests closed during 2012-13. This rate is approximately 2% lower than the rate in 2011-12. The proportion of requests completed in more than 120 days in 2012-13 (8.9%) was higher than in 2011-12 (4.5%).

The proportion of requests closed past the statutory deadline increased in 2012-13 compared to 2011-12, from 1.9% to 7.8% of all requests completed. The proportion achieved in 2012-13 represents a “B” Grade.Footnote 3 External consultations were identified as the principal reason for not meeting statutory deadlines (28 out of 49 requests), followed by workload (15 out of 49).

Each year, the OIC receives notices regarding the use of extensions for more than 30 days and compiles this information in order to generate statistics. In 2012-13, the OIC received 166 notices of extension from ESDC, which represented a total of 218 separate extensions.


ESDC took a total of 142 extensions to close the 630 requests it completed in 2012-13. In comparison, 143 extensions were taken to close 531 requests in 2011-12.

28.9% of extensions taken in 2012-13 were for 30 days or less (which is 8.2% lower than in 2011-12).

The majority of extensions in 2012-13 were taken under section 9(1)(a) (interference with operations) (63%).


Of the 630 requests completed, 36.8% were disclosed entirely, which represents a 2.4% increase when compared to 2011-12.

Table 2: Performance

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Completion of Requests
Completion rate 82.71% 73.43% -9.28%
Completion Time
% of requests closed within 30 days 51.98% 49.84% -2.14%
% of requests closed past statutory deadline 1.88% 7.78% 5.90%
% of consultations from government institutions closed within 30 days 96.95% 96.88% -0.07%
% of extensions of 30 days or less 37.06% 28.87% -8.19%
Level of Disclosure
% of pages processed that were disclosed 79.15% 86.65% 7.50%
% of requests closed for which the information was disclosed entirely 34.46% 36.83% 2.37%
Note: The completion rate represents the number of requests completed divided by the total number of requests on hand, which includes the new requests received and the requests carried over from the previous reporting period.


The number of complaints received by the OIC against ESDC in 2012-13 (20) was lower than in the previous fiscal year (25 in 2011-12).

The proportion of administrative complaints was higher in 2012-13 when compared to the previous year (from 24% to 45%).

One complaint was considered not well-founded, while 5 were well-founded. The remaining complaints are still pendingFootnote 4 (5) or were settled (5) or discontinued (4).


Footnote 1

Formerly “Human Resources and Skills Development Canada”.

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Footnote 2

According to ESDC’s annual report, typical requests in 2012-13 included those for statistics on the Department’s programs, briefing notes, research and studies of interest to the ESDC portfolio, and requests from employers or their representative for records regarding their own applications under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

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Footnote 3

The 2007-08 OIC report card grading system was used to estimate the grade: A=0 to 5%, B=5 to 10%, C=10 to 15%, D=15 to 20%, F=more than 20%.

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Footnote 4

Statistics show results compiled as of May 2014.

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