Industry Canada

Industry Canada’s (IC) mandate is to help make Canada’s industry more productive and competitive in the global economy, thus improving the economic and social well-being of Canadians.

In 2012-13, IC received 741 requests,Footnote 1 an increase of 50.6% from 2011-12 (492 requests). While IC improved its results in terms of timeliness in 2012-13 as compared to the previous reporting period, its performance was slightly lower in terms of disclosure.

Of a total of 961 active requests, 860 requests were closed during 2012-13, a completion rate of 89.5% (compared to 72.3% in 2011-12). This is the highest completion rate achieved by IC over a 10-year period. The average number of days to complete a request was 127 days.Footnote 2

The majority of requests were from the media (39.3%), followed by businesses (26%) and members of the public (15.4%).

Table 1: Workload

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Number of requests received 492 741 50.61%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 613 770 25.61%
Average number of pages processed per request closed 6,091 5,050 -1,041
% of requests for which more than 1000 pages were processed 7.90% 13.39% 5.49%
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.

As compared to government-wide statistics, IC processed by far the highest number of pages per requests in 2012-13 (5,050 pages/request closed compared to 6,091 in 2011-12). As a reference, in 2012-13 the government-wide average was 241 pages per request. Further, within IC the proportion of requests that required processing of more than 1,000 pages was higher in 2012-13 (13.4%) than in 2011-12 (7.9%).

According to the IC’s new 3-level complexity scale, about 69% of the requests completed in 2012-13 were considered a low level of complexity (level 1).Footnote 3

Timeliness

IC responded to 552 requests within 30 days or less, which represents about 64.2% of the requests it closed in 2012-13. This rate also represents an improvement compared to 2011-12 (52.7%). The proportion of requests closed that took more than 120 days to complete also went down, from 29.8% in 2011-2012 to 17.8% in 2012-13.

The proportion of requests closed past the statutory deadline in 2012-13 was 15.1%. While this represents an improvement compared to the proportion achieved in 2011-12 (18.7% decrease), it represents a “D” grade.Footnote 4

Workload was reported as the principal reason why statutory deadline could not be met, representing about 76% of requests closed past statutory deadline in 2012-13.

Extensions

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 158 notices of extension from IC, which represented a total of 235 separate extensions.

IC took 294 extensions to close the 860 requests completed in 2012-13. In comparison, a total of 251 extensions were taken to close 632 requests in 2011-12.

13.3% of extensions were for a period not exceeding 30 days, a decrease of 3% when compared to 2011-12.

The majority of the extensions taken in 2012-13 were for consultations under section 9(1)(b) (70%). This proportion was about 15% higher in 2011-12.

Disclosure

Of the 860 requests completed in 2012-13, 10.3% were disclosed entirely, which represents a 7% decrease compared to 2011-12.

It is important to note, however, that 23.7% of the requests completed in 2012-13 were treated informally, compared to 18.5% in 2011-12. 

Table 2: Performance

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Completion of Requests
Completion rate 72.25% 89.49% 17.24%
Completion Time
% of requests closed within 30 days 52.69% 64.19% 11.50%
% of requests closed past statutory deadline 33.86% 15.12% -18.74%
% of consultations from government institution closed within 30 days 60.04% 28.73% -31.31%
% of extensions of 30 days or less 16.33% 13.27% -3.06%
Level of Disclosure
% of pages processed that were disclosed 2.32% 3.69% 1.37%
% of requests closed for which the information was disclosed entirely 17.41% 10.35% -7.06%
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.

Complaints

The number of complaints received in 2012-13 by the OIC against IC was similar to the previous reporting year (36 and 34 respectively, an increase of 2 complaints).

However, the proportion of administrative complaints was lower in 2012-13 (11.1%) compared to 2011-12 (52.9%).

While 14 complaints received in 2012-13 are still pending (as of May 2014), the proportion of those well-founded/not well-founded was similar (6 and 7 complaints, respectively). An additional 7 complaints were discontinued and 2 were settled.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

According to the IC’s annual report, there was a continued level of interest in specific activities in 2012-13. Many of the requests received concerned grants and contributions, travel, hospitality, as well as issue-specific requests linked to particular legislation, such as the Investment Canada Act and the Competition Act.

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Footnote 2

Based on response to parliamentary written question Q-485.

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Footnote 3

Level 1 (low) of complexity is defined by the following criteria: Fewer than 100 pages, full disclosure and/or minor severances or informal disclosure, disclosure of previously released information, minimal number of interests in the file, if any (limited or no consultations) and consistent exemptions application, if any.

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Footnote 4

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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