National Defence

National Defence (ND) complements the role of the Canadian Forces and is responsible for policy, resources, interdepartmental coordination and international defence relations. The Canadian Forces command, control and administer all military strategies, plans and requirements.

In 2012-13, ND received 2,044 requests, an increase of 24% compared to 2011-12 (1,645 requests). ND was also the fifth ranked institution in terms of requests received in 2012-13, representing close to 4% of all requests received in 2012-13. Despite the increase in requests received and the high volume of pages processed, ND maintained a similar performance in 2012-13 as compared to 2011-12.

ND completed 77% of all requests in its inventory in 2012-13, which is lower than the completion rate achieved of 82.4% in 2011-12.Footnote 1 The average time to complete a request was 63 days in 2012-13.Footnote 2

Just over half of the requests received in 2012-13 came from the media (1,088 or 53.2%), followed by the public (653, 31.9%). Similar proportions were observed in 2011-12.

ND also reported it released 1,816 previously released access to information packages in 2012-13.

Table 1: Workload

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Number of requests received 1,645 2,044 24.26%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 552 489 -11.41%
Average number of pages processed per requests 72 104 32
% of requests for which more than 1000 pages were processed 0.89% 1.58% 0.69%
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.

The volume of pages processed increased from 88,826 pages in 2011-12 to 156,813 in 2012-13, representing a 76.5% increase. In general, requests closed in 2012-13 required processing a higher volume of pages. The average number of pages processed per request went up by 32 pages, from 72 pages per request in 2011-12 to 104 in 2012-13. Most of the pages processed in 2012-13 were also disclosed to requesters (86.8%). This proportion is similar to what was observed in 2011-12.

Timeliness

ND responded to 888 requests within 30 days or less, which represents 48.3% of all requests closed in 2012-13. This is low compared to the government-wide proportion (64.8%). The number of requests closed after more than 120 days was also higher in 2012-13 (13.3%) when compared to the previous reporting period (11.7%).

The proportion of requests closed past the statutory deadline decreased slightly in 2012-13 as compared to 2011-12, from 6.1% to 5.8%. This proportion represents a “B” grade.Footnote 3

Workload and external consultations were both invoked in similar proportions as principal reasons for not meeting statutory deadlines (36% and 34% respectively of the requests closed past the statutory deadlines).

Additionally, a higher proportion of requests closed past statutory deadlines were late by more than 120 days in 2012-13 (28%) compared to 2011-12 (9.5%).

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 698 notices of extension from ND, which represents a total of 894 separate extensions.

ND took 1,207 extensions to close the 1,839 requests completed in 2012-13. In comparison, a total of 1,281 extensions were taken to close 1,610 requests in 2011-12.

About 33% of extensions were for 30 days or less. This proportion is similar to the one observed in 2011-12.

About half of the extensions in 2012-13 were taken under section 9(1)(a) (interference with operations). This proportion was similar to 2011-12.

Disclosure

Of the 1,839 requests completed, 19.2% resulted in full disclosure of the information requested. This rate was 21.2% in 2011-12.

Table 2: Performance

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Completion of Requests
Completion rate 82.35% 76.98% -5.37%
Completion Time
% of requests closed within 30 days 50.68% 48.29% -2.39%
% of requests closed past statutory deadline 6.15% 5.82% -0.33%
% of consultations from government institution closed within 30 days 56.30% 49.79% -6.51%
% of extensions of 30 days or less 30.37% 32.97% 2.60%
Level of Disclosure
% of pages processed that were disclosed 85.25% 86.76% 1.51%
% of requests closed for which the information was disclosed entirely 21.18% 19.25% -1.93%
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 by the OIC against ND decreased slightly in 2012-13 as compared to 2011-12 (from 74 to 71 complaints). However, the proportion of administrative complaints increased by 10.9% during the same period.

The proportion of complaints received in 2012-13 that were well-founded vs. not well-founded was 26 to 15. An additional 13 complaints were discontinued. 17 complaints are still pending as of May 2014.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

ND noted in its annual report that “the carry-over of requests into the next reporting period may pose a problem to overall workload in the future”.

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Footnote 2

Based on response to parliamentary written question Q-485.

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Footnote 3

The 2007-08 OIC report card system was used to estimate a 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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