Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) is responsible for meeting the Government of Canada’s obligations and commitments to First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and for fulfilling the federal government’s constitutional responsibilities in the North.

AANDC received 38% more requests in 2012-13 compared to the previous reporting period. 

Despite this increase, AANDC improved its performance compared to 2011-12, especially in terms of timeliness. It also performed better than government-wide levels.

Amongst all of the requests in its inventory (731), AANDC closed 623 in 2012-13, which is a completion rate of 85.2% (compared to 85.5% in 2011-12). The average time to complete a request was 47 days.Footnote 1

59.6% of requests received by AANDC were from members of the public (similar to the year before). Requests from the media increased from 82 requests in 2011-12 to 149 in 2012-13. According to the AANDC’s annual report, journalists mostly requested records related to high-profile topics, such as the Attawapiskat First Nations and the Idle No More movement.

Table 1: Workload

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Number of requests received 470 648 37.87%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 148 209 41.22%
Average number of pages processed per request closed 711 801 90
% of requests for which more than 1000 pages were processed 14.22% 11.07% -3.15%
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 terms of volume of pages processed, 11.1% of requests required processing 1,000 pages or more, compared to 14.2% in 2011-12. 55.7% of requests required processing 100 pages or less. The average number of pages processed per request also went up by 90 pages.

Timeliness

Approximately 69% of the requests closed in 2012-13 were completed within 30 days, which is an improvement from the previous year. The percentage of requests completed in more than 120 days went down from 22.4% in 2011-2012 to 7.2% in 2012-13.

There were no requests completed past the statutory deadline in 2012-13. This represents an “A” grade.Footnote 2 This is a significant improvement over 2011-12, where 87 requests were closed past the statutory deadline (representing 16.8% of requests completed).Footnote 3

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 71 notices of extension from AANDC, which represented a total of 98 separate extensions.

AANDC relied less on extensions in 2012-13 (a 26.5% decrease). However, the extensions tended to be for more than 30 days.

About half of the extensions (53%) taken in 2012-13 were under section 9(1)(b) (consultation). In comparison, a majority of the extensions taken in 2011-12 were under section 9(1)(a) (interference with operations).

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 71 notices of extension from AANDC, which represented a total of 98 separate extensions.

Disclosure

Of the requests completed in 2012-13, 26.5% were disclosed entirely, which represents an increase compared to 2011-12. This is also higher than the government-wide disclosure rate of 21.6%.

However, AANDC disclosed 31.5% of all the pages processed (which is below the government-wide figure of 53.4%). This proportion was 5.5% higher in 2011-12.

In 16.5% of requests, AANDC responded that no records existed. In comparison, 11.8% of requests completed government-wide resulted in no records in 2012-13.

Table 2: Performance

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Completion of Requests
Completion rate 85.48% 85.23% -0.25%
Completion Time
% of requests closed within 30 days 53.09% 69.18% 16.09%
% of requests closed past statutory deadline 16.41% 0.00% -16.41%
% of consultations from government institution closed within 30 days 94.69% 94.95% 0.26%
% of extensions of 30 days or less 14.40% 8.47% -5.93%
Level of Disclosure
% of pages processed that were disclosed 36.96% 31.54% -5.42%
% of requests closed for which the information was disclosed entirely 18.34% 26.48% 8.14%
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 AANDC decreased from 47 complaints in 2011-12 to 44 in 2012-13.

Refusal complaints accounted for 37 out of the 45 complaints received in 2012-13. The remaining were related to administrative matters (6) or Cabinet Confidences (2).

16 of these complaints are still pending (as of May 2014). Of the closed complaints, 19 were considered well-founded and 4 not well-founded. An additional 2 were considered settled and 4 were abandoned.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Based on response to parliamentary written question Q-485.

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Footnote 2

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 3

AANDC noted that no requests have been completed late since Q2 2011-12.

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