Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada (PS) coordinates and supports the efforts of federal organizations to ensure national security and the safety of Canadians. It works with various stakeholders on issues of emergency management, national security, law enforcement, crime prevention and the protection of Canada's borders. The Public Safety Portfolio encompasses nine organizations for which the Minister of Public Safety is responsible.Footnote 1

PS received 494 requestsFootnote 2 during the reporting period 2012-13, an increase of 36% compared to 2011-12 (363 requests). PS’s overall performance was lower in 2012-13 than in 2011-12. The results were slightly higher than those achieved government-wide in terms of proportion of requests closed within 30 days or less and lower where records were all disclosed.

PS completed about 83.4% of all requests in its inventory in 2012-13, compared with 81.1% in 2011-12. The average number of days to complete a request in 2012-13 was 66 days.Footnote 3

The most common source of requests in 2012-13 was the media (53.4%). This is very similar to previous reporting periods. An additional 29.4% also came from members of the public. PS also reported that 112 previously released ATI packages were released in 2012-13.

Table 1: Workload

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Number of requests received 363 494 36.09%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 234 244 4.27%
Average number of pages processed per request closed 198 329 66.16%
% of requests for which more than 1,000 pages were processed 6.22% 9.93% 3.71%
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.

Requests closed in 2012-13 required the processing of a higher number of pages: the number processed per request closed went up from 198 pages in 2011-12 to 329 pages in 2012-13. Additionally, about 10% of the requests required the processing of more than 1,000 pages, compared to 6.2% in 2011-12. Most of the pages processed (61.8%) were also disclosed in 2012-13.

Timeliness

PS responded to 314 requests within 30 days or less. Approximately 65.7% of the requests closed in 2012-13 were completed within 30 days (a 1% decrease compared to 2011-12). 

The number of requests past the statutory deadline increased in 2012-13 compared to 2011-12, from 3.5% to 6.5% of all requests completed. This proportion represents a “B”Footnote 4 grade. External consultations and workload were identified as the reasons why requests were closed late in 2012-13 (22 and 9 of the 31 late requests, respectively).

Extensions were taken for all requests that were closed past the statutory deadline.

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 148 notices of extension from PS, which represented a total of 211 separate extensions.

PS took 213 extensions to close the 478 requests completed in 2012-13. In comparison, a total of 148 extensions were taken to complete 339 requests in 2011-12.

Among all the extensions taken in 2012-13, about 22.5% of them were for a period not exceeding 30 days. In 2011-12, this proportion was 24.3%.

Most of the extensions in 2012-13 (73.7%) were taken for consultations under section 9(1)(b). An additional 22.1% were taken under section 9(1)(a). These proportions are similar to the ones observed in 2011-12.

Disclosure

Of the 478 requests completed, 6.7% of them were disclosed entirely (compared to 18% in 2011-12). This is also about 15% lower than the government-wide proportion (21.6% in 2012-13).

Table 2: Performance

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Completion of Requests
Completion rate 81.10% 83.42% 2.32%
Completion Time
% of requests closed within 30 days 66.67% 65.69% -0.98%
% of requests closed past statutory deadline 3.54% 6.49% 2.95%
% of consultations from government institution closed within 30 days 98.74% 97.96% -0.78%
% of extensions of 30 days or less 24.32% 22.54% -1.78%
Level of Disclosure
% of pages processed that were disclosed 67.24% 61.82% -5.42%
% of requests closed for which the information was disclosed entirely 17.99% 6.69% -11.30%
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 PS decreased by one, from 6 complaints in 2011-12 to 5 in 2012-13.

Only one complaint received in 2012-13 was related to administrative matters, compared to 3 complaints in 2011-12. An additional 2 complaints were for refusals and 2 more were related to Cabinet Confidence (compared to 3 and 0 complaints, respectively, in 2011-12).

While two of the complaints received in 2012-13 were still pending as of May 2014, two of them were considered not well-founded and one was discontinued.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

In addition to Public Safety Canada, the Portfolio includes the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), the Parole Board of Canada (PBC), and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). However, the present statistics are for Public Safety Canada only and do not include these 5 other institutions aforementioned, as each of them reports to Parliament separately.

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Footnote 2

An analysis of the summaries of completed ATI requests available online showed that the information requested was varied. Some of the subject matter areas requested included information pertaining to cyber-crime/cyber-security, the Vancouver Olympics, the events surrounding the arrest of Luka Rocco Magnotta, and information regarding several bills (such as Bill C-19, which amended the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code).

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Footnote 3

As per response to parliamentary question QP-485.

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Footnote 4

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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