Public Works and Government Services Canada

Originally known as the Board of Works, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) was created in its current form in 1993 through the amalgamation of several departments. PWGSC provides government departments, boards and agencies with support services for their programs.

In 2012-13, PWGSC received 810 requestsFootnote 1 , an increase of 10% compared to 2011-12 (736 requests). PWGSC processed significantly more pages in 2012-13 as compared to 2011-12 (42.47% increase). While it achieved a better performance in terms of timeliness, its results in terms of disclosure went down slightly. Both indicators were, however, below government-wide levels.

PWGSC completed about 74.4% of all the requests in its inventory in 2012-13, compared to a completion rate of 72.3% in 2011-12. The average number of days to complete a request in 2012-13 was 105 days.Footnote 2

Almost half of these requests came from the public (45%).

Table 1: Workload

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Number of requests received 736 810 10.05%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 274 316 15.33%
Average number of pages processed per request closed 396 514 118
% of requests for which more than 1,000 pages were processed 10.40% 11.94% 1.54%
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.

About 11.9% of requests required processing more than 1,000 pages, compared to 10.4% in 2011-12. About half of the requests required processing 100 pages or less (52%). The number of pages processed per request for 2012-13 was significantly higher than in 2011-12 (514 pages compared to 396).

Timeliness

PWGSC responded to 344 requests within 30 days or less, which represents 42.3% of requests closed in 2012-13. This number is also 1.3% higher than the number of requests responded to within 30 days or less in 2011-12. The proportion of requests completed in more than 120 days was 1% lower in 2012-13 (27.7%), as compared to the previous year (28.8%). However, the proportion of requests closed in more than 120 days is high compared to the government-wide proportion (10.5% in 2011-12 and 9.1% in 2012-13).

The proportion of requests closed past the statutory deadline decreased by half, from 16% in 2011-12 to 8% in 2012-13. The proportion achieved in 2012-13 represents a “B” grade.Footnote 3

The reasons invoked for statutory deadlines not being met included workload (26.2%), external consultations (33.8%) and other (40%).Footnote 4

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 332 notices of extension from PWGSC, which represented a total of 549 separate extensions.

Extension

PWGSC took 698 extensions to close the 813 requests completed in 2012-13.Footnote 5 In comparison, a total of 703 extensions were taken to close 737 requests completed in 2011-12.

The proportion of extensions for 30 days or less went down slightly, from 12.4% in 2011-12 to 10.7% in 2012-13.

Extensions taken under section 9(1)(b) (consultations other than section 69) represented about 37% of all extensions taken. An additional 33% of extensions were taken to consult a third party, pursuant to section 9(1)(c).

Disclosure

Of the 813 requests completed, 15.9% were disclosed entirely, which represents a 2.6% decrease compared to 2011-12.

Table 2: Performance

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Completion of Requests
Completion rate 72.25% 74.38% 2.13%
Completion Time
% of requests closed within 30 days 40.98% 42.31% 1.33%
% of requests closed past statutory deadline 16.01% 8.00% -8.01%
% of consultations from government institution closed within 30 days 79.47% 64.76% -14.71%
% of extensions of 30 days or less 10.95% 10.74% -0.21%
Level of Disclosure
% of pages processed that were disclosed 64.51% 57.75% -6.76%
% of requests closed for which the information was disclosed entirely 18.45% 15.87% -2.58%
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

From 2011-12 to 2012-13, the number of complaints received by the OIC against PWGSC went down from 45 to 34 complaints. However, the proportion of administrative complaints increased slightly during the same period (40% to 55.9%).

Most of the complaints received in 2012-13 were either well-founded (15) or not well-founded (10). However, 5 are still pending (as of May 2014) and 4 were discontinued.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

According to its annual report, most of the requests received by PWGSC were related to the contracting and procurement services provided by PWGSC, including the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy and the F-35. A significant volume of requests were also received regarding briefing notes/question period notes to the Minister and for records regarding real property.

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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 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

The “other” reasons why an institution completed requests past their statutory deadline, according to the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Guide for the Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act, could be because of the unavailability of key officials, difficulties in obtaining relevant records, labour disputes, and lengthy power outages. The category “other” is defined as reasons other than workload and consultations.

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Footnote 5

PWGSC mentioned that 433 requests closed required extensions (representing about 53.26% of all requests completed in 2012-13. In 2011-12 this proportion was of 55.36%.

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Footnote 6