Transport Canada

Transport Canada (TC) is responsible for transportation policies and programs. It ensures that air, marine, road and rail transportation are safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible. Transport Canada works with other government departments and jurisdictions, and with industry to ensure that all parts of Canada’s transportation system work well.

In 2012-13, TC received 2,197 new requests within the reporting period, an increase of 272% as compared with 2011-12 (591 requests). TC was the fourth-ranked institution in terms of requests received under the ATIA in 2012-13, representing about 4% of all requests received in 2012-13. The increase of 272% in requests received appeared to have been challenging for TC, as it performed below the results achieved government-wide in 2012-13.Footnote 1

TC completed about 56.7% of all requests in its inventory in 2012-13, compared to a completion rate of 67.3% achieved in 2011-12. The average number of days to complete a request in 2012-13 was 119 days.

The most common sources of requests received in 2012-13 included members of the media (43.2%), the public (29%) and the private sector (22.5%).

Table 1: Workload

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Number of requests received 591 2,197 271.74%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 294 265 -9.86%
Average number of pages processed per request closed 148 104 -44
% of requests for which more than 1000 pages were processed 3.18% 2.20% -0.98%
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.

Overall, the volume of pages processed required to complete a request was considerably lowered. Most of the requests required the processing of 100 pages or less (81%), and an average of 104 pages were processed per request (a decrease of 44 pages/request compared to 2011-12). The proportion of pages reviewed that were disclosed went up in 2012-13, from 68% in 2011-12 to 86% in 2012-13.

Timeliness

TC responded to 488 requests within 30 days or less, which represents about 34.4% of the requests completed in 2012-13. This proportion was 64.8% government-wide. A fair amount of requests closed during the reporting period also took more than 365 days to complete (160; 11%).

However, Transport Canada significantly improved its performance with regard to late requests: about 21% of the requests completed were closed past the statutory deadlineFootnote 2, compared to 51% in 2011-12. This proportion achieved in 2012-13 represents an “F” gradeFootnote 3

TC invoked workload as the principal reason why requests were closed late in 2012-13 (83% of the time).

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 713 notices of extension from TC, which represented a total of 1,229 separate extensions.

Extensions

TC took 861 extensions to close the 1,419 requests completed in 2012-13. In comparison, a total of 297 extensions were taken to close 635 requests in 2011-12.

The extensions taken were generally for longer periods of time. The proportion of extensions for 30 days or less went down from 14.1% in 2011-12 to 7.3% in 2012-13.

More than half (61%) of the extensions in 2012-13 were also taken under section 9(1)(a).

Disclosure

Of the 1,419 requests completed, about 11% of them were disclosed entirely. This proportion was 25% in 2011-12. This is lower than the proportion government-wide (21.6%).

Table 2: Performance

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Completion of Requests
Completion rate 67.63% 56.74% -10.89%
Completion Time
% of requests closed within 30 days 39.84% 34.39% -5.44%
% of requests closed past statutory deadline 50.86% 21.42% -29.44%
% of consultations from government institution closed within 30 days 84.69% 71.22% -13.47%
% of extensions of 30 days or less 14.14% 7.32% -6.82%
Level of Disclosure
% of pages processed that were disclosed 67.71% 85.53% 17.82%
% of requests closed for which the information was disclosed entirely 25.04% 10.99% -14.05%
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 Transport Canada went up from 30 complaints in 2011-12 to 72 in 2012-13.

The number of administrative complaints also increased from 14 in 2011-12 to 31 in 2012-13. However, in terms of proportion of all complaints received each year, administrative complaints represented 43.1% in 2012-13, compared to 46.7% in 2011-12.

About 63.8% (46) of the complaints received in 2012-13 were considered well-founded. The remaining complaints were discontinued (15), not well-founded (3) or still pending (8).Footnote 4

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Following the Lac Mégantic disaster in the summer of 2013, TC received a high volume of requests, which was described as challenging for its ATIP office. This may have an impact on TC’s performance for the reporting period 2013-14.

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Footnote 2

In part II (performance) of the annual report, TC claimed to have a deemed refusal rate of 12.15%. However, the calculation used by TC does not respect Treasury Board Secretariat’s Guide for the Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act. Column 1 of table 2.6.1 should provide the number of requests closed past the statutory deadline. This includes only two categories of request: those completed beyond the original 30-day time limit and those that were completed beyond the extended time limits as defined in section 9 of the ATI Act. TC included requests that were still open at year-end and past their due date as well as requests entering the year overdue.

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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

Statistics show results compiled as of May 2014.

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