Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada

Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) has a dual mandate that includes supporting the Treasury Board as a committee of ministers, in addition to fulfilling the statutory responsibilities of a central government agency.

TBS received 301 requests in 2012-13, a decrease of 15% compared to 2011-12 (354 requests). Additionally, TBS received 262 new requests for consultations from other government institutions, compared to 272 in 2011-12. The performance of TBS was in general slightly higher in 2012-13 than in 2011-12. However, it performed below the results achieved government-wide performance in 2012-13.

TBS completed about 324 of the requests in its inventory in 2012-13, a completion rate of 80.2%, compared with 84.4% in 2011-12. The average number of days to complete a request in 2012-13 was 71 days.Footnote 1

More than half of the requests received in 2012-13 came from the public (52.5%). Members of the media also accounted for 23.6%.

TBS also reported informally processing another 97 requests that were not captured in the statistical report, compared with 204 in 2011-12.

Table 1: Workload

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Number of requests received 354 301 -14.97%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 272 262 -3.68%
Average number of pages processed per request closeda 233 471 238
% of requests for which more than 1000 pages were processeda 3.92% 11.11% 7.19%
Note: The average number of pages processed per request closed and the percentage of requests for which more than 1,000 pages 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.

Despite receiving fewer requests in 2012-13, the overall volume of pages processed increased significantly compared to the previous reporting period. About 11.1% of the requests required the processing of 1,000 pages or more, compared to 3.9% in 2011-12. Furthermore, the number of pages processed per request for the reporting period 2012-13 more than doubled compared to the average observed in 2011-12 (471 pages compared to 233). A significant increase can be observed in the proportion of pages processed that were disclosed in 2012-13 (70.4%) compared to the previous reporting period (58.8%).

Timeliness

TBS responded to 205 requests within 30 days, which represents about 44.8% of the requests closed in 2012-13. This proportion is also 2.5% higher than in 2011-12. However, the proportion of requests completed that were closed in more than 120 days went up by about 7% from the reporting period 2012-13 to 2011-12.

Requests closed past the statutory deadline represented 4.9% of all requests completed in 2012-13 (16 requests late). This proportion represents an “A” grade. In comparison, 4 requests were closed past the statutory deadline in 2011-12 (representing 1.2% of requests closed).

Workload and external consultations were both identified as principal reasons why requests were late in 2012-13 (7 cases each).

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 79 notices of extension from the TBS, which represented a total of 101 separate extensions.

TBS used a total of 74 extensions to close the 324 requests completed in 2012-13. In comparison, a total of 114 extensions were taken to close 336 requests in 2011-12.

About 2.6% of the extensions taken in 2012-13 were for 30 days or less. In comparison, 33.8% of the extensions government-wide were for the same period of time.

Finally, most of the extensions (81.6%) were taken for consultations under section 9(1)(b) in 2012-13. This proportion was slightly higher in 2011-12 (89%). No extensions were taken under section 9(1)(a) in both reporting periods.

Disclosure

Of the 324 requests closed, about 11.7% of them were disclosed entirely in 2012-13, which represents a decrease of 8% compared to the reporting period 2011-12. It is also the lowest disclosure rate achieved by TBS in the past ten years.

Table 2: Performance

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Completion of Requests
Completion rate 80.19% 84.38% 4.19%
Completion Time
% of requests closed within 30 days 60.71% 63.27% 2.56%
% of requests closed past statutory deadline 1.19% 4.94% 3.75%
% of consultations from government institution closed within 30 days 86.81% 67.15% -19.66%
% of extensions of 30 days or less 1.69% 2.63% 0.94%
Level of Disclosure
% of pages processed that were disclosed 58.77% 70.35% 11.58%
% of requests closed for which the information was disclosed entirely 19.94% 11.73% -8.21%
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 TBS increased by one complaint in 2012-13 (21) compared to the previous year (20). While most of the complaints received in 2012-13 were for refusals (13), about one quarter (5) were for administrative complaints, representing an increase of 15% compared to 2011-12.

While 7 complaints received in 2012-13 were still pending (as of May 2014), 5 were considered not well-founded and 4 more were well-founded. Finally, an additional 5 complaints were discontinued.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Based on response to the parliamentary written question Q-485.

Return to footnote 1 referrer