Correctional Service Canada

Correctional Service Canada (CSC) was created with the merger of the Canadian Penitentiary Service and the National Parole Service in 1979. CSC has the mandate to contribute to public safety by actively encouraging and assisting offenders to become law-abiding citizens, while exercising reasonable, safe, secure and humane control.

CSC received 630 requests during 2013–2014, about 20% fewer than in the previous year. The number of consultations received also decreased by 12% during this same period. CSC was able to perform better than the government-wide statistics on the number of requests completed in 30 days (although its performance has decreased in terms of timeliness).

CSC also completed 13% fewer requests in 2013–2014. Amongst all of the active requests on hand (800), 618 requests were completed by the end of 2013–2014, a completion rate of 77.3% (compared to 80.7% in 2012–2013).

Again in 2013–2014, a large majority of the requests received came from the public (73.5%, an increase of 10.6% compared to 2012–2013). An additional 18.9% were from the media. According to its annual report, CSC continued to process complex files related to the following subjects: construction, amalgamation and closure of correctional institutions, the CSC’s legislative agenda and the mental health practices and policies.

CSC also processed 66 requests for already released ATI packages, which resulted in the release of 253 packages. An additional 11 informal requests were treated by CSC. In 2012–2013, CSC reported releasing 347 previously released ATI packages.

Table 1. Workload

Measures Reporting Period
2012–2013
Reporting Period
2013–2014
Difference
Number of requests received 785 630 -19.75%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 135 119 -11.85%
Average number of pages processed per request completed 79 104 25
% of requests for which more than 1,000 pages were processed 1.19% 1.41% 0.22%
Note: The average number of pages processed per request completed 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.

The volume of pages processed increased compared to 2012–2013. The average number of pages processed per request went up by 25 pages (104 pages/request in 2013–2014). However, most requests completed required processing 100 pages or fewer (78.7%), which is similar to 2012–2013 (80%).

Timeliness

CSC responded to 412 requests within 30 days or less, representing 67% of all completed requests (7% less than in 2012–2013). The proportion of requests completed in more than 120 days also went up from 6% in 2012–2013 to 8.9% in 2013–2014.Footnote 1 However, the average time to complete a request was lower (50.9 days compared to 54.4 in 2012–2013).

The number of requests closed past the statutory deadline went down for the second consecutive year. In fact, it decreased by 59% since 2011–2012 (from 127 to 52 requests). In terms of proportion, CSC closed 8.4% of its requests past the statutory or extended deadline in 2013–2014, representing a “B” grade.Footnote 2 The category “other”Footnote 3 was the principal reason invoked to explain lateness (32 out of 52, or 61.5% of the time).

Extensions

While the number of completed requests went down by 13% between 2012–2013 and 2013–2014, the number of extensions used for these requests increased by 23.6% during the same period. A total of 194 extensions were taken in 2013–2014, representing 0.31 extensions per request completed (compared to a rate of 0.22 in 2012–2013). According to CSC’s annual report, this increase is a result of more voluminous, complex requests which required more time to process, especially when statistics had to be compiled.

Extensions in 2013–2014 also tended to be for a longer period of time, as the proportion of them that were for 30 days or less went down from 53.3% in 2012–2013 to 32.99% in 2013–2014.

Figure 1. Length of extensions (2011–2012 to 2013–2014)

Figure 1. Length of extensions (2011–2012 to 2013–2014)

Text version

Figure 1 is a bar chart with vertical bars, representing the length of extensions taken by CSC during each reporting period between 2011–2012 and 2013–2014. The results are as follows:

Reporting period 30 days or less 31-60 days 61-120 days 121-180 days 181-365 days More than 365 days
2011–2012 44.64% 27.68% 20.54% 6.25% 0.89% 0.00%
2012–2013 52.23% 22.93% 19.11% 5.10% 0.64% 0.00%
2013–2014 32.99% 29.38% 32.47% 2.58% 2.06% 0.52%
 

More than half (66%) of the extensions were taken under paragraph 9(1)(a) (interference with operations). This is an increase of about 9% compared to the previous reporting period. An additional 23% of extensions were taken for consultations (9(1)(b)) in 2013–2014.

Disclosure

Of the completed requests, 138 (22.3%) were disclosed in full. This is about 3% less than in 2012–2013. Additionally, of the pages processed, CSC disclosed 15% less in 2013–2014.

The proportion of requests completed for which no records existed increased to 18.1% in 2013–2014. In comparison, this proportion government-wide was 10.5%. Additionally, the proportion of abandoned requests was also twice as high as the government-wide proportion (15.5% compared to 7.7%).

Exemptions/Exclusions

In 2013–2014, a total of 704 exemptions and 48 exclusions were applied to withhold information, representing about 1.22 exemptions/exclusions per request completed. This proportion is similar to the one observed in 2012–2013.

Most frequently applied exemptions included: personal information (205 times), government operations (155 times) and law enforcement and investigations (153 times).

Table 2. Performance

Measures Reporting Period
2012–2013
Reporting Period
2013–2014
Difference
Completion of Requests
Completion rate 80.73% 77.25% -3.48%
Completion Time
% of requests completed within 30 days 73.31% 66.67% -6.64%
Average number of days to complete a request 54.4 50.9 -3.5
% of requests closed past statutory or extended deadline 11.66% 8.41% -3.25%
% of consultations from government institution completed within 30 days 78.74% 81.54% 2.80%
% of extensions of 30 days or less 52.23% 32.99% -19.54%
Level of Disclosure
% of pages processed that were disclosed 56.92% 41.97% -14.95%
% of requests completed for which the information was disclosed entirely 25.28% 22.33% -2.95%
% of pages disclosed entirely 19.68% 15.36% -4.32%
Exemptions/Exclusions
Number of exemptions/exclusions per request completed 1.23 1.22 -0.01

Other activities

During 2013–2014, a number of practices aimed at improving the ATIP process were adopted by CSC:

  1. CSC implemented a triage process, which takes into account a number of factors before assigning requests (such as workload, complexity of files and subject matter expertise);
  2. CSC recommends that individuals seeking information first consult the summaries of completed ATI requests before making a request, in order to avoid having to make a formal request and pay the associated fees.
  3. The institution also created a generic email address to allow individuals to request information electronically, in preparation for CSC’s inclusion in the ATIP Request and Pay Online Project.
  4. CSC changed its ATIP case management system in order to capture other general inquiries for advice.

Complaints

In 2013–2014, the OIC received 56 complaints against CSC.Footnote 4 This is similar to 2012–2013 (57 complaints).

The proportion of administrative complaints decreased by 13%, from 70.2% in 2012–2013 to 57.1% in 2013–2014.

As of April 2015, 9 of the complaints received in 2013–2014 were still pending. Of the completed ones, 20 were considered well-founded, 13 not well-founded while 13 were discontinued and 1 was settled.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

According to CSC, requests that required consultations took more time to process.

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Footnote 2

The 2007–2008 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

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 4

The numbers reported in this section are based on the OIC’s statistics. The information may not reflect the statistics reported by institutions due to the discrepancies in the methodology used.

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