Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), as the national public broadcaster, provides radio and television services to Canadians, incorporating a range of programming in English, French and Aboriginal languages. CBC was part of the 70 institutions that became subject to the Access to Information Act in 2006 and 2007 under the Federal Accountability Act.

CBC received 159 requests during the reporting period 2013–2014, representing 5 requests more than in 2012–2013. Overall, CBC’s performance was slightly below the results achieved in 2012–2013. However, we note that CBC maintained a high compliance rate, with only one request being closed past the statutory or extended deadline.

CBC completed 154 requests in 2013–2014, representing 81.5% of all requests in its inventory (a decrease of 2% compared to 2012–2013). The average time to complete a request was 42 days, compared to 38 days in 2012–2013.Footnote 1Footnote 2

Members of the public were the most common source of requests received in 2013–2014 (44.7%) followed by the private sector (40.9%). These proportions were similar in 2012–2013.

CBC also processed 21 requests for already released ATI packages in 2013–2014, compared to 17 in 2012–2013. According to their annual report, CBC noted that there were 1,937 visits registered on the Corporation’s Transparency and Accountability website.

The average number of pages processed per request completed went up by 182 pages in 2013–2014 (from 154 to 336).

Table 1. Workload

Measures Reporting Period
Reporting Period
Number of requests received 154 159 3.25%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 29 12 -58.62%
Average number of pages processed per request completed 154 336 182
% of requests for which more than 1,000 pages were processed 5.19% 6.38% 1.19%
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.


CBC completed 88 requests within 30 days, representing about 57.14% of requests completed in 2013–2014. This proportion is about 9% lower than in 2012–2013.Footnote 3

CBC continued to reduce the number of requests completed past their statutory or extended deadline. Only one request was closed past its statutory deadline,Footnote 4 representing 0.65% of requests completed in 2013–2014. This rate represents an “A” grade.Footnote 5


In 2013–2014, a total of 55 extensions were taken to complete 154 requests, an average of 0.36 extension per request. This is a slight increase compared to 2012–2013, where 0.28 extension were taken per request completed.

In 2013–2014, about 76% of the extensions taken were for more than 30 days.Footnote 6 Most of the extensions taken were for third party consultations (49%) followed by interference with operations (36%). These proportions are similar to the ones reported in 2012–2013.

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 CBC 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 17.07% 63.41% 9.76% 4.88% 4.88% 0.00%
2012–2013 21.43% 66.67% 7.14% 2.38% 2.38% 0.00%
2013–2014 23.64% 60.00% 12.73% 3.64% 0.00% 0.00%


CBC responded to 17 requests by disclosing all information in 2013–2014. This represents about 11% of the requests completed (proportion similar to 2012–2013). The disclosure rate achieved by CBC has been relatively stable over the past three years.

The proportion of pages processed that were disclosed also decreased, from 58.8% in 2012–2013 to 42.9% in 2013–2014.


In 2013–2014, a total of 304 exemptions and 23 exclusions were applied, an average of 2.12 exemptions/exclusions per request completed. This proportion was lower in 2012–2013 (1.89).

Frequently applied exemptions included: economic interests under section 18 (91 requests), personal information under section 19 (84 requests) and third party information under section 20 (57 requests).

Subsection 68.1 (related to CBC’s journalistic, creative, or programming activities) was applied to 21 requests. In comparison, this exemption was applied to 30 requests in 2012–2013.

Table 2. Performance

Measures Reporting Period
Reporting Period
Completion of Requests
Completion rate 83.52% 81.48% -2.04%
Completion Time
% of requests completed within 30 days 66.45% 57.14% -9.31%
Average number of days to complete a request 38 42 4
% of requests closed past statutory or extended deadline 1.32% 0.65% -0.67%
% of consultations from government institution completed within 30 days 96.30% 100% 3.70%
% of extensions of 30 days or less 21.43% 23.64% 2.21%
Level of Disclosure
% of pages processed that were disclosed 58.83% 42.90% -15.93%
% of requests completed for which the information was disclosed entirely 11.18% 11.04% -0.14%
% of pages disclosed entirely 1.96% 3.76% 1.8%
Number of exemptions/exclusions per request completed 1.89 2.12 0.23

Other activities

CBC continued to monitor report on ATI requests processing time. This includes daily meetings between the ATIP Director and the ATIP team leaders as well as weekly reports to the ATIP Director and the office of the Vice-President responsible for the ATIP function.

The Corporation also continued to publish its bulletins on its website on a quarterly basis.Footnote 7 The bulletins summarize CBC’s performance and provide some other information that can be of interest to the public in a proactive manner (such as financial information).

While institutions are now required to publish monthly summaries of the completed ATI requests, CBC has brought this approach to another level by providing all responsive records to requests of general interest directly on its website.Footnote 8


The OIC received a total of 61 complaints against CBCFootnote 9 in 2013–2014, compared to 45 complaints in 2012–2013 (increase of 35.6%).

Of the 61 complaints registered in 2013–2014, 55 of them were for refusal and 6 were related to administrative matters. This is proportionally similar to 2012–2013.

As for the disposition of complaints registered in 2013–2014, 5 were well founded, 3 were not well-founded and 2 were settled. An additional 14 complaints were discontinued and 37 were still pending, as of April 2015.


Footnote 1

Based on response to parliamentary written question Q-485 and CBC’s annual report on the administration of the Access to Information Act.

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Footnote 2

According, to CBC’s annual report, this increase in the average of days to complete a request is mostly due to two requests which required the process of more than 20,000 pages.

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Footnote 3

CBC also noted that no request received/completed during this reporting period was closed past the statutory deadline.

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Footnote 4

The request was three days late, according to CBC’s annual report.

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Footnote 5

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 6

The consultation process under 9(1)(c) usually takes 60 days. All but one consultation undertaken by CBC in 2013–2014 with a third party took 60 days or less.

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Footnote 7

These bulletins are available here.

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Footnote 8

Records released in response to ATI requests of general interest are available here.

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Footnote 9

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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