Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Overall performanceFootnote 1

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) experienced an increase of 22.8% in the number of requests received and improved the percentage of requests completed within 30 days by 1.8%. This report provides comparative statistics for the last three periods (2012-2015).

Workload

DFO received 512 requests under the Access to Information Act (the Act), representing 0.8% of total requests received government-wide in 2014-2015. In 2013-2014, DFO received 417 requests, which accounts for 22.8% fewer requests than those received this reporting period. The majority of requests in 2014-2015 were from the business sector (33.6%) and the public (32.0%) followed by the media (21.7%). Requests from business, public and media increased by 44.5%, 5.8% and 35.4% respectively.

DFO completed 503 requests this reporting period. The completion rateFootnote 2 was 72.1%, which is below the government-wide rate of 85.1% for 2014-2015 and 4.0% less than the completion rate in the previous period. DFO also received 118 informal requests and 67.8% of these were completed within 30 days. The number of consultations received by DFO from other federal government institutions increased from 170 to 226, representing a increase of 32.9% compared to 2013-2014.

The total number of pages processed increased from 183,315 pages in 2013-2014 to 307,313 pages in 2014-2015 representing an increase of 67.6%. Table 1 shows that the average number of pages processed per completed request increased from 538 in 2013-2014 to 770 in 2014-2015.

The information released by DFO was mostly in paper format: 224 requests in paper format compared to 120 requests in electronic format.

Table 1. Workload

Measures 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
Number of requests received 547 417 512
Annual change (%) - -23.8% 22.8%
Completed requests 453 397 503
Annual change (%) - -12.4% 26.7%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 288 170 226
Annual change (%) - -41.0% 32.9%
Average number of pages processed per request completed 378 538 770
% of requests for which more than 1,000 pages were processed 8.2% 13.5% 15.0%

Request completion time

Timeliness

Figure 1 reveals that 44.5% of requests were completed within 30 days or less, which is slightly lower than the result observed in 2013-2014. There is also a slight increase of 1.6% in the completion of requests for more than 365 days.

Figure 1: Request Completion Time

Figure 1: Request Completion Time

Text version

Figure 1 is a bar chart with vertical bars, representing the completion time by DFO during each reporting period between 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. The results are as follows:

Completion time 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
30 days or less 59.16% 46.35% 44.53%
31-60 days 15.45% 12.09% 13.12%
61-120 days 14.79% 17.63% 18.29%
121-180 days 5.74% 6.55% 6.16%
181-365 days 3.53% 9.32% 8.15%
More than 365 days 1.32% 8.06% 9.74%
 

Extensions

DFO took 365 extensions in 2014-2015 compared to 273 in 2013-2014. The most common reason for taking an extension was consultations (44.1%), followed by interference with operations (32.6%) and third-party notice (23.2%).

We note that extensions taken for consultations with other departments increased to 139 in 2014-2015 compared to 94 in 2013-2014. Extensions for third party notice doubled this reporting period from 2013-2014.

Figure 2 shows that 29.0% of extensions taken in 2014-2015 were for 30 days or less. This measure is lower by 4.4% compared to 2013-2014. Figure 2 also shows that the number of requests extended between 31 and 60 days in 2014-2015 increased by 3.8% compared to the previous period.

Figure 2: Length of Extensions

Figure 2: Length of Extensions

Text version

Figure 2 is a bar chart with vertical bars, representing the length of extensions taken by DFO during each reporting period between 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. The results are as follows:

Length of extensions 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
30 days or less 35.26% 34.15% 29.04%
31-60 days 30.06% 29.62% 33.42%
61-120 days 20.81% 15.33% 16.99%
121-180 days 9.25% 8.36% 13.97%
181-365 days 4.05% 12.20% 6.30%
More than 365 days 0.58% 0.35% 0.27%
 

Deemed refusals

In 2014-2015, the number of requests closed past the statutory deadline was 91, which accounts for 18.1% of completed requests, which is similar to results of the last period. This rate represents a “D” grade.Footnote 3 The most common reason for overdue requests was workload (79.1%), followed by external consultations (20.9%).

Figure 3 shows 13.2% were late by 30 days or less. The percentage of requests overdue for more than 365 days increased from 12% in 2013-2014 to 38.5% in this reporting period. DFO’s annual report on the administration of the Act attributes delay to the substantial increase in the volume of requests received (see workload section).

Figure 3: Lateness of Overdue Requests

Figure 3: Lateness of Overdue Requests

Text version

Figure 3 is a pie chart, representing the delayed days for overdue requests taken by DFO in 2014-2015. The results are as follows:

Number of days 2014-2015
1 to 15 days 12.09%
16 to 30 days 1.10%
31 to 60 days 6.59%
61 to 120 days 10.99%
121 to 180 days 14.29%
181 to 365 days 16.48%
More than 365 days 38.46%
Total 100.0%
 

Disclosure

Percentage of requests for which information was disclosed

In 2014-2015, 12.9% of completed requests were entirely disclosed, which is the lowest disclosure rate since 2012 (see Figure 4). Figure 4 also shows that the rate for partially disclosed requests was 55.5% in 2014-2015, which is an increase of 4.9% from the previous period.

Figure 4: Level of Disclosure

Figure 4: Level of Disclosure

Text version

Figure 4 is a bar-chart with vertical bars, representing the entirely disclosed and disclosed in part requests as proportion of total requests completed by DFO during each reporting period between 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. The results are as follows:

Disclosure 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
All disclosed 18.10% 16.62% 12.92%
Disclosed in part 43.71% 50.63% 55.47%
 

Exemptions

DFO applied 967 exemptions in 2014-2015 compared to 747 in the previous period. There is almost no change in the average number of exemptions used per completed request (1.92 in 2014-2015 and 1.88 in 2013-2014) (see Table 2). The most common exemptions in 2014-2015 were section 21 (Government Operations) (32.8%), followed by section 19 (Personal Information) (24.9%) and section 20 (Third-Party Information) (16.5%).

Table 2: Exemptions

Exemptions 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
Total number of exemptions 643 747 967
Total number of completed requests 453 397 503
Average number of exemptions per completed request 1.42 1.88 1.92

Complaints at the OIC

The number of complaints received by the OIC against DFO decreased from 21 in 2013-2014 to 18 in 2014-2015.Footnote 4 The number of administrative complaints increased compared to the previous period (13 administrative and 8 refusal complaints in 2013-2014 to 17 administrative and 1 refusal complaints in 2014-2015).

Of the ones received in 2014-2015, 13 were well founded and resolved. Discontinued and pending complaints accounted for 3 and 2 complaints, respectively.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Overall performance is based on two primary indicators: % of requests completed within 30 days, % of requests that were fully disclosed.

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Footnote 2

The completion rate was calculated using the number of received requests during the reporting period as well as outstanding requests from the previous period.

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Footnote 3

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=20% and more.

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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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