National Defence

Overall performanceFootnote 1

The Department of National Defence (ND) improved the percentage of requests completed within 30 days by 7.7%. There was a decrease of 5.8% of requests for which all information was disclosed. This report provides comparative statistics for the last three periods (2012-2015).

Workload

ND received 2,073 requests under the Access to Information Act (the Act), representing 3.0% of all requests received across government. The number of requests received by ND decreased by 7.1% compared to the previous period.

The majority of requests were from the public (42.6%) and the media (37.9%). Requests from the public increased by 48.8%, while those received from the media decreased by 29.0% compared to 2013-2014.

ND completed 2,015 requests this reporting period. This corresponds to a completion rateFootnote 2 of 76.5%, which is lower than the government-wide rate of 85.1%. ND also received 153 informal requests in 2014-2015, all of which were completed within 15 days. The number of consultations received by ND from other government institutions decreased from 394 to 370, representing a decrease of 6.1% compared to 2013-2014.

The total number of pages processed by ND this reporting period was 224,634, which is a decrease from 234,134 in 2013-2014. In contrast, the average number of pages processed per completed request increased from 123 in 2013-2014 to 130 in 2014-2015 (see Table 1).

The information released by ND in 2014-2015 was mostly in electronic format: 1,174 requests in electronic format compared to 11 requests in paper format. A significant shift from paper to electronic format is observed compared to 662 requests released in paper and 933 in electronic format in the previous period.

Table 1. Workload

Measures 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
Number of requests received 2,044 2,231 2,073
Annual change (%) - 9.1% -7.1%
Completed requests 1,839 2,219 2,015
Annual change (%) - 20,7% -9.2%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 489 394 370
Annual change (%) - -31.7% 17.9%
Average number of pages processed per request completed 104 123 130
% of requests for which more than 1,000 pages were processed 1.6% 2.5% 2.7%

Request completion time

Timeliness

Figure 1 reveals that 49.3% of requests were completed within 30 days or less, which is an improvement from the 41.6% of requests completed within the 30-day statutory timeframe in 2013-2014.

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 ND 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 48.29% 41.55% 49.33%
31-60 days 19.68% 22.26% 16.82%
61-120 days 18.71% 14.56% 17.52%
121-180 days 7.18% 9.60% 6.95%
181-365 days 5.00% 10.27% 6.65%
More than 365 days 1.14% 1.76% 2.74%
 

Extensions

ND took a total of 873 extensions in 2014-2015 compared to 1,462 in 2013-2014. The most common reason for taking an extension was interference with operations (55.6%), followed by consultations (39.2%). Similarly, interference with operations was the most common reason for extensions in 2013-2014.

Figure 2 shows that 37.9% of extensions were taken for 30 days or less, which is 2.0% lower than 2013-2014. We also observed that the number of extensions taken between 31 and 60 days in 2014-2015 increased by 1.8% from 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 ND 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 32.97% 39.95% 37.92%
31-60 days 21.21% 22.71% 24.51%
61-120 days 19.30% 16.28% 25.54%
121-180 days 18.56% 18.95% 11.00%
181-365 days 7.95% 2.05% 1.03%
More than 365 days 0.0% 0.07% 0.0%
 

Deemed refusals

In 2014-2015, the number of requests closed past the statutory deadline was 567, which accounts for 28.1% of completed requests. This rate represents an “F” grade, which is a drop from the “B” (9.4%) of last year.Footnote 3  The reason provided for ND’s high rate of overdue requests was workload (57.3%). Figure 3 shows that 43.7% of overdue requests were late by 30 days or less.

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 ND in 2014-2015. The results are as follows:

Number of days 2014-2015
1 to 15 days 25.93%
16 to 30 days 17.81%
31 to 60 days 20.81%
61 to 120 days 16.05%
121 to 180 days 7.58%
181 to 365 days 7.58%
More than 365 days 4.23%
Total 100.0%
 

Disclosure

Percentage of requests for which information was disclosed

In 2014-2015, 18.5% of requests completed 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 40.4% in 2014-2015, which decreased from 47.6% in 2013-2014.

Figure 4: Level of disclosure

Figure 4: Level of Disclosure

Text version

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

Disclosure 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
All disclosed 19.25% 24.29% 18.46%
Disclosed in part 46.98% 47.59% 47.59%
 

Exemptions

The average number of exemptions used per completed request decreased from 1.29 in 2013-2014 to 1.0 in 2014-2015 (see Table 2). The most used exemptions in 2014-2015 were section 19 (Personal Information) (24.4%), section 21 (Operations of Government) (22.4%), and section 15 (International Affairs and Defence) (21.4%).

Table 2: Exemptions

Exemptions 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
Total number of exemptions 2,015 2,870 2,045
Total number of completed requests 1,839 2,219 2,015
Average number of exemptions per completed request 1.10 1.29 1.01

Complaints at the OIC

The number of complaints receivedFootnote 4 against ND decreased from 119 in 2013-2014 to 117 in 2014-2015. The majority of complaints were refusals, accounting for 74.3% of all complaints. The number of administrative complaints decreased from 34.4% in 2013-2014 to 25.6% in this reporting period.

There was an increase of 26 well-founded complaints compared to the previous year. There were 18 complaints that were not well-founded, 25 that were discontinued and 41 that were still pending resolution.

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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