Privy Council Office

Overall performanceFootnote 1

The Privy Council Office (PCO) observed a 28.8% decrease in the number of requests received in 2014-2015. The percentage of requests completed within 30 days decreased by 11.4%. This report provides comparative statistics for the last three periods (2012-2015).

Workload

PCO received 646 requests under the Access to Information Act (the Act), representing slightly less than 1.0% of total requests received across government in 2014-2015. In 2013-2014, PCO received 907 requests which represents a decrease of 28.8% in the number of requests received compared to this reporting period. The majority of requests received in 2014-2015 were from the media (71.2%), followed by the public (17.3%).

PCO completed 677 requests in 2014-2015, which corresponds to a completion rateFootnote 2 of 73.0%, the same as in the previous period. However, PCO’s completion rate is below the government-wide rate of 85.1% for 2014-2015. PCO also received 427 informal requests in 2014-2015 and 33.3% of these were completed within 30 days. The number of consultations received by PCO from other federal government institutions decreased from 431 to 381, representing a decrease of 12.1% compared to 2013-2014.

In 2014-2015, 76,372 pages were processed compared to 58,409 in 2013-2014. The average number of pages processed per completed request also increased from 101 in 2013-2014 to 141 this reporting period.

The information released by PCO was mostly in paper format: 420 in paper format and 1 in electronic format.

Table 1. Workload

Measures 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
Number of requests received 780 907 646
Annual change (%) - 16.3% -28.8%
Completed requests 725 772 677
Annual change - 6.5% -12.3%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 511 422 371
Annual change (%) - -17.4% -12.1%
Average number of pages processed per request completed 78 101 141
% of requests for which more than 1,000 pages were processed 1.1% 1.6% 2.0%

Request completion time

Timeliness

Figure 1 reveals that 39.1% of requests were completed within 30 days or less, which is a decrease of 11.4% compared to 2013-2014. There was also a percentage increase for requests completed in all other categories.

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 PCO 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 58.07% 50.52% 39.14%
31-60 days 11.45% 10.88% 11.52%
61-120 days 19.86% 23.88% 29.25%
121-180 days 6.90% 6.99% 10.78%
181-365 days 2.48% 6.35% 6.50%
More than 365 days 1.24% 1.42% 2.81%
 

Extensions

PCO took a total of 459 extensions in 2014-2015 compared to 432 in 2013-2014. The most common reason for taking an extension was interference with operations (66.9%), followed by consultations (26.4%).

Figure 2 shows that 18.3% of extensions were taken for less than 30 days, which is a slight increase of 3.7% compared to the previous period. The figure also reveals that the number of extensions taken between 31 and 60 days decreased by 11.2% from 2013-2014. Further, 52.7% of extensions were taken between 61 and 120 days, representing a 13.1% increase 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 PCO 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 24.46% 14.58% 18.30%
31-60 days 25.99% 31.25% 20.04%
61-120 days 40.67% 39.58% 52.72%
121-180 days 5.81% 11.57% 4.14%
181-365 days 0.92% 2.55% 1.96%
More than 365 days 2.14% 0.46% 2.83%
 

Deemed refusals

In 2014-2015, the number of requests closed past the statutory deadline was 32, which accounts for 4.7% of completed requests. This rate represents an “A” grade.Footnotee 3 However, the number of overdue requests doubled compared to the previous period. The most common reason for overdue requests in 2014-2015 was internal consultations (46.9%) and workload (43.8%).

Figure 3 shows that 25.0% of overdue requests were late for 30 days or less corresponding to 8 requests (the same as in the last period). However, most of the overdue requests in 2014-2015 were late between 61 and 120 days (12 requests).

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 PCO during in 2014-2015. The results are as follows:

Number of days 2014-2015
1 to 15 days 25.00%
16 to 30 days 0.00%
31 to 60 days 6.25%
61 to 120 days 37.50%
121 to 180 days 6.25%
181 to 365 days 12.50%
More than 365 days 12.50%
Total 100.0%
 

Disclosure

Percentage of requests for which information was disclosed

In 2014-2015, 4.6% of completed requests were entirely disclosed which is almost twice the amount as the previous period (see Figure 4). Figure 4 also shows that the rate for partially disclosed requests in 2014-2015 was 58.5%, which represents an increase of 5.1% from 2013-2014.

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 PCO during each reporting period between 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. The results are as follows:

Disclosure 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
All disclosed 4.83% 2.07% 4.58%
Disclosed in part 42.34% 53.37% 58.49%
 

Exemptions

In total, PCO applied 1,502 exemptions in 2014-2015 compared to 1,226 the previous year. The number of exemptions used per completed request increased from the previous period, increasing from 1.59 in 2013-2014 to 2.22 in 2014-2015 (see Table 2).

The most common exemptions in 2014-2015 were section 21 (Operations of Government) (35.9%) and section 19 (Personal Information) (22.8%), followed by section 15 (International Affairs and Defence) (9.7%).

Table 2: Exemptions

Exemptions 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
Total number of exemptions 835 1,226 1,502
Total number of completed requests 725 772 677
Average number of exemptions per completed request 1.15 1.59 2.22

Complaints at the OIC

The number of complaints received against PCO was 35Footnote 4 which is similar to the previous period where they received 33. The proportion of administrative complaints was 35.1% in this reporting period, which is a slight increase compared to the previous period of 31.2%.

Around 31% of complaints were well-founded and resolved which is slightly lower than the 39.5% observed in 2013-2014. In addition, 29.6% of complaints were discontinued and 37% were pending.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Overall performance is based on two primary indicators: % of requests completed within 30 days and % 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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