Canada Revenue Agency

Overall performanceFootnote 1

Despite an increase of 9.3% in requests received, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) showed improvement in terms of the two main indicators: the percentage of requests completed within 30 days increased by 4.8% and the percentage of requests for which all information was disclosed increased by 3.7%. This report provides comparative statistics for the last three periods (2012-2015).

Workload

The CRA received 3,006 requests under the Access to Information Act (the Act), representing 4.4% of total requests received across government in 2014-2015. This represents an increase of 9.3% in the total number of requests received by CRA in this reporting period (see Table 1).

The majority of requests received by the CRA were from the public (60.2%), followed by the business sector (29.5%). The number of requests from the public increased by 18.9% compared to 2013-2014. While compared to the previous period, the number of requests from the business sector decreased by 19.9%.

The CRA completed 2,668 requests this reporting period. The completion rateFootnote 2 was 74.2%, which is lower than the government-wide rate which is 85.1%. In 2013-2014, the completion rate for the CRA was 82.5%. The CRA also received 329 informal requests in 2014-2015 and 58.7% of these were completed within 30 days. The number of consultations received by CRA from other federal government institutions increased from 103 to 122, representing an increase of 18.4% compared to 2013-2014.

In 2014-2015, the CRA processed 1,306,661 pages to respond to access to information requests. The average number of pages processed per completed request decreased from 638 in 2013-2014 to 526 in 2014-2015.

The information released by CRA was mostly in electronic format: 1,628 requests in electronic format compared to 294 in paper format. The format of information released was similar to the results observed in the previous period (1,550 in electronic format compared to 381 in paper format).

Table 1. Workload

Measures 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
Number of requests received 3,137 2,751 3,006
Annual change (%) - -12.3% 9.3%
Completed requests 3,083 2,795 2,668
Annual change (%) - -9.3% -4.5%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 83 103 122
Annual change (%) - 24.1% 18.4%
Average number of pages processed per request completed 433 638 526
% of requests for which more than 1000 pages were processed 6.9% 10.3% 11.0%

Request completion time

Timeliness

Figure 1 reveals that 52.8% of requests were completed within 30 days or less, which is higher than the results observed in 2013-2014 (48.1%). This increase corresponds with a decrease in the completion of requests between 31 and 60 days and 61 and 120 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 CRA 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 48.52% 48.05% 52.81%
31-60 days 26.01% 22.25% 20.73%
61-120 days 13.49% 20.57% 15.67%
121-180 days 3.92% 4.40% 5.96%
181-365 days 3.67% 2.86% 3.49%
More than 365 days 4.38% 1.86% 1.35%
 

Extensions

The CRA took a total of 1,104 extensions in 2014-2015 compared to 1,229 in 2013-2014. The most common reason for taking an extension was interference with operations (96.5%), followed by consultations (3.1%), and the remainder was for third-party notice.

Figure 2 shows that 50.1% of extensions were taken for less than 30 days, which is an increase of 10.3% compared to the previous period. Figure 2 also shows that the number of extensions taken between 31 and 60 days decreased from 34.7% in 2013-2014 to 26.9% in 2014-2015.

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 CRA 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 59.48% 39.87% 50.14%
31-60 days 21.56% 34.66% 26.93%
61-120 days 14.85% 20.42% 17.68%
121-180 days 2.88% 3.66% 3.54%
181-365 days 1.15% 1.15% 1.72%
More than 365 days 0.07% 0.16% 0.09%
 

Deemed refusals

In 2014-2015, the number of requests closed past the statutory deadline was 348, which accounts for 13.0% of completed requests, which is a 1.0% increase compared to 2013-2014. This rate represents a “C” grade.Footnote 3 In its annual report on the administration of the Act, the CRA attributed the high rate of deemed refusals to a large number of requests that were considered complex. The main reason for not meeting the statutory deadline was workload (62.6%). Figure 3 shows that 44.0% of overdue requests were late by 30 days or less, which is an improvement compared to 40.0% in 2013-2014.

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

Number of days 2014-2015
1 to 15 days 27.30%
16 to 30 days 16.67%
31 to 60 days 12.64%
61 to 120 days 18.39%
121 to 180 days 11.21%
181 to 365 days 8.05%
More than 365 days 5.75%
Total 100.0%
 

Disclosure

Percentage of requests for which information was disclosed

In 2014-2015, 20.8% (2,668) of completed requests were entirely disclosed, which is the highest disclosure rate since 2012 (see Figure 4). Figure 4 also shows that the rate for partially disclosed requests was 51.2% in 2014-2015.

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

Disclosure 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
All disclosed 14.01% 17.07% 20.80%
Disclosed in part 53.49% 52.16% 51.24%
 

Exemptions

The average number of exemptions used per completed request was similar to the previous year (see Table 2). The most used exemptions in 2014-2015 were section 24 (Statutory Prohibitions) (32.0%), section 19 (Personal Information (24.2%) and section 16 (Law Enforcement and Investigations) (24.9%).

Table 2: Exemptions

Exemptions 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
Total number of exemptions 4,595 3,921 3,599
Total number of completed requests 3,083 2,795 2,668
Average number of exemptions per completed request 1.49 1.40 1.35

Complaints at the OIC

The number of complaints receivedFootnote 4 against the CRA was 221 compared to 283 in the previous period. Most of the complaints were refusals (152 deemed refusals and 69 administrative complaints) compared to the previous period (187 deemed refusals and 96 administrative complaints in 2013-2014). 31.2% of complaints were well-founded and resolved, 8.1% complaints were not well-founded, 9.5% were discontinued and 50.2% were still pending.

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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