6. Looking ahead

A leading access regime

The Commissioner will publish her special report to Parliament on modernizing the Access to Information Act in the fall of 2014. The report will be based on Canada’s experience with the Act over 30 years, the Commissioner’s unique investigative perspective, and analysis of modern access laws from across Canada and around the world. In this connection, the Commissioner sought and received input from a variety of interested individuals and groups during consultations during 2012–2013. (The Commissioner’s website contains a summary of these submissions.)

In late October 2014, the Commissioner will host, in conjunction with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, the annual meeting of federal-provincial-territorial access to information and privacy commissioners. The two-day event will offer an opportunity for the commissioners to exchange ideas and best practices.

Exemplary service to Canadians

The Commissioner will improve her existing investigative procedure, particularly for complex refusal cases. Under the more streamlined procedure, the Commissioner will clearly communicate her expectations about how investigations will unfold by providing turnaround times and deadlines for various steps.

The Commissioner will also evaluate the complaints resolution process, to enhance the efficiency of the investigative function and continue to improve service to complainants.

An exceptional workplace

The groundwork for developing a new strategic plan was laid in the early months of 2014. The new plan will take the Office of the Information Commissioner from 2014 to 2017, the end of the Commissioner’s current mandate. The focus of the plan will be on achieving the highest level of performance in investigating complaints and continuing to be an effective catalyst for advancing access, and fostering openness and transparency. The plan will include input from employees and stakeholders to ensure it is grounded in current realities and anticipated opportunities. Consultations will take place in the spring and summer of 2014, with the new plan to be launched in the fall.

The Office of the Information Commissioner will carry out a threat and risk assessment of its new offices in 2014–2015, having been early adopters of the Workplace 2.0 standard for office design. An audit of information technology infrastructure will assess the effectiveness of management practices and controls to ensure security in the new space.