Appendix B

Facts and figures

Summary of caseload, 2009–2010 to 2016–2017

 

2009–2010 2010–2011 2011–2012 2012–2013 2013–2014 2014–2015 2015–2016 2016–2017
Complaints carried over from the previous year 2,514 2,086 1,853 1,823 1,798 2,091 2,244 3,010
New complaints received 1,653 1,810 1,460 1,579 2,069 1,738 2,036 2,077
New Commissioner-initiated complaints* 36 18 5 17 12 11 11 2
Total new complaints 1,689 1,828 1,465 1,596 2,081 1,749 2,047 2,079
Complaints discontinued during the year 575 692 641 399 551 407 353 828
Complaints settled during the year 18 34 172 193 276 71 101
Complaints resolved during the year** 67 467
Complaints completed during the year with findings 1,542 1,351 820 1,050 1,044 913 790 849
Total complaints closed during the year 2,117 2,061 1,495 1,621 1,788 1,596 1,281 2,245
Total inventory at year-end 2,086 1,853 1,823 1,798 2,091 2,244 3,010 2,844
 
Total new written inquiries*** 208 258 248 431 448 468
Total written inquires closed during the year 186 263 236 235 633 426

*The Commissioner may launch a complaint under subsection 30(3) of the Access to Information Act.
**The Commissioner introduced the “resolved” finding in March 2016. The Commissioner uses it when institutions send their final response to requesters during the initial stages of investigations into deemed refusal (delay) and extension complaints.
***Written inquiries are correspondence the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) receives that may result in new complaints under the Access to Information Act. For example, the OIC must determine whether the matter falls within the Commissioner’s jurisdiction before opening a complaint file. Even when a written inquiry does not become a complaint, the OIC must send a response. The OIC began tracking written inquiries in 2011–2012.

In 2016–2017, the Commissioner received 2,079 new complaints and closed 2,245. There are 2,844 complaints in the inventory as of March 31, 2017.

New complaints, 2009–2010 to 2016–2017

Text Version

The figure is a vertical bar chart showing the number of complaints that the OIC registered for the years 2009–2010 to 2016–2017. There are three categories each year: refusal complaints, administrative complaints and complaints related to Cabinet Confidences exclusions.

In 2009–2010, the OIC received 961 refusal complaints, 694 administrative complaints and 34 Cabinet Confidences complaints.

In 2010–2011, the OIC received 996 refusal complaints, 810 administrative complaints and 22 Cabinet Confidences complaints.

In 2011–2012, the OIC received 1,036 refusal complaints, 391 administrative complaints and 38 Cabinet Confidences complaints.

In 2012–2013, the OIC received 1,040 refusal complaints, 519 administrative complaints and 37 Cabinet confidences complaints.

In 2013–2014, the OIC received 1,219 refusal complaints, 801 administrative complaints and 61 Cabinet confidences complaints.

In 2014–2015, the OIC received 1,102 refusal complaints, 604 administrative complaints and 43 Cabinet confidences complaints.

In 2015–2016, the OIC received 1,348 refusal complaints, 664 administrative complaints and 35 Cabinet confidences complaints.

In 2016–2017, the OIC received 1,154 refusal complaints, 880 administrative complaints and 45 Cabinet confidences complaints.

 

In 2016–2017, the Commissioner received 1,154 refusal complaints (commonly about the application of exemptions), 880 administrative complaints (about delays, time extensions and fees) and 45 Cabinet confidence exclusion complaints. Administrative complaints represented 42 percent of new complaints; the remaining 58 percent were either refusals or Cabinet confidence exclusion complaints.

Commonly cited exemptions in refusal complaints, 2016–2017

Note: The sum of all percentages may exceed 100 percent, because a single complaint may involve multiple exemptions.

Text Version

The vertical bar chart represents the exemptions that were cited the most frequently cited in the refusal complaints registered in 2016–2017. The X-axis refers to the exemptions under the section of the Act while the Y-axis represents the number of refusal complaints for which the exemptions was cited, as a proportion of the total refusal complaints registered.

The results are as follows:

  • Personal information (Section 19): 307 complaints (or 52.2% of all refusal complaints registered) evoked this exemption;
  • Law enforcement and investigations (Section 16): 235 complaints (or 40.0%) evoked this exemption;
  • Advice and recommendations to government (Section 21): 212 complaints (or 36.1%) evoked this exemption;
  • Third-party information (Section 20): 131 complaints (or 22.3%) evoked this exemption;
  • Solicitor-client privilege (Section 23): 129 complaints (or 21.9%) evoked this exemption;
  • International affairs (Section 15): 113 complaints (or 19.2%) evoked this exemption.
 

The most commonly cited exemption in refusal complaints in 2016–2017 was section 19 (personal information). The next most frequently used exemptions were sections 16 (law enforcement and investigations), 21 (advice and recommendations to government), 20 (third-party information), 23 (solicitor-client privilege) and 15 (international affairs and defence).

New complaints by institution, 2009–2010 to 2016–2017

  2009–2010 2010–2011 2011–2012 2012–2013 2013–2014 2014–2015 2015–2016 2016–2017
Canada Revenue Agency 261 502 324 336 283 221 271 367
Royal Canadian Mounted Police 68 69 68 125 185 178 235 274
Canada Border Services Agency 43 29 36 63 106 78 161 153
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada 72 84 66 109 305 246 181 127
National Defence 100 68 74 72 119 117 93 121
Privy Council Office 84 57 36 52 48 54 50 82
Transport Canada 112 77 30 72 83 87 57 81
Health Canada 37 81 49 37 48 65 32 60
Correctional Service Canada 53 82 65 57 56 33 59 52
Department of Justice Canada 32 30 47 24 51 44 44 49
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada 29 47 47 45 60 23 31 47
Global Affairs Canada 136 31 56 83 120 83 86 44
Public Services and Procurement Canada 43 88 45 35 28 26 78 43
Environment and Climate Change Canada 14 15 17 26 29 26 35 35
Department of Finance Canada 16 13 10 17 19 12 17 35
Canada Post Corporation 35 41 46 8 10 30 31 32
Canadian Security Intelligence Service 4 22 8 15 20 27 34 28
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada 6 0 1 2 2 6 3 28
Fisheries and Oceans Canada 18 11 23 18 21 18 25 26
Employment and Social Development Canada 18 26 25 20 37 33 38 23
Others (number of institutions) 508
(61)
455
(52)
392
(68)
380
(69)
451
(66)
342
(65)
486
(65)
372
(69)
Total 1,689 1,828 1,465 1,596 2,081 1,749 2,047 2,079

The chart above shows the 20 institutions that were the subject of the most complaints in 2016–2017. Many institutions appear on this list from year to year.

Turnaround times for investigations, 2012–2013 to 2016–2017

Refusal complaints closed within nine months

Text Version

This bar chart shows the proportion of refusal complaints that the OIC has closed within nine months after the date on which they were assigned to an investigator from 2012–2013 to 2016–2017.

In 2012–2013, 70.4% of refusal complaints were resolved within nine months (805 complaints).

In 2013–2014, 67.5% of refusal complaints were resolved within nine months (732 complaints).

In 2014–2015, 69.2% of refusal complaints were resolved within nine months (666 complaints).

In 2015–2016, 63.2% of refusal complaints were resolved within nine months (422 complaints).

In 2016–2017, 79.5% of refusal complaints were resolved within nine months (1,147 complaints).

 

In 2016–2017, the Commissioner closed 79.5 percent of refusal complaints within nine months of their being assigned to an investigator. The median turnaround time, measuring from the date of assignment, was 70 days. This is a decrease of 96 days from 2015–2016. However, there is a delay of 222 days (median) before a refusal file can be assigned to an investigator.

Administrative complaints closed within 90 days

Text Version

This bar chart shows the proportion of administrative complaints that the OIC has closed within 90 days after the date on which they were assigned to an investigator from 2012–2013 to 2016–2017.

In 2012–2013, 70.4% of administrative complaints were resolved within 90 days (336 complaints).

In 2013–2014, 68.4% of administrative complaints were resolved within 90 days (473 complaints).

In 2014–2015, 63.4% of administrative complaints were resolved within 90 days (396 complaints).

In 2015–2016, 64.1% of administrative complaints were resolved within 90 days (387 complaints).

In 2016–2017, 74.3% of administrative complaints were resolved within 90 days (594 complaints).

 

In 2016–2017, the Commissioner closed 74.3 percent of administrative complaints within 90 days of their being assigned to an investigator. The median turnaround time, measuring from the date of assignment, was 36 days. This is a decrease of 12 days from 2015–2016. There is a delay of 27 days (median) before an administrative file can be assigned to an investigator.

Complaints closed by institution, 2016–2017

  Overall With merit Not well founded Resolved Settled Discontinued
Canada Revenue Agency 380 89 63 162 5 61
Royal Canadian Mounted Police 232 64 45 24 2 97
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada 200 26 42 44 3 85
Canada Border Services Agency 187 34 16 59 45 33
National Defence 117 17 13 20 4 63
Public Service Commission of Canada 100 3 0 0 0 97
Correctional Service Canada 73 29 15 11 4 14
Global Affairs Canada 66 20 4 9 4 29
Transport Canada 62 21 5 9 1 26
Public Services and Procurement Canada 59 10 12 7 6 24
Privy Council Office 55 20 4 5 2 24
Health Canada 55 18 7 15 3 12
Department of Justice Canada 45 10 8 4 2 21
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada 40 10 2 6 1 21
Employment and Social Development Canada 37 11 4 4 2 16
Fisheries and Oceans Canada 36 10 0 8 3 15
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 30 18 7 0 1 4
Environment and Climate Change Canada 28 8 4 4 1 11
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat 27 10 3 1 0 13
Department of Finance Canada 25 7 1 5 1 11
Others (71 institutions) 391 95 63 70 12 151
Total 2,245 531 318 467 101 828

This chart lists the 20 institutions about which the Commissioner closed the most complaints in 2016–2017.