4. Performance of institutions

Institutional report cards

Following the report cards in 2011–2012, performance related to timeliness increased from 55% to 65% until 2014–2015. 2015–2016 saw a decline in performance.

The Access to Information Act directs all institutions to produce an annual report on their administration of the Act. The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat also collects and annually publishes aggregate statistical data about the access to information program.Footnote 1

The Commissioner uses these sources of publicly available data to analyze the health of the access to information regime.

The two primary indicators measured are the percentage of requests completed within 30 days and the percentage of requests for which all information was disclosed.Footnote 2

System-wide performance

From 2014–2015 to 2015–2016, there has been a 10 percent increase in the number of access to information requests received by institutions.

Overall institutional performance under the Act declined in 2015–2016. Most notable is the performance decline of a number of leading institutions that possess valuable information for Canadians. (See table Performance of top 20 institutions.)

Timeliness

One indicator of effective institutional performance under the Act is the percentage of requests completed within the statutory 30-day period.

Overall institutional performance

The 2015–2016 report of overall institutional performance shows 64 percent of requests were completed in the 30-day timeframe. This is a one percent decline from the 2014–2015 results.

However, it is important to note Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s impact on the system-wide figures. As is typically the case, IRCC received the majority (41,660 or 55%) of all new requests. When excluding this institution from calculations regarding timeliness, a slightly different picture emerges (see Table 1).

Table 1. Requests completed within 30 days

  2014–2015 2015–2016
Overall 65% 64%
IRCC 69% 71%
Overall, excluding IRCC 61% 56%

Sixty-nine percent is the highest percentage achieved for timeliness since the Act was established. The Commissioner is of the view that the target goal for timeliness should be at least 75 percent of requests responded to within 30 days. She made this recommendation to the President of the Treasury Board as part of the government’s action plan 2.0 for open government.Footnote 3 The government has not accepted this recommendation.

Percentage of requests closed within 30 days or less, 1997–1998 to 2015–2016

Text Version

The figure is a line graph showing the percentage of requests closed within 30 days or less from 1997–1998 to 2015–2016. The results are as follows:

Reporting period Percentage of requests closed within 30 days or less
1997-1998 50.70%
1998-1999 53.70%
1999-2000 63.20%
1999-2001 59.30%
2001-2002 65.80%
2002-2003 69.03%
2003-2004 63.93%
2004-2005 61.73%
2005-2006 59.64%
2006-2007 57.77%
2007-2008 57.24%
2008-2009 57.06%
2009-2010 56.10%
2010-2011 56.90%
2011-2012 55.30%
2012-2013 64.80%
2013-2014 61%
2014-2015 65.10%
2015-2016 64.10%
 

Individual performance

The report card rates

The report card grading system is based on the number of requests an institution closes past the statutory deadline divided by the number of requests closed during the report period.

The rating scale is: A=0–5 percent; B=5–10 percent; C=10–15 percent; D=15–20 percent; and F=more than 20 percent. “Red alert” is reserved for very high proportions of requests completed past the statutory deadline.

Each year, a group of approximately 20 institutions receive around 90 percent of the access requests from Canadians.

Top performers: The top performing institutions for timeliness were the Privy Council Office (PCO), Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).

Poor performers: Four of the 20 institutions examined had rates above 20 percent and were given an F grade. These institutions are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Correctional Services of Canada (CSC) and Global Affairs Canada (GAC).

Red Alert: Red Alert status is given to institutions possessing rates of more than 40 percent. Both the Department of National Defence (DND) and Health Canada (HC) received Red Alert grades from the Commissioner for their refusal rates of 41 and 42 percent, respectively.

Officials from the OIC met with representatives from GAC, DND, CRA, HC, RCMP, and CSC concerning their performance and progress on files. The OIC will continue to work with these institutions to address their difficulties in meeting the obligations under the Act.

Proportion of requests closed past their statutory deadline, 2015–2016

Text Version

The figures is a vertical bar chart showing the proportion of requests closed past their statutory deadline in 2015–2016 per institution. The results are as follows:

Institution Proportion of requests closed past their statutory deadline
PCO 2.10%
CSIS 2.12%
TBS 4.74%
ISED (IC) 4.98%
PSPC (PWGSC) 5.30%
JUS 5.45%
NRCan 6.53%
LAC 7.92%
ECCC (EC) 9.64%
IRCC (CIC) 10.79%
TC 15.73%
ESDC 18.14%
CBSA 18.44%
DFO 19.04%
RCMP 21.85%
CRA 26.09%
CSC 28.85%
GAC (DFATD) 28.97%
ND 41.35%
HC 41.91%
 

Disclosure

A second indicator of effective institutional performance under the Act is the percentage of completed requests where records were fully disclosed.  

The OIC looks at the disclosure trend over a period of time to assess the level of disclosure given the Act has not significantly changed since its adoption. The OIC also recognizes that disclosure can be closely linked to the sensitivity of information that an institution possesses and mandatory restrictions in the Act that prohibit disclosure.

In 1999–2000, 40.6 percent of requests were disclosed in full, which represents the highest percentage for institutional disclosure since the Act was established.

Disclosure rate, 1997–1998 to 2015–2016

Text Version

The figures is a line graph showing the disclosure rate from 1997–1998 to 2015–2016. The results are as follows:

Reporting period Disclosure rate
1997-1998 33.90%
1998-1999 39.80%
1999-2000 40.60%
1999-2001 37.50%
2001-2002 32.60%
2002-2003 29.60%
2003-2004 28.20%
2004-2005 27.10%
2005-2006 28.40%
2006-2007 23.10%
2007-2008 17.80%
2008-2009 18%
2009-2010 15.80%
2010-2011 19.60%
2011-2012 21.20%
2012-2013 21.60%
2013-2014 26.80%
2014-2015 27.20%
2015-2016 24.20%
 

Overall institutional performance

The 2015–2016 report of overall institutional performance shows 24 percent of requests were disclosed in full, which is a three percent decrease from 2014–2015.

Percentage of requests for which all requested records were disclosed, 2015–2016

Text Version

The figures is a vertical bar chart showing the percentage of requests for which all requested records were disclosed in 2015–2016 per institution. The results are as follows:

Institution Percentage of requests for which all requested records were disclosed
ISED (IC) 46.35%
CBSA 45.33%
LAC 29.42%
ESDC 28.35%
IRCC
(CIC)
26.55%
HC 21.83%
NRCan 21.08%
CRA 21.07%
TBS 19.18%
PSPC
(PWGSC)
18.06%
CSC 16.53%
ND 15.25%
TC 15.07%
GAC
(DFATD)
12.12%
DFO 10.72%
JUS 9.64%
RCMP 8.91%
ECCC
(EC)
7.56%
PCO 3.39%
CSIS 1.84%
 

Conclusion

The results of institutional performance reporting for 2015–2016 show an increase in the volume of requests received by institutions, but a decrease in the overall performance of institutions. The results of 2015–2016 reporting period mean the government needs to focus and put in significant effort to achieve its goals of transparency and accountability. Otherwise, it risks going down a slippery slope of declining performance.

Performance of top 20 institutions

Institution Number of requests received (% change from previous reporting period) Completion rate Requests completed within 30 days Proportion of requests closed past the statutory deadline Proportion of requests past the statutory deadline: score Requests for which all information was disclosed
2014-15 2015-16 2014-15 2015-16 2014-15 2015-16 2014-15 2015-16 2014-15 2015-16 2014-15 2015-16
IRCC
(CIC)
34,066
(+16.34%)
41,660
(+22.29%)
90.17% 88.49% 69.33% 70.58% 11.05% 10.79% C C 29.58% 26.55%
CBSA 6,705
(+43.55%)
5,532
(-17.49%)
86.22% 75.73% 75.86% 64.19% 6.48% 18.44% B D 59.84% 45.33%
RCMP 3,343 (+93.23%) 3,858 (+15.41%) 84.58% 84.15% 59.95% 61.68% 28.31% 21.85% F F 9.03% 8.91%
CRA 3,006 (+9.27%) 3,139 (+4.42%) 74.23% 63.27% 52.81% 39.11% 13.04% 26.09% D F 20.80% 21.07%
DND 2,073
(-7.08%)
2,189
(+5.60%)
76.47% 76.11% 49.33% 47.61% 28.14% 41.35% F Red alert 18.46% 15.25%
ESDC 1,160
(+34.72%)
1,572
(+35.52%)
80.11% 79.15% 42.37% 54.69% 24.27% 18.14% F D 27.01% 28.35%
ECCC
(EC)
1,488
(+1.20%)
1,558
(+4.70%)
84.91% 84.53% 72.11% 75.31% 11.23% 9.64% C B 8.33% 7.56%
HC 1,569 (+0.38%) 1,222 (-22.12%) 62.53% 49.49% 52.04% 35.67% 14.58% 41.91% C Red alert 11.34% 21.83%
GAC
(DFATD)
871
(-24.85%)
1,086
(+24.68%)
71.88% 77.43% 33.74% 36.26% 41.36% 28.97% Red alert F 9.15% 12.12%
TC 937
(-14.12%)
1,032
(+10.14%)
90.19% 78.43% 41.30% 33.99% 12.51% 15.73% C D 10.45% 15.07%
ISED
(IC)
749
(-12.60%)
885
(+18.16%)
83.73% 88.45% 67.38% 70.58% 5.25% 4.98% B A 39.57% 46.35%
PSPC
(PWGSC)
691
(-3.80%)
863
(+24.89%)
74.45% 81.81% 50.55% 51.81% 4.84% 5.30% A B 20.90% 18.06%
LAC 829
(-5.47%)
737
(-11.10%)
86.88% 88.04% 77.34% 71.24% 4.40% 7.92% A B 33.62% 29.42%
CSIS 366
(-59.50%)
669
(+82.79%)
75.85% 93.28% 66.24% 81.92% 0.32% 2.12% A A 0.96% 1.84%
CSC 555
(-11.90%)
646
(+16.40%)
75.84% 71.33% 59.38% 47.33% 22.63% 28.85% F F 23.79% 16.53%
JUS 520
(-5.10%)
574
(+10.38%)
87.05% 83.84% 74.41% 74.91% 7.62% 5.45% B B 8.71% 9.64%
PCO 646
(-28.77%)
559
(-13.47%)
73.03% 76.64% 39.14% 41.77% 4.73% 2.10% A A 4.58% 3.39%
TBS 427
(+41.86%)
503
(-17.80%)
83.63% 79.18% 75.18% 64.87% 4.06% 4.74% A A 10.74% 19.18%
NRCan 670
(-2.76%)
430
(-35.82%)
75.95% 84.01% 44.29% 43.47% 8.98% 6.53% B B 23.29% 21.08%
DFO 512
(+22.80%)
424
(-17.19%)
72.06% 87.68% 44.53% 47.13% 18.09% 19.04% D D 12.92% 10.72%
All institutions 68,193
(+13.46%)
75,387
(+10.55%)
85.06% 83.32% 65.10% 64.13% 12.54% 14.07% C C 27.23% 24.19%