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Questionnaires

Year


2007-2008

QUESTIONNAIRES

Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada

Report Card Questionnaire

2007-2008

June 16, 2008

Department of Justice


A. ACCESS TO INFORMATION REQUESTS PROCESS

1. Profile of Requester

Source Number of requests
Media 156
Academia 10
Business 47
Organization 17
Public 115
Other n/a
Total 345

2. Request Categorization

2.1 – Are requests categorized in any manner (i.e., sensitive, routine, etc.)?

Yes X No  

If yes, please list and define the categories and if possible indicate the number of access requests in each category.

Category Definition of Category Number of requests
2007-2008
File of interest Where the subject matter of the request is considered sensitive (i.e. current or future litigation, horizontal class action lawsuits, extradition matters, public inquiries such as Arar or Gomery, requests containing a large amount of personal information or Cabinet issues on national security, etc.) 195
     
     
Routine Where the subject matter of the request is considered routine, such as policy guidelines or administration of a program 150
     

2.2– If yes, who makes the determination of the category?
Usually, t he ATIP Director/Coordinator with the ATIP Assistant Director; sometimes, the Communications Directorate ATIP Liaison, the Deputy Minister’s Office (DMO) ATIP Liaison or the Minister’s Office (MO) ATIP Liaison will identify them during our bi-weekly meetings; on occasion, the Sector’s or Region’s ATIP Liaison or the OPI Contact with their subject-matter expertise, will also request that a file be considered of interest.

2.3– If yes, is there a specific process related to this categorization? Please provide any relevant information to support the answer.
On a weekly basis, two reports are produced and distributed: New Requests Received during the previous week and the Deadline List which provides the status of all active ATIA requests. The requests are categorized by source and subject matter. The ATIP Office identifies the requests that would be of interest to the institution. Bi-weekly meetings are held with the Liaisons from Communications, MO and DMO to review and discuss the reports, as well as any ATIP issues which may require senior management support. An information notice with the records to be released on a “File of Interest” is sent to MO/DMO prior to the legislated due date for information purposes only. The Governance structure is attached as Appendix D for additional reference.

3. Client Service

3.1 – On average, how much time does it take your institution to make a final decision on an ATI request under theAct? i.e. What is the total amount of time taken between the receipt of the ATI request and the final decision on disclosure of requested information?
Generally, the life cycle of an access to information request at the Department of Justice (DOJ) is approximately 20/22 working days from the receipt to the release. Please refer to Appendix A, page 41.

Additional information provided to OIC on July 23, 2008:

An extension would impact the average time taken. For example an extension taken for an extensive search or volume would extend the amount of time the Office of Prime Interest (OPI) has to provide the relevant records with their overall recommendations. However, as each extension is taken on a case by case basis, it would be unreasonable to create a life cycle for all possible contexts. The days allocated for each stage cannot be standardized as each file is unique.

3.2 – Disclosure to Requester    
Number of requests received during the reporting period (April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008) 345
Number of requests completed during the reporting period (April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008) 340
Pages reviewed 350,321
Pages disclosed in total 42,334
Pages disclosed in part This system is not configured to capture the information. This information would have to be compiled manually for each request.

3.3 – Disposition of Completed Requests for the Period Number of requests
All disclosed 28
Disclosed in part 144
Nothing disclosed (excluded) 12
Nothing disclosed (exempt) 5
No relevant record exists This is not a disposition in accordance with TBS statistical requirements. Therefore, we do not capture this disposition in our system.
Transferred 11
Unable to process 59
Abandoned by requester 71
Treated informally 10
Total completed 340
Carried forward 69

3.4 – Transfers Profile  
Transferred within 15 days 11
Transferred after 15 days 0
Total transferred 11
Transfers refused 0

3.5 – Consultations    
Received:  
Number of consultations received 1009
Number of pages to review 53,047 pages (on 997 consultations completed during the reporting period)
(This question is to be answered by the Privy Council Office (PCO) only) Number of consultations received from other federal institutions related to Cabinet confidences (Please, consult with PCO Legislation and House Planning) (s. 69) N/A
(This question is to be answered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade only) Number of consultations received from other federal institutions related to International affairs, defence and national security (s. 15) N/A
(This question is to be answered by Canada Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police only) Number of consultations received from other federal institutions related to law enforcement and penal institutions s. 16) N/A
For completed requests only, average time spent to review pages received for all consultations 16 days
Sent:  
Number of consultations sent 433
Number of pages sent for review This system is not configured to capture the information. This information would have to be compiled manually for each request.
Number of consultations sent to PCO Legislation and House Planning related to Cabinet confidences (s. 69) 87
Number of consultations sent to any institutions related to International affairs, defence and national security (s. 15) Approximately 129 Consultations were sent to several departments; however we cannot confirm that they related to those specific subjects.
Number of consultations sent to any institution related to law enforcement and penal institutions (s. 16) 27
For completed requests only, average time to receive responses to all consultations sent 126 days
For completed requests only, average time to receive responses to consultations sent in relation to Cabinet confidences (s. 69) 121 days
For completed requests only, average time to receive responses to consultations sent in relation to defence and national security (s. 15) 73 days(DFAIT 82.38/ DND 64)
For completed requests only, average time to receive responses to consultations sent in relation to law enforcement and penal institutions (s. 16) 133 days(RCMP -112, CBSA - 278, CSC - 34,CIC - 142 and PSEPC - 97)



Additional information provided to OIC on July 23, 2008:

(on consultations received)

- 997 cases were closed during FY 2007-2008.

- 37 cases were received in the previous FY and 960 cases were received between April 1, 2007 and March 31, 2008.

- 49 cases received during FY 2007-08 were carried forward to FY 2008-09.

“Average time to review pages received” was the result of the total number of days taken to respond to the OGD divided by the total number of cases (16376 days / 997 AC completed) for an average of 16.4 days per cases. Interpreted as the “average time to review pages received” to start at the date the request is received at DOJ and to finish at the date of the response letter to the OGD. Therefore it includes the entire process, not only the review.

(on consultations sent)

Section A5.7 reports on the length of the extension taken pursuant to s. 9(1)(b), not the numbers of days taken for other institutions to respond to us. Portion A3.5 reports on the average time taken for other institutions to respond to us.

Section A5.7 reports on cases CLOSED during FY 2007-08 whereas section B Part II pertains to requests RECEIVED during FY 2007-08.

3.6 – Of the total number of access to information requests received during the reporting period, what percentage of these requests required your institution to consult (under paragraph 9(1)(b)) with other federal institutions)?
Approximately 29.9% (80 extensions were taken under 9(1)(b) for 345 requests received during the reporting period). NB: 23 additional extensions were taken under 9(1)(a) and 9(1)(b) for a total 103 extensions.



3.7 – Does your institution have in place a policy, a practice or another instrument, such as a protocol (written or not, please specify), to address how consultations received from another institution or sent to another institution or to a third party, are processed?

Yes X No  

The Attached Memorandum of Understanding at Appendix B provides the timelines by which an institution can normally expect to receive a response from DOJ. A draft version was communicated for input/comments to the ATIP Network User Group over the last six months. The final version was sent to all ATIP Coordinators for their approval and signature on May 29, 2008.

3.8 – Priority: Are consultations processed on a priority basis?

Yes X No  

Priorities apply to both the access requests received in DOJ, as well as the consultations received from other government departments/institutions (OGD). For consultations received by DOJ from an OGD, we prioritize those requests that provide DOJ with a specific time frame to ensure that the institution can meet its legislated due date. We also prioritize requests received at DOJ when a request is near to its statutory deadline, to avoid situations of deemed refusals.

 
 
 
 

4. Time to Process Requests

4.1 Processing Model - Stages
All the averages below are approximate.

Days Allocated Average Actual Days
Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) intake Refer to Appendix A, page 41 (Life cycle) 1-2 1
OPI search 4-5 6.68 days
Records review 6-10 12.03 days
Records preparation   1.45 days
Legal When applicable (PCO consultations) s.69 1 day (counsel works in the ATIP Office)
Communications N/A N/A
Approval or otherwise – ATIP Same day upon receipt N/A
Approval or otherwise – OPI N/A N/A
Approval or otherwise – DMO For information only N/A
Approval or otherwise - MO For information only N/A
ATIP release Day of completion of processing/review N/A



Additional information provided to OIC on July 23, 2008:

Preparation includes indexing, scanning, preparing a CD and printing of the records. The statistics appearing on page 5, section 4.1, under “Records preparation” is not accurate. The time to prepare this information is not captured.

4.2 – Other than the stages identified in 4.1, does your institution have in place other approval or review processes for requests that are categorized in a special manner as in A.2 above? If yes, please list them.

INFORMAL PROCESSES: Requests previously reviewed:An informal process is undertaken when a request is submitted for records previously processed under the Act. The requester is asked whether he consents to obtain the records informally without the right to complain; application and search fees are waived on information previously released. The records are quickly reviewed prior to their release in this informal process to ensure that no personal information contained therein to which the original requester had a right to is released inadvertently.

Repeated requests: Those are requests received repeatedly on a regular basis, usually on a monthly basis; for example, reports for call-ups and temporary help for professional services, as well as term or casual employment. The application fees are also waived.

Public records: Although public records qualify for exclusion under section 68 (publicly available information), we provide the requester with a copy of those records, should they not be able to obtain them through other means. For example, the information is available on the Internet, but the individual doesn’t have access or the information is available for purchase at the Court, but we have a copy we could provide in the public interest without having the requester having to take that route. We consider this practice part of our duty to assist. Fees for photocopies of public records contained within a package of relevant records responsive to a request would not be charged to the requester .

Additional information provided to OIC on July 23, 2008:

Repeated requests is a process similar to the one for the “Requests Previously Reviewed”. The requester is asked whether he consent to obtain the records informally without the right to complain; a confirmation letter is sent and the $5.00 application fee is returned. The records are reviewed in accordance to the Act prior to their release (minor severances are sometimes applied, i.e. personal information).


Stage name Days allocated Average actual days
Request previously reviewed Within the following days of receipt of the request 5
Repeated requests As soon as the information is received from the OPI within 15
Public records As soon as the records are received from the OPI 5



4.3 – If other approval or review processes in place, for each stage, please explain in as much detail as possible the rationale for, and purpose of this additional approval or review stage.
Fast track process: These are consultations received by other institutions to be reviewed by DOJ, normally on the application of solicitor-client privilege for legal advice or litigation. DOJ identifies whether the records are low risk to avoid unnecessary delays. When a consultation is received at DOJ and it concerns legal advice, the OPI will only be provided with a copy of the release package for information only with severances applied; no action is required by the OPI. Similarly, this approach would be taken in circumstances where a document can be released in its entirety; for example where a litigation document has been previously made public. The OPI would get a copy of the releasable records for information only and no action/response would be required.

Additional information provided to OIC on July 23, 2008:

The fast track process applies mostly to consultations received from other government departments (OGD). A detailed explanation is given on page 20 of the Guidelines. “No Action/response required” means that we do not require a response from them. We respond to the OGD the same day as we send the notice to the OPI. Only the OGD can release the information as it is their formal request.

4.4 – Please indicate whether this additional approval or review stage applies (1) to a specific type or category of requests, (2) systematically to all access requests or (3) on a case-by-case basis.
The fast track process applies to all consultations received which are considered low risk. However, each record is reviewed on its own merit.

4.5 – Please indicate whether the roles and responsibilities of this approval or review stage are clearly established in a decision or a policy.

This is established in a decision and published in our ministerial ATIA Guidelines, which were approved at Senior Management Board in March 2007. Refer to Appendix A, page 20.

4.6 – In your opinion, has this other stage resulted in any increase in the delay to release the requested information?

Always   Almost always   Sometimes   Rarely   Never X

On the contrary, this initiative has resulted in our ability to assist the consulting departments/institutions meet their legislated time frames and to provide better client service delivery to avoid delays.

Additional information provided to OIC on July 23, 2008:

The response for 4.6 refers to the “Fast Track Process” which applies mostly to consultations received from OGD. With this new process, we are sometimes able to respond to the OGD the same day or within a week. Statistics on this process would need to be done manually.

5. Extensions Profile


5.1 – When an extension is taken under section 9, do you document on the file a rationale to justify the decision to invoke an extension? Please provide any relevant information to support the answer.   
Yes, under paragraph 9(1)(a), volume and interference with the operations, the OPI is responsible and must provide the ATIP Officer with a summary of volume and time for search, prior to undertaking any of the material gathering work if doing so would take more than the original five free hours of search as stipulated in the regulations (refer to Appendix A, pages 23 to 26). Once the information is communicated by the OPI and is considered reasonable under the regulations, the ATIP Officer communicates with the requester to relay the information and to request confirmation on whether he/she is interested in pursuing with the request in light of the associated fees for search and retrieval. This is documented in ATIPflow and in DOJ’s ATIA Guidelines. Under paragraph 9(1)(b), it is our practice to document all communications with the client department prior to sending our consultations to ensure the appropriate time extension is taken to meet the legislated deadline. This practice is done automatically for consultations with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, National Defence and the Privy Council Office. The decision on the time extension will depend on several factors: subject matter, whether it involves consultations with more than one institution or records from several OPIs, whether the relevant information could impact ongoing litigation or affect a public inquiry, such as Arar, Sponsorship and others.

Additional information provided to OIC on July 23, 2008:

These departments have a backlog of consultations and cannot normally respond within a month. Therefore we contact them to find out how long it will take them to respond to us, depending on the records and the volume. We do not always follow their instructions but we take them into consideration. Recently, PCO Cabinet Confidences has instructed us to take a minimum of 2 months extension when consulting with them.



5.2 – Following an extension, if it is unlikely that the extended date will be met, does the ATIP Office contact the requester to indicate:

a) The response will be late

Always   Almost always   Sometimes X Rarely   Never  

b) Of an expected date for the final response

Always   Almost always   Sometimes X Rarely   Never  

c) Of the right to complain to the Information Commissioner

Always   Almost always   Sometimes X Rarely   Never  

5.3 – If necessary, please provide any relevant information to support the answer provided under 5.2 a), b) and c)
Although this approach is recommended only on occasion in cases where the department will miss its due date by a few days or for exceptional circumstances where a consultation with an OGD will be late, because of the duty to assist, contacting the requester to indicate the status is strongly encouraged by the ATIP Coordinator as a best practice and proactive measure which ensures a good working relationship between the requester and the department. The more communication and awareness the requester has on the information he has requested, the less likely he/she will be dissatisfied with the service provided and the less likelihood of a complaint lodged.

Additional information provided to OIC on July 23, 2008:

In other words, we communicate with the requester to provide him/her with the status of request when we have a doubt that the request may be late. 

5.4 – Extensions under Paragraph 9(1)(a) – Large volume of records and Interference with the operations of the federal institution

Total of 10 extensions 2005-2006
Number of days
For volume (search “for” large number of records) NOTE: This system is not configured to capture the information. This information has been compiled manually.
< 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180
5 2 1 0 1 1
For volume (search “through” large number of records) NOTE: This system is not configured to capture the information. This information would have to be compiled manually for each request.            

Additional information provided to the OIC on July 23, 2008:

The information provided is for request COMPLETED during FY 2005-2006 and therefore includes request received prior to 2005-2006)

Total of 47 extensions 2006-2007
Number of days
For volume (search “for” large number of records) NOTE: This system is not configured to capture the information. This information has been compiled manually.
< 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180
10 26 4 1 0 6
For volume (search “through” large number of records) NOTE: This system is not configured to capture the information. This information would have to be compiled manually for each request.            

Total of 16 extensions 2007-2008
Number of days
For volume (search “for” large number of records) NOTE: This system is not configured to capture the information. This information has been compiled manually.
< 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180
9 2 1 1 0 3
For volume (search “through” large number of records) NOTE: This system is not configured to capture the information. This information would have to be compiled manually for each request.            

Additional information provided to the OIC on July 23, 2008:

AGAIN, in section 5.4 we provided statistics about cases CLOSED during that period. In section B Part II we provided statistics about requests RECEIVED during that but are not necessary closed yet.

5.5 – How do you determine the length of an extension taken under paragraph 9(1) (a) (“large number of records”)? What is the decision process used to determine the length of an extension? Please provide any relevant information to support the answer.
Please refer to ATIA Guidelines, Appendix A, at pages 23 to 26.

Additional information provided to OIC on July 23, 2008:

There is no specific mention of this in the Guidelines on how the length of an extension under 9(1)(a) is determined. To determine the length of an extension taken under paragraph 9(1)(a) we take into consideration the search if required, the volume of records and their complexity, and the interference on the operations of the department. The assistance of the OPI provides the ATIP Office with a preliminary assessment that appear at those pages.

5.6 – When extensions under paragraph 9(1)(a) (large number of records) are taken, are there any actions, practices or processes that your institution has implemented to ensure that the time limits to extension requests are met or delays are minimized? Please provide any relevant information to support the answer.

If a request has already been processed in the past for the same records; we do not consult a second time. The OPI is asked to provide the ATIP Office with the relevant material only and to extract all duplicates so that a reasonable assessment for search and fees can be provided to the requester. They identify records previously released as well as the applicable request number to minimize duplication of work. In addition, the OPI is asked to provide us with an Impact Statement of the status of the records; for example, if some of the records are made public or if a report was brought before Cabinet, it is indicated by the OPI on the form sent for their use and action. In the case of public records, this methodology enables DOJ to send a preliminary release package of the releasable public records to the requester as soon as the information is received, while an extension is taken under 9(1)(b) for consultations with another government department and the Cabinet confidences identified are forwarded to PCO for confirmation of Cabinet confidence asap by the ATIP counsel. The Impact Statement was created for the purpose of providing the ATIP Advisor with the recommendations on the records when the records are provided at the onset of the lifecycle of the processing of the request. Please refer to Appendix A, page 25.

Additional information provided to the OIC on July 23, 2008:

The OPI are not expected to be expert in the Act, and consequently we do not ask them to identify whether or not an extension is justifiable. In the Request for Material Gathering (pages 23-24 of the Guidelines) we inform them of the type of information that we require. Based on the information provided, the ATIP Officer can quickly identify whether or not an extension will need to be taken. This would mostly apply to extension pursuant to paragraphs 9(1)(b) and (c). This also applies to 9(1)(a). All information we can gather from the OPI is a heads up on how we will extend or not. 


5.7 – Extensions under paragraph 9(1)(b) – Consultations

Total of 47 extensions 2005-2006
Number of days
  < 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180
For consultation with another federal institution NOTE: This system is not configured to capture the information. This information has been compiled manually. 14 30 2 0 0 1
For consultation with foreign government NOTE: This system is not configured to capture the information. This information would have to be compiled manually for each request.            
For consultation with domestic government See note above            
For consultation with aboriginal government See note above            
For consultation with individual See note above            
For consultation for section 69 See note above            

Total of 126 extensions 2006-2007
Number of days
  < 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180
For consultation with another federal institution NOTE: This system is not configured to capture the information. This information has been compiled manually. 46 70 5 1 1 3
For consultation with foreign government NOTE: This system is not configured to capture the information. This information would have to be compiled manually for each request.            
For consultation with domestic government See note above            
For consultation with aboriginal government See note above            
For consultation with individual See note above            
For consultation for section 69 See note above            

Total of 93 extensions 2007-2008
Number of days
  < 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180
For consultation with another federal institution NOTE: This system is not configured to capture the information. This information has been compiled manually. 18 55 18 1 0 1
For consultation with foreign government NOTE: This system is not configured to capture the information. This information would have to be compiled manually for each request.            
For consultation with domestic government See note above            
For consultation with aboriginal government See note above            
For consultation with individual See note above            
For consultation for section 69 See note above.            

5.8 – If consultations are taken under paragraph 9(1) (b),are these sent out as soon as the need has been identified?

Always   Almost always X Sometimes   Rarely   Never  

5.9 – If necessary, please provide any relevant information to support the answer.
This is done on a case-by-case basis. However, this is routinely the case where it concerns a file regarding one OPI, but would be more complex to achieve when the request is subject to retrieval of relevant records from several OPIs and include voluminous records.

5.10 – How do you determine the length of an extension taken under paragraph 9(1) (b) (consultations)? What is the decision process used to determine the length of an extension? Please provide any relevant information to support the answer.
Guidelines are provided by the Privy Council Office, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and National Defence as to their requirements. However, that changes periodically, depending on their workload and notice of these changes in protocol are not always communicated by the institutions.

Additional information provided to OIC on July 23, 2008:

There is no “DFAIT/PCO–Cabinet Confidences /National Defence Protocol”. To determine the length of an extension pursuant to s. 9(1)(b), we take into consideration the volume of the records to be consulted on and their complexity, as well as the other department’s backlog.

5.11 – When extensions under paragraph 9(1) (b) (consultations) are taken, are there any circumstances where for certain consultations, a certain amount of time is always taken by the federal institution to which the consultation is sent? Please provide any relevant information to support the answer.
See answer under 5.10. In addition, as a general rule, an experienced ATIP advisor/analyst at DOJ is expected to review a file of 50 pages within two weeks, taking into account current workload, unless other circumstances justify taking a longer period of time, such as complexity of the record (chain of emails containing legal advice), turnover of staff, missing relevant information to determine severability, workload increase in the number of requests received in the same institution or on the same subject matter. It is DOJ’s practice to communicate with these institutions to extend taking into account their operational status and requirements.

5.12 – When extensions under paragraph 9(1)(b) (consultations) are taken, are there any actions, practices or processes that your institution has implemented to ensure that the time limits to extension requests are met or delays are minimized? Please provide any relevant information to support the answer.

The MOU communicated on May 29, 2008, was a follow-up to one sent out in the summer of 2006, to ensure that the level of service Justice provided on consultations from an OGD enabled the institution to meet its legislated deadline and minimized the likelihood of deemed refusals for the client department. It is DOJ’s practice to communicate with the consulting institution to extend in consequence of their operational requirements and their workload.

It may occur that the same records are asked for repeatedly, however we would not consult on the records again if a response by the institution was already received. We would only consult on records not previously reviewed by the institution and cross-reference the records for which we have already received a response on our previous consultation and provide a courtesy notice on those records. The passage of time and jurisprudence would of course be taken into account as well in those cases.


5.13 – Extensions under Paragraph 9(1)(c) – Notices to third parties



  2005-2006
Number of requests where third party was consulted Total of 6 extensions NOTE: This system is not configured to capture the information. This information has been compiled manually.
 Length of extension taken
< 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180
0 6 0 0 0 0
Average length of time to receive representations from third parties 127 days
Average length of time to make a decision after receipt of response / representations from third parties 30 days
Number of notices under section 27 27
Number of notices for which section 27 time frame was not met 11
Number of requests for which paragraph 28(1)(b) time frame was not met 0



  2006-2007
Number of requests where third party was consulted Total of 14 extensions NOTE: This system is not configured to capture the information. This information has been compiled manually.
Length of extension taken
< 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180
0 13 0 1 0 0
Average length of time to receive representations from third parties 41
Average length of time to make a decision after receipt of response / representations from third parties 32 days
Number of notices under section 27 21
Number of notices for which section 27 time frame was not met 7
Number of requests for which paragraph 28(1)(b) time frame was not met 0
   
   
   

  2007-2008
Number of requests where third party consulted Total of 14 extensions NOTE: This system is not configured to capture the information. This information has been compiled manually.
 Length of extension taken
< 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180
1 13 0 0 0 0
Average length of time to receive representations from third parties 86
Average length of time to make a decision after receipt of response / representations from third parties 26 days
Number of notices under section 27 40
Number of notices for which section 27 time frame was not met 24
Number of requests for which paragraph 28(1)(b) time frame was not met 1

Additional information provided to OIC on July, 23, 2008:

The section 5.13 provided stat for requests completed during FY 05-06 and those extensions could have been claimed during that reporting period and/or prior April 1, 2005.

Yes, in most cases more that one consultation pursuant to section 27 was sent per requests.

AGAIN, closed vs. received.

In section 5.13 we provided stat about cases CLOSED during that period. In section B Part II we provided stat about requests RECEIVED during that but are not necessary close yet. Therefore, those two parts are not similar issues.

5.14 – Are third party notices sentto third parties pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(c) and subsection 27(1) sent out before thirty days have lapsed?

Always   Almost always X Sometimes   Rarely   Never  

5.15 – If you have not checked “Always”, please provide any relevant information to support the answer.
It is possible that the 3rd party notification is not sent within the first 30 calendar day time frame, in circumstances where an extension pursuant to s. 9(1)(a) and/or 9(1)(b) has also been taken . As soon as the records are provided for the ATIP Officer’s review by the OPI and 3rd party information is identified, the notices are sent out to the third parties.

5.16 –Are notices sent assoon as the need for the notice is identified?

Always X Almost always   Sometimes   Rarely   Never  

5.17 – If necessary, please provide any relevant information to support the answer.
 

5.18 – When an extension is invoked under paragraph 9(1) (c) for third party notification, how often does the institution meet the statutory timelines? Please provide any relevant information to support the answer.

Always   Almost always X Sometimes   Rarely   Never  

There have been a few circumstances where a third party requested an extension from DOJ on very voluminous consultation packages we sent them, which required more time for them to make reasonable representations and consult with their legal representatives. In most cases, it did not impact on our ability to meet the legislated due date.

5.19– When extensions under paragraph 9(1)(c) (notices to third party) are taken, are there any actions, practices or processes that the federal institution has implemented to ensure that the time limits to extension requests are met or delays are minimized? Please provide any relevant information to support the answer.
The OPI is asked to provide the ATIP Office with a heads up whether third party consultations will be required. As the ATIA Guidelines were launched since October 1, 2007, ongoing awareness and education is provided to departmental employees on a continuing basis. Please refer to Appendix A, page 23 to and 25.

Additional information provided to OIC on July 23, 2008:

Yes, the reference to “Appendix A, pages 23 to and 25” refers to the OPI being asked to provide the ATIP Office with a heads up whether third party consultations will be required.



5.20 – When extensions are taken under paragraphs 9(1)(b) and / or 9(1)(c) – consultations – does the ATIP Office provide a partial release of the requested records for portions of the request that are not involved in the consultation process?

Always   Almost always X Sometimes   Rarely   Never  

5.21 – If necessary, please provide any relevant information to support the answer.

Yes, if possible, it is our practice to do so and to advise the requester that we are waiting for a response on consultations to finalize the processing of the request. Where the response to our consultation is received earlier than anticipated, one release is sent where the review of a large number of the relevant records is almost completed. Where there is additional review work which remains to be done on relevant records, a partial release of reviewed records, including the records which were under consultation, is provided to the requester.

Additional information provided to OIC on July 23, 2008:

“to do so” refers to the Q A5.20: when extensions are taken under paragraphs 9(1)(b) / or 9(1)(c) – consultations, the ATIP Office provides almost always a partial release of the requested records. The clarification of the remainder of the response is to be confirmed once validated by the Acting ATIP Director (July 23, 2008).Comments of the Acting Coordinator: The portion we are consulting on would be either released or protected as per recommendations or consideration of either third parties or OGD. If a response to our consultation is not yet received in a timely fashion, a follow-up with the third parties or ODG involved is done and documented of when we should expect a response. 


6. Claims for discretionary exemptions

6.1 – When a discretionary exemption is claimed, is a rationale prepared to support the decision to exempt information?

Yes No
X  

Please provide any relevant information for this question.
For example, where litigation or legal advice is claimed under section 23 of the ATIA, the rationale is identified in ATIPImage with a notation on the .TIF image. There may also be a notation in the ATIPflow to substantiate a recommendation where additional substantiation is sought by the Advisor to fully understand the use of discretion in the provision of litigation privilege. This is undertaken in order that the Advisor fully agrees that the file contains all possible criteria to support and defend the application of the discretionary provision.

6.2 – When a discretionary exemption is claimed, is it exercised in the context of jurisprudence and practice?

Yes No
X  

Please provide any relevant information for this question.
The ATIP Advisor and all staff consistently ensure that case law, jurisprudence and legal advice specifically related to ATIP administration is considered in the application of discretionary exemptions. The ATIP Counsel, as a member of the ATIP Legal Practice Working Group, chaired by the Information Law and Privacy (ILAP) Division, informs the ATIP Office of new case law and legal advice that impacts applicable exemptions and keeps the Justice ATIP Office updated on current developments.

6.3 – Is there a documented requirement to prepare a rationale when a decision is made to claim a discretionary exemption?

Yes No
X  

Please provide any relevant information and documentation for this question.
The Impact Statement as well as the Material Gathering memorandum addressed to the OPI provides recommendations to the ATIP Office on the reasons to protect information or not and why. Please refer to Appendix A, pages 23 to 25.

6.4 – Is the discretionary exemption rationale prepared by the OPIs and/or the ATIP Office?

Yes No
X  

Please provide any relevant information and documentation for this question.
The OPI provides the rationale and their recommendations in the Impact Statement and the ATIP Office reviews and documents them in ATIPflow and/or ATIPimage and proceeds with the processing of the request.

6.5 – Is there a documented discretionary exemption challenge function in ATIP Office if the rationale is prepared by OPIs?

Yes No
X  

Please provide any relevant information and documentation for this question.
The OPI will meet with the ATIP Officer on a case-by-case basis. If the rationale provided is challenged by the Officer as not providing sufficient justification to apply the provision in the Officer’s experience and opinion, he/she will consult with colleagues, their Team Leader, the Legal Counsel, the Assistant Director or the Director to address the concerns raised and documents meetings, discussions, emails, etc., to provide the justification required to take the necessary approach in processing and applying the provisions of the Act. The ATIP Officer will communicate with the OPI to discuss the concerns the ATIP practitioners have with the rationale provided and request more justification to determine the course of action to follow.


7. Claims for mandatory exemptions

7.1 – When a mandatory exemption is claimed, is a rationale prepared to support the decision to exempt information?

Yes No
X  

Please provide any relevant information for this question.
We refer the requester to the sections of the Act and the TBS policies and directives. Also refer to response at 6.5.

7.2 – When a mandatory exemption is claimed, is it exercised in the context of jurisprudence and practice?

Yes No
X  

Please provide any relevant information for this question.
Please refer to 6.2.

7.3 – Is there a documented requirement to prepare a rationale when a decision is made to claim a mandatory exemption?

Yes No
X  

Please provide any relevant information and documentation for this question.
If for instance the recommended protection of the information is not obvious to the ATIP Officer, he/she will further challenge and document.

7.4 – Is the mandatory exemption rationale prepared by the OPIs and / or the ATIP Office?

Yes No
X  

Please provide any relevant information and documentation for this question.
Please refer to 6.3.



Yes No
X  

Please provide any relevant information and documentation for this question.
Same response as in 6.5.

B. DEEMED-REFUSAL REQUESTS

Part I: Requests carried over from the 2006-2007 fiscal period.
1. Number of requests carried over: 64
2. Requests carried over from the previous fiscal period — in a deemed-refusal situation on the first day of the new fiscal period: 6
Part II: New Requests — Exclude requests included in Part I.
3. Number of requests received during the 2007-2008 fiscal period: 345
4.A How many were processed within the statutory 30-day time limit? 211
4.B How many were processed beyond the statutory 30-day time limitwhere no extension was claimed? 2
5. How many were extended pursuant to section 9? NOTE: This number is lower that the total of 5A to 5C, because more that one extension pursuant to 9(1) was taken in specific requests. 120
5.A How many were extended pursuant to paragraph 9(1) (a)? 34
5.B How many were extended pursuant to paragraph 9(1) (b)? 104
5.C How many were extended pursuant to paragraph 9(1) (c)? 8
6.A How many were processed within the extended time limit? (re Row 5) 62
6.B How many exceeded the extended time limit? (re Row 5) 5
7.A How many were processed within the extended time limit? (re Row 5.A) 7
7.B How many exceeded the extended time limit? (re Row 5.A) 1
8.A How many were processed within the extended time limit? (re Row 5.B) 7
8.B How many exceeded the extended time limit? (re Row 5.B) 0
9.A How many were processed within the extended time limit? (re Row 5.C) 56
9.B How many exceeded the extended time limit? (re Row 5.C) 4


C. RESOURCE PROFILE

1. Employee Profile

Please list all ATIP Office employees.

Full-time Position Classification Number Years of Experience
See organizational chart to March 31, 2008 attached as Appendix C EX 01 15
  PM 06 16
  PM 05 10.2
  PM 04 7.2
  PM 01 1.25
  AS 04 11
  AS 03 20
Consultants Hired to process ATI requests Classification Number Years of Experience
Consultants   2  

Additional information provided to OIC on July 23, 2008:

Full-time Position Classification Number Years of Experience
As of March 31, 2008 EX-01 1 15
  PM-06 1 16
  PM-05 6 7 AVERAGE
  LA-02 1 11
  PM-04 2 7 AVERAGE
  PM-03 2 7 AVERAGE
  PM-02 1 1
  PM-01 4 1
  AS-03 1 20

Note: Only the AS-03 position is not devoted to ATIP. The remaining staff is devoted at 100% of their time for the process o ATIP requests.

2. Salary Dollar Budget for ATIP Office for ATIA activities

Fiscal Year Budget Allocated Budget Used FTEs Allocated FTEs Used
2007-2008 $873,933 $1,201,342 27 19.16
2006-2007 $1,047,658 $1,031,080 23 17.60
2005-2006 $1,080,375 933,895 15 15.50

3. Operating Budget for ATIP Office for ATIA activities

Fiscal Year Budget Allocated Budget Used
2007/2008 $300,000 $434,662
2006/2007 $604,588 $543,323
2005/2006 $376,090 $352,962

4. Breakdown of ATIP Office Operating Budget Used or Set Aside for ATI Training or Training Materials

Fiscal Year ATI Staff Training Departmental ATI Training
2007/2008 $2,786 $1,887
2006/2007 $14,350 $0
2005/2006 $2,595 $1,775

5. Breakdown of ATIP Office Operating Budget Used or Set Aside for ATI Consultants

Fiscal Year Budget Allocated Budget Used
2007/2008 $218,800 $208,093
2006/2007 $238,788 $346,641
2005/2006 $188,000 $225,500


D. LEADERSHIP FRAMEWORK

1. – Is the ATIP Coordinator responsible exclusively for the administration of the ATIP Office?

Yes X No  

2. – If No, please list other responsibilities of the ATIP Coordinator.
N/A

3. – When requests processing stages, other than those listed in section A.4 of this questionnaire, are in place, who has the designated authority to make decisions on the disclosure or refusal to disclose information under theAccess to Information Act(s. 73)?
The ATIP Coordinator

E. SPECIFICS FOR 2007-2008

In this section, the institution is asked to provide details relating to the information provided in response to the questionnaire:

1. – Please describe the most significant issues that affected your institution's ability to (i) respond to access to information requests as quickly as possible and/or (ii) provide requesters with as much of the information requested as possible.
The movement of experienced staff with the passage of the Federal Accountability Act (FedAA). In addition, the reorganization of the department’s Corporate Services to the Management Sector and its reporting structure.

Additional information provided to OIC on July 23, 2008:

There is a fast and increased movement of staff in the ATIP Community. We are constantly loosing and hiring people. We are constantly in competition to fill our positions and most of the time, we do not get a pool of supplementary successful candidates. As the ATIP Acting Director with the full delegated authority, I do foresee any negative impact. Another “significant issue that has affected our institution’s ability to respond to ATI requests as quickly as possible and/or provide requesters with as much of the information requested as possible” is the delay occasioned by the mandatory consultations to DND and DFAIT on Afghanistan related ATI requests.

2. – For the issues identified in the response to Q. 1 above, were they foreseeable? Please explain.
Yes, with respect to experienced staff turnover, since the coming into force of the FedAA; as more than 70 organizations are subject to the Acts, it is an ongoing challenge to maintain a full complement of experienced ATIP practitioners at this time in the community and will be for the foreseeable future with so much aggressive recruitment tactics and available competitive career development opportunities for knowledgeable ATIP employees in the federal government. With respect to the reorganization and the movement of staff in other areas of the Management Sector, it does add challenges to retrieving records and for the transfer of corporate knowledge; this situation is rampant across the federal government with the many employees retiring or moving to other government departments.



F. BEST PRACTICES

3. – Please describe any best practices developed / undertaken by your institution to improve your delivery of the access to information program. If possible, please indicate how successful these practices have been.
Since last fiscal year, ministerial ATIA Guidelines have been approved by the Senior Management Board, led by the Deputy Minister. The ADM, Management Sector, communicated the guidelines formally on October 1, 2007, with a governance structure, lifecycle and other tools to improve departmental performance, such as a monthly performance reports to direct reports to the Deputy Minister, enabling the department to streamline approvals and address performance issues effectively. The ATIP governance structure was developed to provide all departmental employees with a clear understanding of the steps involved in the processing of a request and where they fit: who is responsible, accountable, informed and consulted (refer to Appendix D). Both are published on DOJ intranet site. A communications strategy to inform and provide awareness to departmental employees was implemented. ATIP training, from one-on-one detailed sessions with OPI contacts, overviews with the ATIP Liaison Strategic Working Group, who then invited ATIP management to attend their sector’s/region’s management tables to communicate and reach as many employees as possible. This strategy ensured consistency and a common approach on dealing with the processing of ATIA requests. During the year, approximately 700 employees, both at headquarters and in three regions (British Columbia, Northern and Quebec regions), were given ATIP awareness training on the new guidelines, process and best practices. ATIP awareness and information sessions were provided and requested on an ongoing basis at sector retreats, National Conferences and workshops, Human Resources Professional Learning and Development seminars, etc. In additional an ATIP Liaison Strategic Working Group was struck to ensure more timely and strategic management of ATIP issues at appropriate levels within the department at headquarters and in the regions. A bi-weekly meeting was also established with senior management to ensure that ATIP issues are constantly in the forefront and that they are addressed quickly. An additional four (4) positions were approved and funded, increasing the number of employees in the ATIP Office to 27 employees. These indeterminate positions were required to replace contractors hired to reduce the backlog of access requests which were completed in the course of the fiscal year (Please refer to the organizational chart at Appendix C). In 2006/2007, DOJ was given an “F” rating; in 2007/2008, the department achieved an “A” rating under the old report card formula.


G. COMPLAINT PROFILE

Data supplied by the Office of the Information Commissioner on complaints made to its Office and the resolution of those complaints.

See Individual Report Card.