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Questionnaires

Year


2007-2008

QUESTIONNAIRES

Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada

Report Card Questionnaire

2007-2008

August 18, 2008

Prepared by:

Access to Information and Privacy Division

Corporate Services Branch

Privy Council Office


A. ACCESS TO INFORMATION REQUESTS PROCESS

1. Profile of Requester

Source Number of requests
Media 291
Academia 14
Business 71
Organization 116
Public 196
Other 0
Total 688

2. Request Categorization

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

Yes   No X

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
     
     

2.2– If yes, who makes the determination of the category?

Not applicable

2.3– If yes, is there a specific process related to this categorization? Please provide any relevant information to support the answer.

Not applicable

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?

Completion Time

30 days or under: 369 requests

31 to 60 days: 70 requests

61 to 120 days: 79 requests

121 days or over: 142 requests


3.2 – Disclosure to Requester  
Number of requests received during the reporting period (April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008) 688
Number of requests completed during the reporting period (April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008) 660 (change made by PCO ATIP Office on August 25, 2008)
Pages reviewed 36,179
Pages disclosed in total 15,158
Pages disclosed in part System cannot generate this information

3.3 – Disposition of Completed Requests for the Period Number of requests
All disclosed 70
Disclosed in part  
1-20% 21-40% 41-60% 61-80% 81-99%

System cannot generate this information
262
Nothing disclosed (excluded) 27
Nothing disclosed (exempt) 37
No relevant record exists System would include in ‘Unable to process’ field
Transferred 13
Unable to process 196
Abandoned by requester 52
Treated informally 2
Total completed 659
Carried forward 262

3.4 – Transfers Profile  
Transferred within 15 days 13
Transferred after 15 days 0
Total transferred 13
Transfers refused 0

3.5 – Consultations    
Received:  
Number of consultations received 441
Number of pages to review 12,805
(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) 1,508 consultations were received from other government institutions related to Cabinet Confidences. These consultations totalled 118,870 pages.
(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) Not applicable to PCO
(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) Not applicable to PCO
For completed requests only, average time spent to review pages received for all consultations Information not available for this year
Sent:  
Number of consultations sent Approximately 542
Number of pages sent for review 12,805
Number of consultations sent to PCO Legislation and House Planning related to Cabinet confidences (s. 69) 174 times in relation to 129 requests
Number of consultations sent to any institutions related to International affairs, defence and national security (s. 15) 138
Number of consultations sent to any institution related to law enforcement and penal institutions (s. 16) 38
For completed requests only, average time to receive responses to all consultations sent System cannot generate this information
For completed requests only, average time to receive responses to consultations sent in relation to Cabinet confidences (s. 69) System cannot generate this information
For completed requests only, average time to receive responses to consultations sent in relation to defence and national security (s. 15) System cannot generate this information
For completed requests only, average time to receive responses to consultations sent in relation to law enforcement and penal institutions (s. 16) System cannot generate this information

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)?

26%



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 ATIP Division has written procedures for use by ATIP officers which explain how and when to conduct a consultation. Information is also posted on the PCO Intranet site which is available to all employees.

The practice is that all consultations (incoming and outgoing) are to be treated in the same timely fashion as an access request addressed to the department. When an extension is taken for the purpose of consulting another organization or a third party, the assigned officer is expected to send the records at the same time that the letter to the applicant informing him/her of same is sent.

In the case of incoming consultations, the ATIP officer and OPI(s) each consider the content of the records to form any necessary recommendations for exemptions. If necessary, our office contacts the consulting department to confirm any recommendations it may have on the records and provide information on the expected completion date of PCO consideration of the information. All responses are provided in writing.


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

Yes X No  

Every effort is made to respond to the consulting party within its deadline.

4. Time to Process Requests

4.1 Processing Model - Stages Days Allocated Average Actual Days
Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) intake 1  
OPI search Records review Records preparation 7  
Legal N/A  
Communications N/A  
Approval or otherwise – ATIP 8  
Approval or otherwise – OPI 4 (includes issuance of briefing memo)  
Approval or otherwise – DMO N/A  
Approval or otherwise - MO N/A  
IP release 1  

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PROVIDED TO THE OIC ON AUGUST 25, 2008:REGARDING THE APPROVAL OPI,

at this stage, the OPI is required to review the “as-for-release” package and once satisfied that all is in order, complete the record of decision form that is used to record the authorization for disposition of the information comprised of seven sign-off stages, see table below:

RECORD OF DECISION TABLE

Stage Who Signs? To Recommend or Authorize What?
1 OPI Officer To recommend to your senior signing authority the disclosure of the information, except as indicated on the attached Schedules and as marked on the final records package.
2 ATIP Coordinator To certify that all appropriate administrative actions required to process the request have been carried out, and that all supporting documentation is complete.
3 PCO Counsel To recommend that PCO invoke solicitor-client privilege under section 23 of the Act, as indicated on the attached Discretionary Exemption Schedule.
4 PCO Counsel To recommend the exclusion of Cabinet confidences from the application of the Act under section 69(1) of the Act, and as shown on the attached Exclusions Schedule.
5 OPI senior signing authority or ATIP Coordinator To authorize the release of information.
6 OPI senior signing authority or ATIP Coordinator To authorize mandatory exemptions in the records package under the sections of the Act indicated, and as shown on the attached Mandatory Exemptions Schedule.
7 OPI senior signing authority To authorize discretionary exemptions in the records package under the sections of the Act indicated, and as shown on the Discretionary Exemptions Schedule attached.

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.
Since requests are not categorized and each follows the same process, this is not applicable.
Stage name Days allocated Average actual days
     
     



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.

Not applicable

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.

Not applicable

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

Not applicable

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  

Not applicable

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. The ATIP officer is expected to record the justification for the extension; i.e., the rationale will explain if the department being consulted was contacted for an estimate of the time needed for their review; in cases of volume, to note the number of records relevant to the request, total number of active requests and available ATIP officers, etc.



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 X Almost always   Sometimes   Rarely   Never  

5.3 – If necessary, please provide any relevant information to support the answer provided under 5.2 a), b) and c)

When an extension is taken, the requestor is always notified in writing.

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

  2005-2006
Number of days
 For volume (search “for” large number of records)
< 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180

No information available
For volume (search “through” large number of records)    9 13 No information available

  2006-2007
Number of days
 For volume (search “for” large number of records)
< 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180

No information available
For volume (search “through” large number of records) 9 13 No information available



  2007-2008
Number of days
 
< 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180

  Includes search “through” large number of records, Interference 9 11

For volume (search “for” large number of records)

For volume (search “through” large number of records)

System cannot generate such details




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.

We, as is generally regarded within the ATIP community, consider a record package of more than 500 pages to be voluminous. Consideration is given also to the complexity of the associated records, impact of the request to interfere with the institution’s operations (e.g., the number of active requests, general level of complexity, number of available staff to process requests within legislated due dates, etc.).

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.

The workload of ATIP officers is monitored by division management and adjusted if it would facilitate earlier completion of requests. Such requests typically involve external consultations and ATIP officers are expected to issue outgoing consultations immediately.

Additional information provided to OIC on August 25, 2008: The workload of ATIP officers is monitored by division management and is adjusted if it would facilitate earlier completion of requests.  Such requests typically involve consulting with OPIs on extensions for volume, consulting with other government departments and/or third parties and consulting with applicants to change the scope of the request to reduce the number of records.


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

* NOTE: PCO system cannot generate statistics of ‘number of days’

 
2005-2006
Number of days
< 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180
For consultation with another federal institution 109
For consultation with foreign government 0 – not applicable since such consultations would be handled by DFAIT
For consultation with domestic government 3
For consultation with aboriginal government Was not requested in OIC report for 2005-2006
For consultation with individual 7
For consultation for section 69 100

 
2006-2007
Number of days
< 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180
For consultation with another federal institution 109
For consultation with foreign government 0 – not applicable since such consultations would be handled by DFAIT
For consultation with domestic government 3
For consultation with aboriginal government Was not requested in OIC report for 2005-2006
For consultation with individual 7
For consultation for section 69 100

 
2007-2008
Number of days
< 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180
For consultation with another federal institution 278
For consultation with foreign government 0 – not applicable since such consultations would be handled by DFAIT
For consultation with domestic government 17 with provincial governments
For consultation with aboriginal government 2
For consultation with individual 120 with 3rd parties
For consultation for section 69 174 times in relation to 129 requests (Is this the same question as section 3.5?)

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

Always X Almost always   Sometimes   Rarely   Never  

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

It is the present policy that ATIP officers are expected to forward records for consultations at the same time the applicant is notified of the time extension. The ATIP Division considers prompt and accurate communications to be essential to proper administration of the Act and effective client service.

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.

In cases of consultations with other federal departments, our office contacts our counterparts to request their estimation of the time necessary to complete the consultation. Our office also needs to allot time to the Offices of Primary Interest (OPI) to consider the records and approve them for release. It is our practice to work closely with PCO OPIs for the purpose of completing all requests as expediently as possible.



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.

It has not been our experience that it is possible to say that an institution has a ‘set period of time’ to process an external consultation. It is our practice to speak to the department to whom the consultation is being directed in order to obtain an estimate of how long their review will take. In this way, the PCO can be as accurate and transparent with an applicant as possible. For those departments who continue to experience especially voluminous workloads, our office contacts our ATIP counterparts from time to time to verify if a previously recommended consultation period is still necessary; e.g., in the case of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of National Defence.

Additional information provided to OIC on August 25, 2008:

As of late, the extension is usually for a minimum of 120 days; however, this is determined on a case-by-case basis, based on the advice from L&HP. 


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.

Division management continually monitor the status of ATIP officers’ work as a means of ensuring timelines are met and that all necessary actions are taken (e.g., to ensure that any necessary consultations for Cabinet Confidences are taken). Sometimes it is necessary to reassign to balance workload to avoid delayed responses.

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

  2005-2006
April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006
Number of requests where third party was consulted 46
Length of extension taken
< 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180


Information not available
Average length of time to receive representations from third parties 18.96 days
Average length of time to make a decision after receipt of response / representations from third parties Information not available
Number of notices under section 27 29
Number of notices for which section 27 time frame was not met Approximately 13
Number of requests for which paragraph 28(1)(b) time frame was not met Information not available

  2006-2007
April 1, 2006 to November 30, 2006
Number of requests where third party was consulted 29
Length of extension taken
< 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180

Information not available
Average length of time to receive representations from third parties 18.73 days
Average length of time to make a decision after receipt of response / representations from third parties Information not available
Number of notices under section 27 23
Number of notices for which section 27 time frame was not met Approximately 10
Number of requests for which paragraph 28(1)(b) time frame was not met Information not available

  2007-2008
Number of requests where third party consulted Approximately 219
Length of extension taken
< 30 30-90 91-120 121-150 151-180 >180

15 204
Average length of time to receive representations from third parties Information not available
Average length of time to make a decision after receipt of response / representations from third parties Information not available
Number of notices under section 27 102
Number of notices for which section 27 time frame was not met 119
Number of requests for which paragraph 28(1)(b) time frame was not met 9



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 X Almost always   Sometimes   Rarely   Never  

5.15 – If you have not checked “Always”, please provide any relevant information to support the answer.


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  


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.

As noted earlier, it is the policy of the division that ATIP officers immediately notify the applicant of the time needed to complete the third party consultation and to forward the pertinent records to the third party at the same time.

ATIP officers are expected to follow-up with the third party as a way of ensuring that timely responses are received so as to not delay completion of the access request.


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   Sometimes X Rarely   Never  

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

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.

ATIP officers are required to record the exemption rationale on the processing file and on the document which delegated officials of PCO sign to confirm approval to apply the exemption(s).

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.


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 request file includes a completed “Record of Decision” which is reviewed and signed by a delegated official. The ATIP officer is expected to note a written rationale for the exemption(s) cited. PCO Cabinet Confidences provide a record of all certified exclusions.

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.

Each request should contain a written description of how and why the decision was determined.

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.

ATIP request procedures and training provided to ATIP officers and OPI(s) explain that the determination of exemptions is a consultative exercise by the department.


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.

ATIP officers are required to record the exemption rationale on the processing file and on the document which delegated officials of PCO sign to confirm approval to apply the exemption(s).

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.


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.

The ATIP officer writes the rationale and is expected to incorporate any specific remarks of his/her own and those of the OPI(s).

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.

The ATIP officer writes the rationale and is expected to incorporate any specific remarks of his/her own and those of the OPI(s).



Yes No
X  

Please provide any relevant information and documentation for this question.

The PCO process for treating ATIP requests is such that the ATIP officer and OPI(s) consult with each other concerning the application of any exemption and that the ATIP officer records the rationale in the request file.

B. DEEMED-REFUSAL REQUESTS

Part I: Requests carried over from the 2006-2007 fiscal period.
1. Number of requests carried over: 262
2. Requests carried over from the previous fiscal period — in a deemed-refusal situation on the first day of the new fiscal period: 233
Part II: New Requests — Exclude requests included in Part I.
3. Number of requests received during the 2007-2008 fiscal period: 688
4.A How many were processed within the statutory 30-day time limit? 383
4.B How many were processed beyond the statutory 30-day time limitwhere no extension was claimed? 9
5. How many were extended pursuant to section 9? 265
5.A How many were extended pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(a)? 40
5.B How many were extended pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(b)? 240
5.C How many were extended pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(c)? 29
6.A How many were processed within the extended time limit? (re Row 5) 119
6.B How many exceeded the extended time limit? (re Row 5) 9
7.A How many were processed within the extended time limit? (re Row 5.A) 118 (1 request abandoned)
7.B How many exceeded the extended time limit? (re Row 5.A) 0
8.A How many were processed within the extended time limit? (re Row 5.B) 92
8.B How many exceeded the extended time limit? (re Row 5.B) 8
9.A How many were processed within the extended time limit? (re Row 5.C) 13
9.B How many exceeded the extended time limit? (re Row 5.C) 1



C. RESOURCE PROFILE

1. Employee Profile

The following list represents the ATIP positions which are presently occupied.

Full-time Position Classification Number Years of Experience
Director EX-01 1 Not provided since information is an individual’s personal information (employment history).

Note: Number of years experience is not necessarily a solid metric of capability in the field.
Deputy Director PM-06 1
Operations Managers PM-06 2
Senior ATIP Officers PM-05 3
ATIP Officers PM-04 3
Junior ATIP Officer PM-03 2
Junior ATIP Officer PM-02 1
Junior ATIP Officers PM-01 2
Parliamentary Returns Assistant AS-02 1
Administrative Assistant AS-01 1
Administrative Manager AS-03 1
ATIP Assistants CR-05 2
Records and Administrative Clerk CR-04 1
Client Service Chief AS-06 1
Client Service Officer AS-02 1
Part-time Position Classification Number Years of Experience
None      
Consultants Hired to process ATI requests Classification    
3 Not applicable    
       

2. Salary Dollar Budget for ATIP Office for ATIA activities

($000s)

Fiscal Year Budget Allocated Budget Used FTEs Allocated FTEs Used
2007-2008 $2,027 $1,397 25.5 18.1
2006-2007 $1,687 $1,651 17.5 17.5
2005-2006 $1,082 $1,024 17.5 14.93

3. Operating Budget for ATIP Office for ATIA activities

($000s)

Fiscal Year Budget Allocated Budget Used
2007/2008 $591 $460
2006/2007 $554 $554
2005/2006 $377 $543

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 $9,753.20 $2,400
2006/2007 $13,566.00 $ ---
2005/2006 $10,563 $ ---

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

Fiscal Year Budget Allocated Budget Used
2007/2008 $ --- $229,404.07
2006/2007 $ --- $342,810.86
2005/2006 $ --- $375,248.32


D. LEADERSHIP FRAMEWORK

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

Yes   No X

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

The ATIP Director is also responsible for administration of the Privacy Act and the coordination of responses to Parliamentary Returns by the PCO.

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)?

Not applicable as there are no processing stages other than those described earlier in this report.

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.

1.(i) Ability to respond as quickly as possible:

Pertinent Factors: 

1) Increased workload

  • Access requests received by PCO have increased over 240% in the past ten years (from 202 requests received in FY 98/99 to 688 requests received in FY 07/08)
  • The number of access requests received from 1 April 2008 to date is 51% higher than this time last year (155 requests in FY 07/08 vs. 235 requests this FY to date)

  Actions taken:  

2) Consultations:

  • Consultations from other departments have increased by 172% in the last ten years (from 155 requests received in FY 98/99 to 423 requests received in FY 07/08)

Actions taken:

3) High volumes of requests from individual requestors:

  • Impact of applicant behaviour in that, at any given time, most requests originate from 1 – 3 individuals
  • 50% of all access requests received to date this fiscal year are from two media requestors

Actions taken:

4) Inadequate staffing levels

  • Department approved creation of additional ATIP Officer positions but several remain unfilled due to the scarcity of experienced personnel in the ATIP community
  • Several PCO ATIP employees transferred to ATIP divisions of other departments during this year

Actions taken:  

5) Outdated technology used during request processing

  • At the beginning of the FY, processing was done manually (e.g. manual severance of documents)

Actions taken:

6) “Burdensome and unusual approval process”

  • The OIC reported that PCO’s ATIP processes were “burdensome and [involved an] unusual approval process” and that senior PCO officials lacked training to meet their ATIP obligations

Actions taken:

    • Complete review of ATIP request processing procedures was completed resulting in more efficient and consultative approach to the review of records, e.g. OPIs only consider records once now instead of twice, ATIP Officers provide expert advice to OPIs about applicability of exemptions, etc.
    • ATIP training program developed and delivered to PCO officials: sessions are given twice weekly as well as one-on-one or OPI-specific information programs to assure effective understanding of the Act and related responsibilities by departmental officers
    • ATIP Procedures Manual used by ATIP Division has been revised to describe updated processes
    • Extensive information about ATIP has been posted to the PCO Intranet site for use by all staff

1.(ii) Ability to provide requestors with as much of the information requested as possible:

PCO has not identified this as an operational issue.



2. – For the issues identified in the response to Q. 1 above, were they foreseeable? Please explain.

1.(i) The Division has analyzed ATIP statistics for the past 10 years to discover the trend is one of increased number of requests annually.



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.

Many actions were taken at PCO to improve the delivery of the access to information program. Some of the Division’s accomplishments are as follows:
  • Realigning into three functional areas of responsibility to improve efficiency and performance
    1. ATIP Policy and Processes
    2. Operations
    3. Client Services
  • Streamlining and modernizing its work procedures to reduce workload within the secretariats
  • Working closer with PCO Offices of Primary Interest to benefit from their areas of expertise to ensure effective and accurate review of records in the interest of properly administering the ATI Act
  • Moving to modern technology – the Division began the move to automated case management software that will enable ATIP officers to review records, sever content from digitally imaged files and paginate documents directly on the screen, eliminating a variety of current manual and paper-based processes
  • Improving communications with other departments to more accurately predict extension times needed

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.