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Questionnaires

Year


2007-2008

QUESTIONNAIRES

Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada

Report Card Questionnaire

2007-2008

May 14 2008

 

A. ACCESS TO INFORMATION REQUESTS PROCESS

1. Profile of Requester – Requests Received

SourceNumber of requests
Media309
Academia14
Business360
Organization24
Public955
Other 
Total1,662

*Carried over from the previous period: 239

*Completed this fiscal period: 1,650

2. Request Categorization

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

Yes NoX

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

CategoryDefinition of CategoryNumber of requests
2007-2008
   
   
   
   
   
   

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


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

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?

On average, the final decision on an ATI request under the Act is made within thirty days.

3.2 – Disclosure to Requester  
Number of requests received during the reporting period (April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008)1,662
Number of requests completed during the reporting period (April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008)1,650
Pages reviewed388,394
Pages disclosed in total175,402
Pages disclosed in part152,776

Please see Statistical Report attached to the Annual Report.

3.3 – Disposition of Completed Requests for the Period Fiscal Year 2007/2008Number of requests
All disclosed166
Disclosed in part
1-20%21-40%41-60%61-80%81-99%

Total 684. A manual search of the files would significantly interfere with our current activities.
Nothing disclosed (excluded)1
Nothing disclosed (exempt)199
No relevant record exists203
Transferred6
Unable to process314
Abandoned by requester57
Treated informally7
Total completed1650
Carried forward251

3.4 – Transfers Profile 
Transferred within 15 days6
Transferred after 15 days0
Total transferred6
Transfers refused0

3.5 – Consultations  
Received: 
Number of consultations received581
Number of pages to review33,141
(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)213
For completed requests only, average time spent to review pages received for all consultations10 days
Sent: 
Number of consultations sent
Number of pages sent for review
Number of consultations sent to PCO Legislation and House Planning related to Cabinet confidences (s. 69)
Number of consultations sent to any institutions related to International affairs, defence and national security (s. 15)
Number of consultations sent to any institution related to law enforcement and penal institutions (s. 16)
A manual search of the 1,662 files would significantly interfere with our current activities. Data retrievable on our system is responsive to the Annual Report/ Treasury Board requirements as set out in early 2000. Each Disclosures Analyst controls their files and ensures that consultations to other government departments are responded to. These statistics have not been properly captured to date. A process is now in place to do so.
For completed requests only, average time to receive responses to all consultations sent
For completed requests only, average time to receive responses to consultations sent in relation to Cabinet confidences (s. 69)
For completed requests only, average time to receive responses to consultations sent in relation to defence and national security (s. 15)
For completed requests only, average time to receive responses to consultations sent in relation to law enforcement and penal institutions (s. 16)
A manual search of the 1,662 files would significantly interfere with our current activities Each Disclosures Analyst controls their files and ensures that consultations to other government departments are responded to. These statistics have not been properly captured to date. A process is now in place to do so.

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)?

A manual search of the 1,662 files would significantly interfere with our current activities. Data retrievable on our system is responsive to the Annual Report/Treasury Board requirements as set out in early 2000. Each Disclosures Analyst controls their files and ensures that consultations to other government departments are responded to.



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?

YesXNo 

Treasury Board Guidelines dictate how consultations from another institution or sent to another institution or to a third party, are processed.

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

YesXNo 

The approximate turnaround time for consultations received from other government departments is 10 days. As per Treasury Board Guidelines, consultations are treated as a priority.

4. Time to Process Requests

4.1 Processing Model - Stages
Days AllocatedAverage Actual Days

Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) intake (opening the file)11
OPI search22
Records review1010
Records preparation11
Legal00
Communications00
Approval or otherwise – ATIP11
Approval or otherwise – OPI00
Approval or otherwise – DMO00
Approval or otherwise - MO00
ATIP release11

We do not distinguish between records preparation and ATIP releases. The preparation was never considered as a separate step of the disclosure even though fees exist for same.

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.

Not applicable

Stage nameDays allocatedAverage 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.

n/a

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.

n/a

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

n/a

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 

n/a

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, in the situation of extension under Section 9. As a matter of practice, decision makers do provide a rationale in writing using the ATIPflow software.



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 alwaysXSometimes Rarely Never 

b) Of an expected date for the final response

Always Almost always SometimesXRarely Never 

c) Of the right to complain to the Information Commissioner

AlwaysXAlmost 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)

5.2 a) and c) are always covered by way of a letter to inform the client.

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)
For volume (search “through” large number of records)
< 3030-9091-120121-150151-180>180

Total number of extensions under Paragraph 9 (1)(a) is 15

 2006-2007Number of days
 For volume (search “for” large number of records)
For volume (search “through” large number of records)
< 3030-9091-120121-150151-180>180

Total number of extensions under Paragraph 9 (1)(a) is 86

 2007-2008Number of days
 For volume (search “for” large number of records)
For volume (search “through” large number of records)
< 3030-9091-120121-150151-180>180

Total number of extensions under Paragraph 9 (1)(a) is 128



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.

The volume of records combined to the complexity of the material to be reviewed, are the determining factors in assessing the length of an extension taken under paragraph 9(1)(a). Generally, the decision process in determining the length of that extension is done by having an analyst make a preliminary review of the material. In some cases, it involves contacting the record holders, in situations for example, of a large criminal investigation.

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.

We have no special provisions or procedures in place.

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

 2005-2006
Number of days
 < 3030-9091-120121-150151-180>180

For consultation with another federal institution
For consultation with foreign government
For consultation with domestic government
For consultation with aboriginal government
For consultation with individual
For consultation for section 69
Total number of extensions under Paragraph 9 (1)(b) is 1

 2006-2007Number of days
 < 3030-9091-120121-150151-180>180

For consultation with another federal institution
For consultation with foreign government
For consultation with domestic government
For consultation with aboriginal government
For consultation with individual
Total number of extensions under Paragraph 9 (1)(b) is 6
For consultation for section 69 

 2007-2008Number of days
 < 3030-9091-120121-150151-180>180

For consultation with another federal institution
For consultation with foreign government
For consultation with domestic government
For consultation with aboriginal government
For consultation with individual
For consultation for section 69
Total number of extensions under Paragraph 9 (1)(b) is 86

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 alwaysXSometimes Rarely Never 

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

All consultations are forwarded to our other institutions in a timely fashion with a view to minimize unnecessary delays.

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.

Generally, the majority of our extensions under 9(1)(b) are for 30 days only. With some agencies, such as PCO or DFAIT, history has shown that 30-day extensions are not enough as these two agencies cannot respond in a timely fashion.



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.

Yes, there are some. For example, PCO and DFAIT are institutions that do not generally respond within the established timelines as set out in the TBS guidelines. This then causes us to be in deemed refusal situations.

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.

Yes, in our consultation letter, we always include a date by which we expect to receive a response from other government institutions and do immediately contact them should they not meet that date. Consultation letter attached.

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



 2005-2006
Number of requests where third party was consultedThe computer program does not capture this information.
Length of extension taken
Average length of time to receive representations from third parties
Average length of time to make a decision after receipt of response / representations from third parties
Number of notices under section 27
Number of notices for which section 27 time frame was not met
Number of requests for which paragraph 28(1)(b) time frame was not met
 
< 3030-9091-120121-150151-180>180

The computer program has not captured this information.



 2006-2007
Number of requests where third party was consultedThe computer program has not captured this information
Length of extension taken
Average length of time to receive representations from third parties
Average length of time to make a decision after receipt of response / representations from third parties
Number of notices under section 27
Number of notices for which section 27 time frame was not met
Number of requests for which paragraph 28(1)(b) time frame was not met
< 3030-9091-120121-150151-180>180

The computer program does not capture this information.

 2007-2008
Number of requests where third party consultedThe computer program has not captured this information.
 Length of extension taken
Average length of time to receive representations from third parties
Average length of time to make a decision after receipt of response / representations from third parties
Number of notices under section 27
Number of notices for which section 27 time frame was not met
Number of requests for which paragraph 28(1)(b) time frame was not met
< 3030-9091-120121-150151-180>180

These statistics have not been properly captured to date. A process is now in place to do so.
 
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 alwaysXSometimes Rarely Never 

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

In instances of large volumes of material, third party information has been located later on in the process. Once discovered/located, a third party notice is sent out.

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

AlwaysXAlmost always Sometimes Rarely Never 

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

All notices are forwarded to third parties in a timely fashion with a view to minimize unnecessary delays.

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 alwaysXSometimes 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.

Yes, in our notices to third party, we always include a date by which we expect to receive a response from the third party and do immediately contact it should it not meet that date.

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 SometimesXRarely Never 

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

As a matter of practice, analysts often contact the requesters to ascertain if they wish to receive partial disclosure or prefer receiving disclosure once all consultations are completed. In some cases, requesters will be satisfied with receiving what has been processed to date and will forego the material for consultation

6. Claims for discretionary exemptions 

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

YesNo
X 

Please provide any relevant information for this question.

Rationale is generally documented on either ATIPflow software or in a paper format. This practice is strongly supported and encouraged by the Coordinator and team leaders. As well, this practice is often reiterated at meetings.

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

YesNo
X 

Please provide any relevant information for this question.

 Relevant jurisprudence is discussed and distributed at our weekly Managers meetings for furtherance to the analysts in their units. This jurisprudence is obtained from our Policy & Program Services Section as well as the ATIP Community meetings.

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

YesNo
X 

Please provide any relevant information and documentation for this question.

Our analysts provide rationale which is generally documented on either ATIPflow software or in a paper format. This practice is strongly supported and encouraged by the Coordinator and team leaders. This practice is also often reiterated at meetings. This rationale is recorded to support the analyst’s decision in order to prepare for a possible challenge.

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

YesNo
X 

Please provide any relevant information and documentation for this question.

Both the OPI and the ATIP analyst will often prepare written rationale in support of exemption(s) applied. OPIs will offer background information and the ATIP Office applies the exemption rationale when applicable.

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

YesNo
 X

Please provide any relevant information and documentation for this question.

There is not an actual process but our analysts will consult with the OPI to act in the best interest of the client and the institution.


7. Claims for mandatory exemptions

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

YesNo
X 

Please provide any relevant information for this question.

Rationale is generally documented on either ATIPflow software or in a paper format. This practice is strongly supported and encouraged by the Coordinator and team leaders. The practice is often reiterated at meetings.

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

YesNo
X 

Please provide any relevant information for this question.

Relevant jurisprudence is discussed and distributed at our weekly Managers’ meetings for furtherance to the analysts in their units. This jurisprudence is obtained from our Policy & Program Services Section as well as the ATIP Community meetings.

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

YesNo
X 

Please provide any relevant information and documentation for this question.

Our analysts provide rationale which is generally documented on either ATIPflow software or in a paper format. This practice is strongly supported and encouraged by the Coordinator and team leaders. This practice is often reiterated at meetings. As well, the rationale is recorded to support the analyst’s decision in order to prepare for a possible challenge.

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

YesNo
X 

Please provide any relevant information and documentation for this question.

Both the OPI and the ATIP analyst will often prepare written rationale in support to exemption(s) applied. OPIs will offer background information and the ATIP Office apply the exemption rationale when applicable. 



YesNo
 X

Please provide any relevant information and documentation for this question.

There is not an actual process but our analysts will consult with the OPI in an attempt to act in the best interest of the client and the institution

B. DEEMED-REFUSAL REQUESTS

Part I: Requests carried over from the 2006-2007 fiscal period.
1.Number of requests carried over:238 (additional information provided to OIC on Sept. 3, 2008)
2.Requests carried over from the previous fiscal period — in a deemed-refusal situation on the first day of the new fiscal period:222
Part II: New Requests — Exclude requests included in Part I.
3.Number of requests received during the 2007-2008 fiscal period:1662
4.AHow many were processed within the statutory 30-day time limit?1045
4.BHow many were processed beyond the statutory 30-day time limit?605
5.How many were extended pursuant to section 9?191
5.AHow many were extended pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(a)?
5.BHow many were extended pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(b)?
5.CHow many were extended pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(c)?
Searching 30 days or under: 40; 31 days or over 61 Consultation 30 days or under: 40; 31 days or over: 14; Third Party 30 days or under: 3; 31 days or over: 0
6.AHow many were processed within the extended time limit? (re Row 5)73
6.BHow many exceeded the extended time limit? (re Row 5)48
7.AHow many were processed within the extended time limit? (re Row 5.A)Not available as the system has not captured this info
7.BHow many exceeded the extended time limit? (re Row 5.A)Not available as the system has not captured this info
8.AHow many were processed within the extended time limit? (re Row 5.B)Not available as the system has not captured this info
8.BHow many exceeded the extended time limit? (re Row 5.B)Not available as the system has not captured this info
9.AHow many were processed within the extended time limit? (re Row 5.C)Not available as the system has not captured this info
9.BHow many exceeded the extended time limit? (re Row 5.C)Not available as the system has not captured this info
Part II: New Requests — Exclude requests included in Part I.
10As of March 31, 2008, how many requests were in a deemed-refusal situation?66 (Additional information provided to OIC on July 7, 2008)



C. RESOURCE PROFILE

1. Employee Profile

Please list all ATIP Office employees.

Full-time PositionClassificationNumberAverage Years of Experience
CoordinatorSuperintendent17
Team LeadersSergeants74
AnalystsCorporals205
Policy AnalystLAW-216
Team LeadersPM-5312
AnalystsPM-445
Office ManagerAS-2129.5
Junior AnalystsPM-243
Quality ControlCR-400
ScanningCR-338
Part-time PositionClassificationNumberYears of Experience
AnalystsPM-5215
    
    
    
    
    

*All positions are 100% dedicated to formal requests under the Access to Information and Privacy Acts.

2. Salary Dollar Budget for ATIP Office for ATIA activities

Fiscal YearBudget AllocatedBudget UsedFTEs AllocatedFTEs Used
2007-2008$1,153,787.30$1,153,787.3016.133216.1332
2006-2007$ 718,251.08$ 758,251.0811.072211.0722
2005-2006$1,969,428$ 396,486.096.136.13

3. Operating Budget for ATIP Office for ATIA activities

Fiscal YearBudget AllocatedBudget Used
2007/2008$103,839.99$103,839.99
2006/2007$ 86,273.15$86,273.15
2005/2006$38,314.11$ 38,419.11

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

Fiscal YearATI Staff TrainingDepartmental ATI Training
2007/2008$ 10,000$ 50,000
2006/2007$ 15,000$ 50,000
2005/2006$ 12,000$ 30,000

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

Fiscal YearBudget AllocatedBudget Used
2007/2008$114,000$114,000
2006/2007$206,681.20$180,000
2005/2006$130,000$123,500


D. LEADERSHIP FRAMEWORK

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

YesXNo 

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


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)?

- Commissioner - Director General, Public Affairs & Information, and - the Departmental Privacy and Access to Information 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 most significant issue is that the process of staffing positions in ATIP is problematic for numerous reasons. Lateral transfers are becoming obsolete as respective candidates are increasingly not releasable from their current jobs. As well, the turnover in employees within ATIP environment is drastically increasing as the there are not enough ATIP resources to meet the requirements. Until we become fully staffed, it is very difficult to obtain greater efficiency in responding to the ever increasing number of ATI requests.

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

No, the factors that have contributed to our staffing predicament were not foreseeable.


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.

As a result of new staffing actions, the ATIP Office completed 69.8% of the ATI requests on time. The staffing process is an ongoing struggle. (The Time Analysis for Completed Access Requests Report indicates 69.8% of the requests were completed on time - attached) RCMP ATIP Policy Unit has held ATIP awareness sessions which are info sessions which are offered to RCMP employees across Canada. This training is now recognized by RCMP Learning and Development Branch. Our ATIP Branch has regular training sessions for ATIP employees provided through Treasury Board and other professionals, as well as RCMP SMEs. We have developed an ATIP website to assist clients. We are also presently working on obtaining additional resources for our Processing Unit in order to streamline our ability to contact requesters & identify their specific needs. Our drastically improved compliance rate is the best measure of the impact of our best practices’ initiatives.

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.