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Indian and Northern Affairs Canada  

Part A: Requests carried over from the prior fiscal year (2007-2008)
1. Number of requests carried over: 80
2. Requests carried over from the prior fiscal year— in a deemed-refusal situation on the first day of the new fiscal year 21
Part B: New Requests received in fiscal year 2008-2009— Exclude requests included in Part A
3. Number of requests received during the fiscal period 378
4.A How many were completed within the statutory 30-day time limit? 177
4.B How many were completed beyond the statutory 30-day time limit where no extension was claimed ? 4
4.C How long after the expiry of the statutory 30-day time limit did it take to complete the request where no extension was claimed ?  
  1-30 days: 3
  31-60 days: 1
  61-90 days: 0
  Over 91 days: 0
5. How many were extended pursuant to section 9? 127
6.A How many were completed within the extended time limit? 77
6.B How many exceeded the extended time limit? 17
6.C How long after the expiry of the extended deadline did it take to respond?  
  1-30 days: 6
  31-60 days: 6
  61-90 days: 1
  Over 91 days: 4
7. Number of requests carried over in 2009-2010? 100
8. As of April 1 st , 2009, how many requests are in a deemed-refusal situation? 11
Part C: Contributing Factors
9. Please describe the most significant issues that affected your institution’s ability to respond to access to information requests in a timely manner (within 30 days and/or statutory timelines). These may include:
  • Requests for large volume of records
  • Approval process of access requests
  • Difficulties to retrieve records (OPIs turnaround time)
  • Staff shortages
  • Requests filed in bulk
  • Consultations with other institutions
  • Others

Increase in number of formal ATI requests: In 2006-2007 we received 268 requests. In 2007-2008 we received 332 and in 2008-2009 we received 351 requests. Due to the increased volume of requests, we were unable to meet the statutory timelines since we did not have the resources (financial and human) available.  

Requests for large volume of records: Similarly to the increase in number of requests, we have also experienced requests for greater volume of records. Some of these requests included high number of pages between ten and twenty thousand pages.  

Difficulties to retrieve records (OPIs turnaround time): Due to the increase of requests and their complexity, program officials have had greater difficulty in providing completed responses in the time allocated. As well, ongoing difficulties with the proper management of records have consumed greater amounts of time and effort in the identification of all relevant records.  

Staff shortages: Budgetary constraints within INAC, and the lack of experienced human resources in the ATIP community, has impeded our ability to hire sufficient and qualified staff to ensure completion of our ATI requests within the statutory timeframes.  

Consultations with other institutions: In general this has not impacted on our performance, however, specific institutions, such as the Privy Council Office and Canada Post Corporation have caused challenges in serving our requestors in a timely manner.  

Others: The integration of the former Indian Residential School Resolution Canada with INAC ATIP Office provided challenges in training the new staff in the administration/processing of INAC’s ATIP requests. This required the INAC ATIP staff to expend time and effort to support the new staff in their training.

Please describe any practices or policies developed/undertaken by your institution to improve the timely delivery of your access to information program and where possible, indicate how successful these practices/policies have been. These may include:
  • Informal treatment of requests
  • Streamlined approval process
  • Partial release of records
  • Fast track process for common requests
  • Others

Informal treatment of requests: All requests that we deem informal are processed accordingly. For example, we have instituted an informal process to allow band members to access their band’s financial information via program officials. Information requested may be disclosed via the proactive discloser process (ie. Internet website, etc).  

Streamlined approval process: INAC has a very streamlined approval process. With respect to requests that are deemed “sensitive,” we have been recognized in the Information Commissioner’s report as having a process which does not impede the processing of ATI requests.  

Partial release of records: In an effort of respecting the rights of requestors to access information in a timely manner, we disclose records as they become available. This is in conformity with our duty to assist the requestor.  

Fast track process for common requests: INAC institutes such processes when possible. For example, requests for contractual call-ups are processed informally by our contracting office.

Part D: Completion Time
11. What is the average completion time for all requests completed in 2008-2009?
  62.36 days.
Part E: Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act
12. Please attach your institution’s completed Report on the Access to Information (Form TBS/SCT 350-62) for the 2008-2009.