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Industry Canada  

Part A: Requests carried over from the prior fiscal year (2007-2008)
1. Number of requests carried over: 118
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 660
4.A How many were completed within the statutory 30-day time limit? 384
4.B How many were completed beyond the statutory 30-day time limit where no extension was claimed ? 0
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: 0
  31-60 days: 0
  61-90 days: 0
  Over 91 days: 0
5. How many were extended pursuant to section 9? 197
6.A How many were completed within the extended time limit? 77
6.B How many exceeded the extended time limit? 4
6.C How long after the expiry of the extended deadline did it take to respond?  
  1-30 days: 2
  31-60 days: 0
  61-90 days: 0
  Over 91 days: 2
7. Number of requests carried over in 2009-2010? 195
8. As of April 1 st , 2009, how many requests are in a deemed-refusal situation? 43
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
  In response to the downturn in the global economy, Industry Canada has been assigned a significant role to initiate and implement effective and tangible solutions to stimulate and protect a weakened Canadian economy. As a result the Department has seen a significant increase in public scrutiny and interest as noted in its ATI statistical report for 2008-09.   Specific factors that have had an impact IC’s ability to respond to official requests in 2008-09 in a timely manner are as follows:  
  1. Requests for large volume of records
    • IC saw a 93 percent increase in requests (660 compared to 342)
    • Volume of records jumped from 183 000 pages to 689 000
    • Average file size is 1 045 pages compared to 537 pages
    • Large backlog of files involving large volume of records
  2. Difficulties in retrieving records from OPIs and ensuring complete responses
    • New programs and initiatives have generated more work for departmental officials in addition to increased ATI requests
    • Lack of information management tools, although an IM agenda is being implemented in a phased approach across the department
    • Loss of corporate memory with increased retirements and movement of program officials
  3. Staff shortages
  • Ongoing challenge of recruitment and retention of qualified ATIP expertise
  1. Requests filed in bulk
  • Applicants seeking to access information in a more timely fashion submit multiple requests on same subjects
  • Increased administrative burden for IPRA, since information collected/generated by the department is often intertwined and not compiled nor managed distinctly
  1. Consultations with other institutions
  • Given the mandate of department and multiple working partnerships, IC frequently consults with most OGDs and third parties
  • OGDs that have significant impact on response times are PCO, DOJ, and DFAIT
  1. Other
  • Complexity level of requests and the amount of work required to complete requests
  • Typical amount of work to process a request involves research, assessing and reviewing documents, consulting with concerned parties, negotiating with applicants, consultees and departmental officials, and other administrative tasks required for tracking, monitoring and documenting decisions.
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
Over the years, IPRA has initiated various business practices to improve its service delivery. Standard business practices have included:
  • Assisting applicants in scoping requests to reduce volume and response time
  • Offering applicants alternatives such as previously released information, publicly accessible documents and discussions with program officials
  • Ensuring ongoing communication with applicants
  • When possible, providing partial releases
  • Ensuring approval processes within IPRA are streamlined
  • Communicating regularly with departmental officials and senior management on the status of requests to improve awareness
Part D: Completion Time
11. What is the average completion time for all requests completed in 2008-2009?
  In 2008-09, the average completion time for the 526 requests completed was 46 days. IC received numerous bulk requests related to specific subjects on interests, namely, copyright legislation, gas pricing and gas pump inspection reports, various investment reviews and other competition issues. Of the 526 completed requests, 159 were treated informally for information previously released.   *An extract of the ATIPFlow database can be provided upon request as evidence of the above.
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.  *Please note that IC’s 2008-09 Annual Report on the ATI Act will be tabled 15 days after Parliament resumes for the fall session. It will be available on-line shortly thereafter.