Streamlined approval process
– An organizational review of the ATIP Directorate was conducted in 2008-2009 to achieve an efficient and effective organization. As a result, the Delegation of Authority has recently been revised allowing the ATIP Team Leaders to approve the release of routine/simple requests (all disclosed, and disclosed in part, only with exemptions under subsection 19(1) and 24(1) of the Act). This is streamlining the quality control process on these requests from two to one level, thereby reducing any bottleneck at the ATIP Manager level that was previously approving the disclosures.
ATIP Delegation of Authority
– The ATIP Delegation of Authority has also been revised to allow ATIP Officers to perform certain administrative functions under the ATI Act such as time extensions and consultations with third parties. It is expected that this approach will streamline operations and reduce processing times.
– As a result of the organizational review conducted in 2008-2009, a new Intake Unit has recently been implemented to received and acknowledge new requests, obtain the relevant the records from OPI and prepare them (triage/scanning) for review by the ATIP Officers. This is expected to increase the productivity of the ATIP Officers whose time was used to perform these administrative duties.
Fast track process for common requests
– Whether or not a request has been received, call-ups for temporary help services are provided on a monthly basis to the ATIP Directorate to prepare for disclosure so the records can be made available in a timely fashion for the requesters.
– Having a three-year contract in place since March 2008, with two different companies, has proven to be a great procurement tool to quickly obtain the help of ATIP consultants. Because of the challenge, and the volume of ATI requests, the use of consultants has been necessary to respond on time.
Informal treatment of requests
– Requests for information that could be disclosed in entirety may, with the requester’s consent, be referred to the appropriate branch to respond directly. For example, as per the PWGSC Supply Manual, Section 7F.706, the names of corporate bidders and the total amount of their bids may be disclosed informally after contract award. As well, when branches directly receive a request, they may determine in consultation with the ATIP Directorate whether to disclose the information informally, if the records do not contain any sensitive government or third party information, or personal information. The ATIP Directorate also provides the Department with an informal review of documents prior to the disclosure of information. It is difficult to indicate how successful these practices have been, as the ATIP Directorate does not compile statistics in this regard, except for the informal review of documents.
Partial release of records
– A partial release may be provided in cases where some of the records have been previously disclosed. Also, when possible, a partial release may be provided in cases with voluminous records and/or long time extensions.
Release of records when ready
– Beginning in 2008-2009, and when taking a time extension beyond 90 days, the ATIP Directorate began advising requesters that a response will be provided earlier than anticipated if the consultations and the document review are completed before the extended due date. Statistics show that records are released as soon as they’re ready. It is expected that this practice may result in a reduction of the time extension complaints.