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The Access to Information Act in the Courts

A fundamental principle of the Access to Information Act (the Act), set forth in section 2, is that decisions on disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government.  The Commissioner’s office and the Federal Court of Canada are the two levels of independent review provided by the law.

Requesters dissatisfied with responses received from government to their access requests first must complain to the Information Commissioner.  If they are dissatisfied with the results of his investigation, they have the right to ask the Federal Court to review the department’s response.  If the Information Commissioner is dissatisfied with a department's response to his recommendations, he has the right, with the requester's consent, to ask the Federal Court to review the matter. No such application for review was filed by the Information Commissioner in this reporting year.

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