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5. Advancing the case for transparency before the courts
A fundamental principle of the Access to Information Act is that decisions on disclosure of government information may be reviewed independently of government: by us when we investigate complaints and by the Federal Court of Canada.
When the Information Commissioner concludes that a complaint against a federal institution is substantiated and makes a formal recommendation to disclose records that the institution does not follow, the Commissioner may, with the complainant’s consent, seek an order from the Federal Court to compel the institution to comply.
The Information Commissioner may also seek the Federal Court’s permission to intervene in cases that raise issues of significance to the interpretation of the Act or to freedom of information in general.