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Report Cards


Year


Library and Archives Canada

Status report on access requests in a deemed-refusal situation

1. Background

Every department reviewed has been assessed against the following grading standard:

% of Deemed Refusals

Comment

Grade

0-5%

Ideal compliance

A

5-10%

Substantial compliance

B

10-15%

Borderline compliance

C

15-20%

Below standard compliance

D

More than 20%

Red alert

F

This report reviews Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) progress to attain ideal compliance with the time requirements of the Access to Information Act, since the previous report. In addition, this report contains information on the status of the recommendations made in the Status Report of 2006.

  1. COMPLIANCE HISTORY

The Office of the Information Commissioner has conducted Report Cards and status reviews on LAC on two occasions. The department has never come into ideal compliance during the period of our reviews. Therefore, LAC has not been able to meet its obligations under the Access to Information Act to respond to access requests in a timely manner.

In the 2005 Report Card, LAC received a red alert grade of "F", with a 70% request to deemed-refusal ratio from April 1 to November 30, 2004. This was the first year that requests carried over from the previous year, and the number of requests already in a deemed-refusal status on April 1, were taken into consideration.

For the full 2004-2005 fiscal year, LAC received a grade of "F", with a 64.8% request to deemed-refusal ratio.

In the 2006 Report Card, LAC also received a red alert grade of "F", with a 55.5% deemed-refusal to request ratio.

3. CURRENT STATUS

For the reporting period April 1 to November 30, 2006, LAC’s request to deemed-refusal ratio was 3.8%, a grade of "A".

In September 2004, LAC put in place an internal Access to Government Information Services Task Force. The spring 2005 Report of the Task Force included recommendations to directly address the backlog and also to avoid similar backlogs from materializing in the future.

The most important action that the department took in response to the Task Force recommendations was to directly address the ATIP backlog and commit to its elimination in 2005-2006. The first steps were taken in January 2005, based on the draft of the Task Force recommendations, when the LAC Management Board approved $250,000 in additional resources until March 31, 2005, for a first "blitz" to reduce the backlog.

In May 2005, LAC’s Senior Management approved an additional $600,000 for the second wave of the blitz, with the goal of eliminating the backlog by October 31, 2005. LAC has also committed itself to effectively eliminating all backlogged requests by March 31, 2006.

A critical component of the administration of the Access to Information Act is the leadership role of Senior Management in a department. Senior Management exercises leadership by identifying access to information as a departmental priority and then acting upon this by providing the appropriate resources, technology, and policies. LAC’s Senior Management has well understood this principle and has transmitted a clear message to its employees. As a result of this, a cultural change has been seen across the department.

4. RECOMMENDATIONS

Because of the factors described in this report, LAC was able to attain ideal compliance with the time requirements of the Access to Information Act.

Recommendation #1

That the Librarian and Archivist of Canada take responsibility to ensure that the ATIP Office implement all of our recommendations in the Report Cards and status reviews to ensure that the department attains and maintains ideal compliance without further delay.

5. STATUS OF 2006 RECOMMENDATIONS

Previous Recommendation #1

That LAC attain ideal compliance and a grade of "A" by March 31, 2007.

Action Taken:

Good work has started to pay off. LAC has been able to attain ideal compliance with the time requirements of the Access to Information Act for the first time.

 

Previous Recommendation #2

LAC address the staffing shortfall of the ATIP Directorate with a view to increasing resources as required.

Action Taken:

Actions are being taken to achieve LAC’s Human Resources Plan.

In 2006, LAC has staffed two PM-04, two CR-04, and two senior analyst positions. Most of LAC’s human resources plan should be achieved by March 31, 2007. Some 13 additional positions are expected to be filled by then.

 

 

6. Questionnaire and statistical reporT

 

Questionnaire for Statistical Analysis Purposes in relation to official requests

made under the Access to Information Act

Part A: Requests carried over from the prior fiscal period.

Apr. 1/05 to

Mar. 31/06

Apr. 1/06 to

Nov. 30/06

1.

Number of requests carried over:

160

90

2.

Requests carried over from the prior fiscal year in a deemed-refusal situation on the first day of the new fiscal year:

128

22

Part B: New Requests - Exclude requests included in Part A.

Apr. 1/05 to

Mar. 31/06

Apr. 1/06 to

Nov. 30/06

3.

Number of requests received during the fiscal period:

724

536

4.A

How many were processedwithin the 30-day statutory time limit?

242

339

4.B

How many were processed beyond the 30-day statutory time limit where no extension was claimed?

345

0

4.C

How long after the statutory time limit did it take to respond where no extension was claimed?

1-30 days:

109

0

31-60 days:

106

0

61-90 days:

70

0

Over 91 days:

60

0

5.

How many were extended pursuant to section 9?

87

157

6.A

How many were processedwithin the extended time limit?

32

31

6.B

How many exceeded the extended time limit?

19

0

6.C

How long after the expiry of the extended deadline did it take to respond?

1-30 days:

9

0

31-60 days:

3

0

61-90 days:

3

0

Over 91 days:

4

0

7.

As of November 30, 2006, how many requests are in a deemed-refusal situation?

2

   

 

EXCERPT FROM THE LIBRARIAN AND ARCHIVIST’S RESPONSE TO STATUS REPORT

Library and Archives Canada did not provide any comments.