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Report Cards

 

Year

 


2007-2008

List of recommendations

 

To Treasury Board Secretariat

Recommendation 1

That the Treasury Board Secretariat, in collaboration with the relevant institutions

  1. conduct an assessment of information management practices in federal institutions;
  2. develop an action plan to address deficiencies in information management in federal institutions;
  3. measure the federal institutions’ performance on the use of effective information practices on an ongoing basis; and
  4. ensure that federal institutions are properly resourced to develop and sustain effective information management practices.

Recommendation 2

That the Treasury Board Secretariat develop and maintain state of the art training on information management practices and tailor such training to the needs of the Access to Information regime.

Recommendation 3

That the Treasury Board Secretariat collects the following additional annual statistics, starting in fiscal year 2010–2011:

  1. the number of pages reviewed for requests: in total and on average per request;
  2. the number of pages reviewed for incoming consultation requests: in total and on average per consultation request;
  3. the number of pages disclosed in part or in total;
  4. the number of requests completed within statutory timelines;
  5. the average time to complete a request.

Recommendation 4

That the Treasury Board Secretariat clarify the methodology for reporting on time extensions and, starting in 2010–2011, break down the reporting requirements of extensions into the following categories:

  1. number of requests extended pursuant to section 9;
  2. for each reason for the extension (searching, consultations, third party), the length of the extension:
    1. less than 30 days;
    2. 30–60 days;
    3. 61–90 days;
    4. 91–120 days;
    5. 121–150 days;
    6. 151–180 days;
    7. 181–210 days;
    8. 211–250 days;
    9. above 250, by units of 50 days.
  3. for each reason for the extension (searching, consultations, third party), the average actual time it took to receive a response.

Recommendation 5

That the Treasury Board Secretariat collects annual statistics, starting in fiscal year 2010–2011, on consultations pursuant to paragraphs 9(1)b) and 9(1)c):

  1. for consultation requests sent to other federal institutions:
    1. number of consultation requests sent;
    2. number of mandatory consultation< requests sent pursuant to:
      1. section 15;
      2. section 16;
      3. section 69;
    3. number of pages sent for review;
    4. average time to receive a response;
      1. overall;
      2. for mandatory consultations;
  2. For consultation requests received from other federal institutions:
    1. number of consultation requests received;
    2. number of pages reviewed;
    3. average time to respond;
  3. For consultation requests sent to third parties (pursuant to paragraphs 9(1)b) and 9(1)c) ):
    1. number of consultation requests sent;
    2. average time to receive a response;

Recommendation 6

That the Treasury Board Secretariat, together with relevant institutions, assess the magnitude of the consultations between federal institutions including mandatory consultations pursuant to sections 15, 16 and 69 of the Act, and their impact on the workload of these institutions with a view to allocate resources to this function. 

Recommendation 7

That the Treasury Board Secretariat, in collaboration with relevant institutions and agencies, develop and implement, as a matter of urgency, an integrated human resources action plan to address the current shortage of access to information staff. 

Recommendation 8

That the Treasury Board Secretariat accelerate its review, development and implementation of an extensive training program for access to information specialists, and establish certification standards for federal professionals. 

Recommendation 9

That the Treasury Board Secretariat in collaboration with the Canada School of Public Service and the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada develop an integrated learning strategy for all employees of the public service.  

Recommendation 10

That, as part of the Management Accountability Framework, the Treasury Board Secretariat review current criteria to ensure that they are measuring the overall performance of federal institutions in meeting their obligations under the Access to Information Act

 

 

Office of the Information Commissioner:

 

 

Commitment 1

The Office of the Information Commissioner will review how closed complaints are classified with a view to developing and implementing by 2009–2010 a new set of disposition categories that provide a more accurate picture of institutional performance. 

Commitment 2

The Office of the Information Commissioner will develop and implement by 2009–2010 criteria for measuring the degree to which an institution is releasing information in compliance with the Access to Information Act, and will document the OIC complaint files appropriately.  

Commitment 3

The Office of the Information Commissioner will prepare and widely publish a triennial plan for institutional performance reviews.

 

 

Canada Board Services Agency (CBSA):

 

 

Recommendation 1

The CBSA should allocate adequate resources on a permanent basis to its access to information office, considering its overall workload (access requests and requests for consultations), to avoid undue delay in processing access requests.

Recommendation 2

In light of the Treasury Board Secretariat policy on mandatory consultations for information related to law enforcement and penal institutions, the CBSA should review its case management framework to ensure that dedicated resources are assigned to handling all these requests for consultation to avoid undue delays in processing them. 

Recommendation 3

The CBSA access to information office should review the criteria it uses to invoke time extensions under subsection 9(1) of the Access to Information Act to determine the length of these extensions and ensure they are reasonable and legitimate. 

Recommendation 4

The CBSA should undertake to avoid delaying the processing of categorized access requests and should measure the actual time it takes to complete these requests as well as any resulting delays.  

Recommendation 5

The access to information office, when it closes access request files related to outstanding mandatory consultations, should inform requesters that additional records may be forthcoming, that they will be informed of the outcome of the consultations even though no additional records may be released and that they have the right to complain to the OIC. 

Recommendation 6

The access to information office should review the current timelines in place and track more systematically the average number of days taken to complete each stage of the access process to ensure requests are being responded to in a timely manner.

Recommendation 7

The access to information office should document on their request files, at the time the request is processed, justifications for taking an extension. These justifications should include detailed rationale for being invoked.  

Recommendation 8

The access to information office should provide the Information Commissioner a notice pursuant to subsection 9(2) every time it extends a request beyond 30 days. 

 

 

To The Department of Justice Canada:

 

 

Recommendation 1

The Justice Canada access to information and privacy (ATIP) office should narrowly define its categories of requests deemed of interest, such that requests represent a minority of exceptional requests. 

Recommendation 2

The ATIP office should maintain its practice of not delaying the processing of categorized requests and should measure the actual time it takes to complete these requests as well as any resulting delays.  

Recommendation 3

The ATIP office, when it closes access request files related to outstanding mandatory consultations, should inform requesters that additional records may be forthcoming, that they will be informed of the outcome of the consultation requests even if no additional records may be released, and that they have the right to complain to OIC at each stage of the process.

Recommendation 4

The access to information office should document on their request files, at the time the request is processed, justifications for taking an extension. These justifications should include detailed rationale for being invoked.  

Recommendation 5

The access to information office should provide the Information Commissioner a notice pursuant to subsection 9(2) every time it extends a request beyond 30 days. 

 

 

To The Department of National Defence:

 

 

Recommendation 1

National Defence’s ATIP office should review the criteria it uses to invoke time extensions under paragraph 9(1)(a)(search for large volume of records and unreasonable interference with the operations of a federal institution), including ATIP office workload, to ensure the criteria are reasonable and legitimate and that extensions do not delay the processing of access requests. 

Recommendation 2

National Defence should undertake not to delay the processing of requests, particularly those requiring internal consultations with the Information Support Team and measure the actual time it takes to complete those requests and any resulting delays. 

Recommendation 3

The access to information office should document on their request files, at the time the request is processed, justifications for taking an extension. These justifications should include detailed rationale for being invoked.  

Recommendation 4

The access to information office should provide the Information Commissioner a notice pursuant to subsection 9(2) every time it extends a request beyond 30 days. 

Recommendation 5

The access to information office should document on their request files, at the time the request is processed, justifications for taking an extension. These justifications should include detailed rationale for being invoked.  

Recommendation 6

The access to information office should provide the Information Commissioner a notice pursuant to subsection 9(2) every time it extends a request beyond 30 days. 

 

 

To The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada(DFAIT):

 

 

Recommendation 1

DFAIT should allocate adequate resources on a permanent basis to its access to information office, considering its overall workload (access requests and requests for consultations), to avoid undue delays in processing access requests across the federal government.

Recommendation 2

In light of the Treasury Board Secretariat policy that DFAIT must review for other federal institutions any information subject to an access request the release of which might affect Canada’s international affairs, DFAIT should review its case management framework to ensure that dedicated resources are assigned to handling all these requests for consultation to avoid undue delays in processing them. 

Recommendation 3

The ATIP office should continue to pursue solutions to deal effectively with current information management problems related to the retrieval of documents, paying particular attention to electronic documents.  

Recommendation 4

The DFAIT ATIP office should narrowly define its categorization of access to information requests deemed “Communications Alert,” such that requests represent a minority of exceptional requests. 

Recommendation 5

The DFAIT ATIP office should maintain its practice of not delaying the processing of categorized access requests and should measure the real time it takes to complete these requests as well as any resulting delays.  

Recommendation 6

The access to information office should document on their request files, at the time the request is processed, justifications for taking an extension. These justifications should include detailed rationale for being invoked.  

Recommendation 7

The access to information office should provide the Information Commissioner a notice pursuant to subsection 9(2) every time it extends a request beyond 30 days. 

 

 

To Health Canada:

 

 

Recommendation 1

Health Canada’s ATIP office should review its processing model to identify clearly any stages that take place concurrently and to ensure that it reflects the proper powers of the ATIP coordinator for the administration of the Access to Information Act.  

Recommendation 2

Health Canada should cease immediately to delay the processing of requests categorized as “Hi-Sens” and should measure the actual time it takes to complete these requests as well as any resulting delays.

Recommendation 3

The ATIP office should review the criteria it uses to invoke time extensions under subsection 9(1) to ensure they are reasonable and legitimate.

Recommendation 4

Health Canada should continue to pursue solutions to deal effectively with current records management problems related to the retrieval of documents. 

Recommendation 5

The access to information office should document on their request files, at the time the request is processed, justifications for taking an extension. These justifications should include detailed rationale for being invoked.  

Recommendation 6

The access to information office should provide the Information Commissioner a notice pursuant to subsection 9(2) every time it extends a request beyond 30 days. 

 

 

To Library and Archives Canada:

 

 

Recommendation 1

The Library and Archives Canada access to information and privacy (ATIP) office should review the criteria it uses to invoke time extensions under paragraph 9(1)(b) to ensure the criteria are reasonable and legitimate and that the time extensions do not delay the processing of access requests. 

Recommendation 2

Library and Archives Canada should carefully review its processes for managing non-archived records to ensure that retrieving those records does not delay the processing of access requests.  

Recommendation 3

The access to information office should document on their request files, at the time the request is processed, justifications for taking an extension. These justifications should include detailed rationale for being invoked.  

Recommendation 4

The access to information office should provide the Information Commissioner a notice pursuant to subsection 9(2) every time it extends a request beyond 30 days. 

 

 

To Natural Resources Canada:

 

 

Recommendation 1

Natural Resources Canada’s Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) office should narrowly define its categorization of access to information requests deemed sensitive, such that sensitive requests represent a minority of exceptional requests.

Recommendation 2

Natural Resources Canada’s ATIP office should clearly state that it must not delay the processing of categorized requests and should measure the actual time taken to complete these requests as well as any resulting delay.

Recommendation 3

The ATIP office should review its processing model to identify clearly any stages that take place concurrently and to ensure that it reflects the proper powers of the ATIP Coordinator for the administration of the Access to Information Act.

Recommendation 4

The ATIP office, when it closes access requests related to outstanding consultations, should inform requesters that additional records may be forthcoming, that they will be informed of the outcome of the consultation requests even if no additional records may be released, and that they have the right to complain to the OIC at each step of the process.

Recommendation 5

The access to information office should document on their request files, at the time the request is processed, justifications for taking an extension. These justifications should include detailed rationale for being invoked.  

Recommendation 6

The access to information office should provide the Information Commissioner a notice pursuant to subsection 9(2) every time it extends a request beyond 30 days.

 

 

To The Privy Council Office(PCO):

 

 

Recommendation 1

The Clerk of the Privy Council should closely monitor all the activities related to access to information for which he or she is responsible for, including ATIP office operations and consultations with Cabinet Confidences/Counsel, and report to Parliament on these activities under section 72 of the Access to Information Act

Recommendation 2

PCO should have a dedicated team and allocate adequate resources on a permanent basis to Cabinet Confidences/Counsel, to avoid undue delay in processing requests for consultations for records involving Cabinet confidences. 

Recommendation 3

The PCO ATIP office and Cabinet Confidences/Counsel should develop a protocol to elaborate on their respective responsibilities relating to PCO’s mandatory obligations to report to Parliament on the Access to Information Act, especially with regards to Cabinet Confidences/Counsel review of consultation requests received from other federal institutions about records involving Cabinet confidences.  

Recommendation 4

PCO should review the Delegation Order to determine how further delegation can be made to both the ATIP coordinator and to team leaders in the ATIP Division. 

Recommendation 5

The ATIP office should enable the case management system to track and report on statistical data, as requested in the OIC’s 2007–2008 report card questionnaire

Recommendation 6

The ATIP office should review the current timelines in place and track more systematically the average time actually taken to complete each stage of the access process to ensure requests are responded to in a timely manner.  

Recommendation 7

The ATIP office should establish strict timelines for all stages of the access process, including all approvals. 

Recommendation 8

The ATIP office should document on their request files, at the time the request is processed, justifications for taking an extension. These justifications should include detailed rationale for being invoked.  

Recommendation 9

Cabinet Confidences/Counsel, in collaboration with the Office of the Information Commissioner, should develop a tool to assess their operations as they relate to the mandatory consultations on the review of Cabinet confidences pursuant to section 69 of the Access to Information Act

 

 

To Public Works and Government Services Canada(PWGSC):

 

 

Recommendation 1

PWGSC should cease immediately to delay the processing of requests categorized as “Interesting” or “High Profile” and should measure the actual time it takes to complete these requests and any resulting delays.

Recommendation 2

The PWGSC Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) office should implement measures for data entry and/or reporting in the case management system to track the length of time extensions taken for more than 30 days, as requested in the OIC 2007–2008 report card questionnaire.

Recommendation 3

PWGSC should fully implement the initiatives set out in its ATIP Improvement Plan during the next review period, or be at least well advanced in their implementation, and be able to demonstrate the progress made and results achieved. 

Recommendation 4

The access to information office should document on their request files, at the time the request is processed, justifications for taking an extension. These justifications should include detailed rationale for being invoked.  

Recommendation 5

The access to information office should provide the Information Commissioner a notice pursuant to subsection 9(2) every time it extends a request beyond 30 days.

 

 

To The Royal Canadian Mounted Police(RCMP): 

 

 

Recommendation 1

The RCMP’s Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Branch should implement measures to enhance data entry in its case management system to allow it to monitor more closely every step of the access to information request process and to track the length of time extensions of more than 30 days, as the OIC requested in its 2007–2008 report card questionnaire

Recommendation 2

The ATIP Branch should continue to pursue solutions to deal effectively with current record management problems related to the retrieval of records. 

Recommendation 3

The ATIP Branch should fully implement its policy of promoting and encouraging informal treatment of requests, when it is possible to do so, as a means of providing the requested information in a timely manner.

Recommendation 4

The access to information office should document on their request files, at the time the request is processed, justifications for taking an extension. These justifications should include detailed rationale for being invoked.  

Recommendation 5

The access to information office should provide the Information Commissioner a notice pursuant to subsection 9(2) every time it extends a request beyond 30 days.


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