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Follow-up on an institution assessed in 2007–2008
Library and Archives Canada
Library and Archives Canada is responsible for preserving the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of current and future generations, serving as a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all. Library and Archives Canada facilitates Canada’s cooperation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge, and serves as the memory bank for the Government of Canada and its institutions.
Follow-up on 2007–2008 report card
Library and Archives Canada received a strong report card in 2007–2008, with an above average rating of 4.5 stars and a deemed refusal rate of just 2.1 percent, which was the best of all the institutions surveyed. The Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) said, however, that the institution’s ample use of time extensions might have contributed to this impressive result. The OIC recommended to Library and Archives Canada that it reduce its reliance on lengthy time extensions for consulting with other federal institutions, which it did in 2008–2009 by continuing to work in close collaboration with National Defence and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. This close collaboration is, indeed, a good practice that shortens consultation time. The institution also worked on implementing an information management strategy to facilitate the retrieval of records and actively participated in developing Treasury Board’s Directive on Recordkeeping. Library and Archives Canada’s success may also be attributed to its treating requests informally whenever possible. The bottom line at Library and Archives Canada is that access to information is a mandatory service to Canadians; hence, senior officials recognize, support and fund the access to information function. The access to information office also takes a business-like approach to ensuring that requests are dealt with in the most effective and efficient manner. Overall, the OIC is satisfied with how Library and Archives Canada implemented the recommendations in the 2007–2008 report card.
Given Library and Archives Canada’s excellent progress in ensuring compliance with the Access to Information Act, and the small number of delay-related complaints (complaints about requests completed late and problems associated with time extensions that institutions take to process requests) to the OIC during 2008–2009, the OIC did not select this institution for this year’s report card process.