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Report Cards 2008-2009

Year


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Canadian International Development Agency

Recommendations

1. The Office of the Information Commissioner recommends that the office of the Minister for International Cooperation strictly follow the delegation order in order to eliminate inappropriate levels of approval.

Response

CIDA has consulted with other government departments and has identified best approvals practices.

A new process will be put in place whereby the minister’s office will be informed of a disclosure of documents 72 hours before release.

Follow-up

CIDA can assure your Office that the Minister for International Cooperation follows the ATIP delegation order in place.

In addition, a process was put in place at the beginning of fiscal year 2010-11 where the Minister’s office receives a copy of the release package, for information only, 72 hours before disclosure. No approval is required.

ADDITIONAL ACTION REQUIRED

Ongoing monitoring takes place to ensure there are no delays through this process.

2. The Office of the Information Commissioner recommends that the Canadian International Development Agency develop and implement a multi-year plan to improve compliance with the Access to Information Act, with particular attention to eliminating the backlog.

Response

CIDA’s access to information program has proactively taken steps to improve compliance and eliminate its backlog.

CIDA is developing a multi-year plan to improve compliance with the Act and prevent a future backlog. CIDA is concurrently implementing focused measures to eliminate the backlog by the end of the 2009–2010 fiscal year.  

In the short term, CIDA hired (in July 2009) two consultants to work on the backlog. In addition, senior management is actively involved in updating internal procedures, carrying out proper staffing actions, restructuring the access to information office, and delivering awareness and training sessions to CIDA’s managers and staff.

On an ongoing basis, CIDA will put new procedures, training and awareness initiatives in place and update the multi-year plan to improve compliance with the Access to Information Act on an annual basis.

Follow-up

The ATIP Office has focused on measures to eliminate the backlog and has successfully eliminated 99 backlog files out of 102. The three (3) remaining files – involving approximately 40,000 pages and requiring mandatory consultations at the international level – are being processed and should be finalized by March 31, 2011.

Note that CIDA’s compliance rate has improved from 47% last year to 90% as of October 18, 2010.

ATIP has developed and implemented internal procedures, carried out staffing actions (fully staffed), restructured the ATIP Office and delivered 20 awareness/training sessions to CIDA’s managers, staff and liaison officers.

ATIP continues to improve its procedures, provide in-house and on-the-job training to its ATIP specialists to improve compliance with the Access to Information Act on a regular basis.

Every few months, the ATIP Coordinator updates the senior level Corporate Management Committee of CIDA on progress with respect to the implementation of CIDA’s ATIP plan.

ADDITIONAL ACTION REQUIRED

A multi-year plan will be developed by the end of this fiscal-year to ensure compliance is ongoing.

The procedures manual is being updated as required, on an ongoing basis.

Employee awareness/training sessions are ongoing and scheduled to take place on an annual basis.

3. The Office of the Information Commissioner recommends that the Canadian International Development Agency develop protocols with other federal institutions to facilitate timely consultations.

Response

CIDA’s access to information program has come to agreement with other federal institutions to facilitate timely consultations. Access advisors are asked to discuss extensions for some types of request for consultations with other federal institutions, when required, and to follow up with the consultee on a regular basis once the deadline has been reached.

We have already reached agreement with key partners: Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, National Defence and the ?Department of Justice Canada. An agreement has been in place with the Privy Council Office with regard to exclusions since December 15, 2009.

Follow-up

ATIP has reached agreements with key partners: DFAIT, DND, DOJ with respect to consultations delays and extensions.

ATIP specialists discuss extensions when required with other departments.

ATIP procedure manual refers to the time extensions required for consultation with several institutions.

ADDITIONAL ACTION REQUIRED

Ongoing discussions take place with our partners regarding time required for mandatory consultations. It is important to note that due to the type of mandatory consultations ATIP undertakes at the international level, time is an issue.

4. The Office of the Information Commissioner recommends that the Canadian International Development Agency’s director of access to information ensure that, when closing access request files related to outstanding mandatory consultations, requesters are informed that additional records may be forthcoming, that they will be informed of the outcome of the consultations even if no additional records were to be released, and that they have the right to complain to the Office of the Information Commissioner at each stage of the process.

Response

A process to inform requesters when closing access request files with outstanding mandatory consultations and informing them of their right to complain to the OIC at each stage of the process has been in place since the fall of 2009.

A special paragraph is included in the response to inform requesters whether there are any outstanding records in consultations, and all of our correspondence includes the paragraph informing requesters that they have the right to complain to the OIC at each stage of the process.

Follow-up

As mentioned in our earlier response, a process to inform requesters when closing access request files with outstanding mandatory consultations and informing them of their rights to complaint to the OIC at each stage of the process has been in place since fall 2009.

A special paragraph is included in the response to inform requesters whether there are any outstanding records in consultations and that additional records may be forthcoming. The response to requesters also notes that they will be informed of the outcome of the consultations and that they have the right to complain to the OIC. 

ADDITIONAL ACTION REQUIRED

No additional action is required.

Note: Files are kept in a separate filing cabinet in the ATIP Office to ensure follow-up is completed with consulted sources and file is processed accordingly.

5. The Office of the Information Commissioner recommends that the Canadian International Development Agency contact the institution it intends to consult for an estimate of the turnaround time and only extend the request by the specified amount of time.

Response

Refer to our response to recommendation 3, above.

Follow-up

Refer to # 3 above.

6. The Office of the Information Commissioner recommends that the Canadian International Development Agency comply with the Act and notify the Office of the Information Commissioner of all the extensions it takes for more than 30 days.

Response

A process notifying the OIC of all the extensions of more than 30 days has always been in place.

CIDA will continue to follow the notification process, which includes informing the OIC of all the extensions it takes for more than 30 days.

Follow-up

As mentioned earlier a process has always been in place notifying the OIC of all the extensions of more than 30 days.

ATP will continue to follow the notification process, which includes informing the OIC of all the extensions it takes for more than 30 days.

ADDITIONAL ACTION REQUIRED

No additional action is required.

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