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Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Part A: Requests carried over from the prior fiscal year (2008-2009)

1. Number of requests carried over: 6
2. Requests carried over from the prior fiscal year— in a deemed-refusal situation on the first day of the new fiscal year 0

Part B: New Requests received in fiscal year 2009-2010— Exclude requests included in Part A

3. Number of requests received during the fiscal period 52
4.A How many were completed during fiscal year 2009-2010withinthe statutory 30-day time limit? 47
4.B How many were completed during fiscal year 2009-2010 beyond the statutory 30-day time limitwhere no extension was claimed ? 0
4.C How long after the expiry of the statutory 30-day timelimit did it take to complete the requestwhere no extension was claimed ? 0
  1-30 days: 0
  31-60 days: 0
  61-90 days: 0
  Over 91 days: 0
5. How many were extended pursuant to section 9? 4
6.A How many were completed during fiscal year 2009-2010withinthe extended time limit? 3
6.B How many were completed during fiscal year 2009-2010 after exceeding the extended time limit? 0
6.C How long after the expiry of the extended deadline did it take to respond? 0
  1-30 days: 0
  31-60 days: 0
  61-90 days: 0
  Over 91 days: 0
7. Number of requests received in 2009-2010 that were carried over to 2010-2011? 1
8. As of April 1 st , 2010, how many requests which were received in 2009-2010 are in a deemed-refusal situation? 0

Part C: Workload

9. What is the number of pages reviewed for requests completed in 2009-2010? 8,175
10. What is the number of consultations requests received in 2009-2010? 2

Part D: Contributing Factors


Please describe the most significant issues that affected your institution’s ability to respond to access to information requests in a timely manner (within 30 days and/or statutory timelines) since becoming subject to the Act. These may include:

  • Requests for large volume of records
  • Approval process of access requests
  • Difficulties to retrieve records (OPIs turnaround time)
  • Staff shortages
  • Requests filed in bulk
  • Consultations with other institutions
  • Others
The OPC has no significant issues to report. We have been able to respond in a timely manner to all requests that were received since we have been subject to the ATIA.

Please describe any practices or policies developed/undertaken by your institution to improve the timely delivery of your access to information program since becoming subject to the Act and where possible, indicate how successful these practices/policies have been. These may include:

  • Informal treatment of requests
  • Streamlined approval process
  • Partial release of records
  • Fast track process for common requests
  • Others

These are some of the practices or policies developed/undertaken by the OPC in order to ensure timely delivery of the access to information program since becoming subject to the Act:

-Strategic planning and office set-up: Although the OPC was not subject to the ATIA until April 1, 2007, the ATIP Unit was staffed in February 2007 in order to begin the process of setting up the Unit. Given that the OPC was newly subject to ATIP responsibilities, the early focus was on administrative work that needed to be done. One of the first requirements was to ensure that information about the OPC was provided to the Treasury Board Secretariat. In early May 2007 all of the OPC’s Sources of Federal Employee Information – Standard Personal Information Banks (PIBs) and Sources of Federal Government Information – Standard Banks were registered with the Secretariat. The Secretariat was also provided initial information about the OPC to be included in Info Source such as background information, the OPC’s responsibilities, descriptions of and contacts for each OPC Branch, and the location of the OPC reading room. A review of all of the OPC’s record holdings was then undertaken to ensure that all non-standard bank information would be included in the next edition of Info Source.  

-Approval process that delegates all signing authority (except for Subsection 8(2)(m)) to the ATIP Director: Under section 73 of the ATIA the Privacy Commissioner, as the head of the OPC, delegated her authority to the Director General of Corporate Services and to the ATIP Director with respect to the application of the ATIA and its Regulations.  

- Hired experienced staff: 2 FTE’s with extensive experience and knowledge planned created and administered the ATIP Division when the OPC became subject to the Act.  

-Openness and transparency: The OPC has included a section on its website entitled “Access to Information and Privacy” which provides the public with information about the ATIA, including how to request access to information that is under the control of the OPC.  

-Developed a Process and Compliance Manual: This manual describes all of the steps taken by the ATIP Unit in the processing of requests under both the ATIA and the Privacy Act. It provides extensive information on a wide variety of subjects, e.g. responsibilities of employees in their retrieval of the information, the legislative time constraints, exemptions and exclusions, the complaint and investigation process, etc. It also contains the ATIP policy with respect to fees and fee waivers.  

-Policies/Guidelines were developed: The ATIP Director sits on the OPC’s Policy Development Committee and has played a collaborative role in the planning, development and updating of OPC policies, procedures and directives in order to ensure that the ATIA is respected. The following Policies and Guidelines have been developed:

  • Directive / Procedures Concerning Section 67.1 of the Access to Information Act
  • Employee Privacy Policy
  • Privacy Breach Policy
  • Privacy Policy
-Mandatory training for all OPC employees: While preparing formal Access to Information Act training for OPC employees, in the interim, the ATIP Unit prepared a “Preliminary Guideline for Processing Requests Pursuant to the Access to Information Act” which was distributed to each branch head in June 2007 and which was published on the Intranet as a reference guide with respect to employees’ roles and responsibilities in the OPC’s new “Atipable” environment. Four ATIA Awareness Sessions were given to OPC employees in June 2007 followed by two sessions in March 2008. In all some 125 employees received the training—the vast majority of staff. The Privacy Commissioner directed that this training be mandatory for all staff, including those working with the OPC on contract or on a temporary basis. Sessions are given at least once a year in order to ensure that new staff receive the training as well.

Part E: Building Capacity

As a newly-subject institution to the Act, please describe the implementation process and measures to build your institution’s capacity to respond to access to information requests. This may include resource allocation, infrastructure, internal support, and/or foundational work such as policy or planning documents.

Prior to becoming subject to the Act, many discussions/meetings took place regarding setting up the ATIP shop for our office. The OPC is a small Organization and the ATIP Division is small as well. (2 FTE’S) Should the OPC receive many additional requests under the Act, we would certainly add resources.

Based on good strategic planning, excellent internal support and the development of these policies/Directives/Guidelines, awareness sessions, process and compliance manual, approval process and experienced personnel the OPC has been able to provide an excellent service to their requesters.

Part F: Completion Time

What is the average completion time for all requests completed in 2009-2010?
20.88 days

Part G: Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act

15. Please attach your institution’s completed Report on theAccess to Information(Form TBS/SCT 350-62) for 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. For institutions on a fiscal year other than April 1 st -March 31 st , include any supplemental reports where available.