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Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Part A:       Requests carried over from the prior fiscal year (2009-2010)
1. Number of requests carried over: 46
2. Requests carried over from the prior fiscal year— in a deemed-refusal situation on the first day of the new fiscal year 9
Part B:       New requests received in fiscal year 2010-2011 (Exclude requests included in Part A)
3. Number of requests received during the fiscal period 492
4.A How many were completed during fiscal year 2010-2011 within the statutory 30-day time limit? 356
4.B How many were completed during fiscal year 2010-2011 beyond the statutory 30-day time limit where no extension was claimed? 3
4.C How long after the expiry of the statutory 30-day time
limit did it take to complete the request where no extension was claimed?
  1-30 days: 2
  31-60 days: 1
  61-90 days: 0
  Over 91 days: 0
5. How many were extended pursuant to section 9? 70
6.A How many were completed during fiscal year 2010-2011 within the extended time limit? 64
6.B How many were completed during fiscal year 2010-2011 after exceeding the extended time limit? 6
6.C How long after the expiry of the extended deadline did it take to respond?  
  1-30 days: 3
  31-60 days: 2
  61-90 days: 0
  Over 91 days: 1
7. Number of requests received in 2010-2011 that were carried over to 2011-2012? 63
8. As of April 1st, 2011, how many requests which were received in the 2010-2011 reporting period are in a deemed-refusal situation? 1
Part C:       Workload
9. What is the number of pages reviewed for requests completed in:  
  2008-2009? 65,898
  2009-2010? 107,039
  2010-2011? 106,518
10. What is the number of consultations requests received  in:  
  2008-2009? 127
  2009-2010? 91
  2010-2011? 148
Part D:       Contributing Factors
11. 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). These may include:
  • Requests for large volume of records

  • Approval process of access requests

  • Difficulties to retrieve records (OPI turnaround time)

  • Staff shortages / resources

  • Requests filed in bulk

  • Consultations with other institutions

  • Others

The three most significant issues affecting our institution’s ability to respond to access to information requests in a timely manner are requests for large volume of records, requests filed in bulk, and consultations with other institutions.   These factors are, to a great extent, beyond our control as administrators of the Access to Information Act, yet they are key in our ability to ensure the Department meets its statutory timelines.  When possible, the ATIP Office will negotiate with applicants with respect to requests for large volumes of records and bulk requests, will claim the necessary extensions when appropriate, often responds prior to the expiration of the extended time limit, follows up on consultations, and provides interim (partial) responses to requesters.
12. Please describe any practices or policies developed/undertaken by your institution to improve the timely delivery of your access to information program 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

Below is an excerpt from the Department’s 2009-2010 annual report on the Administration of the Access to Information Act.  It summarizes key steps of our process, a process which contributes or our performance with respect to timeliness. 

“Except for specific circumstances in which an extension can be claimed, the Access to Information Act provides 30 calendar days for responding to requests. Given these strict timeframes, and the Department’s commitment to respect the spirit and the letter of the legislation, the following processes and responsibilities are clearly established at HRSDC:

  • Retrieval of Relevant Records and Formulation of Recommendations:  Targeted branches and regions (offices of primary interest) are allotted eight working days to retrieve complete and accurate records in response to requests, and provide them, along with recommendations, to the ATIP Division.

  • Line-by-line Review of the Responsive Records:  The Operations Section of the ATIP Division is provided with eight working days to do a thorough line-by-line review of the records and to invoke the limited and specific exemption and exclusion provisions that are applicable.

  • Seen and Noted Signatures, and copies for information:  If requested, the Executive Head of the targeted branch or region is provided a copy of the release package and is given four working days to provide his or her signature indicating that he or she is aware that the records are being released, (i.e., for seen and noted purposes). At the same time that the records are provided to the office of primary interest, departmental communications officials and employees from the Minister’s Office are also given a copy of the package for information only, when requested. Some files may require the preparation of media lines. The ATIP Division’s involvement in communications activities is limited to informing officials of new requests and upcoming releases, and sharing copies of records. The preparation of communications products is undertaken by communications and branch officials, and does not impact the timely processing of access to information requests.

The three steps described above account for a total of 20 working days, corresponding to the 30 calendar days permitted under the legislation.”The Department also prepares and distributes an ATI Management Report to senior management.  The report indicates the number of working days taken by each office of primary interest in fulfilling its responsibilities in response to access to information requests, as well as the internal objectives for each task.
Part E:       Completion Time
13. What is the average completion time for all requests completed in 2010-2011?
45.3 calendar days
Part F:        Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act
14. Please attach your institution’s completed Report on the Access to Information (Form TBS/SCT 350-62) for 2008-2009, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. For institutions on a fiscal year other than April 1st-March 31st, include any supplemental reports where available.