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Canadian Heritage

Part A:       Requests carried over from the prior fiscal year (2009-2010)
1. Number of requests carried over: 137
2. Requests carried over from the prior fiscal year— in a deemed-refusal situation on the first day of the new fiscal year 110
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 253
4.A How many were completed during fiscal year 2010-2011 within the statutory 30-day time limit? 164
4.B How many were completed during fiscal year 2010-2011 beyond the statutory 30-day time limit where no extension was claimed? 0
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: 0
  31-60 days: 0
  61-90 days: 0
  Over 91 days: 0
5. How many were extended pursuant to section 9? 77
6.A How many were completed during fiscal year 2010-2011 within the extended time limit? 45
6.B How many were completed during fiscal year 2010-2011 after exceeding the extended time limit? 0
6.C How long after the expiry of the extended deadline did it take to respond?  
  1-30 days: 0
  31-60 days: 0
  61-90 days: 0
  Over 91 days: 0
7. Number of requests received in 2010-2011 that were carried over to 2011-2012? 44
8. As of April 1st, 2011, how many requests which were received in the 2010-2011 reporting period are in a deemed-refusal situation? 2
Part C:       Workload
9. What is the number of pages reviewed for requests completed in:  
  2008-2009? 31033
  2009-2010? 20860
  2010-2011? 45547
10. What is the number of consultations requests received  in:  
  2008-2009? 106
  2009-2010? 115
  2010-2011? 110
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

Deemed Refusal rate     110 + 0 + 0 + 2     =        28.7%
                                              137 + 253   

Since the original report card for 2008-2009 the ATIP Secretariat has instituted many process changes to improve the timeliness in responding to requests.  Factors that continue to contribute to delays in responding to requests are requests for a large volume of records and consultations with other institutions.

Applicants who submit large complex requests are often disappointed in the time that it takes to process these requests.  The program areas have difficulty retrieving and preparing the relevant records.  The time required by the ATIP officer to organize and review the records can be lengthy.  Consultations with other government institutions can be time consuming due to the large volume of material.  It is easy for these requests to miss due dates as it burdens the whole ATI process.  Communicating with the applicants up front can reduce these requests but it does not eliminate them.

Consultations with other government institutions can cause a request to be delayed.  The workload of the institutions required to receive and review these consultations directly affects the outcome of the originating department’s request.  When consultations are mandatory the department must wait for the response before the request can be completed for the applicant.  Interim responses can be provided to the applicant but that is not a complete request.  Departments must be able to communicate and work closely together to reduce the delays.     

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

Ensuring sufficient qualified staff to process the incoming requests is the most important factor in providing timely responses to applicants.  With an increase in qualified staff the Canadian Heritage ATIP office has been able to be more proactive in clarifying requests with applicants and in working with program areas to retrieve relevant records.  ATIP officers with a workload that can be properly managed can process requests in an efficient manner.  Interim releases to requests can be carried out.

To improve the timely delivery of requests Canadian Heritage has also reviewed and streamlined the access to information process, with steps being eliminated and response times being established for each required step.  This has greatly assisted in the meeting of legislated deadlines.

The increase of training and awareness sessions for Departmental employees has increased the general understanding of the requirements of the legislation. 

To show a commitment to the Access to Information legislation, Canadian Heritage starting in fiscal year 2010-2011 made ATIP a corporate commitment in executive performance agreements.

Part E:       Completion Time
13. What is the average completion time for all requests completed in 2010-2011?
Average completion time for all requests  is 185 days*
Average completion time for requests received in 2010-2011  is  36 days *The number includes a large number of backlog requests that were              completed in 2010-2011.
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.