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National Defence and the Canadian Forces

Part A:       Requests carried over from the prior fiscal year (2009-2010)
1. Number of requests carried over: 306
2. Requests carried over from the prior fiscal year— in a deemed-refusal situation on the first day of the new fiscal year 73
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 1483
4.A How many were completed during fiscal year 2010-2011 within the statutory 30-day time limit? 648
4.B How many were completed during fiscal year 2010-2011 beyond the statutory 30-day time limit where no extension was claimed? 15
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: 10
  31-60 days: 2
  61-90 days: 2
  Over 91 days: 1
5. How many were extended pursuant to section 9? 755
6.A How many were completed during fiscal year 2010-2011 within the extended time limit? 450
6.B How many were completed during fiscal year 2010-2011 after exceeding the extended time limit? 60
6.C How long after the expiry of the extended deadline did it take to respond?  
  1-30 days: 30
  31-60 days: 16
  61-90 days: 4
  Over 91 days: 10
7. Number of requests received in 2010-2011 that were carried over to 2011-2012? 310
8. As of April 1st, 2011, how many requests which were received in the 2010-2011 reporting period are in a deemed-refusal situation? 17
Part C:       Workload
9. What is the number of pages reviewed for requests completed in:  
  2008-2009? 188 272
  2009-2010? 242 715
  2010-2011? 253 002
10. What is the number of consultations requests received  in:  
  2008-2009? 451
  2009-2010? 353
  2010-2011? 485
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

  Some delays can still be attributed to the time it takes for other institutions to respond to consultations. Many applicants continue to submit bulk requests.  These are due on the same date and often are for similar information, which can overwhelm a single office trying to respond in a timely manner.  While the ATIP office is resourced to handle large numbers of files, some offices may be receiving their first requests and cannot be expected to be resourced in the event of a large ATI request.  The ATIP office works with these offices and with the applicant to mitigate these circumstances where possible.
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

  • Clearing the Backlog - In this reporting period a policy was initiated by the ATIP Coordinator to close all late files, starting with the oldest - regardless of size or complexity.  The result of this was dramatic in that DND ATIP entered FY 2011-2012 with absolutely no active files that were received before FY 2010-2011.  The long term positive result is the elimination of the backlog of old files and the ability to concentrate solely on current files.  Besides the fact that some newer files may have gone into deemed refusal as effort was concentrated on the older files, the primary negative result is that the average completion time statistic was affected for this reporting period.  With so many older files being closed in the same period, the average number of days to complete shows as high as can be seen in the response to question 13.  Although this number is high, it is a fair improvement over the last report card period (2008-2009) and will drop again in 2011-2012.

  • Streamlining Requests - The ATI Tasking Team has the primary responsibility of tasking out requests to the correct information holding sections of the department and tracking the progress of those taskings until records are received for processing. This team was directed during this reporting period to concentrate on improving two principal procedures and were successful in doing so.  First, they improved the documentation of the decision making process regarding the claiming of time extensions and improved the process by which estimates are made for the length of extensions.  The team has created and utilized improved extension rationale forms that require a higher level of review and sign-off before an extension beyond 30 days can be claimed. The time for consultations with other institutions subject to the Act are now based, when possible, on estimates that have been obtained from the institution being consulted.  A list is maintained containing the most recent estimates from those institutions contacted for this purpose.  The second improvement in service implemented by the Tasking Team involves contacting and assisting applicants to re-scope their requests as necessary.  Requests are now reviewed more closely to determine if they fall within the scope of section 6 of the Act and accordingly provide sufficient detail to enable an experienced employee of the institution with a reasonable effort to identify the record.  These requests are also reviewed to determine if they constitute more than a single request.  This has resulted in the opening of a larger number of clearly worded separate requests on a single topic rather than fewer large, complex, multi-topic requests.  The main advantage gained is that the larger number of simpler request can be processed concurrently by different analysts and be completed more quickly than the large complex requests that can bog down a single analyst and result in delays for the applicant.

  • Fast-Tracking a Common Request - During this reporting period, the DND ATIP Directorate revised the process with 412 Squadron for retrieval of challenger jet information.  This squadron is responsible for VIP transportation for such dignitaries as the Prime Minister, Governor General and visiting heads of foreign states.  As such, the manifests for Squadron flights are the subject of frequent requests.  There is now a monthly reporting system in which the information is automatically sent to the DND ATIP directorate, often prior to requests being received.   This has expedited the processing time of such requests considerably.

  • Indicators of Success – DND ATIP staff has established better relationships with applicants and has been complimented on their efforts and thanked for keeping the applicants more informed as to progress on their request.  As this is anecdotal, a review of the statistics from the Information Commissioner’s Annual Reports to Parliament can provide numbers to indicate a trend towards greater applicant satisfaction. According to the OIC reports, the number of new complaints received against DND were as follows:

    • 2010-2011 - 64

    • 2009-2010 - 100

    • 2008-2009 – 226

    • 2007-2008 - 256

  • This represents a 75% decrease in new complaints received per year over this time period.

Part E:       Completion Time
13. What is the average completion time for all requests completed in 2010-2011?
94.5 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.