Decisions

Type

163 decisions found

Aug 4
2021

Decision pursuant to 6.1, 2021 OIC 23

Institution
-
Section of the Act
-
Decision Type
6.1 decision
Summary

An institution submitted an application to the Information Commissioner for approval to decline to act on two requests for information under subsection 6.1(1) of the Access to Information Act (the Act). In its application, the institution submitted that the requests are vexatious, made in bad faith and are otherwise an abuse of the right of access. It also maintained that it met its duty to assist the requester in connection with the requests.

The Commissioner found that the institution did not establish that the requests are vexatious, made in bad faith or are otherwise an abuse of the right to make a request. The Commissioner also found that the institution did not establish that it fulfilled its duty to assist obligations under subsection 4(2.1) prior to seeking approval to decline to act on the requests.

The application is denied and the institution is required to act on the access requests.

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Aug 4
2021

Decision pursuant to 6.1, 2021 OIC 24

Institution
-
Section of the Act
-
Decision Type
6.1 decision
Summary

An institution submitted an application to the Information Commissioner for approval to decline to act on four requests for information under section 6.1(1) of the Access to Information Act. The head of the institution was of the opinion that it had met its duty to assist the requester in connection with the requests, and that the requests are an abuse of the right of access because the requester does not have a right of access to the information.

The Commissioner found that the institution not only did not fulfil its duty to assist obligations under subsection 4(2.1) of the Act, but it further failed to establish that the requests amount to an abuse of the right of access.

The Commissioner denied the application.

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Aug 3
2021

Employment and Social Development Canada (Re), 2021 OIC 22

Institution
Employment and Social Development Canada
Section of the Act
30(1)(a)
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The complainant alleged that Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) was incorrect in stating that it could not process an access request under the Access to Information Act. The access request was for records related to a named employee including dates of leave, job grade, letters of offer and salary history. Because the records in question would be the personal information of a named individual who is not the complainant, ESDC did not process the records and claimed that they were outside its control. While the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) agrees that the access request is for the personal information about a named individual who is not the complainant, the investigation concluded that the records at issue are under ESDC’s control. As a result, ESDC ultimately agreed to process the access request. The complaint is well founded.

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Jul 30
2021

Decision pursuant to 6.1, 2021 OIC 21

Institution
-
Section of the Act
-
Decision Type
6.1 decision
Summary

An institution submitted an application to the Information Commissioner for approval to decline to act on a request for information under subsection 6.1(1) of the Access to Information Act. The head of the institution was of the opinion that the request - for emails and other records of communication of any employee, during a specified timeframe, that contain a specific phrase - constitutes an abuse of the right of access.

The Commissioner found that the institution not only did not fulfil its duty to assist obligations under subsection 4(2.1) of the Act, but it further failed to establish that the request is an abuse of the right of access. In addition, it was not apparent that the application for approval to decline to act was submitted in a timely manner.

The Commissioner denied the application.

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Jun 28
2021

Notice under subsection 30(5), 2021 OIC 19

Institution
-
Section of the Act
30
Decision Type
Notices under subsection 30(5)
Summary

The Information Commissioner ceased an investigation, pursuant to paragraph 30(4)(b) of the Access to Information Act.

Paragraph 30(4)(b) allows the Commissioner to refuse or cease to investigate a complaint when, having regard to the circumstances, initiating or continuing the investigation is unnecessary.

In this instance, the Office of the Information Commissioner received a complaint alleging that the complainant did not receive the documents in response to their access request in French.

During the investigation, the institution had the documents translated and sent them to the complainant. In these circumstances, continuing the investigation is unnecessary because the complainant has now received the documents in the official language of their choice.

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Jun 16
2021

Correctional Service Canada (Re), 2021 OIC 18

Institution
Correctional Service of Canada
Section of the Act
19
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The complainant alleged that Correctional Service Canada (CSC) improperly withheld information under subsection 19(1) (personal information) of the Access to Information Act. The complaint centres on a request for an up-to-date copy of an inmate’s carceral file.

The investigation revealed that CSC neither retrieved nor processed the records at issue before applying subsection 19(1) to protect the requested information in its entirety. As a result, CSC could not legitimately maintain that the information meets the criteria for personal information under subsection 19(1). Moreover, without access to the records at issue, delegated officials at CSC could not demonstrate the circumstances that would allow for disclosure of personal information pursuant to subsection 19(2).

The Information Commissioner recommended that the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness proceed with the retrieval and processing of the requested information in its entirety and issue a new response to the complainant by June 30, 2021. The Commissioner of CSC gave notice that CSC would implement the Information Commissioner’s recommendations. The complaint is well founded.

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Jun 1
2021

Decision pursuant to 6.1, 2021 OIC 20

Institution
-
Section of the Act
-
Decision Type
6.1 decision
Summary

An institution submitted an application to the Information Commissioner for approval to decline to act on a request for information under subsection 6.1(1) of the Access to Information Act. The head of the institution was of the opinion that the request - for all internal correspondence of the institution over a period of seven years - constitutes an abuse of the right of access.

The requester declined to make submissions in relation to this application.

The Commissioner found that the institution met its burden of establishing that the access request is an abuse of the right of access. Specifically, the overbroad scope of the request, in combination with the small size of the institution, its limited resources, and the impact upon the institution’s ability to fulfill its mandate all weigh in favour of finding that the request is an abuse of the right of access.

The Commissioner granted the application.

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May 25
2021

Transport Canada (Re), 2021 OIC 17

Institution
Transport Canada
Section of the Act
19
20
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The complainant alleged that Transport Canada improperly withheld under paragraph 20(1)(b) (confidential third-party financial, commercial, scientific or technical information) of the Access to Information Act information related to mediation services provided by the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution (CICR). Transport Canada applied paragraph 20(1)(b) to information contained in invoices billed by CICR. In its representations, CICR maintained that the exemption was properly applied. The Information Commissioner agreed that the third party’s hourly rate and the number of hours billed were properly withheld as it would reveal commercial information and CICR has consistently treated this information as confidential. However, the Information Commissioner concluded that the description of services billed, the dates of services, the subtotal of charges, the amount of taxes applied, the “total amount” and the “amount paid” cannot be withheld under paragraph 20(1)(b) as they do not meet the criteria set out in that paragraph.

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May 19
2021

Notice under subsection 30(5), 2021 OIC 16

Institution
-
Section of the Act
30(5)
Decision Type
Notices under subsection 30(5)
Summary

The Information Commissioner ceased an investigation, pursuant to paragraph 30(4)(b) of the Access to Information Act.

Paragraph 30(4)(b) allows the Commissioner to refuse or cease to investigate a complaint when initiating or continuing the investigation is unnecessary, including when the matter has already been the subject of an investigation or final report.

In this instance, the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) has already investigated and issued a final report on an identical matter—that is, allegations that the institution did not conduct a reasonable search for records created in the 1990’s.

The OIC informed the complainant that it was considering ceasing the investigation on the basis that it had already investigated an identical matter and offered an opportunity to the complainant to provide representations. The complainant did not respond.

No evidence suggesting that this matter is different has been provided to the OIC.

In light of the above, continuing this investigation was unnecessary.

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May 19
2021

Health Canada (Re), 2021 OIC 15

Institution
Health Canada
Section of the Act
9(1)
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The complainant alleges that Health Canada did not respond to an access request for information regarding problems with implantable medical devices, within the time limits set out in the Access to Information Act.

Health Canada claimed a time extension based on paragraphs 9(1)(a) and 9(1)(c) and consulted nine (9) third parties, one of which opposed the release of its information and applied to the Federal Court for a review. During the investigation, the third party withdrew its application for judicial review. Health Canada failed to provide a response within the extended time limit and was deemed to have refused access to the requested records.

The Information Commissioner recommended that Health Canada provide a final response to the complainant by May 26, 2021.The Minister of Health agreed to implement the recommendation. 

The complaint is well founded.

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