Paragraph 9(1)(c) covers only consultations with third parties on commercial information

Complaint: The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) took a 60-day time extension under paragraph 9(1)(c) to consult the House of Commons about requested briefing materials for the appearance of TBS officials before a parliamentary committee.

Investigation: TBS noted that it is not clear what the proper procedure is for responding to requests for records that may be covered by parliamentary privilege. The institution also stated that, in taking the time extension, it was following common practice.

Outcome: Since parliamentary privilege did not cover any of the records at issue, the extension was invalid.

Information Commissioner’s position

  • Paragraph 9(1)(c) was not intended to be used to consult the House of Commons.
  • Rather, it was designed to accommodate consultations with third parties about records that could be considered confidential commercial information, as described in section 20.
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