2014-2015 Release of procedural information unlikely to harm law enforcement

Complaint: The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) refused to release two pages of instructions for preparing letters it had sent to registered charities reminding them of limits on their political activities.

Investigation: The institution cited section 16, noting that disclosing the instructions would prejudice future enforcement of the Income Tax Act. However, the OIC found that CRA could not substantiate the harm that could occur if procedural information of this type were disclosed.

Outcome: CRA subsequently released the two pages to the requester.

Information Commissioner’s position

  • Institutions withholding information under section 16 must be able to demonstrate how disclosure could genuinely injure its law enforcement activities.
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