Confirm whether information is already available before applying exemptions

Complaint: The Bank of Canada applied various exemptions to notes that discussed the results of any economic model of the Canadian dollar.

Investigation: The investigation revealed that the information was already available on the Bank’s website. The investigator directed the complainant to find it there.

Outcome: The requester confirmed that he found the information on the website.

Information Commissioner’s position

  • Before refusing to release information or applying exemptions, institutions must confirm whether information is already available—in this case, on the institution’s website. Doing so may mean requesters get the information they seek more quickly than otherwise.
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