Section 20(1)(b): Questions

Paragraph -- 20(1)(b)
Statement of Test to be Met
Financial, commercial, scientific or technical information
Relevant Questions Departmental Response Assessment


What does the record describe?

What activity of the third party does this relate to?

Is the activity commercial in nature?

Does the information relate to sales or marketing?

Does it contain proposals to provide services to government?

Does the record contain

  • pricing information
  • work plans
  • costing
  • budgets
  • financial proposals
  • financial analysis
  • financial statements
  • loans, other security
  • business plans or strategy
  • assessment of market potential
  • market research
  • equity, public, private offerings
  • asset valuation
  • leasing costs, etc.


What does the record describe?

What activity of the third party does it describe?

Where does this activity take place?

  • in a lab
  • in a production facility
  • in a research facility

Does the record describe:

  • product standards
  • product specifications
  • production process
  • work methodology
  • production capacity or other production details
  • descriptions of equipment, software or other assets used in production
Statement of Test to be Met
  • Assess degree of specialization, must not be generally available public know-how
Relevant Questions Departmental Response Assessment

How complicated is the process, methodology or work plan?

  • is it specialized?
  • is it unique to the third party?

Does the information convey something beyond what a member of the general public would know or be able to accomplish on their own, without the information?

Statement of Test to be Met
  • Confidential information treated consistently in a confidential manner by a third party
Relevant Questions Departmental Response Assessment

How is the information stored?

  • is it locked?

Is it protected from general access on a computer system?

To whom is the information in the record made available?

  • within the third party
  • outside of the third party

What restrictions are imposed on use of the information when it is circulated?

  • within the third party
  • outside the third party

Is the information contained in a government tender document?

  • if so, on what basis is it confidential

Is the record a response to a call for tenders?

  • if so, has the contract been granted
  • if yes, was the third party awarded the contract
  • have the terms of the contract been publicly disclosed

Was the information generated solely by the third party?

  • if not, by whom
  • did this other person circulate the information or make it available to others?

Why is there a need to keep the information confidential?

Is the information publicly known?

  • disclosure in public government documents
  • estimates, annual reports, to Parliamentary Committees, contracting disclosure, etc.?
  • disclosure in the press
  • general public knowledge
  • how was this knowledge obtained
  • published elsewhere
  • contained in speeches, used in seminars

Is use of the information licensed?

  • how

Are there terms in the licence which prohibit disclosure by the licensee?

Has the government institution maintained the information in a confidential manner?

Where in the government has the information been disclosed?

  • to House of Commons Committee
  • to MPs
  • under what conditions was it provided

How is the information stored by the government?

Is the third party obligated to provide the information under regulations, statutes or during government inspections, investigations?

Would the third party stop providing the information if it was disclosed?

Was there a direction by the third party to the government institution that the information was being supplied on a confidential basis and was to be maintained on a confidential basis?

Is there a history of supplying this information on a confidential basis?

  • how has it been treated in the past

Is there anything about the circumstances or the information which requires that the information be supplied or maintained on a confidential basis?

  • what
  • why
Statement of Test to be Met
Supplied to a government institution by a third party
Relevant Questions Departmental Response Assessment

Is the record authorized by the third party or given to the government by the third party?

  • If not, does the record information supplied by the third party?

Is this information available by observation without the third party providing it?

Was the information obtained during a government official's visit, inspection, or investigation?

Check if subsection 20(2), (5) or (6) applies

  • See grids on these subsections
Date modified:
Submit a complaint