2012-2013 Canada Post Corporation

Canada Post Corporation operates Canada’s postal delivery service, running more than 6,600 post offices across the country and processing 45 million pieces of mail per business day. Canada Post was one of the 70 institutions that became subject to the Access to Information Act in 2006 and 2007 under the Federal Accountability Act.

Canada Post received 105 requests in 2012-13, an increase of 30 requests (40%) compared to 2011-12 (75 requests). Despite the increase, the Corporation showed signs of improvements in 2012-13 compared to 2011-12, both in terms of timeliness and disclosure of information. However, its performance continues to be below the government-wide levels.

Canada Post completed 88.8% of all requests in its inventory in 2012-13, an improvement from the previous year (73.7%). As a result, it was able to reduce the number of requests it carried over into 2013-14. The average time to complete a request in 2012 was 301 days.Footnote 1 Footnote 2

Requests received in 2012-13 came primarily from the media (38.1%) and members of the public (37.1%).

Table 1: Workload

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Number of requests received 75 105 40.00%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 16 44 175.00%
Average number of pages processed per request closed 259 161 -98
% of requests for which more than 1000 pages were processed 5.56% 5.65% 0.09%
Note: The average number of pages processed per request closed and the percentage of requests for which more than 1,000 pages were processed are calculated from the total of requests completed for which the information was disclosed (in part or totally), exempted/excluded and for requests abandoned. It excludes requests completed for the following dispositions: no records exist, requests transferred and requests treated informally.

Canada Post reported that the majority of requests received were complex in nature. Many involved complex business issues and generated large volumes of records that required in-depth review. However, according to the statistical report, the volume of pages processed per request closed was lower in 2012-13 (161 pages) compared to the previous reporting period (259 pages). 5.7% of requests required processing 1,000 pages or more in 2012-13, a proportion similar to 2011-12 (5.6%).


About 39.3% of the requests closed in 2012-13 were completed within 30 days, which is significantly lower than the government-wide average (64.8%). The number of requests completed within 121 days or more also went down from 68 requests (49.6%) in 2011-12 to 38 (28.2%) in 2012-13.

Canada Post completed 35 requests past the statutory deadline, which represents about 26% of all requests closed in 2012-13 (compared to 52% in 2011/12). This proportion represents an “F” grade. Footnote 3  Footnote 4

Of the 35 late requests completed in 2012-13, 32 were more than 365 days late. Canada Post reported that workload was the only reason why all late requests were closed past the statutory deadline. This is similar to the reporting period 2011-12, where workload was invoked for the 71 requests closed late in 2011-12.

Each year, the OIC receives notices regarding the use of extensions for more than 30 days and compiles this information in order to generate statistics. In 2012-13, the OIC received 14 notices of extension from Canada Post, which represented a total of 18 separate extensions.


The number of extensions decreased in 2012-13. The length of extensions tended to be for more than 30 days (61.1 % of the time).

The vast majority (75.9 %) of extensions were taken under section 9(1)(a) (interference with operations).


Of the requests completed, 18.5% were disclosed entirely, which represents a 6.8% increase compared to 2011-12. The proportion of pages processed that were disclosed also increased significantly from 39.2% in 2011-12 to 51.5% in 2012-13.

Table 2: Performance

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Completion of Requests
Completion rate 73.66% 88.82% 15.16%
Completion Time
% of requests closed within 30 days 25.55% 39.26% 13.71%
% of requests closed past statutory deadline 51.82% 25.93% -25.89%
% of consultations from government institution closed within 30 days 36.84% 67.57% 30.73%
% of extensions of 30 days or less 27.85% 38.89% 11.04%
Level of Disclosure
% of pages processed that were disclosed 39.15% 51.51% 12.36%
% of requests closed for which the information was disclosed entirely 11.68% 18.52% 6.84%
Note: The completion rate represents the number of requests completed divided by the total number of requests on hand, which includes the new requests received and the requests carried over from the previous reporting period.


In 2012-13, the OIC received 8 complaints against Canada Post (7 refusal complaints and 1 administrative complaint).

Three complaints are pending (as of May 2014), one was well-founded, two were not well-founded and two complaints were discontinued.


Footnote 1

Based on response to parliamentary written question Q-485. Canada Post responded to the parliamentary written question Q-485 using calendar year data. We were later informed by Canada Post that the average number of days to complete a request for the fiscal year 2012-13 was 213 days.

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Footnote 2

This number reflects the completion of older access requests that were carried over from previous reporting periods.

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Footnote 3

The 2007-08 OIC report card grading system was used to estimate the grade: A=0 to 5%, B= 5 to 10%, C=10 to 15%, D=15% to 20%, F=more than 20%.

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Footnote 4

Under the heading “completion time” in its Annual Report, Canada Post isolated statistics for requests “received and completed” in 2012-13. Under this methodology, its backlog is not considered when calculating completion times. As a result, Canada Post states 100% of the requests it received and completed in 2012-13 were closed on time.

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