2012-2013 Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) was established in 2004 by the Library and Archives of Canada Act and combines the functions of the former National Archives of Canada and the National Library of Canada. Its mandate includes the preservation of the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations, as well as serving as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

In 2012-13, LAC received 900 requests, an increase of 9.6% compared to 2011-12 (821 requests). LAC is also in the top 10 institutions in terms of requests received under the ATIA, representing about 1.6% of all requests received in 2012-13. Its performance was similar to that of 2011-12. Despite receiving about 10% more requests and processing significantly more pages (101% increase), it performed above government-wide results.

Among all active requests (1,037), 874 requests were closed during the reporting period—a completion rate of 84% (compared to 86% in 2011-12).

A vast majority of the requests received by LAC each year come from members of the public. However, the proportion of requests received from this category of requesters has slowly declined: from about 90%, in 2002-03, down to 69% in 2012-13. The proportion of requests received from members of academia, however, increased to 22.2% in 2012-13.

In addition to the formal requests received, LAC reported the completion of 5,361 informal requests that are not captured in the statistical report. This is about 24.2% less than in 2011-12.Footnote 1

Table 1: Workload

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Number of requests received 821 900 9.62%
Number of consultations received (from other government institutions) 31 41 32.26%
Average number of pages processed per requests closed 324 652 328
% of requests for which more than 1000 pages were processed 7.11% 17.96% 10.85%
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.

The volume of pages processed by LAC increased significantly in 2012-13 compared to the previous reporting period. About 18% of the requests required the processing of more than 1,000 pages, compared to 7.1% in 2011-12. Additionally, the average number of pages processed per request for 2012-13 was also higher than in 2011-12 (652 pages compared to 324).Footnote 2 A large number of pages processed in 2012-13 were disclosed (92.5%).


LAC responded to 650 requests within 30 days or less, which represents about 74.4% of the requests closed in 2012-13. This proportion is also similar to the one achieved in 2011-12 (74.8%). This is also 10% higher than the results observed government-wide. The proportion of requests completed within more than 120 days increased from 11% in 2011-12 to 14% in 2012-13.

The proportion of requests completed that were closed past the statutory deadline decreased in 2012-13 compared to 2011-12, from 5.5% to 2.8%. This is one of the lowest proportion of requests completed past the statutory deadline achieved government-wide, representing an “A”Footnote 3 grade.

External consultation was invoked as the principal reason for not meeting statutory deadlines (in18 cases out of 24).


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 223 notices of extension from LAC, which represented a total of 304 separate extensions.

LAC took a total of 265 extensions to close the 874 requests completed in 2012-13. In comparison, 223 extensions were taken in 2011-12 to complete 833 requests.

These extensions were relatively lengthy, as more than half of the extensions taken in 2012-13 (59.6%) were for more than 120 days. In comparison, this proportion was 39% in 2011-12.

The extensions taken under section 9(1)(b) (consultations other than section 69) represented about 64% of all extensions taken in 2012-13 (compared to 73% in 2011-12).


From the 874 requests completed, about 34% of them were disclosed entirely, which represents a 1.6% increase compared to the reporting year 2011-12. This is also about 12% higher than the disclosure rate government-wide.

Table 2: Performance

Measures Reporting Period 2011-12 Reporting Period 2012-13 Difference
Completion of Requests
Completion rate 85.96% 84.28% -1.68%
Completion Time
% of requests closed within 30 days 74.79% 74.37% -0.42%
% of requests closed past statutory deadline 5.52% 2.75% -2.77%
% of consultations from government institution closed within 30 days 96.77% 100.00% 3.23%
% of extensions of 30 days or less 8.07% 9.06% 0.99%
Level of Disclosure
% of pages processed that were disclosed 89.69% 92.52% 2.83%
% of requests closed for which the information was disclosed entirely 32.41% 33.98% 1.57%
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.


The OIC received 12 complaints against LAC in 2012-13. This represents 4 complaints more than in the previous year.

The proportion of administrative complaints went up from 37.5% (3) in 2011-12 to 50% (6) in 2012-13.

In 2012-13, a similar number of complaints were well-founded (4), discontinued (4) and not well-founded (3). As of May 2014, 2 complaints were still pending.


Footnote 1

According to LAC, this decrease in informal requests received can be attributed to the increase in formal requests and the departure of staff.

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Footnote 2

As a reference, LAC reported receiving one request that concerned over 6,000 pages of restricted archival information and one request that consisted of over 5,000 pages.

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Footnote 3

The 2007-08 OIC report card system was used to estimate a 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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