2016-2017 1. Who we are and what we do
Open and accountable government
We promote and protect access to information rights
We engage all staff in building a healthy workplace
The Information Commissioner is an Agent of Parliament appointed under the Access to Information Act.
The Commissioner protects and promotes access to information rights.
The Commissioner is the first level of independent review of government decisions relating to requests for access to public sector information. The Act requires the Commissioner to investigate all the complaints she receives. She is supported in her work by the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC).
The OIC also supports the Commissioner in her advisory role to Parliament and parliamentary committees on all matters pertaining to access to information. The OIC actively makes the case for greater freedom of information in Canada through targeted initiatives such as Right to Know Week and ongoing dialogue with Canadians, Parliament and institutions.
The OIC engages all staff in building a healthy workplace.
The OIC’s organizational structure is shown in the diagram below.
This is an organizational chart. It shows the branches that report to the Information Commissioner. The first branch is the Assistant Commissioner, responsible for Complaints Resolution and Compliance, and Corporate Services. The second branch is the General Counsel and Director, responsible for Legal Services and Public Affairs. Each title is enclosed in a box and these are displayed in a row below the box for the Information Commissioner above. The boxes are connected by single lines.
Complaints Resolution and Compliance mediates and investigates complaints about the processing of access to information requests and any issues related to requesting or obtaining access to records under the Act, and makes formal recommendations to institutions and heads of institutions, as required.
Legal Services represents the Commissioner in court as she seeks to clarify points of access law and uphold information rights. Lawyers provide legal advice on investigations and administrative and legislative matters, as well as customized reference tools and training on recent case law. Legal Services also monitors legislative developments to determine their possible effect on the Commissioner’s work and access to information in general.
Public Affairs conducts communications and external relations with a wide range of stakeholders, notably Parliament, governments and the media. Public Affairs also provides input to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat on improving the administration of the Act. Public Affairs is responsible for the OIC’s access to information and privacy function.
Corporate Services provides strategic and corporate leadership for planning and reporting, human resources and financial management, security and administrative services, internal audit and evaluation, and information management and technology.