2023–24 Operating context
The principal element that will affect the operating context of the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) in 2023–24 is complaint volume.
Continuing the pattern noted in previous years, once again, the volume of access to information requests increased in 2022-23. The number of complaints the OIC receives each year continues to grow accordingly and reached an all-time high in 2022–23. The OIC has requested additional funding through Budget 2023 to respond to this increased demand. Without it, the integrity of the OIC’s program is at risk.
The organization remains challenged with having to operate with funding to conduct 4400 investigations annually, while receiving almost double the amount of complaints. Insufficient investigative capacity leads to delays in investigations. These delays may result in a failure to uphold the right of access in instances where timeliness of response is crucial. While the OIC has made significant gains in efficiency in recent years, increased efficiency alone cannot offset this increase in volume.
The tabling of systemic Investigations and increased publication of final reports and guidance have resulted in greater compliance and collaboration with institutions. The OIC nevertheless expects to continue to receive a higher volume of complaints.
The OIC aspires to continue to be an employer of choice attracting diverse and inclusive workforce. Recognizing that a favourable work environment where employees thrive is key to maintaining the organization’s ability to respond to higher volume of complaints, it seamlessly adopted hybrid work in 2022–23, providing for the accommodation of its employees to the greatest extent possible.