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Annual Report to Parliament on the Administration of the Access to Information Act 2011–2012

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Purpose of the Access to Information Act

History of the Department of Finance Canada

Mandate of the Department of Finance Canada

Strategic Outcome

Administration of the Access to Information Act

Interpretation of the Statistical Report

Complaints/Investigations

Appeals to the Federal Court of Canada

ANNEX A

Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act

Additional Reporting Requirements

Introduction 

This Annual Report to Parliament on the Administration of the Access to Information Act (the Act) within the Department of Finance Canada is prepared and submitted in accordance with section 72 of the Act and covers the period from April 1, 2011, to March 31, 2012.

Purpose of the Access to Information Act 

The Act came into force on July 1, 1983. Its purpose is to provide a right of access to information in records under the control of a government institution in accordance with the principles that such information should be available to the public, that necessary exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific, and that decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government. The Act is intended to complement existing procedures for access to government information—it is not intended to limit access to information that is normally available to the general public. Under the Act, Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or any person or corporation present in Canada have the right to request access to information contained in government records.

The Department recognizes that the right of access to information in records under its control is an essential element of our system of democracy. It is committed to openness and transparency, respecting both the spirit and the requirements of the Act, its Regulations and related policy instruments. The Department further acknowledges the importance of facilitating access to records by requiring that its employees make every reasonable effort to assist applicants.

History of the Department of Finance Canada 

In 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion, comprising New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. The first Minister of Finance, Alexander Galt, had previously served in the same capacity for the Province of Canada (made up of parts of present-day Ontario, Quebec and Labrador).

The Department of Finance was one of the original departments of the Government of Canada. Others included Agriculture, the Penitentiary Service, Public Works, Post Office, Secretary of State, and the Privy Council Office. Originally, the Department of Finance's primary functions were bookkeeping, administering the collecting and spending of public monies, and servicing the national debt. The total number of officers, clerks, and messengers in the Department in 1867 was twenty-eight.

In June 1869, John Rose, who succeeded Alexander Galt as Finance Minister, introduced a statute spelling out the Department's duties, which were basically doing everything not assigned to any other department.

At various times since its establishment, the Department has done the work of the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Comptroller of the Treasury, the Royal Canadian Mint and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, as well as taking charge of tax inspection and old age and public service pensions.

During World War I, the federal government borrowed from, and taxed, individual Canadians directly for the first time, through Victory Loans and income tax, which was introduced in 1917.

In the early 1930s the Government transferred detailed operational and program responsibilities to other departments or agencies, so the Department of Finance could concentrate on essential analytical and policy work.

In 1939, departmental officials developed a new approach to the federal budget. Instead of simply attempting to balance expenditures with revenues, they began to use taxing powers and spending policies to influence economic development in general.

During World War II, Canadian GNP doubled and annual federal spending increased to 10 times that of the 1939 figure, significantly increasing the influence of the department. Much of that influence was exercised through its budgets.

The Bottom Line on Budgets 

Canada's first Budget, tabled on December 7, 1867, showed $7.4 million in receipts and $5.3 million in expenditures. The shortest interval between Budgets was four months (June 18, 1971 to October 14, 1971). The longest was 16 months (February 25, 1937 to June 16, 1938).

In the early years, the Budget consisted simply of a speech by the Finance Minister in the House of Commons, which was recorded by hand in Hansard. Newspaper reporters sitting in the Press Gallery made notes on the speech, from which they wrote their stories. The Department did not provide the media with special Budget documentation or briefings. By the 1960s, copies of the Budget speech were produced on an ink-fed duplicating machine and collated by hand in the Minister's office. This document was given to reporters as the Minister began his speech.

The Department Today 

Today, the Department continues to play a vital role in helping the Government of Canada develop the social and economic policies that will further improve the standard of living and quality of life of Canadians, their families and their communities in the years to come. And it does so as one of the Government of Canada's smallest departments, with fewer than 1,000 people working in its ten branches:

  • Economic and Fiscal Policy
  • Economic Development and Corporate Finance
  • Federal-Provincial Relations and Social Policy
  • Financial Sector Policy
  • International Trade and Finance
  • Tax Policy
  • Law
  • Corporate Services
  • Consultations and Communications
  • Internal Audit and Evaluation

Supporting the Minister in fulfilling his obligations and in providing day-to-day management of the Department of Finance is the Minister of State (Finance), the Deputy Minister, the Associate Deputy Minister and G7 Deputy for Canada, the Associate Deputy Minister, and the branch Assistant Deputy Ministers.

Mandate of the Department of Finance Canada

The Department of Finance Canada is established under section 14 of the Financial Administration Act. Under section 15 of that Act, The Minister of Finance “has the management and direction of the Department, the management of the Consolidated Revenue Fund and the supervision, control and direction of all matters relating to the financial affairs of Canada not by law assigned to the Treasury Board or to any other minister.” Certain other authorities have been entrusted to the Minister of Finance through various Acts of Parliament, including the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act, the Income Tax Act, the Excise Tax Act, the Canada Business Corporations Act, and the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.

The Department of Finance Canada is committed to making a difference for Canadians by helping the Government of Canada develop and implement strong and sustainable economic, fiscal, tax, social, security, international and financial sector policies and programs.  

It plays an important role in ensuring that government spending is focused on results and delivers value for taxpayer dollars, it interacts extensively with other federal organizations, and it plays a pivotal role in the analysis and design of public policy across a wide range of issues affecting Canadians. The Department also has an important central agency role, working with other departments to ensure that the government's agenda is carried out and that ministers are supported with first-rate analysis and advice.

The Department’s most visible output is the federal budget. The budget speech provides an authoritative review of past, present, and future economic factors that will affect Canada’s economic performance and finances. The budget reviews government accounts for the past period and presents its fiscal projections for the coming years including the government’s expenditure program, revenues from existing sources, taxation changes, and debt levels.

Program (or statutory) responsibilities and core functions 

  • Fiscal and monetary policy
  • Budget preparation and planning
  • Tax policy
  • Debt and exchange fund management
  • Tariff and certain aspects of trade and tariff policy
  • Financial sector policy
  • International financial arrangements
  • Federal‑provincial fiscal arrangements (policy and program administration)
  • Private pension policy and public pension financing
  • Privatization

Central agency functions 

  • Development of the fiscal framework
  • Preparation of the economic outlook and forecast
  • Analysis and assessment of major policy initiatives and options
  • Shared supervision of Crown corporations and agencies
  • Coordination with other central agencies on key files

Strategic Outcome 

The Department of Finance Canada provides effective economic leadership with a focus in 2011‑2012 on one strategic outcome, which expressed a long-term and enduring benefit for Canadians:

A strong and sustainable economy, resulting in increasing standards of living and improved quality of life for Canadians

The Department has four program activities, each of which contains a varying number of program subactivities. The four program activities are Economic and Fiscal Policy Framework, Transfer and Taxation Payment Programs, Treasury and Financial Affairs, and Internal Services.

The Economic and Fiscal Policy Framework program activity aims to maintain a competitive and efficient tax system, and provides for the management of expenditures in line with the Budget Plan and the financial operations of the Government of Canada.

The Transfer and Taxation Payment Programs program activity supports provinces and territories with funding for health, social programs and other shared priorities. This program activity also enables less prosperous provincial governments to provide their residents with public services that are reasonably comparable to those in other provinces, at reasonably comparable levels of taxation, and provides territorial governments with funding to support public services, in recognition of the higher cost of providing programs and services in the North.

The Treasury and Financial Affairs program activity supports the government's effort to manage its operating budgets and other financial operations of the Government of Canada.

The Internal Services program activity includes a number of functions and resources that support the Department as a whole in achieving its strategic outcome.

Administration of the Access to Information Act 

Access to Information and Privacy Division 

The Access to Information and Privacy Division (ATIP) is part of the Law Branch and is responsible for administering the Access to Information Act for the Department of Finance Canada. As a centralized operation, the ATIP Division coordinates the timely processing of requests under the legislation, conducts interdepartmental consultations, handles complaints lodged with the Information Commissioner, and responds to informal inquiries. Division staff also provide advice and guidance to departmental officials on matters involving the Act. The ATIP Division comprises a director, two team leaders, eight full-time ATIP analysts and two administrative assistants.

Principles on Assistance to Applicants 

With the passing of the Federal Accountability Act, section 4(2.1) was added to the Access to Information Act:

“The head of a government institution shall, without regard to the identity of a person making a request for access to a record under the control of the institution, make every reasonable effort to assist the person in connection with the request, respond to the request accurately and completely and, subject to the regulations, provide timely access to the record in the format requested.”

The Department of Finance is committed to both the spirit and intent of these principles, and adheres to the Act and to the Directive on the Administration of the Access to Information Act with respect to their application when processing requests under the Act.

Educational and training activities 

This year, the ATIP Division participated in two Orientation Sessions. These are provided to employees who are new to the Department as a means to introduce them to the activities of each Branch. ATIP provided information about the ATIP Division, the Act, and information management practices to 39 new employees.

The ATIP Division was also part of a “Management 101” pilot project, a session for junior managers of the Department. As the intent of the session was to look at various issues from a management perspective, ATIP’s presentation addressed the following subjects more broadly:

  • the administration of the Act as a “shared responsibility”;
  • management support for activities related to access to information;
  • the Act and the Management Accountability Framework process;
  • departmental responsibilities with respect to Info Source;
  • Treasury Board Secretariat’s role;
  • the role of the Information Commissioner.

The presentation was very well received by the 19 attendees and the positive feedback exceeded ATIP’s expectations. The pilot project was a success, it has now been accepted as a permanent course to be given twice a year, and ATIP will be a regular presenter at those sessions.

In November and December 2011, ATIP held three “brown bag” lunch and learn sessions for which a total of 71 employees registered. The sessions focused upon discretion, transparency and openness in processing requests, with specific emphasis placed on the exercise of discretion in severing briefing notes. This was the first time that ATIP had held lunch sessions and—because of the overwhelming response and positive feedback received—ATIP hopes to expand these sessions both in number and in subject matter.

Ad hoc training was also provided as needed to 22 individuals throughout the Department.

Institutional changes to the administration of the Access to Information Act

On July 22, 2011, the Department began to post its closed requests on its website, with links from the home page (French home page) as well as from ATIP’s main page (French ATIP main page). In order to request a copy of information already disclosed in a previous request, individuals need only notify ATIP and provide a mailing address. The information is normally provided within a few working days, and is usually given by way of compact disc unless paper copies are requested.

In fiscal year 2010-2011, the Department received only 20 informal requests for information. This reporting year the Department received 155 informal requests, 136 of which were as a direct result of posting closed requests on the website.

In the interests of openness and transparency, on August 10, 2011, ATIP began to proactively include the ten “principles for assisting applicants” with all letters of acknowledgement to applicants. The Directive on the Administration of the Access to Information Act subsequently took effect on January 16, 2012, requiring that all federal government institutions communicate the principles to applicants. The Department has also published the principles on the ATIP section of its website which includes links to general information about the Act, the ATIP Division, how to make a request, where to file a complaint, frequently asked questions, annual reports, and lists of completed requests.

Delegation of authority

The delegation of authority that was approved on March 31, 2008, remained in effect throughout the reporting period.  Depending on the nature of the information requested and its sensitivity, the authority to approve or deny the release of departmental information requested under the Act is shared by the Deputy Minister, the Associate Deputy Minister and G7 Deputy for Canada, the Associate Deputy Minister, the Assistant Deputy Minister and Counsel to the Department, and the Access to Information and Privacy Director.  Generally, the ATIP Director approves all exemptions.

 

Access to Information Act Designation Order. For details, refer to the preceding paragraph.

Schedule 1
Designation Order—Access to Information Act
Powers, duties, or functions Section Deputy
Minister
Associate
DM
Associate DM
and G7 Deputy
for Canada
Assistant DM
and
Counsel,
Law Branch
Director,
ATIP
ATIP
Team Leader
Senior ATIP Analyst
Reasonable effort to assist
 applicants, respond accurately
 and completely and provide timely
 access in the format requested
4(2.1) yes yes yes yes yes no
To give notice to applicant
 that access will be given
7(a) yes yes yes yes yes no
To give access to the record 7(b) yes yes yes yes yes no
To transfer to another institution
 or to accept transfer from another
 institution and to give notice
 to applicant
8(1) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To extend time limit and give notice 9 yes yes yes yes yes yes
No records exist 10 yes yes yes yes yes yes
To require payment of
 additional fees
11(2) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To require payment for machine
 readable record
11(3) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To require payment of a deposit 11(4) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To give notice of amount required 11(5) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To waive the requirement
 to pay a fee
11(6) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To determine whether a record
 should be translated
12(2) yes yes yes yes yes yes

To determine whether a record
 should be provided in an
 alternative format

12(3) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
13 yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
14 yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
15 yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
16 yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
16.5 yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
17 yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
18 yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
18.1 yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
19 yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
20(1) yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
20(2) yes yes yes yes yes no
To disclose part of a record referred
 to in that subsection and provide
 written explanation
20(3) yes yes yes yes yes no
To disclose, with the consent of
 third party, a record referred to
 in subsection 20(1)
20(5) yes yes yes yes yes no
To disclose, in the public interest,
 a record referred to in paragraphs
 20(1)(b),(c) or (d)
20(6) yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that subsection
21(1) yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
22 yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
22.1 yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
23 yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
24 yes yes yes yes yes no
To disclose information that
 can reasonably be severed
25 yes yes yes yes yes no
To refuse to disclose a record
 referred to in that section
26 yes yes yes yes yes no
To give to third party notice
 of intent to disclose
27(1) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To extend time limit set out in 27(1) 27(4) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To decide on disclosure
 after third party representation
 and to give notice of decision
 to third party
28(1) yes yes yes yes yes no
To waive requirement for written
 representations
28(2) yes yes yes yes yes no
To give access unless review
 of decision is requested
28(4) yes yes yes yes yes no
To give notice to applicant
 and to third party
29(1) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To advise the Information Commissioner
 of any third party who received
 notification or, if the document had
 been disclosed, would have
 received notification
33 yes yes yes yes yes yes
To make representations to the
 Information Commissioner
35(2) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To give notice to the Information
 Commissioner that access to a
 record will be given
37(4) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To give notice to a third party of
 application for Court review
43(1) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To give notice to applicant that third
 party has applied for Court review
44(2) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To request hearing in the
 National Capital Region
52(2) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To request opportunity to make
 representations ex parte
52(3) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To provide facilities where manuals
 may be inspected by public
71(1) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To exempt information from manuals 71(2) yes yes yes yes yes no
To prepare annual report for
 submission to Parliament
72(1) yes yes yes yes yes yes
To carry out responsibilities conferred
 on the Head of the institution by regulations
 made under section  77 which are
 not included above
77 yes yes yes yes yes yes

Reading room 

The reading room, located in the Department’s library, is available to individuals who wish to view the records released by the Department in response to their access requests. This facility contains current volumes ofInfo Source, previous annual reports to Parliament, and Access to Information Request Forms.

Interpretation of the Statistical Report

Part 1 – Requests under the Access to Information Act

Number of requests

The number of formal requests received in this reporting period was 299, a 18.97% decrease from 369 formal requests received the previous reporting year. The total number of requests considered was 352 as 53 requests remained outstanding from 2010–11. By the end of 2011–12, 282 requests had been completed, with 70 carried forward to 2012–13.

While there is no definitive explanation for the decrease in the number of formal requests received this year, it appears to be attributed in large part to the number of individuals who submitted informal requests for records already disclosed in previous requests rather than submit new formal requests themselves.

In 2010-2011 the Department received 20 informal requests, a number which jumped enormously this reporting year to 155. Of note is the fact that 136 of these requests were received after July 22, 2011, when the Department began posting monthly lists of closed requests on its website. The vast majority of informal requests came from members of the media, followed by the business community and members of the public.

In 2010–2011, the ATIP Division received 139 new consultations from other federal government institutions on matters of interest to the Department. This reporting year, the Department received 270 new consultations, an increase of 94.24%. The dramatic increase was due to a larger than usual number of consultations from the Privy Council Office as a result of its review of Cabinet confidences which are more than 20 years old. By the end of the fiscal year, 259 consultations were completed with 19 carried forward to 2012-2013.

When combining formal Access to Information Act requests, Privacy Act requests, informal requests, and consultations received from other government institutions, in 2010-2011 the ATIP Division’s overall caseload was 535 files. This reporting year, the overall caseload was 737 files, an increase of 202 files, or 37.75%.

Despite this increase, the Department’s on-time response rate to formal Access to Information Act requests was 91.5%. While this is down slightly from last year’s rate of 92.4%, it is nonetheless higher than the rates achieved in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 (90% and 90.6% respectively). With respect to consultations, the on-time response rate for 2011-2012 was 93.4%, an increase over the previous fiscal year’s rate of 90.1%.

Sources of requests

Requests received from academia and organizations do not change significantly from year to year. The greatest changes are in the numbers of requests received from media, business, and the public as shown below:

Sources of Requests
Source 2011–12 2010–11 2009-10
Media 103 144 68
Academia 1 7 3
Business 138 15 170
Organization 22 2 11
Public 35 201 58

Part 2 – Requests closed during the reporting period 

Disposition of requests 

The following table indicates the disposition of the 282 requests completed during this reporting period:

Disposition of requests
Disposition Number of Requests Percentage of Requests
All disclosed 37 13.12 %
Disclosed in part 118 41.84 %
All exempted 4 1.41 %
All excluded 6 2.12 %
No records exist 103 36.52%
Request transferred 3 1.06 %
Request abandoned 10 3.54 %
Treated informally 1 .35 %
 
Total 282 99.96%

This year, the ATIP Division compared the disposition of requests completed this reporting year to the disposition of those completed in 2010-2011.

Disposition of requests (2010-2011 compared to 2011-2012)
Disposition
2011-2012
2010–11
All disclosed 37 48
Disclosed in part 118 159
All exempted 4 5
All excluded 6 4
No records exist 103 131
Request transferred 3 1
Request abandoned 10 31
Treated informally 1 0
 
Completed 282 379

Changes in four of the eight categories were minimal. Given the decrease in the overall number of requests received and closed this fiscal year, the changes in the remaining disposition categories (all disclosed, disclosed in part, no records exist, and request abandoned) were expected.

Completion time

This year, 258 requests (91.5%) were completed on time, a slight decrease from 92.4% in 2010-2011 largely due to an overall ATIP caseload this year of 202 files. Many requests could not be responded to on time due to outstanding consultations with other government institutions.

Of the 282 requests responded to during the reporting period, 189 (67%) were completed within the first 30 days of the receipt of the request, 62 (22%) were completed within two to four months, 20 (7%) were completed within four to six months, and 11 (4%) took more than six months to complete. Requests requiring more than six months usually involved large numbers of documents that required extensive internal consultations, consultations with third parties and, often, consultations with other government institutions. Given the nature of the work done by the Department, consultations must be conducted with other federal government institutions on many of its ATIP files and completion time is consequently impacted by the amount of time required of the other institutions to respond to those consultations.

Exemptions invoked

During the period, the following exemptions were invoked:

Exemptions invoked
Section of the Act  Exemption Number of Files
Where Applied
Section 13 Information obtained in confidence
from other governments
41
Section 14 Federal-provincial affairs 75
Section 15 International affairs and defence 14
Section 16 Law enforcement and investigations 71
Section 17 Safety of individuals 1
Section 18 Economic interests of Canada 69
Section 19 Personal information 74
Section 20 Third party information 91
Section 21 Operations of government 217
Section 22 Testing procedures, tests and audits 2
Section 23 Solicitor-client privilege 16
Section 24 Statutory prohibitions 5
Section 26 Information to be published 1

Exclusions cited

During this reporting period, the following exclusions applied:

Exclusions cited
Section of the Act  Exclusion Number of Files
Where Applied
Section 68 Published material 3
Section 69 Confidences of the
Queen’s Privy Council
127

Format of information released 

Records were provided to applicants in 155 cases, 129 of those (83.2%) in paper format and 26 (16.7%) on compact disc. No applicants asked to view the records as opposed to receiving a copy.

Complexity 

Many of the requests processed by the Department in 2011-2012 involved complex issues raising the need to consult with other government institutions. The largest file processed this year consisted of 2,336 pages, and consultations were required with four third parties, three government institutions, and the Privy Council Office to confirm Cabinet confidences. Other files required extensive consultations with government institutions and a large number of third parties.

Deemed refusals  

Twenty-four requests were closed past the statutory deadline for various reasons including workload and consultations, both internal and external. In 16 instances, extensions of the statutory time limit had been claimed but the files were nonetheless late, due mainly to consultations with other government institutions. In the remaining eight instances, no extension of the statutory deadline was taken.

Of the late responses, 11 (45.8%) were made within 15 days past the deadline, three (12.5%) within 16 to 30 days, two (8.3%) within 31 to 60 days, three (12.5%) within 61 to 120 days, and five (20.8%) within 181 to 365 days.

Translations

No requests for translations were received.

Part 3 – Extensions 

During the reporting period, 106 extensions were taken for the following reasons:

Search/interference with government operations
  8
Consultations required (section 69 and others)
67
Notification to third parties
31

 

In 34 cases, an extension of 30 days or less was required, 30 of which were invoked in order to consult with other federal government institutions, provincial government institutions and third parties. Extensions of 61 to 120 days were required in 48 cases, 36 of which were taken for consultations under paragraphs 9(1)(b) and 9(1)(c), while 11 were taken in order to consult with the Privy Council Office on possible Cabinet confidences.

Part 4 – Fees 

There have been no changes to the departmental fee policy. The $5.00 application fee is normally charged and fees assessed at less than $25.00 are waived.

During this reporting year, $3,504.00 was collected in application and search fees. Application, search and reproduction fees in the amount of $1,754.00 were either waived or refunded in 59 cases.

Part 5 – Consultations 

The Department received 270 consultations from other government institutions and organizations this reporting year and closed 259. A large number of those consultations were from the Privy Council Office as a result of its review of Cabinet confidences which were more than 20 years old. The on-time response rate to all consultations was 93.4%.

In 125 cases (48.2%), the department responded to consultations in 30 days or less, 34 cases (13.1%) were responded to in 31 to 60 days, and only 5 cases (1.9%) required more than 61 days.

Part 6 – Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences 

The Department was required to consult with the the Privy Council Office 49 times in order to confirm documents as Cabinet confidences. In 30 of those cases, the responses to the consultations were received after the deadline. The majority of the responses were received from 31 to 60 days after the deadline.

Part 7 – Resources related to the Access to Information Act 

Costs incurred in the reporting period are calculated on the salaries of ATIP staff and the administrative expenses associated with administration of the Act. Costs do not include salaries of other departmental personnel involved in processing requests. Administration of the Act cost the Department $932,493.68 this reporting year.

Complaints/Investigations 

There were 10 complaints initiated against the Department with respect to nine of the files completed during the reporting period. Five complaints concerned the exemption of information, three concerned the exclusion of information under section 69, one concerned an extension taken, and the last concerned a publication.

Four findings were rendered by the Office of the Information Commissioner this year, three with respect to the 10 complaints filed this reporting year, and one with respect to a complaint filed in 2010-2011. Two complaints were concluded as “not well-founded”, meaning that the Department had not violated the provisions of the Act about which the complaints were filed. One extension complaint was concluded as “well-founded, resolved without recommendation”, and one exemption complaint was “discontinued” by the complainant. Seven findings remain outstanding for 2011-2012 and a number of findings are outstanding from 2008 and 2010.

None of the Information Commissioner’s investigations raised any specific issues or concerns with respect to the Department’s handling of these requests and no action was required of the Department.

Appeals to the Federal Court of Canada 

No appeals to the Federal Court were made in this reporting period.

Annex A 

Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act 

Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act

Name of institution:  Department of Finance Canada

Reporting period: April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012

PART 1 – Requests under the Access to Information Act

1.1 Number of requests

Received during reporting period:
299
Outstanding from previous reporting period:
53
Total:
352
Closed during reporting period:
282
Carried over to next reporting period:
70

 

1.2 Sources of requests

Media:
103
Academia:
1
Business (private sector):
138
Organization:
22
Public:
35
Total:
299

 

Part 2 – Requests closed during the reporting period

2.1 Disposition and completion time

All disclosed:

1 to 15 days:
12
16 to 30 days:
19
31 to 60 days:
5
61 to 120 days:
0
121 to 180 days:
1
181 to 365 days:
0
More than 365 days:
0
Total:
37

 

Disclosed in part:

1 to 15 days:
5
16 to 30 days:
33
31 to 60 days:
22
61 to 120 days:
28
121 to 180 days:
19
181 to 365 days:
9
More than 365 days:
2
Total
118

 

All exempted:

1 to 15 days:
0
16 to 30 days:
4
31 to 60 days:
0
61 to 120 days:
0
121 to 180 days:
0
181 to 365 days:
0
More than 365 days:
0
Total
4

 

All excluded:

1 to 15 days:
0
16 to 30 days:
0
31 to 60 days:
2
61 to 120 days:
4
121 to 180 days:
0
181 to 365 days:
0
More than 365 days:
0
Total
6

 

No records exist:

1 to 15 days:
82
16 to 30 days:
21
31 to 60 days:
0
61 to 120 days:
0
121 to 180 days:
0
181 to 365 days:
0
More than 365 days:
0
Total
103

 

Request transferred:

1 to 15 days:
3
16 to 30 days:
0
31 to 60 days:
0
61 to 120 days:
0
121 to 180 days:
0
181 to 365 days:
0
More than 365 days:
0
Total
3

 

Request abandoned:

1 to 15 days:
9
16 to 30 days:
0
31 to 60 days:
0
61 to 120 days:
1
121 to 180 days:
0
181 to 365 days:
0
More than 365 days:
0
Total
10

 

Treated informally:

1 to 15 days:
0
16 to 30 days:
1
31 to 60 days:
0
61 to 120 days:
0
121 to 180 days:
0
181 to 365 days:
0
More than 365 days:
0
Total
1

 

Total of all requests:

1 to 15 days:
111
16 to 30 days:
78
31 to 60 days:
29
61 to 120 days:
33
121 to 180 days:
20
181 to 365 days:
9
More than 365 days:
2
Total
282

 

2.2 Exemptions

Section 13(1)(a):
11
Section 13(1)(b):
9
Section 13(1)(c):
16
Section 13(1)(c):
16
Section 13(1)(d):
4
Section 13(1)(e):
1
Section 14(a):
44
Section 14(b):
31
Section 15(1):
  International Affairs:
14
  Defence of Canada:
0
  Subversive activities:
0
Sections 16(1)(a)(i), 16(1)(a)(ii), 16(1)(a)(iii) and 16(1)(b):
0
Section 16(1)(c):
5
Section 16(1)(d):
0
Section 16(2)(a):
1
Section 16(2)(b):
3
Section 16(2)(c):
60
Section 16(3):
0
Sections 16.1(1)(a) and 16.1(1)(b):
0
Section 16.1(1)(c):
2
Sections 16.1(1)(d), 16.2(1), 16.3, 16.4(1)(a), 16.4(1)(b) and 16.5:
0
Section 17:
1
Section 18(a):
7
Section 18(b):
13
Section 18(c):
0
Section 18(d):
46
Section 18.1(1)(a):
0
Section 18.1(1)(b):
3
Sections 18.1(1)(c) and 18.1(1)(d):
0
Section 19(1):
74
Section 20(1)(a):
0
Section 20(1)(b):
40
Section 20(1)(b.1):
1
Section 20(1)(c):
28
Section 20(1)(d):
22
Sections 20.1, 20.2 and 20.4:
0
Section 21(1)(a):
89
Section 21(1)(b):
90
Section 21(1)(c):
33
Section 21(1)(3):
5
Section 22:
0
Section 22.1(1):
2
Section 23:
16
Sectiond 24(1):
5
Section 27:
1

 

 

2.3 Exclusions

Section 68(a):
3
Sections 68(b), 68(c), 68.1, 68.2(a) and 68.2(b):
0
Section 69(1)(a):
9
Section 69(1)(b):
0
Section 69(1)(c):
 4
Section 69(1)(d):
2
Section 69(1)(e):
27
Section 69(1)(f):
2
Section 69(1)(g) re (a):
19
Section 69(1)(g) re (b):
0
Section 69(1)(g) re (c):
28
Section 69(1)(g) re (d) :
3
Section 69(1)(g) re (e) :
29
Section 69(1)(g) re (f) :
4
Section 69.1(1) :
0

 

2.4 Format of information released

All disclosed:
33 in paper format, 4 in electronic format, 0 in other formats
Disclosed in part:
96 in paper format, 22 in electronic format, 0 in other formats
Total:
129 in paper format, 26 in electronic format, 0 in other formats

 

2.5 Complexity

2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed

All disclosed:
623 pages processed; 623 pages disclosed; 37 requests
Disclosed in part:
33,644 pages processed; 16,202 pages disclosed; 118 requests
All exempted:
68 pages processed; 0 pages disclosed; 4 requests
All excluded:
523 pages processed; 0 pages disclosed; 6 requests
Request abandoned:
682 pages processed; 0 pages disclosed; 10 requests

 

2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests

All disclosed (less than 100 pages processed):
35 requests; 218 pages disclosed
All disclosed (101 to 500 pages processed):
2 requests; 405 pages disclosed
All disclosed (501 to more than 5,000 pages processed):
0 requests; 0 pages disclosed

 

Disclosed in part (less than 100 pages processed):
60 requests; 1,213 pages disclosed
Disclosed in part (101 to 500 pages processed):
40 requests; 4,889 pages disclosed
Disclosed in part (501 to 1,000 pages processed):
9 requests; 3,046 pages disclosed
Disclosed in part (1,001 to 5,000 pages processed):
9 requests; 7,054 pages disclosed
Disclosed in part (more than 5,000 pages processed):
0 requests; 0 pages disclosed

 

All exempted (less than 100 pages processed):
4 requests; 0 pages disclosed
All exempted (101 to more than 5,000 pages processed):
0 requests; 0 pages disclosed

 

All excluded (less than 100 pages processed):
5 requests; 0 pages disclosed
All excluded (101 to 500 pages processed):
1 requests; 0 pages disclosed
All excluded (501 to more than 5,000 pages processed):
0 requests; 0 pages disclosed

 

Abandoned (less than 100 pages processed):
9 requests; 0 pages disclosed
Abandoned (101 to 500 pages processed):
0 requests; 0 pages disclosed

 

Abandoned (501 to 1,000 pages processed):
1 requests; 0 pages disclosed
Abandoned (1,001 to more than 5,000 pages processed):
0 requests; 0 pages disclosed

 

2.5.3 Other complexities

All disclosed:
consultations required in 4 cases
Disclosed in part:
consultations required in 73 cases, assessment of fees required in 25 cases
All exempted:
assessment of fees required in 1 case
All excluded:
consultation required in 6 cases
Abandoned:
assessment of fees required in 1 case

 

2.6 Deemed refusals

2.6.1 Reasons for not meeting statutory deadline

Twenty-four requests were closed past the statutory deadline. Workload was the cause in 5 cases, external consultations were the cause in 10 cases, internal consultations were the cause in 4 cases, and 4 cases were late for other reasons.

2.6.2 Number of days past deadline

1 to 15 days:
7 requests past deadline where no extension taken and 4 past deadline where extension taken, for a total of 11 requests.

 
16 to 30 days:
0 requests past deadline where no extension taken and 3 past deadline where extention taken, for a total of 3 requests.

 
31 to 60 days:
1 request past deadline where no extension taken and 1 past deadline where extension taken, for a total of 2 requests.

 
61 to 120 days:
0 requests past deadline where no extension taken and 3 past deadline where extension taken, for a total of 3 requests.

 
121 to 180 days:
0 requests past deadline where no extension taken and 0 past deadline where extension taken, for a total of 0 requests.

 
181 to 365 days:
0 requests past deadline where no extension taken and 5 past deadline where extension taken, for a total of 5 requests.

 
More than 365 days:
0 requests past deadline where no extension taken and 0 past deadline where extension taken, for a total of 0 requests.

 

 

2.7 Requests for translation

No translations from English to French were received. No translations from French to English were received.

PART 3 – Extensions

3.1 Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests

All disclosed:
0 extensions taken under sections 9(1)(a); 4 taken under 9(1)(b) for a reason other than for confirmation of section 69; 1 taken under 9(1)(c) for third party notice.
Disclosed in part:
8 extensions taken under sections 9(1)(a); 5 taken under 9(1)(b) for confirmation of section 69; 51 taken under 9(1)(b) for other consultations; 30 taken under 9(1)(c) for third party notice.
All exempted:
0 extensions taken under sections 9(1)(a), 9(1)(b) or 9(1)(c).
All excluded:
0 extensions taken under sections 9(1)(a); 6 taken under 9(1)(b) for confirmation of section 69; 0 taken under 9(1)(c) for third party notice.
No records exist:
0 extensions taken under sections 9(1)(a), 9(1)(b) or 9(1)(c).
Request abandoned: 
0 extensions taken under sections 9(1)(a); 1 taken under 9(1)(b) for a reason other than for confirmation of section 69; 0 taken under 9(1)(c) for third party notice.

 

3.2 Length of extensions

30 days or less:
4 extensions taken under section 9(1)(a); 15 taken under 9(1)(b) for reasons other than for confirmation of section 69; 15 taken under 9(1)(c) for third party notice.
31 to 60 days:
4 extensions taken under section 9(1)(a); 5 taken under 9(1)(b) for reasons other than for confirmation of section 69; 15 taken under 9(1)(c) for third party notice.
61 to 120 days:
0 extensions taken under section 9(1)(a); 11 taken under 9(1)(b) for confirmation of section 69; 36 taken under 9(1)(b)for reasons other than for confirmation of section 69; 1 taken under 9(1)(c) for third party notice.
121 to 180 days:
0 extensions taken under section 9(1)(a), 9(1)(b) for 9(1)(c).
181 to 365 days:
0 extensions taken under section 9(1)(a), 9(1)(b) for 9(1)(c).
More than 365 days:
0 extensions taken under section 9(1)(a), 9(1)(b) for 9(1)(c).
Totals:
8 extensions taken under section 9(1)(a), 11 taken under 9(1)(b) for confirmation of section 69, 56 taken under 9(1)(b) for other consultations, and 31 taken under 9(1)(c) for third party notice.

 

PART 4 – Fees

Application fees were collected in 268 cases for a total of $1,340.00. Application fees were waived in 31 requests for a total of $155.00.

Search fees were collected in 10 cases for a total of $2,164.00. Search fees were waived in 8 cases for a total of $1,265.

No fees were collected for production, programming, preparation, or alternative format of records.

No fees were collected for reproduction. Fees for reproduction were waived in 20 cases for a total of $334.00.

PART 5 – Consultations received from other institutions & organizations

5.1 Consultations received from other government institutions and organizations

During the reporting period, 270 consultations were received from other government institutions, which required the review of 6,940 pages. One consultation was received from another organization which required the review of 10 pages. Eight consultations from other government institutions were outstanding from the previous reporting period which required the review of 72 pages. In total this reporting period, 278 consultations from other government institutions were treated which required the review of 7,012 pages, as well as 1 from another organization which involved 10 pages.

In total, 259 requests from other government institutions were closed which involved the review of 6,798 pages, as well as the one consultation from another institution involving 10 pages. At the end of the reporting period, 19 consultations were pending which involved 214 pages. No consultations were pending from other organizations.

5.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other government institutions

Disclose entirely:

1 to 15 days:
70
16 to 30 days:
57
31 to 60 days:
11
61 to 120 days:
2
121 to 180 days:
0
181 to 365 days:
0
More than 365 days:
0
Total:
140

 

Disclose in part:

1 to 15 days:
32
16 to 30 days
6
31 to 60 days:
15
61 to 120 days:   
3
121 to 180 days:   
0
181 to 365 days:   
0
More than 365 days:   
0
Total:
106

 

Exempt entirely:

1 to 15 days:
3
16 to 30 days:
3
31 to 60 days:
3
61 to 120 days:
0
121 to 180 days:
0
181 to 365 days:
0
More than 365 days:
9

   

Exclude entirely:

1 to 15 days:
4
16 to 30 days:
0
31 to 60 days:
0
61 to 120 days:
0
121 to 180 days:
0
181 to 365 days:
0
More than 365 days:
0
Total:
4

 

Consult:

1 to 15 days:
0
16 to 30 days:
0
31 to 60 days:
0
61 to 120 days:
0
121 to 180 days:
0
181 to 365 days:
0
More than 365 days:
0
Total:
0

 

Other:

1 to 15 days:
0
16 to 30 days:
0
31 to 60 days:
0
61 to 120 days:
0
121 to 180 days:
0
181 to 365 days:
0
More than 365 days:
0
Total:
0

 

5.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations

One consultionation request was received from another organization. The recommendation was to exempt the information in its entirety, and the request was completed in 1 to 15 days.

PART 6 – Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences

1 to 15 days:
13 requests made, 1 response received past deadline
16 to 30 days:
12 requests made, 5 response received past deadline
31 to 60 days:
12 requests made, 12 responses received past deadline
61 to 120 days:
10 requests made, 10 responses received past deadline
121 to 180 days:
0 requests made, 0 responses received past deadline
181 to 365 days:
1 request made, 1 response received past deadline
More than 365 days:
1 request made, 1 response received past deadline

 

PART 7 – Resources related to the Access to Information Act

Salaries:
$892,728.00
Overtime:
$980.00
Goods and services:
$38,786.00
Total:
$932,494.00

 

Additional Reporting 

In fiscal year 2010-2011, the Department of Finance Canada received 20 informal requests.

In fiscal year 2011-2012, the Department received 155 informal requests, 136 of which were as a direct result of posting completed requests on the departmental website.