Principles on Assistance to Applicants

With the passing of the Federal Accountability Act, section 2.1 was added to the Access to Information Act which states:

“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.”

While an equivalent section was not added to the Privacy Act, the Department of Finance nonetheless undertakes to process requests under both theAccess to Information Actand the Privacy Act by:

  • Processing your request without regard to your identity.
  • Offering reasonable assistance throughout the request process.
  • Providing information on the Acts including information on the processing of your request and your right to complain to the Information Commissioner of Canada or to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
  • Informing you as appropriate and without undue delay when your request needs to be clarified.
  • Making every reasonable effort to locate and retrieve the requested records under the control of the Department.
  • Applying limited and specific exemptions to the requested records.
  • Providing accurate and complete responses.
  • Providing timely access to the requested information.
  • Providing records in the format and official language requested as appropriate.
  • Providing an appropriate location within the Department where you can examine the information if you choose to do so.