Annual Report to Parliament on the Administration of the Access to Information Act 2012-2013

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Report on the Access to Information Act

About Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada plays a key role in discharging the Government’s fundamental responsibility for the safety and security of its citizens. The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Act, 2005, and the Emergency Management Act, 2007, set out two fundamental roles for the Department: (i) to support the Minister’s responsibility for all matters, except those assigned to another federal minister, related to public safety and emergency management, including national leadership and (ii) to coordinate the efforts of Portfolio agencies as well as provide guidance on their strategic priorities. The Department’s leadership role is reflected in its strategic outcome, a safe and resilient Canada, and through the pursuit of the following programs: National Security, Border Strategies, Countering Crime, Emergency Management and Internal Services. The Department also delivers a number of grant and contribution programs related to emergency management and community safety. While portfolio agencies deliver public security operations according to their individual mandates, Public Safety Canada, in its portfolio coordination role, brings strategic focus to the overall safety and security agenda. In this capacity, the Department also contributes to the safety and security of Canadians. In fulfilling its mandate, Public Safety Canada works in consultation with other organizations and partners—federal departments and agencies, provinces and territories, non-government organizations, the private sector, foreign states, academia and communities. Public Safety Canada is structurally organized into six branches: Community Safety and Partnerships, Corporate Management, Emergency Management and Regional Operations, Law Enforcement and Policing, National Security, and Strategic Policy. These branches are supported by the Internal Audit and Evaluation Directorate, the Communications Directorate, and the Legal Services Directorate. The Department has regional presence in all provinces, as well as in the North to deliver a coordinated federal response to emergencies; ensure effective delivery of emergency management programming, Aboriginal policing and crime prevention programs; as well as improve partnerships with other levels of government and key regional stakeholders.

About the Public Safety Portfolio

The Public Safety Portfolio encompasses nine organizations for which the Minister of Public Safety is responsible. In addition to Public Safety Canada, the Portfolio includes the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), the Parole Board of Canada (PBC),and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). It also includes three arm’s-length review bodies: the RCMP External Review Committee, the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, and the Office of the Correctional Investigator. Each organization in the portfolio administers its own access to information and privacy programs, under authorities delegated to them by the Minister.

About the Access to Information Act

The Access to Information Act was implemented on July 1, 1983. The goal of the Act was to help further the democratic process by promoting transparency and accountability of government to the Canadian citizenry. The Access to Information Act creates an enforceable right of access to records under the control of a government in accordance with the principles that government information should be available to the public, that necessary exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific, and that decisions with regard to disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government.

Section 72 of the Access to Information Act requires that the head of every government institution submit an annual report to Parliament on the administration of the Act during the financial year. This report outlines how Public Safety Canada administered the Access to Information Act throughout fiscal year 2012-2013.

The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Unit

The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Unit is part of Public Safety Canada’s Executive Services Division within the Department’s Strategic Policy Branch. It consists of one Manager, two senior advisors, four analysts, one junior analyst and one administrative officer. The ATIP Manager served as the Department’s ATIP Coordinator throughout the reporting year.

The ATIP Unit is responsible for the coordination and implementation of policies, guidelines and procedures to ensure departmental compliance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The Unit is responsible for responding to requests made under the Acts, as well as providing the following services to the Department:

To ensure timely service to Canadians, Public Safety employed temporary help in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year to provide surge capacity in processing the high volume of requests.

Delegation of Authority

The Minister signed a new Delegation Order for the Access to Information Act on February 18, 2013. Both the current and previous delegation instruments are reproduced at Annex A. The new delegation order aligned the delegation of authority with the management structure of the Strategic Policy Branch, which administers the program.

New or Revised Policies, Guidelines or Procedures

There were no new or revised guidelines, policies or procedures issued this fiscal year.

Training

The ATIP Unit provided four training sessions on the Access to Information Act and departmental processes this fiscal year, where a total of 50 employees attended.

Key Issues Raised as a Result of Complaints/Investigations

Public Safety Canada received notice of five new complaints to the Office of the Information Commissioner in 2012-2013. Two related to excluded information, two to exemptions applied and one to the length of extension taken.

Seven findings were received this year. Of these, three were discontinued. Three were not well-founded. One was well-founded resolved without recommendations to the head of the institution and pertained to the length of extension taken by the institution.

There have been no patterns or trends identified by Public Safety Canada as a result of complaints or investigations by the Office of the Information Commissioner.

Appeals to the Court

There was one appeal to the Federal Court that had been included in the 2008–2009 Annual Report to Parliament. The matter is ongoing.

Chapter II - Access to Information Act Statistical Report

Summary

In 2013-2013, Public Safety Canada received 494 requests under the Access to Information Act, and increase of 36 percent over the previous year. Despite this increase in requests, Public Safety Canada completed 94 per cent on time, the sixth consecutive year of over 90 per cent on time completion. The average number of days to process a request was 61. Sixty six per cent of all requests were completed within 30 days.

Overall Workload Trends

Annex B provides a summarized statistical report on Access to Information Act requests processed by Public Safety Canada between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013. The following section provides an overview and interpretation of this information.

In comparison to the past five years, the overall workload for the ATIP Unit increased this year. The figures below include formal Access and Privacy requests, and consultations received from other institutions.

The following table provides an overall breakdown of workload by category for the past five years.

The followingtable provides an overall breakdown of workload by category for the past five years.
  2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013
ATI requests received by Public Safety Canada 235 208 298 363 494
Privacy requests received by Public Safety Canada 12 37 32 55 30
ATI consultations received from other institutions 198 136 223 235 248
Privacy consultations received from other institutions 10 18 9 21 10
Total workload 455 399 562 674 782

Requests Received under the Access to Information Act

Public Safety Canada received 494 new Access to Information Act requests throughout the 2012-2013 fiscal year, representing an increase of approximately 25 per cent over the number of requests received the previous year (363). Seventy-nine requests were carried forward from the previous fiscal year, resulting in a total of 573 requests to process during 2012-2013. Of these requests, 478 were completed during the reporting year, while the remaining 95 requests were carried forward to the next reporting year.

Source of Requests

The media was the primary source of requests received by Public Safety Canada for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. Of the 494 requests received, the media comprised 53 per cent of that number (264). Members of the public who did not identify themselves as belonging to any other category accounted for 29 per cent of requests (145), and 7 per cent were received from organizations (35). A small percentage of requests were submitted from academia (32) and businesses (18), at six per cent and four per cent respectively.

Extensions

Section 9 of the Access to Information Act allows institutions to extend the legal deadline for processing a request if a search for responsive records cannot be completed within
30 days of receipt of the request, or if the institution must consult with other institutions or third parties.

Public Safety Canada plays a role in coordinating activities involving federal institutions within the Public Safety portfolio as well as with other organizations at all levels of government on matters relating to the safety of Canadians. Extensions in excess of 90 days are therefore often necessary in order to undertake the required consultations.

The bulk of extensions taken over 2012-2013 were for consulting with other government departments for reasons other than confirming Cabinet Confidences. Most extensions taken for this reason were for 61-120 days.

Information on completion times

Sixty-six per cent of requests under the Access to Information Act were completed within 30 days in 2012-2013. The average number of days taken to process a request this fiscal year was 61.

The department took an average of 12 days to process requests for consultation in 2012-2013. All but one consultation request were processed within 39 days.

Consultations completed

Public Safety Canada received 248 new consultation requests under the Access to Information Act throughout the 2012-2013 fiscal year. Six requests were carried forward from the previous fiscal year, resulting in a total of 254 requests to process during 2012-2013. Of these requests, 249 were completed during the reporting year, while the remaining five requests were carried forward to the next reporting year. 

Appendix A - Delegation of Authority for the Access to Information Act

The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, pursuant to section 73 of the Access to Information Act*, hereby designates the persons holding the positions set out below, or the persons occupying on an acting basis those positions, to exercise the powers, duties and functions of the Minister as the head of the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, under the provisions of the Act and related regulations set out in the schedule opposite each position. This designation replaces all previous delegation orders.  

Delegation Order - Access to Information Act and Access to Information Regulations
Section Action Deputy Minister & Associate  Deputy Minister Assistant Deputy Minister - National Security ATIP Manager Senior ATIP Advisors and ATIP Analysts
4(2.1) Responsibility of head of institution
7(a) Notice where access requested    
7(b) Giving access to record    
8(1) Transfer of request    
9 Extension of time limits  
11(2)(3) (4)(5)(6) Additional Fees  
12(2)(b) Language of access    
12(3)(b) Access in an alternative format    
13 Exemption - Information obtained in confidence  
14 Exemption - Federal-provincial affairs  
15 Exemption - International affairs and defence ●    
16 Exemption - Law enforcement and investigations ●    
16.5 Exemption - Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act  
17 Exemption - Safety of individuals  
18 Exemption - Economic interests of  Canada ●    
18.1 Exemption - Economic interest of certain government institutions  
19 Exemption - Personal information  
20 Exemption - Third-party information  
21 Exemption - Operations of Government  
22 Exemption - Testing procedures, tests and audits  
22.1 Exemption - Internal Audits  
23 Exemption -Solicitor-client privilege  
24 Exemption - Statutory prohibitions  
25 Severability  
26 Refusal of access where information is to be published  
27(1), (4) Third-party notification    
28(1)(b), (2), (4) Third-party notification    
29(1) Notice of decision to disclose    
33 Notice to Information Commissioner of notices to third parties    
35(2)(b) Right to make representations  
37(4) Access to be given to complainant    
43(1) Notice to third party of application to Federal Court for review    
44(2) Notice to requester of application for review by third party    
52(2)(b), 52(3) Special rules for hearings      
71(1) Facilities for inspection of manuals      
72 Annual report to Parliament      
Delegation Order - Access to Information Act and Access to Information Regulations - Regulation
Section Action Deputy Minister & Associate  Deputy Minister Assistant Deputy Minister - National Security ATIP Manager Senior ATIP Advisors and ATIP Analysts
6(1) Transfer of request    
7(2) Search and preparation fees  
7(3) Production and programming fees  
8 Method of  access    
8.1 Limitations in respect of format    

Appendix B - Statistical Report for 2012-2013 on the Access to Information Act

Name of institution: Public Safety Canada
Reporting period: 01/04/2012 to 31/03/2013

Part 1 - Requests under the Access to Information Act

1.1 Requests
  Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 494
Outstanding from previous reporting period 79
Total 573
Closed during reporting period 478
Carried over to next reporting period 95
1.2 Sources of requests
Source Number of Requests
Media 264
Academia 32
Business (Private Sector) 18
Organization 35
Public 145
Total 494

Part 2 - Requests closed during the reporting period

2.1 Disposition and completion time
Disposition of requests Completion Time
1 to 15 days 16 to 30 days 31 to 60 days 61 to 120 days 121 to 180 days 181 to 365 days More than 365 days Total
All disclosed 5 19 5 3 0 0 0 32
Disclosed in part 3 51 28 48 27 35 10 202
All exempted 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 7
All excluded 1 2 0 2 1 4 0 10
No records exist 54 23 0 0 1 0 0 78
Request transferred 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 15
Request abandoned 19 2 0 0 0 0 0 21
Treated informally 109 4 0 0 0 0 0 113
Total 109 4 0 0 0 0 0 113
2.2 Exemptions
Section Number of requests
1. I.A.: International Affairs
2. Def.: Defence of Canada
3. S.A.: Subversive Activities
13(1)(a) 46
13(1)(b) 9
13(1)(c) 22
13(1)(d) 3
13(1)(e) 1
14(a) 36
14(b) 5
15(1) - I.A.1 74
15(1) - Def.2 20
15(1) - S.A.3 88
16(1)(a)(i) 17
16(1)(a)(ii) 2
16(1)(a)(iii) 4
16(1)(b) 26
16(1)(c) 21
16(1)(d) 5
16(2)(a) 1
16(2)(b) 2
16(2)(c) 55
16(3) 0
16.1(1)(a) 1
16.1(1)(b) 0
16.1(1)(c) 0
16.1(1)(d) 0
16.2(1) 0
16.3 0
16.4(1)(a) 0
16.4(1)(b) 0
16.5 0
17 5
18(a) 1
18(b) 1
18(c) 0
18(d) 0
18.1(1)(a) 1
18.1(1)(b) 1
18.1(1)(c) 1
18.1(1)(d) 1
19(1) 162
20(1)(a) 1
20(1)(b) 24
20(1)(b.1) 2
20(1)(c) 33
20(1)(d) 9
20.1 0
20.2 0
20.4 0
21(1)(a) 106
21(1)(b) 97
21(1)(c) 22
21(1)(d) 15
22 2
22.1(1) 2
23 71
24(1) 11
26 5
2.3 Exclusions
Section Number of requests
68(a) 7
68(b) 0
68(c) 0
68.1 0
68.2(a) 0
68.2(b) 0
69(1)(a) 14
69(1)(b) 0
69(1)(c) 0
69(1)(d) 9
69(1)(e) 24
69(1)(f) 2
69(1)(g) re (a) 15
69(1)(g) re (b) 1
69(1)(g) re (c) 18
69(1)(g) re (d) 3
69(1)(g) re (e) 12
69(1)(g) re (f) 10
69.1(1) 0
2.4 Format of information released
Disposition Paper Electronic Other formats
All disclosed 18 14 0
Disclosed in part 51 145 0
Total 75 159 0

2.5 Complexity

2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Disposition of requests Number of pages processed Number of pages disclosed Number of requests
All disclosed 4396 3969 32
Disclosed in part 83348 51281 202
All exempted 568 0 7
All excluded 1039 0 10
Request abandoned 184 103 21
2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
Disposition Less than 100 pages processed 101-500 pages processed 501-1000 pages processed 1001-5000 pages processed More than 5000 pages processed
Number of Requests Pages disclosed Number of Requests Pages disclosed Number of Requests Pages disclosed Number of Requests Pages disclosed Number of Requests Pages disclosed
All disclosed 25 346 4 800 2 1447 1 1376 0 0
Disclosed in part 88 2878 67 11164 21 10337 26 26902 0 0
All exempted 5 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 5 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Abandoned 20 0 1 103 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 143 3224 79 12067 11784 27 27 28278 0 0
2.5.3 Other complexities
Disposition Consultation required Legal Advice Sought Interwoven Information Other Total
All disclosed 10 1 0 0 11
Disclosed in part 151 12 4 3 170
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 7 0 1 0 8
Abandoned 1 6 0 0 7
Total 169 19 5 3 196

2.6 Deemed refusals

2.6.1 Reasons for not meeting statutory deadline
Number of requests closed past the statutory deadline Principal Reason
Workload External consultation Internal consultation Other
31 9 22 0 0
2.6.2 Number of days past deadline
Number of days past deadline Number of requests past deadline where no extension was taken Number of requests past deadline where an extension was taken Total
1 to 15 days 0 3 3
16 to 30 days 0 3 3
31 to 60 days 0 3 3
61 to 120 days 0 11 11
121 to 180 days 0 2 2
181 to 365 days 0 3 3
More than 365 days 0 6 6
Total 0 31 31
2.7 Requests for translation
Translation Requests Accepted Refused Total
English to French 0 0 0
French to English 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0

Part 3 - Extensions

3.1 Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests
Disposition of requests where an extension was taken 9(1)(a) Interference with operations 9(1)(b) Consultation 9(1)(c) Third party notice
Section 69 Other
All disclosed 0 0 8 0
Disclosed in part 47 30 111 9
All exempted 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 6 1 0
No records exist 0 1 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0
Total 47 37 120 9
3.2 Length of extensions
Disposition of requests where an extension was taken 9(1)(a) Interference with operations 9(1)(b) Consultation 9(1)(c) Third party notice
Section 69 Other
30 days or less 18 0 24 6
31 to 60 days 18 0 34 3
61 to 120 days 9 9 42 0
121 to 180 days 2 10 14 0
181 to 365 days 0 18 6 0
365 days or more 0 0 0 0
Total 47 37 120 9

Part 4 - Fees

Fee Type Fee Collected Fee Waived or Refunded
Number of Requests Amount Number of Requests Amount
Application 345 $1,625 139 $695
Search 2 $188 0 $668
Production 0 $0 0 $0
Programming 0 $0 0 $0
Preparation 0 $0 0 $0
Alternative format 0 $0 182 $416
Reproduction 0 $0 91 $448
Total 347 $1,813 421 $2,227

Part 5 - Consultations received from other institutions and organizations

5.1 Consultations received from other government institutions and organizations
Consultations Other government institutions Number of pages to review Other organizations Number of pages to review
Received during reporting period 244 7338 4 153
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 6 9527 0 0
Total 250 16865 4 153
Closed during the reporting period 245 16812 4 153
Pending at the end of the reporting period 5 53 0 0
5.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other government institutions
Recommendation Number of days required to complete consultation requests
1 to 15 days 16 to 30 days 31 to 60 days 61 to 120 days 121 to 180 days 181 to 365 days than 365 days Total
Disclose entirely 82 10 0 0 0 0 0 92
Disclose in part 73 35 4 0 0 1 0 113
Exempt entirely 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Exclude entirely 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Consult other institution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 37 0 0 0 0 0 0 37
Total 195 45 4 0 0 1 0 245
5.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations
Recommendation Number of days required to complete consultation requests
1 to 15 days 16 to 30 days 31 to 60 days 61 to 120 days 121 to 180 days 181 to 365 days than 365 days Total
Disclose entirely 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Disclose in part 2 0 0 0 0 0   2
Exempt entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 4

Part 6 - Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences

Number of days Number of responses received Number of responses received past deadline
1 to 15 50 7
16 to 30 1 1
31 to 60 1 1
61 to 120 1 1
121 to 180 0 0
181 to 365 0 0
More than 365 0 0
Total 53 10

Part 7 - Resources related to the Access to Information Act

7.1 Costs
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $614,804
Overtime $750
Goods and Services $155,928
  • Professional services contracts $77,291  
  • Other $78,637
Total $771,482
7.2 Human Resources
Resources Dedicated full-time to ATI activities Dedicated part-time to ATI activities Total
Full-time employees 8.00 1.00 9.00
Part-time and casual employees 0.42 0.00 0.42
Regional staff 0.00 0.00 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 0.36 0.00 0.36
Students 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total 8.78 1.00 9.78
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