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Annual Report on the Administration of the Access to Information Act 2019-2020

Table of contents


Introduction

The Access to Information Act (Revised Statutes of Canada, Chapter A-1, 1985) was proclaimed on July 1, 1983, giving Canadian citizens and permanent residents the right to access information contained in government records, subject to certain specific and limited exceptions.

The Access to Information Act (the Act) gives Canadian citizens, as well as people and corporations present in Canada, the right to access federal government records that are not of a personal nature. The Act complements, but does not replace, other procedures for obtaining government information. It is not intended to limit, in any way, the access to government information that is normally available to the public upon request.

This annual report describes how the Canada School of Public Service (the School) administered its responsibilities under the Act during the 2019-2020 fiscal year. This report is tabled in Parliament in accordance with section 94 of the Act.

The School acts much like a corporate training and development institution for its client organizations. It supports common public-service learning at all levels nationwide and across more than 90 federal departments and agencies, while federal organizations focus on mandate-specific training and development. It has a legislative mandate to provide a range of learning activities to build individual and organizational capacity and management excellence within the public service.

Under its Departmental Results Framework, the School has one core responsibility to provide common learning to all employees of the core public service to serve Canadians with excellence.

Established on April 1, 2004, under the Public Service Modernization Act and operating under the authority of the Canada School of Public Service Act (CSPS Act), the School's primary responsibility is to provide a range of learning opportunities and develop a learning culture within the public service.

The School, a departmental corporation, is mandated under the CSPS Act to:

  • encourage pride and excellence in the public service
  • foster a common sense of purpose, values and traditions in the public service
  • support deputy heads in meeting the learning needs of their organizations
  • pursue excellence in public management and administration

The School supports deputy head accountabilities with respect to leadership and professional development across the public service by identifying organizational needs and designing and delivering high-quality, practical programs that address the key development requirements of public service employees.

Organizational structure and access to information and privacy responsibilities

The School's access to information and privacy (ATIP) activities are primarily carried out by the ATIP, Parliamentary and Cabinet Affairs, and Special Projects Unit. This unit reports to the Director General of Communications and Engagement and is led by a manager, who is the School's ATIP coordinator, 1 ATIP Advisor, as well as 1 student.

In addition to its activities related to parliamentary affairs and government accountability, the responsibilities of the School's ATIP, Parliamentary and Cabinet Affairs, and Special Projects Unit include the following:

  • processing requests for information submitted under the Access to Information Act and requests for personal information pursuant to the Privacy Act in accordance with legislation, regulations and Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) policies and guidelines
  • responding to ATIP consultations received from other government institutions and organizations
  • providing advice and guidance to requesters on the application of ATIP legislation, as well as promoting awareness and training to School employees
  • cooperating with the Office of the Information Commissioner and with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner on the resolution of complaints
  • reviewing departmental documents prior to their proactive disclosure on the School's website
  • ensuring that the School's information holdings (classes of records and personal information banks) are published in Info Source
  • preparing the statistical reports and the annual reports on the administration of the Access to Information Act and on the administration of the Privacy Act
  • participating in ATIP community activities, such as the Treasury Board Secretariat-led ATIP coordinators' and ATIP practitioners' meetings and working groups

Delegation of authority

In June 2019, the School's President delegated full authority for the purposes of the Act to the Director General of Communications and Engagement; and to the ATIP, Parliamentary and Cabinet Affairs, and Special Projects Unit's manager, as the ATIP Coordinator. A copy of the signed delegation instrument for the Act, which took effect on June 17, 2019,is included as Annex A.

Interpretation of the Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act for 2019-2020

The following outlines the information contained in the Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act for 2019-2020, which is included as Annex B.

Requests received under the Act, consultations, and informal requests

Between April 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020, the School received 30 new requests for information under the Act. The School also had 9 outstanding requests from the previous reporting period. Thirty-six requests were completed, and 3 were carried over to the next reporting year.

In addition, the School received 22 consultation requests under the Act from other government institutions, involving records of potential interest to the School. The School also had no outstanding requests from the previous reporting period. All of these consultation requests were completed during the reporting period, with a total of 804 pages reviewed. Recommendations were provided within the time set by the consulting government institutions. Of the consultation requests, 18 (82%) were disclosed in full, 3 (14%) were disclosed in part, and 1 (4%) was identified as other.

Disposition of completed requests

There were 12 requests (33%) that resulted in full disclosure to the applicant. In 18 cases (50%), some information was withheld in accordance with the Act's exemption provisions. In 6 cases (17%), the requested records did not exist.

Source of requests received

The most common sources of requests were the general public sector with 21 requests (70%), private sector (business) with 8 requests (27%), followed by organization, which had 1 request (3%).

Completion time and extensions on completed requests

There were 22 requests (61%) processed in 30 days or less, 4 requests (11%) requiring up to 60 days to process.

An extension beyond the initial 30 days is permitted if responding to the request would require a search through a large volume of records and meeting the original time limit would unreasonably interfere with operations, or if consultations are required. The School claimed an extension on 13 of the requests completed in 2019-2020. The extensions were required for operational reasons (workload pressures) and a consultation process.

During the reporting period, the School was able to meet its deadline for 33 requests.

Exemptions and exclusions

Exemptions and exclusions are the only grounds to withhold information found in records that are requested under the Access to Information Act. Their application is limited and specific, as stipulated in the Act.

For requests where an exemption was invoked, the most frequently applied provisions were those of Subsection 19(1), which protects personal information pertaining to individuals other than the requester, Section 20, which provides for the withholding of confidential third-party information, and Section 21, which protects certain classes of information about the internal decision-making processes of government, the disclosure of which could interfere with the operations of government institutions.

The Act indicates that certain types of materials are excluded from its application, specifically, records that are already available to the public (Section 68) and Cabinet confidences (Section 69). The School invoked 1 exclusion under Section 69 during the reporting period.

Format of information released

The School provided records electronically in 30 cases (83%) and no records existed in 6 cases (17%).

Relevant pages disclosed

A total of 23,799 pages were reviewed by staff during the reporting period, with 11,023 of these pages resulting in disclosure (in full or in part) to requesters. The remaining 12,776 pages were either withheld pursuant to exemptions under the Act, or were not relevant.

Overview of requests received under the Access to Information Act since 2012-2013

Overview of requests received under the Privacy Act since 2012-2013
Fiscal year Requests received Requests completedNote* Number of pages processed Number of pages released
2019-2020 30 6 23,799 11,023
2018-2019 25 16 2,860 2,727
2017-2018 29 30 32,609 28,747
2016-2017 20 23 119,499 119,375
2015-2016 28 29 25,486 25,387
2014-2015 30 28 3,109 2,495
2013-2014 30 27 4,353 4,201
2012-2013 26 36 8,972 8,972

Reporting on Access to Information fees for the purposes of the Service Fees Act

The Service Fees Act requires a responsible authority to report annually to Parliament on the fees collected by the institution.

With respect to fees collected under the Access to Information Act, the information below is reported in accordance with the requirements of section 20 of the Service Fees Act.

The Act authorizes fees for certain activities related to the processing of formal requests. Current fees are specified in the Access to Information Regulations.

The School collected $150 in fees, as permitted by the Act and its regulations. No fees were waived in 2019-2020.

Costs

Salary costs related to the administration of the Access to Information Act incurred by the ATIP, Parliamentary and Cabinet Affairs, and Special Projects Unit are estimated at $54,024. Overhead and maintenance costs are estimated at $24,583 for a total of $78,607.

Training and awareness

The ATIP, Parliamentary and Cabinet Affairs, and Special Projects Unit informs and guides employees and requesters regarding the requirements of the Access to Information Act through ongoing dialogue and informal discussions. During the reporting period, the ATIP, Parliamentary and Cabinet Affairs, and Special Projects Unit employees responded to inquiries from employees and senior management, providing advice and guidance on various subjects pertaining to the Act.

A dedicated section on the School's intranet site provides School employees and ATIP liaison officers with key information on ATIP and reiterates employee accountability for ensuring that personal information is handled in accordance with the Act. However, no formal training activities were provided during the reporting period.

New procedures, guidelines and directives

The School did not implement new or revised access to information policies, guidelines or procedures in 2019-2020. 

The School continues to post summaries of completed access to information requests on its website.

Complaints

The School received 4 new complaints by the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) in 2019-2020. The OIC concluded that 1 complaint was founded.

Monitoring time to process

Since the School is a small institution with a relatively low number of requests in comparison with other institutions, senior management is kept informed of the time to process access to information requests by means of a weekly report and through ongoing verbal briefings. ATIP staff meet to discuss the weekly report with the Director General of Communications and Engagement, in the President's Office. This report is also shared and discussed with the President, Vice-Presidents and Directors General on a weekly basis.

Annex A: Delegation Order

Access to Information Act

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


Taki Sarantakis
President of the Canada School of Public Service

Date
June 17, 2019
Access to Information Act
Provision Description Director General, Communications and Engagement Manager, Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP), and Parliamentary Affairs (ATIP Coordinator)
4(2.1) Responsibility of government institutions X X
7(a) Notice when access requested X X
7(b) Giving access to record X X
8(1) Transfer of request to another government institution X X
9 Extension of time limits X X
11(2), (3), (4), (5), (6) Additional fees X X
12(2)(b) Language of access X X
12(3)(b) Access in an alternative format X X
13 Exemption - Information obtained in confidence X X
14 Exemption - Federal-provincial affairs X X
15 Exemption - International affairs and defence X X
16 Exemption - Law enforcement and investigations X X
16.5 Exemption - Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act X X
17 Exemption - Safety of individuals X X
18 Exemption - Economic interests of Canada X X
18.1 Exemption - Economic interest of the Canada Post Corporation, Export Development Canada, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board and VIA Rail Canada Inc. X X
19 Exemption - Personal information X X
20 Exemption - Third-party information X X
21 Exemption - Operations of Government X X
22 Exemption - Testing procedures, tests and audits X X
22.1 Exemption - Audit working papers and draft audit reports X X
23 Exemption - Solicitor-client privilege X X
24 Exemption - Statutory prohibitions X X
25 Severability X X
26 Exception - Information to be published X X
27(1), (4) Third-party notification X X
28(1)(b), (2), (4) Third-party notification X X
29(1) Where the Information Commissioner recommends disclosure X X
33 Advising Information Commissioner of third-party involvement X X
35(2)(b) Right to make representations X X
37(4) Access to be given to complainant X X
43(1) Notice to third party (application to Federal Court for review) X X
44(2) Notice to applicant (application to Federal Court by third party) X X
52(2)(b), (3) Special rules for hearings X X
71(1) Facilities for inspection of manuals X X
72 Annual report to Parliament X X
Access to Information Regulations
Provision Description Director General, Communications and Engagement Manager, Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) and Parliamentary Affairs (ATIP Coordinator)
6(1) Transfer of request X X
7(2) Search and preparation fees X X
7(3) Production and programming fees X X
8 Providing access to record(s) X X
8.1 Limitations in respect of format X X

Annex B: Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act for 2019-2020

Name of institution: Canada School of Public Service

Reporting period: 2019-04-01 to 2020-03-31

Section 1: Requests Under the Access to Information Act

1.1 Number of requests
Number of requests
Received during reporting period 30
Outstanding from previous reporting period 9
Total 39
Closed during reporting period 36
Carried over to next reporting period 3
1.2 Sources of requests
Source Number of requests
Media 0
Academia 0
Business (private sector) 8
Organization 1
Public 21
Decline to Identify 0
Total 30
1.3 Informal 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
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Note: All requests previously recorded as "treated informally" will now be accounted for in this section only.

Section 2: Decline to act on vexatious, made in bad faith or abuse of right requests

Number of requests
Number of requests
Outstanding from previous reporting period 0
Sent during reporting period 0
Total 0
Approved by the Information Commissioner during reporting period 0
Declined by the Information Commissioner during reporting period 0
Carried over to next reporting period 0

Section 3: Requests Closed During the Reporting Period

3.1 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 1 7 1 3 0 0 0 12
Disclosed in part 0 10 3 2 0 2 1 18
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No records exist 0 4 0 0 2 0 0 6
Request transferred 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Decline to act with the approval of the Information Commisioner 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 21 4 5 2 2 1 36
3.2 Exemptions
Section Number of requests Section Number of requests Section Number of requests Section Number of requests
13(1)(a) 1 16(2) 0 18(a) 0 20.1 0
13(1)(b) 0 16(2)(a) 0 18(b) 0 20.2 0
13(1)(c) 0 16(2)(a) 0 18(c) 0 20.4 0
13(1)(d) 0 16(2)(c) 0 18(d) 0 21(1)(a) 3
13(1)(e) 0 16(3) 0 18.1(1)(a) 0 21(1)(b) 0
14 0 16.1(1)(a) 0 18.1(1)(b) 5 21(1)(c) 1
14(a) 0 16.1(1)(b) 0 18.1(1)(c) 1 21(1)(d) 4
14(b) 0 16.1(1)(c) 0 18.1(1)(d) 0 22 0
15(1) 0 16.1(1)(d) 0 19(1) 16 22.1(1) 0
15(1) - I.A.Note* 0 16.2(1) 0 20(1)(a) 1 23 0
15(1) - Def.Note* 0 16.3 0 20(1)(b) 11 23.1 0
15(1) - S.A.Note* 0 16.31 0 20(1)(b.1) 0 24(1) 0
16(1)(a)(i) 0 16.4(1)(a) 0 20(1)(c) 9 26 0
16(1)(a)(ii) 0 16.4(1)(b) 0 20(1)(d) 1
16(1)(a)(iii) 0 16.5 0
16(1)(b) 0 16.6 0
16(1)(c) 0 17 1
16(1)(d) 0
3.3 Exclusions
Section Number of requests Section Number of requests Section Number of requests
68(a) 0 69(1) 0 69(1)(g) re 0
68(b) 0 69(1)(a) 0 69(1)(g) re 0
68(c) 0 69(1)(b) 0 69(1)(g) re (c) 0
68.1 0 69(1)(c)(b) 0 69(1)(g) re 0
68.2(a) 0 69(1)(d) 0 69(1)(g) re 0
68.2(b) 0 69(1)(e) 0 69(1)(g) re (f) 0
  69(1)(f) 0 69.1(1) 0
3.4 Format of information released
Paper Electronic Other
0 30 0

3.5 Complexity

3.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Number of pages processed Number of pages disclosed Number of requests
23,799 11,023 30
3.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
Disposition Less than 100
pages processed
101 to 500
pages processed
501 to 1000
pages processed
1001 to 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 5 171 5 1,097 1 645 1 3,738 0 0
Disclosed in part 10 312 4 1,110 2 1,275 1 1,445 1 1,230
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 15 483 9 2,207 3 1,920 2 5,183 1 1,230
3.5.3 Other complexities
Disposition Consultation
required
Legal advice sought Interwoven
information
Other Total
All disclosed 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 1 0 0 0 1
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 0 0 0 1

3.6 Closed requests

3.6.1 Number of requests closed within legislated timelines
  Requests closed within legislated timelines
Number of requests closed within legislated timelines 33
Percentage of requests closed within legislated timelines (%) 91.7

3.7 Deemed refusals

3.7.1 Reasons for not meeting legislated timelines
Number of Requests Closed Past the Legislated Timelines Principal Reason
Interference with Operations / Workload External
Consultation
Internal
Consultation
Other
3 3 0 0 0
3.7.2 Requests closed beyond legislated timelines (including any extension taken)
Number of Days Past Legislated Timelines Number of Requests Past Legislated Timeline Where No Extension Was Taken Number of Requests Past Legislated Timelines Where an Extension Was Taken Total
1 to 15 days 0 0 0
16 to 30 days 0 0 0
31 to 60 days 0 1 1
61 to 120 days 0 0 0
121 to 180 days 0 0 0
181 to 365 days 0 2 2
More than 365 days 0 0 0
Total 0 3 3
3.8 Requests for translation
Translation Requests Accepted Refused Total
English to French 0 0 0
French to English 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0

Section 4: Extensions

4.1 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 3 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 7 0 1 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0
No records exist 2 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0
Total 12 0 1 0
4.2 Length of extensions
Length of Extensions 9(1)(a)
Interference
with operations
9(1)(b)
Consultation
9(1)(c)
Third-Party Notice
Section 69 Other
30 days or less 1 0 1 0
31 to 60 days 5 0 0 0
61 to 120 days 6 0 0 0
121 to 180 days 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 days 0 0 0 0
365 days or more 0 0 0 0
Total 12 0 1 0

Section 5: Fees

Fees
Fee Type Fee Collected Fee Waived or Refunded
Requests Amount Requests Amount
Application 30 $150 0 $0
Other fees 0 $0 0 $0
Total 30 $150 0 $0

Section 6: Consultations received from other institutions and organizations

6.1 Consultations received from other Government of Canada institutions and organizations
Consultations Other Government of Canada institutions Number of pages to review Other organizations Number of pages to review
Received during reporting period 22 804 0 0
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 0 0 0 0
Total 22 804 0 0
Closed during the reporting period 22 804 0 0
Pending at the end of the reporting period 0 0 0 0
6.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other Government of Canada 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
More than
365 days
Total
Disclose entirely 9 7 2 0 0 0 0 18
Disclose in part 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 3
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 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Total 18 8 4 0 0 0 0 22
6.3 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
More than
365 days
Total
Disclose entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclose in part 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Section 7: Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences

7.1 Requests with Legal Services
Number of days Fewer than 100
Pages processed
101 to 500
Pages processed
501 to 1,000
Pages processed
1,001 to 5,000
Pages processed
More than 5,000
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
1 to 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7.2 Requests with Privy Council Office
Number of days Fewer than 100
pages processed
101-500
pages processed
501-1,000
pages processed
1,001-5,000
pages processed
More than 5,000
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
1 to 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Section 8: Complaints and Investigations

Complaints and Investigations
Section 32
Notice of intention to investigate
Subsection 30(5)
Ceased to investigate
Section 35
Formal representations
Section 37
Reports of finding received
Section 37
Reports of finding containing recommendations issued by the Information Commissioner
Section 37
Reports of finding containing orders issued by the Information Commissioner
4 0 1 1 0 0

Section 9: Court Action

9.1 Court actions on complaints received before June 21, 2019 and on-going
Section 41
(before June 21, 2019
Section 42 Section 44 Total
0 0 0 0
9.2 Court actions on complaints received after June 21, 2019
Section 41 (after June 21, 2019)
Complainant (1) Institution (2) Third Party (3) Privacy Commissioner (4) Total
0 0 0 0 0

Section 10: Resources Related to the Access to Information Act

10.1 Costs
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $53,668
Overtime $356
Goods and Services $24,583
  • Professional services contracts:
$23,391  
  • Other:
$1,192  
Total $78,607
10.2 Human Resources
Resources Person years dedicated to access to information activities
Full-time employees 0.72
Part-time and casual employees 0.00
Regional staff 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 0.17
Students 0.00
Total 0.98

Note: Enter values to two decimal places.

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