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Date: 2014

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Table of Contents

 

Introduction

I. Introduction

The purpose of the Access to Information Act (ATIA) is to provide Canadians with access to records under the control of federal institutions, except for records subject to limited and specific exemptions and exclusions.

This report, submitted to Parliament pursuant to section 72 of the Act, describes the activities of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) that support compliance with access to information legislation. The report details the activities and accomplishments of AANDC's Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Directorate, including highlights such as:

Our Department

AANDC supports Aboriginal peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) and Northerners in their efforts to:

AANDC is the federal department primarily responsible for meeting the Government of Canada's obligations and commitments to First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and for fulfilling the federal government's constitutional responsibilities in the North. AANDC's overall mandate and wide-ranging responsibilities are shaped by centuries of history and unique demographic and geographic challenges. The mandate is derived from the Constitution Act 1982, the Indian Act, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act, territorial Acts, treaties, comprehensive claims and self-government agreements, as well as various other statutes affecting Aboriginal people and the North.

Most of the department's programs, representing a majority of its spending, are delivered through partnerships with First Nation and Aboriginal communities and federal-provincial or federal-territorial agreements. AANDC also works with urban Aboriginal people, Métis and non-status Indians (many of whom live in rural areas).

II. Organization

ATIP Directorate at AANDC

The ATIP Directorate is responsible for the administration of requests made under the ATIA. It was established within the Corporate Secretariat and reports to the Corporate Secretary, who is directly accountable to the Deputy Heand is a member of the AANDC Senior Management Committee (SMC). The Directorate also coordinates and implements policies, guidelines and procedures to ensure departmental compliance with the ATIA. Workshop presentations, training courses and awareness sessions designed to increase access to information and privacy capacity across the Department are also provided by the Directorate.

The Directorate comprises two divisions: the Operations Unit and the Privacy Policy Unit. The structure of the Privacy Policy Unit can be found in the 2013-2014 AANDC Annual Report to Parliament on the Privacy Act, while the Operations Unit, which is responsible for the processing of requests and consultations, is structured as follows:

View text version of this graph

This flow chart describes the structure of the Operations Unit within the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Directorate.

The Director's Office is composed of the following:

  • The Director (EX-01), as institutional ATIP Coordinator, holds full delegated authority under the Act. The Director is supported in day-to-day administrative tasks by the Administrative Assistant (AS-01) and in reporting and policy initiatives by the Reporting Analyst (PM-03).

Under the Director's Office are the following Teams:

  • The Intake Team:
    • The Intake Team is comprised of one Intake Officer (PM-01) and 1 Clerk (CR-04), who enter all applications into the electronic case management system, acknowledge receipt of requests, perform imaging services and are responsible for other administrative tasks.
  • Ops Teams:
    • Two Ops Teams are each leby Team Leaders (PM-05), who are responsible for the oversight of request administration by their team, including review of completed requests, training and capacity building. Each Ops Team consists of Analysts (a varying mix of PM-04, PM-03 and PM-02 levels), who process requests of varying volume and complexity based on their level.

Within each of the sectors and regional offices of AANDC are ATIP Liaison Officers (ALOs) who receive callouts from the ATIP Directorate and subsequently task the request to appropriate areas within their sector. ALOs plays a crucial role in ensuring requests are clear to the record retrievers and that the appropriate records, impact statements and approvals are obtained and communicated to ATIP Directorate officials in a timely manner.

III. Delegation Order

Under section 73 of the ATIA, the Minister's authority may be delegated to departmental officials in order to administer the Act within AANDC.

During the reporting period, the delegation order signed by Minister John Duncan on August 30, 2011 was in effect
(Appendix A). Under section 73 of the Act, the order delegates full authority and responsibility for the ATIA to the following positions:

The ATIP Coordinator can also sub-delegate to either one of the Team Leader positions.


Statistics

IV. Interpretation of the Statistical Report

AANDC's Statistical Report was submitted to the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) on May 1, 2014 (Appendix B). The Report details various aspects of the requests AANDC received and processed during the period of April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.

Part 1. Requests under the Access to Information Act

1.1 Requests Received

In 2013-2014, AANDC received 556 requests under the ATIA in addition to 101 requests that were carried over from the previous year (Table 1.1). Of these 657 requests, the ATIP Directorate completed 586 requests and carries 71 requests over into the 2014-2015.

Table 1.1 Number of Requests from 2013-2014
Number of Requests 2012-2013 2013-2014
Received 648 556
Outstanding from last year 83 101
Total 731 657
Closed this year 623 586
Carried over to next year 108 71
1.2 Sources of Requests

Of the 556 requests received during the reporting period, 229 (41.4%) were received from members of the media, followed by 214 (39.3%) from the general public, and 65 (11.7%) from businesses in the private sector (Table 1.2).

Table 1.2 Sources of Requests
Source 2012-2013 2013-2014
Media 149 (23.0%) 229 (41.4%)
Public 386 (59.6%) 214 (39.3%)
Business 54 (8.3%) 65 (11.7%)
Organization 41 (6.3%) 27 (4.9%)
Academia 18 (2.8%) 21 (3.8%)
Total 648 556

AANDC continues to receive requests predominantly from the public and media. Media requests, in particular, became more frequent (81 or 54.4% more requests) as journalists sought records related to high-profile topics.

Part 2. Requests closed during the reporting period

2.1 Disposition and completion time

Of the 586 requests closed during the reporting period (Table 2.1), AANDC was able to fully or partially disclose records in 372 cases; that is, 63.5% of the time a request was submitted to AANDC, the result was a disclosure of records (similar to the 66.8% rate reported in 2012-2013). In these cases, the majority of requests (173, or 46.5%) took 30 days or less to complete. Overall, 369 (62.9%) of the 586 requests were closed within the statutory 30 day timeframe.

Thirteen percent of requests were abandoned by the requester, treated informally, or transferred to the appropriate government institution. Only in 25 cases (4.2% of all requests) were the relevant records fully exempted or excluded under provisions of the ATIA.

There were 217 requests that required greater than 30 days to process, 85 of which took greater than 120 days to complete. However, 79 of these 85 requests resulted in the full or partial disclosure of records

The most frequent outcome of the requests processed during the reporting period was ‘Disclosed in part', which was the result of 256 requests (43.7%), followed by ‘All disclosed' which was the result of 116 requests (19.8%). In 59 instances, the request was abandoned by the requester, likely because the original request was not complete, clarification could not be obtained, or because the cost estimate for search fees was not accepted.

Figure 2.1 Outcomes of Closed Requests

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During the reporting period:

  • 43.7% of requests resulted in a disposition of "Disclosed in part";
  • 19.8% of requests resulted in a disposition of "All disclosed";
  • 19.5% of requests resulted in a disposition of "No records exist";
  • 10.1% of requests resulted in a disposition of "Request abandoned";
  • 1.4% of requests resulted in a disposition of "Treated informally";
  • 3.6% of requests resulted in a disposition of "All exempted";
  • 0.7% of requests resulted in a disposition of "All excluded"; and
  • 1.4% of requests resulted in a disposition of "Request transferred".
Table 2.1 Disposition and completion time of requests made under the Access to Information Act
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 24 70 12 8 1 1 0 116
Disclosed in part 12 67 27 73 54 23 0 256
All exempted 6 5 2 3 3 2 0 21
All excluded 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 4
No records exist 54 55 4 1 0 0 0 114
Request transferred 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 8
Request abandoned 52 6 1 0 0 0 0 59
Treated informally 3 5 0 0 0 0 0 8
Total 160 209 46 86 59 26 0 586
2.2 Exemptions

As seen in previous years, the most common exemption invoked during the reporting period was the severing of government operations information pursuant to subsection 21(1) of the ATIA, which was cited in 205 (73.7%) release packages (Table 2.2). The next most common exemptions applied were under those subsection 19(1) (191 instances (68.7%)) and 20(1) (147 instances (52.9%)), which protect personal information and certain third party information, respectively.

In general, exemptions were used more frequently over 2013-2014 in comparison to previous years, with 775 total exemptions applied across 397 requests where relevant records were retrieved and treated.

Table 2.2 Number of requests closed where exemption provisions were invoked
Section Number of requests
13(1)(a) 2
13(1)(b) 4
13(1)(c) 16
13(1)(d) 1
13(1)(e) 0
14(a) 22
14(b) 0
15(1) – I.A. 2
15(1) – Def. 8
15(1) – S.A. 0
16(1)(a)(i) 4
16(1)(a)(ii) 0
16(1)(a)(iii) 0
16(1)(b) 4
16(1)(c) 10
16(1)(d) 0
16(2)(a) 0
16(2)(b) 0
16(2)(c) 0
16(3) 0
16.1(1)(a) 0
16.1(1)(b) 0
16.1(1)(c) 0
16.1(1)(d) 0
16.2(1) 39
16.3 0
16.4(1)(a) 0
16.4(1)(b) 0
16.5 0
17 4
18(a) 2
18(b) 5
18(c) 0
18(d) 1
18.1(1)(a) 0
18.1(1)(b) 0
18.1(1)(c) 0
18.1(1)(d) 0
19(1) 191
20(1)(a) 5
20(1)(b) 84
20(1)(b.1) 0
20(1)(c) 25
20(1)(d) 33
20.1 0
20.2 0
20.4 0
21(1)(a) 80
21(1)(b) 58
21(1)(c) 54
21(1)(d) 13
22 12
22.1(1) 0
23 92
24(1) 3
26 1
Total: 775
2.3 Exclusions

In 2013-2014, out of 397 requests where relevant records were retrieved and treated, a total of 102 exclusions were applied. Exclusions were predominantly cited pursuant to subsection 69(1)(g), which was applied in 63 requests (60.8%) (Table 2.3). These exclusions generally contained references to records related to funding via TBS Submissions and Memoranda to Cabinet.

Table 2.3 Number of requests closed where exclusion provisions were applied
Section Number of requests
68(a) 0
68(b) 0
68(c) 0
68.1 0
68.2(a) 0
68.2(b) 0
69(1)(a) 10
69(1)(b) 0
69(1)(c) 1
69(1)(d) 5
69(1)(e) 21
69(1)(f) 2
69(1)(g) re (a) 63
69(1)(g) re (b) 0
69(1)(g) re (c) 0
69(1)(g) re (d) 0
69(1)(g) re (e) 0
69(1)(g) re (f) 0
Total 102
2.4 Format of information released

Over the course of this reporting period, the majority of responses were provided to the requester in CD ROM format. In total, AANDC conveyed response packages electronically in 215 requests (77.3% of all responses) where records were disclosed.

Table 2.4 Format of information released
Disposition Paper Electronic Other formats
All disclosed 36 65 5
Disclosed in part 14 150 8
Total 50 215 13
2.5 Complexity

The following sections detail several factors affecting the complexity of requests that were completed throughout 2013-2014.

2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed

During the reporting period, the ATIP Directorate retrieved and reviewed 324,047 pages across 456 requests of records under the control of the Department (Table 2.5.1). This is a decrease of over 72,000 pages from 2012-2013. View the full listing of AANDC's completed access to information requests since 2010.

In 2013-2014, AANDC increased the average amount of pages released per request to 281.1 pages, a significant increase over the average release of 252.2 pages per request from 2012-2013. In addition, 38.7% (125,567 pages) of the total records processed during the reporting period were disclosed partially, or in their entirety, an increase of over the previous year's 31.5% release rate.

Table 2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Disposition of requests Number of pages processed Number of pages disclosed Number of requests
All disclosed 27,337 12,641 116
Disclosed in part 266,639 112,926 256
All exempted 27,171 0 21
All excluded 1,684 0 4
Request abandoned 1,216 0 59
Total 324,047 125,567 456
2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests

Just over half of the requests (230 or 50.4%) required 100 pages of processing or less (Table 2.5.2). At the other end of the spectrum, 63 requests required the review of over 1,000 pages, including 14 requests of over 5,000 pages to process. These 63 high-volume requests accounted for 87,534 (69.7%) of all pages of records released over the course of 2013-2014.

Table 2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of request
Disposition Less than 100
pages
processed
101-500
pages
processed
501-1000
pages
processed
1001-5000
pages
processed
More than
5000 pages
processed
Requests Pages disclosed Requests Pages disclosed Requests Pages disclosed Requests Pages disclosed Requests Pages disclosed
All disclosed 86 2,029 25 4,189 2 1,695 2 4,719 1 9
Disclosed in Part 76 1,539 83 13,930 39 14,651 47 44,801 11 38,005
All exempted 10 0 5 0 4 0 0 0 2 0
All excluded 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
Abandoned 57 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 230 3,568 116 18,119 47 16,346 49 49,520 14 38,014
2.5.3 Other complexities

During the reporting period, AANDC faced several challenges that increased the complexity of its requests. Out of the 586 requests completed, the subject matter of 252 requests (or 43.0% of all requests) was deemed to be of a sensitive nature. Such requests sought records pertaining to high-profile issues in the media, budget and spending information related to Aboriginal groups, allegations and complaints.

Consultations with stakeholders remained an important factor for the processing of requests at AANDC. The Department consulted 189 times regarding records that contained information pertinent to other government institutions or third parties. When consultations were undertaken, the most frequent outcome of the request was full or partial release of records (176 instances). AANDC most frequently consulted with the departmental Legal Services Unit (DLSU) regarding potential Cabinet Confidences and the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding information that is subject to solicitor-client privilege. AANDC also frequently consulted with Canada Post Corporation (CPC), Environment Canada (EC), the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), Health Canada (HC), Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN), Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

AANDC continued to collect application fees with most new requests (see Part 4).

Table 2.5.3 Other complexities related to requests closed during the reporting period
Disposition Consultation required Assessment of fees Legal advice sought Other Total
All disclosed 17 1 0 98 116
Disclosed in part 159 8 0 89 256
All exempted 11 0 0 10 21
All excluded 2 0 0 2 4
Abandoned 0 6 0 53 59
Total 189 15 0 252 456

As it did in 2011-2012, and 2012-2013, AANDC continued to encounter complex files with a high number of pages for review. One approach that was taken in previous years was used once more, and proved successful yet again in 2013-2014. When multiple requesters made identical or similar requests for the same large set of records, AANDC obtained consent from each of the requesters to apply an extension to their file and administer all requests as one single file. In return, AANDC committed to waiving all search and retrieval fees and making interim releases to the requesters if possible. The approach was well-received and each of these files was closed during 2013-2014 with no subsequent complaint filed.

2.6 Deemed refusals

During the reporting period, AANDC completed all requests within their statutory deadlines.

2.7 Requests for translation

During the reporting period, there was only one instance where a requester asked that responsive records be translated to another official language, to which request AANDC complied.

Part 3. Extensions

3.1 Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests

A total of 213 extensions under section 9(1) of the ATIA were applied in 2013-2014.The most frequent reasons for extending the statutory timeline of requests in 2013-2014 were similar to the most frequent reasons in 2012-2013. The most prevalent reason for extending deadlines this reporting period was for consultation with Other Government Departments (OGDs) (81 times, or 38.0% of all extensions) and third party organizations (48 times, or 22.5% of all extensions).

In all cases where extensions pursuant to 9(1)(a) were taken, the requests resulted in dispositions of ‘All disclosed' or ‘Disclosed in part'. Where an extension was taken under either 9(1)(a), (b) or (c), records were fully or partially disclosed in 197 out of 213 (92.4%) instances (Table 3.1). Only in 11 cases were extensions applied for external consultations with OGDs or third parties and no records released due to exemptions. In only one where extensions were taken for consultations, the request was abandoned by the requester.

Of the 60 requests where extensions were taken for the purpose of consulting the DLSU on potential Cabinet confidences, 58 resulted in the disclosure of records (for more on DLSU consultations, see Part 6).

Figure 3.1 Extensions and workload over the past three years

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This bar graphs shows the trends of extensions and workloof requests from 2011-2012 to 2013-2014.

  • In 2011-2012:
    • 127 extensions were applied pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(a);
    • 90 extensions were applied pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(b);
    • 40 extensions were applied pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(c);
    • 257 total extensions were taken;
    • 606 formal requests were completed
  • In 2012-2013:
    • 31 extensions were applied pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(a);
    • 101 extensions were applied pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(b);
    • 57 extensions were applied pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(c);
    • 189 total extensions were taken;
    • 731 formal requests were completed
  • In 2013-2014:
    • 24 extensions were applied pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(a);
    • 141 extensions were applied pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(b);
    • 48 extensions were applied pursuant to paragraph 9(1)(c);
    • 213 total extensions were taken;
    • 657 formal requests were completed
Table 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 2 1 2 4
Disclosed in part 22 57 71 38
All exempted 0 1 5 5
All excluded 0 1 1 0
No records exist 0 0 1 1
Request abandoned 0 0 1 0
Total 24 60 81 48
3.2 Length of extensions

The majority of extensions applied during the reporting period were less than 180 days. Only on 44 occasions (or 20.7% of the time) were longer extensions applied due to significantly large volumes of records, and in no circumstances did AANDC take an extension for greater than 180 days.

Table 3.2 Length of extensions
Length of extension 9(1)(a) Interference
with Operations
9(1)(b) Consultation 9(1)(c)
Third Party Notice
Section 69 Other
30 days or less 3 1 4 0
31 to 60 days 3 1 17 24
61 to 120 days 6 44 35 12
121 to 180 days 2 4 12 1
181 to 365 days 10 10 13 11
365 days or more 0 0 0 0
Total 24 60 81 48

The length of extensions applied under paragraphs (b) was largely dependent on timeframes decided by the other organization. Whenever an extension of over 30 days was applied, AANDC notified the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC).

Part 4. Fees

AANDC collected $2,580 in application fees and waived $14,800 in fees over the course of the reporting period (Table 4). For five requests, search fees were assessed and collected for a total of $5,656.

The movement toward electronic release of information has allowed the Department to avoid assessing fees for reproduction and preparation costs in most scenarios. AANDC will continue to emphasize electronic release of records wherever possible.

Table 4. Fees collected and waived
Fee Type Fee Collected Fee Waived or Refunded
# of Requests Amount # of Requests Amount
Application 516 $2,580 14 $70
Search 5 $5,656 6 $14,730
Production 0 $0 0 $0
Programming 0 $0 0 $0
Preparation 0 $0 0 $0
Alternative format 0 $0 0 $0
Reproduction 0 $0 0 $0
Total 521 $8,236 20 $14,800

Part 5. Consultations received from other institutions and organizations

5.1 Consultations received from other institutions and organizations

AANDC received 168 consultations for a total of 9,320 pages from other government institutions. AANDC carried over another 16 files from last year, for a total of 184 consultations (Table 5.1). This figure represents a 14.0% decrease from the 214 consultations received in 2012-2013.

The ATIP Directorate completed 175 consultations, reviewing 9,831 pages in the process, and carried over 20 into the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Table 5.1 Consultations received from other institutions and organizations
Consultations Other government institutions # Pages to review Other organizations # Pages to review
Received during reporting period 168 9,320 0 0
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 16 5,598 0 0
Total 184 14,918 0 0
Closed during the reporting period 164 9,196 0 0
Pending at the end of the reporting period 20 5,722 0 0
5.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other government institutions

For the purposes of this section, "other government institutions" are other institutions subject to the Access to Information Act. In the majority of cases (104 consultation requests, or 63.4% of all consultation requests) AANDC recommended that the government institution disclose the consulted pages in their entirety (Figure 5.2).

The bulk of consultations processed by the ATIP Directorate (159 consultation requests, or 97.5% of all consultation requests) were completed within 30 days of their receipt (Table 5.2). There were no occurrences where AANDC required longer than 60 days to provide a response to the consulting institution.

Table 5.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other government institutions
Recommendations Number of days required to complete consultations
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 77 26 1 0 0 0 0 104
Disclosed in part 20 16 3 0 0 0 0 39
Exempt entirely 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 8
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution 8 4 0 0 0 0 0 12
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 111 48 4 0 0 0 0 163
5.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations

In 2013-2014, AANDC received no consultation requests from other organizations. For the purposes of this section, other organizations include the governments of the provinces, territories and municipalities and of other countries.

Table 5.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations
Recommendations Number of days required to complete consultations
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
Disclosed 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

Part 6. Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences

During 2013-2014, AANDC sent 40 consultations on the application of section 69 of the ATIA to DLSU for Cabinet confidences certification (Table 6). Only five consultations on Cabinet confidences took greater than 180 days to complete. All consultations were completed by the DLSU before the deadline provided by AANDC, a large improvement upon last year's statistics, wherein only 24.5% of all consultations were received before the deadline.

Table 6 Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences
Number of days Number of responses
received
Number of responses
received past deadline
1 to 15 0 0
16 to 30 1 0
31 to 60 1 0
61 to 120 20 0
121 to 180 13 0
181 to 365 5 0
More than 365 0 0
Total 40 0

Part 7. Resources related to the Access to Information Act

7.1 Costs
Table 7.1 Costs for the administration of the ATIA
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $947,989
Overtime $1,377
Goods and Services $53,744
Professional services contracts $53,744
Other $0
Total $1,003,110

In 2013-2014, AANDC spent $1,003,110 on the administration of the ATIA, which is an increase of $134,534 (or 15.9%) from the $868,576 expended in 2012-2013 (Table 7.1). In particular, $331,103 more was devoted to salary while AANDC spent $194,378 less on operations, including professional services contracts. Last reporting period, in 2012-2013, the ATIP directorate relied on consultants from temporary help services to assist in the treatment of files. This year, many full-time openings were staffed permanently. This transition accounts for the significant reallocation of expenditures from goods and services to salaries.

Figure 7.1 Budget figures for the administration of the Access to Information Act over the previous four years

View text version of this graph
  • In 2010-2011:
    • $739,898 was expended on salary;
    • $110,515 was expended on operations and management (O&M);
    • $850,413 in total was expended to administer the Access to Information Act at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
  • In 2011-2012:
    • $568,790 was expended on salary;
    • $174,034 was expended on operations and management (O&M);
    • $748,970 in total was expended to administer the Access to Information Act at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
  • In 2012-2013:
    • $616,886 was expended on salary;
    • $248,112 was expended on operations and management (O&M);
    • $868,576 in total was expended to administer the Access to Information Act at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
  • In 2013-2014:
    • $947,989 was expended on salary;
    • $53,744 was expended on operations and management (O&M);
    • $1,001,733 in total was expended to administer the Access to Information Act at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

7.2 Human Resources

The Operations Unit within the ATIP Directorate consisted of 12.54 full-time equivalents (FTEs) dedicated to access to information activities (Table 7.2). All 12.54 FTEs were dedicated fully to access to information activities. Over the course of the reporting period, AANDC hired 8.50 FTEs of consultants or agency personnel to aid in administering the ATIA, particularly files of higher complexity and sensitivity. In general, AANDC ha larger contingent of personnel working on access requests than in previous years.

Table 7.2 Human resources dedicated to the administration of the Access to Information Act
Resources Dedicated full-time to
ATI Activities
Dedicated part-time to
ATI activities
Total
Full-time employees 12.54 0.00 12.54
Part-time and casual employees 0.00 0.00 0.00
Regional staff 0.00 0.00 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 1.5 0.00 1.50
Students 1.00 6.00 7.00
Total 15.04 6.00 21.04

Part 8. Informal release of previous released ATI packages and other ATIP Directorate functions

Throughout the reporting period, the ATIP Directorate also processed other types of files than formal requests under the ATIA. These include informal requests from the public as well as various other services provided internally to the Department. In total, the Directorate received nearly 750 informal or "other" requests in 2013-2014.

Informal Access Requests (Appendix A-1 of the TBS Statistical Report)

AANDC receives requests for information that can be answered without citing the ATIA but keeping within the spirit of the legislation. No application fee is required. Requests are treated informally when the information requested is mostly in the public domain or can be disclosed for other reasons (example: a band audit to a band member). In total, the ATIP Directorate treated 187 access-related requests through informal means in 2013-2014.

Any copy of a release package from a previously completed request, as listed on the AANDC Completed Access to Information Requests web page, is captured as pro-active disclosure. In 2013-2014, AANDC processed 82 requests for pro-active disclosure.

V. Complaints and Investigations

During the 2013-2014 reporting period, there were 60 complaints registered with the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) against AANDC (Table V.1). Approximately 65% of the complaints received cited one of two reasons: the application of exemptions or exclusions (26 complaints, 43.3%) or the ‘no records'/incomplete response that was received by the requester (13 complaints, 21.7%).

Of the 20 complaints that were closed during the reporting period, half (9, or 45.0%) were deemed well-founded by the OIC but all were resolved without the OIC providing AANDC with recommendations (Table V.2). Almost a third (6, or 30%) were deemed not well-founded while five complaints were discontinued by the requester.

Table V.1 Number of complaints received
Type of Complaint Number of Complaints
Exemption/Exclusion 26
No Records/Incomplete 13
Time Extension 9
Miscellaneous 4
Delay (Deemed Refusal) 2
Cabinet Confidence Exclusion 5
Fees 1
Special Delegation 0
Total 60

Table V.2 Findings of completed investigations
Type of Finding Number of Occurrences
Well-founded, resolved without recommendations 9
Not well-founded 6
Discontinued 5
Well-founded with recommendations, resolved 0
Settled 0
Total 20

Highlights

VI. 2013-2014 Points of Interest

Under the leadership and support of the Corporate Secretary and ATIP director, the ATIP Directorate focused its business in 2013-2014 upon three key pillars: legislative and policy compliance, modernization, and engagement and support. The following are highlights of some activities undertaken this year under these key areas.

Full Compliance with Statutory Deadlines

AANDC reported no deemed refusals and closed each of the 586 requests it processed in 2013-2014 on time. Dating back to Q2 2011-2012, AANDC has gone 34 consecutive months without completing a request late.

Access to Information and Privacy Liaison Shared Drive

This year, the ATIP directorate created the Access to Information and Privacy Liaison Shared Drive. The Shared Drive allows for simple transfers of records between the ATIP directorate and offices of primary interest. The ATIP Liaison Shared Drive is an improvement upon its predecessor system, allowing for faster and easier distribution of consultations and records.

ATIP Online Request Pilot Project

In January 2014, the ATIP Directorate made further steps in its transition to a fully electronic record retrieval process. The ATIP Directorate launched the Access to Information and Privacy Online Request Pilot Project. This online pilot project makes it easier to submit access to information and privacy requests. Insteof printing, scanning and mailing forms to AANDC, individuals can now submit their requests online. Requestors are also able to pay the $5.00 application fee for their access to information request online securely using a credit card. This new and improved method of making ATIP requests will simplify the application process.

Education and Training

Educating staff on the ATIA as well as its implications for the Department and its operations continues to be of high importance to AANDC.

AANDC recognizes that a solid understanding of the ATIA allows analysts to better handle requests for records and respond with greater confidence and efficiency. Ongoing training of ATIP staff will positively impact how AANDC meets its legislative obligations and implements TBS policies and procedures including the "Duty to Assist" requesters.

To this end, several training sessions were offered over the year to ATIP employees regarding jurisprudence and the application of specific sections of the ATIA. ATIP employees are also encouraged to attend ATIP community conferences hosted by TBS or the OIC. In addition, opportunities were given to several ATIP employees to provide training to departmental staff and to build relationships with the various program areas of AANDC.

With respect to departmental training, AANDC continued its successful training campaign of 2013-2014. This year, the ATIP training presentation deck was revised to provide improved information and instruction to departmental staff. In total, the ATIP Directorate held 9 formal training sessions on the ATIA, as well as numerous informal ad hoc sessions as requested by AANDC program areas.

VII. Changes to the Organization, Policies, Guidelines and Procedures

Organization Changes

In 2013 - 2014, the Directorate stabilized its senior management structure. A permanent Director (EX-1) was appointed to head the directorate and a Team Leader position (PM-5) was filled through the use of another departmental pool. The Directorate also established a Deputy Director position (PM-6) to provide further organizational support to the Director and to manage daily ATIP activities.

The Directorate also faced human resource challenges with the departure of six employees, most notably the Manager of Privacy (PM-5) and two senior analysts (PM-4).

The Directorate saw these vacancies however, as an opportunity to provide support to the entire federal government ATIP community. Considering the specialized nature of ATIP, all departmental ATIP offices face staffing challenges and finding trained, qualified resources. As such, the Directorate launched three competitive staffing processes (PM-1, PM-4, and PM-6) which were open to the Canadian public. The goal of these processes was to establish pools of qualified candidates in each PM level which would be open to all ATIP offices across government. In the spirit of further collaboration, the PM-4 competitive process was chaired jointly by AANDC and Industry Canada's ATIP Directors.

The Directorate also continued its practice of hiring several FSWEP students and providing them with a meaningful work experience, which included a rotation through each of the Privacy Policy, Intake and Operations Units.

Procedural Changes

Beyond the transition to electronic record retrieval, and creation of the ATIP Liaison Shared Drive, no significant procedural changes were undertaken in 2013-2014.


Appendix A

Order of Delegation of the Access to Information Act dated August 30, 2011

Pursuant to the powers of designation conferred upon me by Section 73 of the Access to Information Act, the persons exercising the functions or positions of Deputy Minister (position number 00001), Associate Deputy Minister (position number 00000006), Deputy Minister's Office; Corporate Secretary, (position number 12294), Corporate Secretariat; and the departmental Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator (position number 20003872) and their respective successors, including in their absence, a person or officer designated in writing to act in the place of the holder of any such functions or positions are hereby designated to exercise those powers, duties or functions of the Minister as the Head of the government institution under the Act, and as set out in the attached Schedule A.

The departmental Access to Information and Privacy Senior Advisors (position numbers 62364, 12590 and 12061) and their respective successors, including in her/his absence, a person or officer designated in writing as being authorized to act in the place of the holder of any such function or position, are hereby designated to exercise those powers, duties or functions of the Minister as the Head of the government institution under the Act, and as set out in the attached Schedule B.

Original signed by

______________________________
Ministre des Affaires indiennes et du développement du Nord
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Dated at Gatineau, the _________ of ___________ 2011

SCHEDULE A

DEPARTMENT OF INDIAN AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT SCHEDULE TO DELEGATION ORDER

DESIGNATION PURSUANT TO SECTION 73 OF THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT

Sections and Powers, Duties or Functions

6
Advise requesters that we need additional information to proceed with their request
7(a)
Give written notice to requestor that we can proceed with the request
8(1)
Transfer request to another institution or accept transfer from another institution
9
Extend time limits
10
Refuse to acknowledge or deny the existence of records
11
Charge additional fees
12(2)(3)
Provide access in alternate format
13
Exempt information obtained in confidence
14
Exempt information pertaining to federal-provincial affairs
15
Exempt information pertaining to international affairs and/or defence
16
Exempt information pertaining to law enforcement and investigations
17
Exempt information pertaining to the safety of individuals
18
Exempt information pertaining to the economic interests of Canada
19
Exempt personal information
20
Exempt or disclose third party information
21
Exempt information pertaining to advice, decision-making processes of government plans and positions etc.
22
Exempt information pertaining to testing procedures or audits
23
Exempt information pertaining to solicitor-client privilege
24
Exempt information subject to statutory prohibitions or other Acts of Parliament
25
Sever information
26
Exempt information to be published within 90 days
27(1)(4)
Notify third parties of their rights to provide comments/representations regarding the disclosure of their records
28(4)
third party representations; make a decision as to whether to disclose the record or part thereof; and, notify third party of right to appeal to Federal Court
29(1)
Disclose information on Information Commissioner's recommendation
33
Advise the Information Commissioner of any third party involvement
35(2)
Make representations to the Information Commissioner during an investigation
37(4)
Release information to complainant
43(1)
Issue a notice to a third party of an application for Court review
44(2)
Issue a notice to an applicant that a third party has applied for Court review
52
Request special rules for hearings
69
Exclude Cabinet Confidences
71
Inspect and exempt information in manuals
72(1)
Prepare Annual Report to Parliament
77
Carry out responsibilities conferred to the Head of the institution by the regulations made under section 77 which are not included in the above

SCHEDULE B

DEPARTMENT OF INDIAN AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT
SCHEDULE TO DELEGATION ORDER

DESIGNATION PURSUANT TO SECTION 73 OF
THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT

Sections and Powers, Duties or Functions

6
Advise requesters that we need additional information to proceed with their request
7(a)
Give written notice to requestor that we can proceed with the request
8(1)
Transfer request to another institution or accept transfer from another institution
9
Extend time limits
11
Charge additional fees
27(1)(4)
Notify third parties of their rights to provide comments/ representations regarding the disclosure of their records
28(1)(2)
Receive third party representations
28(4)
Make a decision as to whether to disclose the record or part thereof; and, notify third party of right to appeal to Federal Court
33
Advise the Information Commissioner of any third party involvement
35(2)
Make representations to the Information Commissioner during an investigation
43(1)
Issue a notice to a third party of an application for Court review
44(2)
Issue a notice to an applicant that a third party has applied for Court review

Appendix B

AANDC 2013-2014 Statistical Report on the Administration of the Access to Information Act - Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act

Part 1 - Requests under the Access to Information Act

1.1 Number of Requests
Requests Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 556
Outstanding from previous reporting period 101
Total 657
Closed during reporting period 586
Carried over to next reporting period 71

1.2 Sources of requests
Source Number of Requests
Media 229
Academia 21
Business (Private Sector) 65
Organization 27
Public 214
Total 556

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 24 70 12 8 1 1 0 116
Disclosed in part 12 67 27 73 54 23 0 256
All exempted 6 5 2 3 3 2 0 21
All excluded 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 4
No records exist 54 55 4 1 0 0 0 114
Request transferred 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 8
Request abandoned 52 6 1 0 0 0 0 59
Treated informally 3 5 0 0 0 0 0 8
Total 160 209 46 86 59 26 0 586

2.2 Exemptions
Section Number of requests
13(1)(a) 2
13(1)(b) 4
13(1)(c) 16
13(1)(d) 1
13(1)(e) 0
14(a) 22
14(b) 0
15(1) – I.A. 2
15(1) – Def. 8
15(1) – S.A. 0
16(1)(a)(i) 4
16(1)(a)(ii) 0
16(1)(a)(iii) 0
16(1)(b) 4
16(1)(c) 10
16(1)(d) 0
16(2)(a) 0
16(2)(b) 0
16(2)(c) 0
16(3) 0
16.1(1)(a) 0
16.1(1)(b) 0
16.1(1)(c) 0
16.1(1)(d) 0
16.2(1) 39
16.3  
16.4(1)(a) 0
16.4(1)(b) 0
16.5 0
17 4
18(a) 2
18(b) 5
18(c) 0
18(d) 1
18.1(1)(a) 0
18.1(1)(b) 0
18.1(1)(c) 0
18.1(1)(d) 0
19(1) 191
20(1)(a) 5
20(1)(b) 84
20(1)(b.1) 0
20(1)(c) 25
20(1)(d) 33
20.1 0
20.2 0
20.4 0
21(1)(a) 80
21(1)(b) 58
21(1)(c) 54
21(1)(d) 13
22 12
22.1(1) 0
23 92
24(1) 3
26 1

2.3 Exclusions
Section Number of requests
68(a) 0
68(b) 0
68(c) 0
68.1 0
68.2(a) 0
68.2(b) 0
69(1)(a) 10
69(1)(b) 0
69(1)(c) 1
69(1)(d) 5
69(1)(e) 21
69(1)(f) 2
69(1)(g) re (a) 63
69(1)(g) re (b) 0
69(1)(g) re (c) 0
69(1)(g) re (d) 0
69(1)(g) re (e) 0
69(1)(g) re (f) 0
69.1(1) 0

2.4  Format of information released
Disposition Paper Electronic Other Formats
All disclosed 36 65 5
Disclosed in part 14 150 8
Total 50 215 13

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 27,337 12,641 116
Disclosed in part 266,639 112,926 256
All exempted 27,171 0 21
All excluded 1,684 0 4
Request abandoned 1,216 0 59

2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of request
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 86 2,029 25 4,189 2 1,695 2 4,719 1 9
Disclosed in Part 76 1,539 83 13,930 39 14,651 47 44,801 11 38,005
All exempted 10 0 5 0 4 0 0 0 2 0
All excluded 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
Abandoned 57 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 230 3,568 116 18,119 47 16,346 49 49,520 14 38,014

2.5.3  Other complexities
Disposition Consultation required Assessment of fees Legal advice sought Other Total
All disclosed 17 1 0 98 116
Disclosed in part 159 8 0 89 256
All exempted 11 0 0 10 21
All excluded 2 0 0 2 4
Abandoned 0 6 0 53 59
Total 189 15 0 252 456

2.6 Deemed refusals

2.6.1. Reasons for not meeting statutory deadline
Number of requests closed past the statutory deadline Principle Reason
Workload External consultation Internal consultation Other
0 0 0 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 0 0
16 to 30 days 0 0 0
31 to 60 days 0 0 0
61 to 120 days 0 0 0
121 to 180 days 0 0 0
181 to 365 days 0 0 0
More than 365 days 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0

2.7 Requests for translation
Translation Requests Accepted Refused Total
English to French 0 0 0
French to English 1 0 1
Total 1 0 1

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 2 1 2 4
Disclosed in part 22 57 71 38
All exempted 0 1 5 5
All excluded 0 1 1 0
No records exist 0 0 1 1
Request abandoned 0 0 1 0
Total 24 60 81 48

3.2  Length of extensions
Length of extension 9(1)(a) Interference
with Operations
9(1)(b) Consultation 9(1)(c)
Third Party Notice
Section 69 Other
30 days or less 3 1 1 0
31 to 60 days 3 1 17 24
61 to 120 days 6 44 35 12
121 to 180 days 2 4 12 1
181 to 365 days 10 10 13 11
365 days or more 0 0 0 0
Total 24 60 81 48

Part 4 - Fees

4.  Fees
Fee Type Fee Collected Fee Waived or Refunded
Number of requests Amount Number of requests Amount
Application 516 $2,580 14 $70
Search 5 $5,656 6 $14,730
Production 0 $0 0 $0
Programming 0 $0 0 $0
Preparation 0 $0 0 $0
Alternative format 0 $0 0 $0
Reproduction 0 $0 0 $0
Total 521 $8,236 20 $14,800

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 168 9,320 0 0
Outstanding from the previous reporting 16 5,598 0 0
Total 184 14,918 0 0
Closed during the reporting period 164 9,196 0 0
Pending at the end of the reporting period 20 5,722 0 0

5.2  Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other government institutions
Recommendation Number of days required to complete consultations
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 77 26 1 0 0 0 0 104
Disclosed in part 20 16 3 1 0 0 0 40
Exempt entirely 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 8
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution 8 4 0 0 0 0 0 12
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 111 48 4 1 0 0 0 164

5.3  Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations
Recommendation Number of days required to complete consultations
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
Disclosed 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

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 0 0
16 to 30 1 0
31 to 60 1 0
61 to 120 20 0
121 to 180 13 0
181 to 365 5 0
More than 365 0 0
Total 40 0

Part 7 - Resources related to the Access to Information Act

7.1  Costs
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $947,989
Overtime $1,377
Goods and Services $53,744
Professional $53,744
Other $0
Total $1,003,110

7.2  Human resources
Resources Dedicated full-time to ATI Activities Dedicated part-time to ATI Activities Total
Full-time employees 12.54 0.00 12.54
Part-time and casual employees 0.00 0.00 0.00
Regional staff 0.00 0.00 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 1.50 0.00 1.50
Students 1.00 6.00 7.00
Total 15.04 6.00 21.04
 
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