Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
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Frequently Asked Questions

Proactive Disclosure of Completed Access to Information Requests


Why is AANDC posting lists of completed formal Access to Information (ATI) requests on its internet site?

AANDC is making this information available on the departmental website, so that Canadians are informed about the information being released by the department. This information released by AANDC is available to any Canadian upon request.


What is included in the ATI list?

The list includes lists of completed formal requests by AANDC under the Access to Information Act (ATIA), indicating the request number, a summary of the request, a brief description of the release package and the number of pages released.


How often will the ATI list be updated?

Updates to the ATI list will be made on a monthly basis.


What period does the ATI list currently cover?

The ATI list will contain summaries of completed requests undertaken in fiscal 2010-2011 and will continue to be updated on a permanent basis from this point forward.


Why does the ATI list only cover requests since April 2010?

A decision was made to begin this new practice, commencing in 2010-2011.


Can I access requests prior to April 2010?

The ATIP Directorate keeps the files for two years plus one month from the last administrative action. Files between September 2008 and March 2010 are available upon request. Files dated prior to September 2008 have been disposed of according to the Retention Guidelines for Common Administrative Records of the Government of Canada.


How many formal requests under the ATIA does AANDC receive per month?

AANDC’s ATIP Directorate receives an average of 30 formal requests under the ATIA per month.


What languages are these records released in?

Copies of records are only released in the same language that they were originally disclosed. Should you wish to have copies translated into the other Official Language, this service may be provided if deemed in the public interest to do so.


If I am interested in one of these records, how can I get a copy of it?

To obtain a copy of the records released in response to these requests informally, you may contact our office by email at ATIP-AIPRP@aadnc-aandc.gc.ca including your full name and complete mailing address, as well as the file number.

You can also send your request to:

Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP)
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
10 Wellington Street
18th floor,
Gatineau, Québec
K1A 0H4

For further questions regarding this process, please contact our Access to Information Directorate at (819) 997-8277 or Fax (819) 953-5492.


Is there a fee to obtain a copy of these records?

It has been AANDC’s practice to require a $0.20 per page as a photocopying fee on informal files.


In the ATI list, in the second to last column, what does the status wording mean?

  • All Disclosed – All records provided by program officials were released in their entirety.

  • Disclosed in Part – Records provided by program officials were released in part, either due to:
    • application of an exemption under the Access to Information Act;
    • there were several copies of the same record provided; or
    • programs had provided records that were “outside the scope” of the original request.

  • Nothing Disclosed (exemption) – All records provided by program officials were subject to an exemption under the Access to Information Act.

  • Nothing Disclosed (exclusion) – All records provided by program officials were subject to an exclusion under the Access to Information Act.

What is the difference between an “exclusion” and an “exemption” under the Access to Information Act?

An exemption is a provision of the Access to Information Act which entitles the head of the institution to refuse to disclose information in response to a request received under the Act, as prescribed in Sections 13 through 26 of the Act.

An exclusion occurs in instances where the Access to Information Act does not apply to certain materials (that is, the material is outside the scope of the Act). Such materials include published material or material available for purchase by the public; library or museum material preserved solely for public reference or exhibition purposes; or material placed in the National Archives, the National Library or the National Museums of Canada by or on behalf of persons or organizations other than government institutions; and confidences of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.


Why would only a few pages of record(s) be released? Doesn’t the government hold a lot of information?

If only a couple pages of record(s) were released, it would be because either:

  • the records provided by program officials were subject to an exemption or exclusion under the Access to Information Act;
  • there were several copies of the same record provided; or
  • programs had provided records that were “outside the scope” of the original request.

It is also possible that program officials initially provided ATIP Directorate with only a couple pages, which were then released partially or in their entirety.

For more information on the Access to Information Act  .