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Access to Information and Privacy Unit

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Overview

For the purposes of the Access to Information Act, the Minister of the Public Works and Government Services, Minister of Status of Women and minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification delegated her powers, authorities and responsibilities to the Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management (Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator) and Manager, Corporate Administration (Deputy Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator). These individuals are accountable for the development, coordination and implementation of effective policies, guidelines, systems and procedures to ensure the Minister’s responsibilities under the Act are met and enabling the appropriate processing and proper disclosure of information. In 2010, the delegation also extended limited authority to the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Officer to acknowledge access requests and manage related extensions, which is consistent with the best practices identified in an April 2010 Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) study.

One full-time ATIP Officer in the Corporate Administration unit assists the Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator with ATIP functions at WD.

Regional ATIP Liaison Officers (RALOs) are located in WD’s regional offices in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, in the Policy and Strategic Direction office in Ottawa and within the Corporate Headquarters and Human Resources units. Access- and privacy-related responsibilities are not the primary work responsibilities of these individuals, but are in addition to responsibilities of their substantive positions. The RALOs include representation from Communications, regional Finance and Corporate Services units, the Corporate Secretariat, Corporate Finance and Human Resources. RALOs are the first point of contact and identify the appropriate subject experts, coordinate retrieval of records responding to access requests and liaise between the ATIP Unit and regional staff concerning enquiries.

The activities of WD’s ATIP Unit include:

  • processing requests in accordance with the Act;
  • responding to consultations submitted by other federal institutions on WD records being considered for release;
  • developing and maintaining policies, procedures and guidelines to ensure the Act is respected by staff;
  • promoting awareness of the Act within the department to ensure staff is aware of the obligations imposed by the legislation;
  • preparing annual reports to Parliament and other statutory requirements, such as annual statistical reports and the department’s Info Source chapter, as well as any material that may be required by central agencies;
  • representing WD in dealings with TBS, the Information Commissioner of Canada and other federal organisations regarding the application of the Act as it relates to WD;
  • monitoring departmental compliance with the Act, its regulations as well as relevant policies and procedures;
  • providing ongoing advice and guidance to senior management and all staff on information management and access to information legislation.

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Departmental Policies and Procedures

In accordance with the TBS Directive on Administration of the Access to Information Act that came into effect on April 1, 2010, WD updated its Access to Information Policy to ensure that its employees understand their duty to assist and to include internal procedures to address suspected obstructions of the right of access, which are defined in section 67.1 of the Act and section 6.2.10 of the Policy on Access to Information (see Appendix A).

The department’s internal Access to Information Procedures Manual underwent significant changes in 2010. The updated manual was completed in March 2011. Copies of the updated manual were provided to RALOs and posted to the department’s internal web site for general information.

In addition, WD improved information about ATIP on its public web site, including specific information about how to make a request under the Access to Information Act (see Appendix B).

Access to Information Training and Awareness

The ATIP Coordinator, Deputy ATIP Coordinator and ATIP Officer provide ongoing advice on access to information issues to RALOs and staff to increase awareness of the Act. They also provide guidance on how the department processes access requests, and the rationale required to apply the exemptions and exclusions, where appropriate.

WD ATIP Staff Training:

The Deputy ATIP Coordinator and ATIP Officer attended the Access and Privacy Conference held in Edmonton in June 2010. The ATIP Officer also attended TBS ATIP Community Meetings in April, May, September and November 2010 and February 2011 and participated in TBS training sessions on extensions and Section 20 in November and December 2010.

WD Staff Training:

  • In January 2010, an ATIP Meeting and Awareness Session with the RALOs was held in Edmonton (12 attendees). This two-day meeting was the first session held specifically for the RALOs and included an overview of the Act, annual reporting requirements, access procedures, training and in-depth exemptions and exclusions review, information security and records management information sessions as well as roundtable discussions.
  • In February 2010, an Access to Information Awareness Session was held in the Calgary office (nine attendees).
  • As part of its access procedures, the ATIP Officer meets with the appropriate RALO and subject experts before retrieving records responding to access requests. This has improved awareness and ensured understanding of requirements and timelines as well as clarifying the scope of requests to ensure that records and appropriate advice are received.
  • A WD Access to Information Act Exemption/Exclusion Guide was compiled by the ATIP Unit to assist subject experts who are responsible for providing advice on records under the care and control of the department and to help them consider whether information is sensitive and potentially requiring severance before being disclosed to the requestor.

“The ATIP Eye” tips are sent to WD staff via email and posted on the department’s internal web site. The tips provide advice on frequently asked questions, specific exemptions or areas where the department might improve on its obligations under the Act in 2010–2011, nine tips and specific access messages were prepared, including providing advice, third-party information, Cabinet confidences, the duty to assist, the “need to know,” security and federal–provincial affairs. The tips are shared with ATIP officials in federal departments, including the regional development agencies in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, the Canadian Space Agency, National Research Council of Canada and other departments that are part of the Small Agency Administrators Network.

The department also promoted Right to Know Week (September 27–October 1, 2010) via email to all staff as a news bulletin on WD’s intranet site.

The department also maintains an “Access to Information and Privacy” presence on its internal web site that includes policies, procedures, contact information, past training and awareness presentations, relevant links to useful sites related to access and privacy as well as “The ATIP Eye” tips noted above.

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Info Source

WD made substantial changes to its 2010 Info Source chapter to include improvements that the Treasury Board Portfolio office identified as part of the Management Accountability Framework review of Area of Management No. 12 in 2009, including assigning unique record numbers to each Institution-Specific Class of Record. TBS advised that the 2010 submission meet TBS requirements, needed minor corrections and provided general advice concerning the ongoing update and maintenance of the information contained in the chapter.

Access to Information Act and Privacy Act Delegation Order

Text version: Access to Information Act and Privacy Act Delegation Order
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Scanned image of Delegation Order for the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act.

Access to Information Act Delegation of Authority Schedule

Sections of the Act Powers and Duties Position
7(a) Notice where access requested
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
  • ATIP Officer
8(1)

Transfer to – transfer from institution

  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
9

Extension of time limits

  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
  • ATIP Officer
11(2), (3), (4), (5), (6) Additional fees
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
12(2) Language of access
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
12(3) Access in an alternative format
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
13 Information obtained in confidence
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
14 Federal-provincial affairs
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
15 International affairs and defence
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
16

Law enforcement and investigations

  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
17 Safety of individuals
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
18 Economic interests of Canada
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
19 Personal information
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
20 Third party information
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
21

Advice, etc.

  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
22

Testing procedures, tests and audits

  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
23 Solicitor-client privilege
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
24 Statutory prohibitions
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
25 Severance
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
26

Refusal of access where information to be published

  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
27(1), (4) Third party notification
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
  • ATIP Officer
28(1), (2), (4) Third party notification
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
  • ATIP Officer
29(1) Disclosure on recommendation of Information Commissioner
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
33

Advise Information Commissioner of third party involvement

  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
  • ATIP Officer
35(2) Right to make representations
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
37(4) Access to be given complainant
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
43(1) Notice of third party (application to Federal Court for review)
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
44(2) Notice to applicant (application to Federal Court by third party)
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
52(2), (3) Special rules of hearings
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
69

Excluded information

  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
71(2)

Exempt information severed from manuals

  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration
77 Responsibilities conferred on the head of the institution by the regulations made under section 77 which are not included above
  • Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Management
  • Manager, Corporate Administration

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2010–2011 Report on the Access to Information Act (Statistical Report)

Name of institution: Western Economic Diversification Canada / Diversification de l'économie de l'Ouest Canada

Reporting period:From: 2010/04/01
to: 2011/03/31

I – Requests under the Access to Information Act / Demandes en vertu de la Loi sur l'accès à l'information

 

Received during reporting period / Reçues pendant la période visée par le rapport 18
Outstanding from previous period / En suspens depuis la période antérieure 1
Total 19
Completed during reporting period / Traitées pendant la période visées par le rapport 19
Carried forward / Reportées 0

 

II – Dispositon of requests completed / Disposition à l'égard des demandes traitées

All disclosed / Communication totale 6
Disclosed in part / Communication partielle 7
Nothing disclosed (excluded) / Aucune communication (exclusion) 0
Nothing disclosed (exempt) / Aucune communication (exemption) 0
Transferred / Transmission 0
Unable to process / Traitement impossible 1
Abandoned by applicant / Abandon de la demande 5
Treated informally / Traitement non officiel 0
Total 19

 

III – Exemptions invoked / Exceptions invoquées

 

Section Number of requests
S. Art. 13(1)(a) 0
S. Art. 19(1)(a) 0
(b) 1
(c) 0
(d) 0
S. Art. 14 1
S. 15(1) International rel. / Art. Relations interm. 0
Defence / Défense 0
Subversive activities / Activités subversives 0
S. Art 16(1)(a) 0
(b) 0
(c) 0
(d) 0
S. Art. 16(2) 2
S. Art. 16(3) 0
S. Art. 17 0
S. Art. 18(a) 1
S. Art. 18(b) 1
(c) 0
(d) 0
S. Art. 19(1) 6
S. Art. 20(1)(a) 0
(b) 6
(c) 2
(d) 0
S. Art. 21(1)(a) 4
(b) 4
(c) 2
(d) 1
S. Art.22 0
S. Art 23 2
S. Art. 24 0
S. Art 26 0

 

IV – Exclusions cited / Exclusions citées

 

 
Section Number of requests
S. Art. 68(a) 0
(b) 0
(c) 0
S. Art. 69(1)(a) 0
(b) 0
S. Art. 69(1)(c) 0
(d) 0
(e) 1
(f) 0
(g) 1

 

V – Completion time / Délai de traitement

 

30 days or under / 30 jours ou moins 15
31 to 60 days / De 31 à 60 jours 2
61 to 120 days / De 61 à 120 jours 2
121 days or over / 121 jours ou plus 0

VI – Extentions / Prorogations des délais

  30 days or under / 30 jours ou moins 31 days or over / 31 jours ou plus
Searching / Recherche 0 0
Consultation 2 2
Third party / Tiers 0 1
Total 2 3

 

VII – Translations/ Traductions

 

Translations requested / Traductions demandées 0
Translations prepared / English to French / De l'anglais au français 0
Traductions préparées French to English / Du français à l'anglais 0

VIII - Method of access / Méthode de consultation

Copies given / Copies de l'original 13
Examination / Examen de l'original 0
Copies and examination / Copies et examen 0

IX – Corrections and notation / Corrections et mention

Net fees collected / Frais net perçus
Application fees / Frais de la demande $70.00 Preparation / Préparation $0.00
Reproduction $38.00 Computer processing / Traitement informatique $0.00
Searching / Recherche $0.00 TOTAL $108.00
Fees waived / Dispense de frais No. of times / Nombre de fois $
$25.00 or under / 25 $ ou moins 12 $107.00
Over $25.00 / De plus de 25 $ 0 $0.00

 

X – Costs / Coûts

 

Financial (all reasons) / Financiers (raisons) Amount ($)
Salary / Traitement $58,571
Administration (O and M) / Administration (fonctionnement et maintien) $15,005
Total $73,576

 

Person year utilization (all reasons) / Années-personnes utilisées (raisons)
Person year (decimal format) / Années-personnes (nombre décimal) .8

 

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Additional Reporting Requirements – Access to Information Act

Part III – Exemptions invoked
Paragraph 13(1)(e) WD did not invoke any of these exemptions during the 2010–2011 reporting period.
Paragraph 16.1(1)(a)
Paragraph 16.1(1)(b)
Paragraph 16.1(1)(c)
Paragraph 16.1(1)(d)
Subsection 16.2(1)
Subsection 16.3
Paragraph 16.4(1)(a)
Paragraph 16.4(1)(b)
Subsection 16.5
Paragraph 18.1(1)(a)
Paragraph 18.1(1)(b)
Paragraph 18.1(1)(c)
Paragraph 18.1(1)(d)
Paragraph 20(1)(b.1)
Subsection 20.1
Subsection 20.2
Subsection 20.4
Subsection 22.1(1)

 

 

Part IV – Exclusions cited
Subsection 68.1 WD did not invoke any of these exclusions during the 2010–2011 reporting period.
Paragraph 68.2(a)
Paragraph 68.2(b)
Subsection 69.(1)