Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Trends and Statistical Overview

Highlights, Challenges and Trends

  • WD has identified no significant multi-year trends pertaining to the types of request or the processing of requests received under the Access to Information Act.
     
  • WD identified only one challenge pertaining to administering its obligations under the Access to Information Act in 2012–2013. Specifically, attending quarterly Treasury Board Secretariat ATIP Coordinators and Practitioners meetings/workshops due to the significant cost of travelling to attend such meetings. The vast majority of the Government of Canada’s ATIP community is located in the National Capital Region (NCR). Most regional development agency’s ATIP offices, however, are located outside the NCR and travel costs associated to participate in these meeting are significantly higher. Currently, teleconference or video conferencing options are not available for the Practitioners’ meetings, which provide valuable information for this legislative requirement.
     
  • The ATIP Unit reviewed and provided advice on three evaluation related documents prior to information being posted to WD’s public web site, as well has provided advice and guidance concerning the department’s social media initiatives. This is down from 24 audit and evaluation reviews conducted in 2011–2012.
     
  • WD continues to share it policy, procedures, best practices and staff awareness materials with other regional development agencies, the Small Agency Administrator’s Network, and various other departments, including Veterans Affairs Canada and the Canadian Human Rights Commission in 2011–2012.
     
  • WD recognized Right to Know Week (September 24-28, 2012) via e-mail to all staff as a news bulletin on the department’s intranet site.

Statistical Overview

The following information provides additional context where appropriate to the statistical details found in Annex B – "Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act".

A.   Request Related Information

In 2012–2013, WD received 14 formal requests for information under to the Access to Information Act. This is a 27 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. The department also carried forward four requests from the 2011–2012 fiscal year, for a total of 18 requests.

The breakdown of the sources of new requests received in 2012–2013 is as follows:

  • 7 or 50% from the general public;
  • 4 or 29% from the media; and
  • 3 or 21% from business.

The accompanying chart compares the source of new requests between 2012–2013 and 2012–2013.

In addition, WD also received one request as a result of the posting of summaries of closed access requests.

Text version: Comparison of Requests by Source – 2012-2013 vs. 2011-2012.

Comparison of Requests by Source – 2012-2013 vs. 2011-2012

B.   Extensions of Time Limits and Consultations

Section 9 of the Act provides for the extension of the statutory time limits if the request is for a large volume of records or necessitates a search through a large volume of records and meeting the original time limit would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the department; also, if consultations are necessary.

In 2012–2013, WD required one extension due to interference with departmental operations, as well as five requests required extensions to complete necessary consultations. Consultations were required on one additional request; however, the consultations were completed quickly and WD was able to respond within the original 30 days without taking an extension.

The accompanying table breaks down the six requests noted above, including the number of the days each request was extended by reason for extension, the total days allowed to respond with the extension, and the actual response time.

    Reason for the Extension and Number of Days Taken Actual Response Time (Days)
Search 3rd Party Consultation Allowed Taken
1 0 0 75 105 398
2 0 60 75 105 105
3 0 60 30 90 65
4 30 0 0 60 57
5 0 45 0 75 42
6 0 45 0 75 56

C.   Disposition, Completion Times and Method of Access

WD completed 75% of its requests within 30 days. The accompanying table analyzes the disposition and completion times for the 18 requested completed within this reporting period.

Disposition of Requests Completion Times
1-15 Days 16-30-Days 31-60 Days 61-120 Days 365+ Days
All disclosed   4      
Disclosed in part   4 3 2 1
All exempted   1      
No records exist 1        
Request abandoned 2        

Of the requests completed during the reporting period, four requests totalling 1,135 pages were disclosed in their entirety. Of the 10 requests disclosed in part, 1,889 pages were processed and 1,814 pages disclosed.

WD provided records responding to four requests electronically and 10 in paper format.

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D.   Exemptions and Exclusions Invoked

Of the 18 requests closed in 2012–2013, exemptions were applied pursuant to the Act on 11 requests. If three different exemptions were applied to a request, one exemption under each relevant section would be reported for a total of three; however, the same exemption claimed several times in the same request is captured only once in the statistics.

The accompanying table compares the number of exemptions applied during 2012–2013 and 2011–2012 fiscal years.

Exemption
Invoked
Subsection 2012–2013 2011–2012
13(1) (c) 1 0
14 (a)
(b)
1
1
0
16(2)   0 0
16.1(1) (a) 1 0
18   0 0
19(1)   6 1
20(1) (b)
(c)
(d)
9
4
4
2
1
0
21(1) (a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
7
4
4
3
2
1
1
0
23   3 1
26   1 1

Sections 20(1) and 21(1) of the Act were the most utilized exemption during the reporting period. Section 20(1) was applied to nine requests, and Section 21(1) was applied to eight requested.

The Act does not apply to certain materials such as published material pursuant to Section 68 or confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council pursuant to Section 69. WD did not invoke Section 68, but did invoke Section 69(1) on one request during the 2012–2013 reporting period.

E.   Other Government Department Consultations

WD was consulted by other federal departments on 24 occasions and twice by provincial government departments in 2012–2013, for a total of 26 consultations. This was a 53 percent increase from 2012–2013.

  • Of these consultations from other federal departments, three were courtesy notices; however, WD reviews this information carefully to ensure the information being disclosed about the department is accurate.
     
  • WD recommended full disclosure of information pertaining to our department on 18 consultation requests.
     
  • WD recommended partial disclosure of information pertaining to our department on four consultation requests.
     
  • WD also recommended consultations with other government organizations or third parties on two consultation requests.
     
  • WD reviewed 583 pages in total.
     
  • WD responded to all 26 consultations within 15 days.

F.   Complaints and Investigations

WD received no complaints pursuant to the Access to Information Act in 2012–2013, and there were no appeals or applications submitted to the Federal Court.

G.   Fees and Operational Costs Associated with Administering the Act

Access to Information fees collected during the reporting period totalled $103.80. These fees include application fees for 14 requests and $33.80 for reproduction costs. During the same period, WD waived reproduction fees totalling $496.40. (Note: The reproduction fees, both fees collected and waived, reported here are the actual fees; fees reported in the Statistical Report are rounded up due to reporting limitations of the report.)

WD’s cost for administrating the Access to Information Act is estimated as follows:

  • the ATIP Unit salary costs, including a portion of the ATIP Coordinator’s and Deputy ATIP Coordinator’s salaries, and 60 percent of the ATIP Officer’s salary (a total of .79 FTE/year);
     
  • goods and services, including professional services contracts and ATIP unit travel and training costs;
     
  • administrative operation and maintenance costs, which includes non-salary expenses associated with the processing of access requests, and ATIP case management system licensing and upgrades; and
     
  • additional salary-related costs, which incorporate estimated costs for other departmental officials to retrieve, review and make recommendations concerning records responding to access requests and translation of staff awareness materials and privacy-related documents.
ATIP Unit Salaries $61,600
Goods and Services $13,681
Total ATIP Unit Costs $74,681
Additional salary-related costs $13,152
TOTAL DEPARTMENTAL COSTS $87,896

The additional costs included above, which are not all captured in the Statistical Report, provide a more complete picture of the overall cost to the department to administer all aspects of its activities related to the Access to Information Act.