Sunday, June 08, 2014

Annual Report of the Information Commissioner of Canada

Last week, Suzanne Legault, Information Commissioner of Canada, tabled her most recent annual report in Parliament.

Her Office exists under the federal Access to Information Act and handles complaints from citizens and organizations that federal institutions have not respected their rights under the Act.

In 2013-2014, Legault noted a 30-percent increase in complaints including those relating to institutions unable to meet their basic obligations under the Act and about the use of the Cabinet confidence exclusion. New complaints about administrative matters, such as delays and fees, grew by 54 percent:
"My office received significantly more complaints in 2013–2014 than it had the year before. This is accounted for, to some extent, by an overall increase in the number of requests to institutions in the previous year. However, only some organizations successfully absorbed this growth; others had, and are continuing to have, difficulty meeting their basic obligations under the Act. These difficulties manifested themselves in a significant increase in complaints about basic administrative matters, such as delays and extensions."

"This decline in performance must be promptly addressed. Canadians should be concerned and speak out whenever their quasi-constitutional right of access is in jeopardy. As Commissioner, I call on senior institutional officials to step up their leadership of and commitment to access in their organizations and across government."

"My role is to protect the right of access, using the full range of powers at my disposal. In 2013–2014, I closed the most cases I have in three years, and the number of files completed within nine months continued to grow. I thank my team for their contributions to this continuing track record of success."
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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:20 pm


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