Annual Report
Access to Information 2009-2010

Archived information

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Organizational structure

Mandate of Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada's mandate derives primarily from the Statistics Act. The Act requires that the Agency collect, compile, analyse and publish statistical information on the economic, social and general conditions of the country and its citizens. The Act also requires that Statistics Canada co-ordinate the national statistical system, specifically to avoid duplication in the information collected by government. To this end, the Chief Statistician may enter into joint data-collection or data-sharing agreements with provincial and territorial statistical agencies, as well as with federal, provincial and territorial government departments pursuant to provisions of the Act.

The Statistics Act specifically requires Statistics Canada to conduct a Census of Population and a Census of Agriculture every five years. The Act also gives the Agency substantial powers to request information for statistical purposes through surveys of Canadian businesses and households. By default, response to Statistics Canada's surveys is mandatory under the Act; refusal to participate is subject to legal penalties. The Act includes provisions to make participation in data collection voluntary: Statistics Canada has done so generally with household data collection other than the Census of Population and the Labour Force Survey·the latter produces key economic data. The Census of Agriculture and most other surveys of businesses are mandatory .

Statistics Canada can also, by law, access all administrative records, including personal and business tax data, customs declarations and birth and death records. Such records are critical sources of statistical information, which enable the Agency to reduce reporting burden on business and individual respondents. Statistics Canada is considered a leader among the world's statistical agencies in reducing reporting burden by using administrative data.

These mechanisms help Statistics Canada achieve its long-standing strategic outcome, which is to ensure Canadians have access to objective, high-quality, non-partisan statistics, statistical products, services and analyses on Canada's economy and society that fulfill legal requirements, are relevant to policy formulation and decision makers, and are responsive to emerging issues.

Administration of the Access to Information Act

The Access to Information Act (ATIA) gives the general public the right to access information controlled by federal government institutions, subject to limited and specific exceptions. Some of these exceptions are mandatory, others are discretionary. By virtue of section 24 of the AT/A,which is a mandatory provision, information collected under the Statistics Act and protected by section 17 of that Act, cannot be made available to anyone attempting to obtain it using theAccess to Information Act. This exception enables the Agency to continue giving a clear and unqualified assurance to its respondents that the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act are preserved by the Access to Information Act.

The administration of the access to information legislation within Statistics Canada is the responsibility of the Data Access and Control Services Division. The director of this division is the Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator for the department.

Delegation instrument

A detailed list of authorities under the Access to Information Act has been formally delegated by the Minister Responsible for Statistics Canada (Appendix B).

Operating policies: Access to Information

Application fees

Application fees are applied as described in the Access to Information Act.

Other fees

Statistics Canada waives the charges if the amount payable is less than $25.00.

Implementation: Access to information

Access to information requests

During the current reporting period, Statistics Canada received 47 access to information requests. In addition, there were six requests that were carried forward from the previous reporting period for a total of 53 requests. Of the total, 49 requests were completed leaving four which are being carried to the next reporting period.

Access to information requests
Disposition of requests completed during reporting period Total
All disclosed 20
Disclosed in part: Combined exemptions and exclusions  
19(1) 6
16(2), 18(a), 19(1) and 20(1)(b} and (c) 1
16(2), 19(1), 20(1)(b) and (c), 21(1)(a) and (b), and 23 3
22 and 23 1
69(1)(a), (d), (e) and (g) 1
Nothing disclosed  
24 1
68(a) 1
Unable to process 12
Abandoned 1
Transferred 1
Treated informally 1
Total 49

Types of records requested

Most of the requests fell into two general categories:

  1. Records related to the administration of the Agency
  2. Data from statistical programs, or background information relating to statistical programs

Records administration related to the of the Agency

The majority of the requests fell into this category. While processing of these types of requests is becoming more complex, most records were released with minimal requirement for exemptions.

It also should be noted that during the current reporting period there were a number of requests that could not be processed. In all cases, this was due to the fact that there were no records held at Statistics Canada for the information being requested.

Statistical program records or background information relating to programs

There were 15 requests related to data from statistical programs or to background information on statistical programs. One request was excluded pursuant to paragraph 68(a) as the information was available for purchase through Statistics Canada's regular dissemination program.

Formal/informal interface

As the country's national statistical agency, Statistics Canada is responsible for providing Canadians with information about economic conditions and the demographic, cultural and social characteristics of the country. In the current reporting period, there were 104,200 contacts handled by Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre. In addition, Statistics Canada's Library in Ottawa responded to 448 reference questions from external users. 117 were from other federal departments and 331 were from the public.

Complaints and investigations

There were no complaints lodged with the Office of the Information Commissioner during the current reporting period.

Institution-specific policies, guidelines and procedures

Statistics Canada did not implement any new or revised policies, guidelines or procedures during the reporting period.

Training initiatives for access to information

Data Access and Control Services Division provides formal instruction to Agency staff on the Access to Information Act. In 2009-2010, four sessions were presented as part of the Agency's Middle Managers training program and the Business and Economic Statistics training program.An estimated 90 persons attended these sessions.

Appendix A

Statistical report

The following includes the statistical report on access to information for the current reporting period, as well as the methodology used for calculating costs.

Report on the Access to Information Act

Institution: Statistics Canada
Reporting period: 2009/04/01 - 2010/03/31
Source
Media – 10
Academia – 1
Business – 9
Organization – 1
Public – 1

1. Requests under the Access to Information Act

1. Requests under the Access to lnformation Act
  Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 47
Outstanding from previous period 6
Total 53
Completed during reporting period 49
Carried forward 4

2. Dlspositon of requests completed

2. Dlspositon of requests completed
Dlspositon of request Requests completed
All disclosed 20
Disclosed in part 12
Nothing disclosed (excluded) 0
Nothing disclosed (exempt) 2
Transferred 1
Unable to process 12
Abandoned by applicant 1
Treated informally 1
Total 49

3. Exemptions invoked

3. Exemptions invoked
Section Number of requests
Art. 13(1)(a) 0
Art. 13(1)(b) 0
Art. 13(1)(c) 0
Art. 13(1)(d) 0
Art. 14 0
Art. 15(1) International rel. 0
Art. 15(1) Defence 0
Art. 15(1) Subversive activities 0
Art. 16(1)(a) 0
Art. 16(1)(b) 0
Art. 16(1)(c) 0
Art. 16(1)(d) 0
Art. 16(2) 4
Art. 16(3) 0
Art. 17 0
Art. 18(a) 1
Art. 18(b) 0
Art. 18(c) 0
Art. 18(d) 0
Art. 19(1) 10
Art. 20(1)(a) 0
Art. 20(1)(b) 4
Art. 20(1)(c) 4
Art. 20(1)(d) 0
Art. 21(1)(a) 3
Art. 21(1)(b) 3
Art. 21(1)(c) 0
Art. 21(1)(d) 0
Art. 22 1
Art. 23 4
Art. 24 1
Art. 26 0

4. Exclusions cited

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

5. Completion time

5. Completion time
Time Number of requests
30 days or under 40
31 to 60 days 3
61 to 120 days 4
121 days or over 2

6. Extensions

6. Extensions
  30 days or under 31 days or aver
Searching 0 1
Consultation 1 2
Third party 0 4
Total 1 7

7. Translations

7. Translations
Translations requested Number of requests
English to French 0
French to English 0
Total 0

8. Method of access

8. Method of access
Method Number of requests
Copies given 32
Examination 0
Copies and examination 0

9. Fees

9. Fees
Fees $
Application fees 135
Reproduction 0
Searching 0
Preparation 0
Computer processing 0
Total 135
9. Fees waived
Fees waived No. of times $
$ 25.00 or under 20 100
Over $25.00 0 0

10. Costs

Financial (all reasons)
10. Costs
Expenditures $
Salary 65,920
Administration (0 and M) 5,748
Total 71,668

Person year utilization (all reasons)
Person year (decimal format) — 0.85

Methodology for calculating costs

Access to information

Methodology for calculating costs - Access to information
  Person-years $
Salary costs    
(a) Subject-matter divisions 0.15 9,415
(b) Access to information and privacy office 0.7 56,505
Sub-total 0.85 65,920
Administration costs    
(a) Subject-matter divisions 0 0
(b) Access to information and privacy office* 0 5,748
Sub-total 0 5,748
Total 0.85 71,668

Appendix B

Access to Information and Privacy Acts Delegation Order

The Minister Responsible for Statistics Canada, pursuant to section 73 of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, hereby designates the persons holding the positions set out in the schedule hereto, or the persons occupying on an acting basis those positions, to exercise the powers and functions of the Minister as the head of a government institution, under the section of the Acts set out in the schedule opposite each position. This Designation Order supersedes all previous Designation Orders.

Schedule

Schedule
Position Access to Information Act and Regulations Privacy Act and Regulations
Assistant Chief Statistician, Management Services Full authority as allowed by TBS Regulations Full authority as allowed by TBS Regulations
Coordinator, Access to Information and Privacy Rights/Director and Assistant Director, Data Access and Control Services Full authority as allowed by TBS Regulations Full authority as allowed by TBS Regulations
Chief, Data Access and Control Services Access to Information Act
Sections 7(a), 7(b), 8(1), 9, 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), 11(5), 11(6), 12(2)(b), 12(3)(b), 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 22.1, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27(1), 27(4), 28(1)(b), 28(2), 28(4), 33, 35(2)(b), 71(1)
Regulations:
Sections 6(1), 7(2), 7(3), 8, 8.1
Sections 8(2)(j), 8(2)(m), 8(4), 8(5), 9(1), 9(4),10, 14, 15, 17(2)(b), 17(3)(b), l8(2), 19(1), 19(2), 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
Regulations:
Sections 9, 11(2), 11(4), 13(1), 14
Senior Access to Information and Privacy Project Manager Sections 7(a), 8(1), 9, 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), 11(5), 11(6), 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27(1), 27(4), 28(1)(b), 28(2), 28(4), 71(1)
Regulations:
Sections 6(1), 7(2), 7(3), 8, 8.1
Sections 8(2)(j), 8(2)(m), 10, 14, 15, 18(2), 19(1), 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
Regulations:
Sections 9, 11(2)
Access to lnformation and Privacy Project Officer Sections 8(1) and 9 for all records Section 15 for all records

The original version was signed by
The Honourable Tony Clement
Minister responsible for Statistics Canada
Dated, at the City of Ottawa
August 20, 2009

Date modified: