Annual Report
Access to Information 2010-2011

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Introduction

The Access to Information Act establishes the principle that the general public has the right to access to information controlled by federal government institutions and that exceptions should be limited and specific.

As required under section 72, Statistics Canada has prepared an annual report on its administration of the Act during 2010-2011 and is tabling this report in each House of Parliament.

Administration of the Access to Information Act

By virtue of section 24 of the Access to Information Act, 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 the Access 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 Information Management Division. The director of this division is the Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator for the department.

Mandate of Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada's mandate derives primarily from the Statistics Act. The Act requires that the Agency collects, compiles, analyses and publishes 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.

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 1).

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 210 access to information requests. In addition, there were four requests that were carried forward from the previous reporting period for a total of 214 requests. Of the total, 206 requests were completed, leaving eight which are being carried forward to the next reporting period.

It should be noted that the total access to information requests received represent about four times the average yearly number of requests that Statistics Canada processed in recent years and, as such, had considerable impact in terms of temporary staffing contracts and costs in the current reporting period. Program costs totaled over $400,000 compared to about $71,000 during the previous reporting period.

Access to information requests
Disposition of requests completed during reporting period Total
All disclosed 49
Disclosed in part 80
Nothing disclosed 7
Unable to process 56
Abandoned 14
Transferred 0
Treated informally 0
Total 206

Types of records requested

Most of the requests fell into two general categories:

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

Statistical program records or background information relating to programs

There were 154 requests seeking background records or data from statistical programs. Of these requests, three-quarters (113) were related to the Cabinet decision in June 2010 to replace the long-form 2011 Census of Population with the voluntary National Household Survey.

Records related to the administration of the Agency

There were 56 requests that fell into this category: most records were released with minimal requirement for exemptions.

Complaints and investigations

There was one complaint lodged with the Office of the Information Commissioner during the current reporting period. The person complained that Statistics Canada did not provide to him information that was excluded under Section 26 because it was protected under the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act; in its subsequent investigation, the Office of the Information Commissioner ruled that Statistics Canada was correct in withholding the information.

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

Information Management Division routinely provides formal instruction to Agency staff on the Access to Information Act. In 2010-2011, five sessions were presented as part of the Agency's Middle Managers training program, the Business and Economic Statistics training program and the EX training program. An estimated 85 persons attended these sessions.

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: 2010/04/01 - 2011/03/31

Source

Source
Source Number
Media 136
Academia 1
Business 7
Organization 1
Public 65

Part 1 - Requests under the Access to Information Act

Part 1 - Requests under the Access to Information Act
Requests Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 210
Outstanding from previous reporting period 4
Total 214
Closed during reporting period 206
Carried over to next reporting period 8

Part 2 - Disposition of requests completed

Part 2 - Disposition of requests completed
Disposition of requests Completed
All disclosed 49
Disclosed in part 80
Nothing disclosed (excluded) 3
Nothing disclosed (exempt) 4
Transferred 0
Unable to process 56
Abandoned by applicant 14
Total 206

Part 3 - Exemptions invoked

Part 3 - Exemptions invoked
Section Number of requests
13(1)(a) 1
13(1)(b) 0
13(1)(c) 2
13(1)(d) 2
14 2
15(1) International rel. 0
15(1)Defence 0
15(1)Subversive activities 0
16(1)(a) 0
16(1)(b) 0
16(1)(c) 0
16(1)(d) 0
16(2) 3
16(3) 0
17 0
18(a) 0
18(b) 0
18(c) 0
18(d) 0
19(1) 51
20(1)(a) 8
20(1)(b) 23
20(1)(c) 19
20(1)(d) 1
21(1)(a) 38
21(1)(b) 35
21(1)(c) 17
21(1)(d) 2
22 2
23 4
24 13
26 3

Part 4 - Exclusionscited

Part 4 - Exclusionscited
Section Number of requests
68(a) 7
68(b) 0
68(c) 0
69(1)(a) 12
69(1)(b) 0
69(1)(c) 2
69(1)(d) 6
69(1)(e) 17
69(1)(f) 0
69(1)(g) 28

Part 5 - Completion time

Part 5 - Completion time
Time Number
30 days or under 146
31 to 60 days 18
61 to 120 days 23
121 days or over 19

Part 6 - Extensions

Part 6 - Extensions
Extensions 30 days or under 31 days or aver
Searching 0 20
Consultation 6 14
Third party 1 8
Total 7 42

Part 7 - Translations

Part 7 - Translations
Translations Requested
English to French 0
French to English 0
Total 0

Part 8 - Method of access

Part 8 - Method of access
Method Number accessed
Copies given 128
Examination 1
Copies and examination 0

Part 9 - Fees

Part 9 - Fees
Net fees collected $
Application fees 935.0
Reproduction 0.00
Searching 0.00
Preparation 0.00
Computer processing 0.00
Total 935.00
9. Fees waived
Fees waived No. of times $
$ 25.00 or under 18 90.00
Over $25.00 0 0.00

Part 10 - Costs

Part 10 - Costs
Financial (all reasons) Amount
Salary $225,338
Administration (0 and M) $181,999
Total $407,337

Person year utilization (all reasons)
Person year (decimal format) — 2.94

Methodology for calculating costs

Access to information

Access to information
Costs Person-years $
Salary costs    
(a) Subject-matter divisions 0.24 21,559
(b) Access to information and privacy office 2.7 203,779
Sub-total 2.94 225,338
Administration costs    
(a) Subject-matter divisions 0 88,800
(b) Access to information and privacy office* 0 93,199
Sub-total 0 181,999
Total 2.94 407,337

Appendix 1

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 Act 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),18(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 Information and
Privacy Project Officer
Sections 8(1) and 9 for all records Section 15 for all records

Dated, at the City of Ottawa
this 20 day of 08, 2009
The Honourable Tony Clement
Minister responsible for Statistics Canada

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