Annual Report
Access to Information 2012-2013


Introduction

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

The Annual Report on the Administration of the Access to Information Act is prepared and submitted, in accordance with Section 72 of the Act, and covers the period from April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013. The report is tabled in 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 Office of the Chief Statistician of Canada. The Chief of Staff is the Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator for the Agency.

Organization and Mandate of Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada's mandate derives primarily from the Statistics Act. The Act requires that the Agency collect, compile, analyze 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, and Statistics Canada has generally done so with household data collection other than the Census of Population and the Labour Force Survey, as the latter produces key economic data. The Census of Agriculture and most other business surveys are mandatory.

By law, Statistics Canada can also access administrative records, including personal and business tax data, customs declarations, and birth and death records. Such records are critical sources of statistical information that 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 that it uses administrative data to reduce reporting burden.

These mechanisms help ensure that Statistics Canada achieves its long-standing strategic outcome, which is to ensure Canadians have access to objective, high-quality, non-partisan statistics, as well as 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

The delegation instrument exercises the powers and functions of the Minister as the head of a government institution, pursuant to Section 73 of the Access to Information Act. The current detailed list of authorities under the Access to Information Act was formally delegated by the Minister responsible for Statistics Canada (Appendix A), in June 2012, and provides full delegated authority to the Chief Statistician of Canada, Chief of Staff of the Office of the Chief Statistician of Canada and the Director of Information Management Division.

Resources

The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Office continues to operate within an allocation of 2.40 persons/year. The Assistant Director, Departmental Secretariat, has been delegated most of the responsibilities of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and two employees are working full-time in the Office, a senior advisor (PM-05) and an advisor (PM-04).

Statistical report

The statistical report provides aggregate data on the application of the Access to Information Act (Appendix B). This information is made public annually in an Info Source Bulletin, which is included with the annual report.

Implementation: Access to information

Access to information requests

During the reporting period, from April 2, 2012, to March 31, 2013, Statistics Canada received 109 new access to information requests. In addition, seven requests were carried forward from the previous reporting period, for a total of 116 requests. Of the total, 109 requests were completed, leaving seven that are being carried forward to the next reporting period.

Organizations and the public were the largest client groups, as they represented 76 of the 109 requests that were received during the reporting period. For 71 of the completed requests, all records were either disclosed in full or  in part. For a number of requests, no records were available.

In responding to the formal access to information requests, more than 13,922 pages were reviewed and more than 7,502 pages were released. A total of 42 requestors received information by paper and another 29 received information on CD-ROM, thereby eliminating the costs for photocopies.

Types of records requested

The substance of the requests covered the entire range of matters pertaining to Statistics Canada's role. Requests were made for the following:

  • Data from statistical programs or background information relating to statistical programs, information on fees which may have been charged to obtain data, and information on the availability of data from standard CANSIM tables
  • Records related to the administration of the Agency (most records were released with minimal exemptions)
  • Data from census information released in February 2012
  • Information on the premature or pre-release of data
  • IT security audit information
  • Information from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, some of which may be obtained from our standard CANSIM tables, and some of which may be obtained through custom data requests (fees apply)
  • Clients wishing to access their personal information
  • Requests from trustees or estate administrators. In these cases, the regulations permit duly authorized representatives to act on behalf of a minor or an incompetent person to administer their affairs or estate. To do so, the trustees and estate administrators are seeking personal information from the census or from 1940 national registration records of deceased individuals, minors, or dependent adults. In the case of the deceased, the administrator of the estate may exercise these rights, but only for the purposes of estate administration.

Other requests

From April 2, 2012, to March 31, 2013, Statistics Canada received 55 Access to Information Act consultation requests from other departments. Statistics Canada was asked to review 1,612 pages of information. Most of the consultations (99%) were completed within 1 to 15 days.

Now that summaries of completed Access to Information Act requests are posted, the ATIP Office may receive applications for copies of these completed requests. These are classified as informal requests. This past fiscal year, six informal requests were processed. A number of them requested multiple items; in total 38 access-to-information packages were sent totalling 9,106 records. These informal requests were processed as part of Statistics Canada's broader objective of providing Canadians with relevant information in an informal and timely manner.

The ATIP Office acted as a resource for Statistics Canada officials, offering advice and guidance on the provisions under the legislation. The office was consulted on the disclosure and collection of data on a wide range of matters, including:

  • publications to be posted on the open government website
  • proactive disclosure on travel and hospitality
  • Management Accountability Framework assessments
  • security of information
  • reviews of audits to be posted on the Internet
  • reviews of parliamentary questions and responses
  • updates to the ATIP internet and intranet sites
  • reviews of and updates to ATIP business practices and procedures.

Disposition of completed requests

The number of requests completed has fluctuated over the past few years; after peaking at 206 in 2010/2011, it declined to 126 in 2011/2012 and 109 in 2012/2013. The disposition of these requests was as follows:

  • 48 were fully disclosed (44%)
  • 23 were partially disclosed (21%)
  • 10 were exempt in entirety (9%)
  • 1 was transferred to another institution (1%)
  • 6 were abandoned by applicants (6%)
  • 21 had no existing records (19%)

Completion time and extensions

The 109 requests completed in 2012/2013 were all processed as prescribed by the Act and all in time. Several factors contributed to Statistics Canada's timely response rate over the past year, including weekly reports at the management level, information sessions with officials and sector contacts, and the streamlined delegation orders that are in place at Statistics Canada.

The requests were completed as follows:

  • 74 within 1 to 15 days (68%)
  • 20 within 16 to 30 days (19%)
  • 8 within 31 to 60 days (7%)
  • 6 within 61 to 120 days (5%)
  • 1 within 121 to 180 days (1%)

For 2012/2013, there were more requests completed within 30 days (86%) compared to the average percentage for the past three years (76%).

Exemptions invoked

  • Section 13 – Records obtained in confidence from other levels of government
  • Section 14 – Records containing information on federal–provincial consultations or deliberations
  • Section 16(2)(c) – Records containing information on vulnerability of systems, including computer or communications systems
  • Section 18 – Records containing economic interests of Canada
  • Section 19 – Records containing personal information
  • Section 20 – Records containing third-party business information
  • Section 21 – Records containing information relating to internal decision-making
  • Section 22 – Records containing information about testing procedures, tests and audits
  • Section 23 – Records related to solicitor–client privilege
  • Section 24 – Records that have a statutory prohibition against disclosure
  • Section 26 – Records where information is to be published within 90 days
  • Section 68(a) – Records containing published material or material available for purchase by the public

Fees

Application fees are applied as described in the Access to Information Act. During the reporting period, $200.00 was collected in application fees and $280 in search fees. No fees were collected for reproduction and preparation time. The Agency waived $395 worth of fees, specifically application fees, search fees and fees in cases where the requested information is or will be published or can be obtained through a custom data request, where fees apply. Statistics Canada waived charges if the amount payable was less than $25.

Costs

During 2012/2013, the ATIP Office incurred an estimated $197,078 in salary costs and $13,380 in administrative costs to administer the Access to Information Act.

Training initiatives for access to information

During 2012/2013, the ATIP Office provided formal instruction to agency staff on the Access to Information Act. Eight training sessions were held and about 240 people attended.

At the sessions, participants learned about the Act and gained a better understanding of their ATIP obligations. These sessions were given to divisional and management teams in Human Resources Infrastructure Division, Operations and Development Division, Census Program Branch, and individual sections across the Agency.

Policies, guidelines and procedures

No new policies or guidelines were established during this reporting period.

The ATIP Office has a variety of tools in place to ensure that ATIP sector contacts are well informed about their roles and responsibilities for coordinating ATIP requests. These tools include checklists on the steps to follow when providing records for access to information requests and on the availability of the ATIP team throughout the process.

Complaints and investigations

No complaints were lodged against the Agency with the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada during the current reporting period.

There were two complaints from previous fiscal years: one client complained that Statistics Canada excluded records that should have been released, and another person complained that Statistics Canada did not provide all records related to the request.

The complaint about not having provided all records related to the request was resolved, and the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada ruled that the complaint was not founded; accordingly, no additional action was required. The other complaint is still being resolved.

Appendix A

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
Chief Statistician of Canada Full authority Full authority
Chief of Staff, Office of the Chief Statistician Full authority Full authority
Director, Information Management Division Full authority Full authority
Assistant Director, Departmental Secretariat Sections 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 Christian Paradis
Minister responsible for Statistics Canada
Dated, at the City of Ottawa
June 15, 2012

Appendix B

Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act

Name of institution: Statistics Canada

Reporting period: 01/04/2012 to 31/03/2013

Part 1 – Requests under the Access to Information Act

1.1 Number of Requests
1.1 Number of Requests
  Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 109
Outstanding from previous reporting period 7
Total 116
Closed during reporting period 109
Carried over to next reporting period 7
1.2 Sources of requests
1.2 Sources of requests
Source Number of Requests
Media 18
Academia 4
Business (Private Sector) 11
Organization 40
Public 36
Total 109

Part 2 – Requests closed during the reporting period

2.1 Disposition and completion time
2.1 Disposition and completion time
Table summary
This table displays the results of 2.1 Disposition and completion time. The information is grouped by Disposition of requests (appearing as row headers), Completion Time (appearing as column headers).
Disposition of
requests
Completion Time
1 to 15
days
16 to 30
days
31 to 60
days
61 to 120
days
121 to 180
days
181 to 365
days
More than 365
days
Total
All disclosed 38 8 2 0 0 0 0 48
Disclosed in part 6 5 5 6 1 0 0 23
All exempted 9 0 1 0 0 0 0 10
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No records exist 15 6 0 0 0 0 0 21
Request transferred 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Request abandoned 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 6
Treated informally 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 74 20 8 6 1 0 0 109
2.2 Exemptions
2.2 Exemptions
Section Number of requests
13(1)(a) 1
13(1)(b) 0
13(1)(c) 2
13(1)(d) 0
13(1)(e) 0
14(a) 1
14(b) 0
15(1) - I.A.* 0
15(1) - Def.* 0
15(1) - S.A.* 0
16(1)(a)(i) 0
16(1)(a)(ii) 0
16(1)(a)(iii) 0
16(1)(b) 0
16(1)(c) 0
16(1)(d) 0
16(2)(a) 0
16(2)(b) 0
16(2)(c) 21
16(3) 0
16.1(1)(a) 0
16.1(1)(b) 0
16.1(1)(c) 0
16.1(1)(d) 0
16.2(1) 0
16.3 0
16.4(1)(a) 0
16.4(1)(b) 0
16.5 0
17 0
18(a) 2
18(b) 2
18(c) 0
18(d) 0
18.1(1)(a) 0
18.1(1)(b) 0
18.1(1)(c) 0
18.1(1)(d) 0
19(1) 18
20(1)(a) 0
20(1)(b) 12
20(1)(b.1) 0
20(1)(c) 6
20(1)(d) 1
20.1 0
20.2 0
20.4 0
21(1)(a) 11
21(1)(b) 12
21(1)(c) 6
21(1)(d) 1
22 2
22.1(1) 0
23 3
24(1) 3
26 3
2.3 Exclusions
2.3 Exclusions
Section Number of requests
68(a) 6
68(b) 0
68(c) 0
68.1 0
68.2(a) 0
68.2(b) 0
69(1)(a) 0
69(1)(b) 0
69(1)(c) 0
69(1)(d) 0
69(1)(e) 0
69(1)(f) 0
69(1)(g) re (a) 0
69(1)(g) re (b) 0
69(1)(g) re (c) 0
69(1)(g) re (d) 0
69(1)(g) re (e) 0
69(1)(g) re (f) 0
69.1(1) 0
2.4 Format of information released
2.4 Format of information released
Disposition Paper Electronic Other formats
All disclosed 33 15 0
Disclosed in part 9 14 0
Total 42 22 0
2.5 Complexity
2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Disposition of requests Number of pages processed Number of pages disclosed Number of requests
All disclosed 440 440 48
Disclosed in part 13432 7062 23
All exempted 50 0 10
All excluded 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 6
2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
Table summary
This table displays the results of 2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests. The information is grouped by Disposition (appearing as row headers), Less than 100 pages processed, 101-500 pages processed, 501-1000 pages processed, 1001-5000 pages processed and More than 5000 pages processed (appearing as column headers).
Disposition Less than 100
pages processed
101-500
pages processed
501-1000
pages processed
1001-5000
pages processed
More than 5000
pages processed
Number of
requests
Pages disclosed Number of
requests
Pages disclosed Number of
requests
Pages disclosed Number of
requests
Pages disclosed Number of
requests
Pages disclosed
All disclosed 47 294 1 146 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 12 284 6 1677 3 1579 2 3522 0 0
All exempted 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Abandoned 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 75 578 7 1823 3 1579 2 3522 0 0
2.5.3 Other complexities
2.5.3 Other complexities
Disposition Consultation required Assessment of fees Legal advice sought Other Total
All disclosed 8 0 2 0 10
Disclosed in part 7 1 2 0 10
All exempted 1 0 0 0 1
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0
Abandoned 0 0 0 0 0
Total 16 1 4 0 21
2.6 Deemed refusals
2.6.1 Reasons for not meeting statutory deadline
2.6.1 Reasons for not meeting statutory deadline
Table summary
This table displays the results of 2.6.1. The information is grouped by Number of requests closed past the statutory deadline (appearing as row headers), Principal Reason (appearing as column headers).
Number of requests closed past the statutory deadline Principal Reason
Workload External consultation Internal consultation Other
0 0 0 0 0
2.6.2 Number of days past deadline
2.6.2 Number of days past deadline
Number of days past deadline Number of requests past deadline where no extension was taken Number of requests past deadline where an extension was taken Total
1 to 15 days 0 0 0
16 to 30 days 0 0 0
31 to 60 days 0 0 0
61 to 120 days 0 0 0
121 to 180 days 0 0 0
181 to 365 days 0 0 0
More than 365 days 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0
2.7 Requests for translation
2.7 Requests for translation
Translation Requests Accepted Refused Total
English to French 0 0 0
French to English 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0

Part 3 – Extensions

3.1 Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests
3.1 Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests
Table summary
This table displays the results of Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests. The information is grouped by Disposition of requests where an extension was taken (appearing as row headers), 9(1)(a) Interference with operations, 9(1)(b) Consultation and 9(1)(c) Section 69 Other Third party notice (appearing as column headers).
Disposition of requests where an extension was taken 9(1)(a)
Interference with
operations
9(1)(b)
Consultation
9(1)(c)
Section 69 Other Third party notice
Section 69 Other
All disclosed 0 0 8 0
Disclosed in part 7 0 4 3
All exempted 0 0 1 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0
No records exist 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0
Total 7 0 13 3
3.2 Length of extensions
3.2 Length of extensions
Table summary
This table displays the results of Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests. The information is grouped by Length of extensions (appearing as row headers), 9(1)(a) Interference with operations, 9(1)(b) Consultation and 9(1)(c) Section 69 Other Third party notice (appearing as column headers).
Length of extensions 9(1)(a)
Interference with
operations
9(1)(b)
Consultation
9(1)(c)
Third party notice
Section 69 Other
30 days or less 3 0 3 0
31 to 60 days 4 0 9 2
61 to 120 days 0 0 1 1
121 to 180 days 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 days 0 0 0 0
365 days or more 0 0 0 0
Total 7 0 13 3

Part 4 – Fees

Fees
Table summary
This table displays the results of Fees. The information is grouped by Fee Type (appearing as row headers), Fee Collected and Fee Waived or Refunded (appearing as column headers).
Fee Type Fee Collected Fee Waived or Refunded
Number of
requests
Amount Number of
requests
Amount
Application 40 $200 69 $345
Search 1 $280 1 $50
Production 0 $0 0 $0
Programming 0 $0 0 $0
Preparation 0 $0 0 $0
Alternative format 0 $0 0 $0
Reproduction 0 $0 0 $0
Total 41 $0 70 $395

Part 5 – Consultations received from other institutions and organizations

5.1 Consultations received from other government institutions and organizations
5.1 Consultations received from other government institutions and organizations
Consultations Other government institutions Number of pages to review Other organizations Number of pages to review
Received during reporting period 55 1612 0 0
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 0 0 0 0
Total 55 1612 0 0
Closed during the reporting period 55 1612 0 0
Pending at the end of the reporting period 0 0 0 0
5.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other government institutions
5.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other government institutions
Table summary
This table displays the results of 5.2. The information is grouped by Recommendation (appearing as row headers), Number of days required to complete consultation requests (appearing as column headers).
Recommendation Number of days required to complete consultation requests
1 to 15
days
16 to 30
days
31 to 60
days
61 to 120
days
121 to 180
days
181 to 365
days
More than 365
days
Total
Disclose entirely 45 0 0 0 0 0 0 45
Disclose in part 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 10
Exempt entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 54 1 0 0 0 0 0 55
5.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations
5.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations
Table summary
This table displays the results of 5.3. The information is grouped by Recommendation (appearing as row headers), Number of days required to complete consultation requests (appearing as column headers).
Recommendation Number of days required to complete consultation requests
1 to 15
days
16 to 30
days
31 to 60
days
61 to 120
days
121 to 180
days
181 to 365
days
More than 365
days
Total
Disclose entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclose in part 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Exempt entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Part 6 – Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences

Part 6 – Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences
Number of days Number of responses
received
Number of responses
received past deadline
1 to 15 0 0
16 to 30 0 0
31 to 60 0 0
61 to 120 0 0
121 to 180 0 0
181 to 365 0 0
More than 365 0 0
Total 0 0

Part 7 – Resources related to the Access to Information Act

7.1 Costs
7.1 Costs
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $197,078
Overtime $0
Goods and Services $13,380
(Professional services contracts) ($0)
(Other) ($13,380)
Total $210,458
7.2 Human Resources
7.2 Human Resources
Resources Dedicated full-time to ATI activities Dedicated part-time to ATI activities Total
Full-time employees 2.00 0.40 2.40
Part-time and casual employees 0.00 0.00 0.00
Regional staff 0.00 0.00 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 0.00 0.00 0.00
Students 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total 2.00 0.40 2.40
Previously released ATI package released informally
Previously released ATI package released informally
Institution Number of informal releases of
previously released ATI packages
Statistics Canada 6
Completed Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs)
Completed Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs)
Institution Number of Completed PIAs
Statistics Canada 3
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