Decisions

128 decisions found

Jul 22
2020

Access at issue: Nine recommendations regarding the processing of access requests at National Defence

Institution
National Defence
Section of the Act
30(1)(f)
Decision Type
systemic investigation
Summary

The investigation focused on the six offices of primary interest (OPIs) most frequently tasked with responding to access to information requests for the Department of National Defence (DND) between January 1, 2017 and December 21, 2018.

Over the course of several months, OIC officials interviewed the six OPIs and DND's Directorate of Access to Information and Privacy (DAIP) to better understand how DND responds to access to information requests. DND shared various internal tasking documents, manuals, processes and procedural guides, training materials, statistics and dashboard information regarding DND Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) compliance.

Based on this information, the Commissioner identified issues and shared her findings with the Minister of National Defence, who agreed that significant improvements were needed to ensure that the institution was fully meeting its obligations under the Act. In order to remedy existing shortcomings, DND proposed several improvements which were then either accepted or built upon by the Commissioner. In January 2020, the Commissioner issued her recommendations to the Minister of National Defence who agreed to take corrective actions.

Read more
Jun 25
2020

Final report (3215-00879): Department of Justice Canada

Institution
Justice Canada
Section of the Act
23
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The complaint contested the decision by the Department of Justice Canada (Justice) to withhold the entire content of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the provision of legal services under section 23 (Legal advice and litigation privilege) of the Access to Information Act. Justice could not show that section 23 applied to the entirety of the record at issue – in particular, that the general identifying information such as the title of the MOU and the signature blocks are protected by the solicitor-client privilege. It was also determined that Justice had waived its solicitor-client privilege over some information in the MOU and therefore that particular information was not protected anymore. The complaint is well founded. The Information Commissioner recommended that Justice release part of the record and Justice has communicated its intention to implement this recommendation.

Read more
May 25
2020

Final report (3218-00001): National Defence

Institution
National Defence
Section of the Act
6
10(3)
Decision Type
final report
Summary

Despite numerous attempts to clarify a request for information, the National Defence (DND) ultimately did not respond to the request, being of the view that it did not meet the requirements of section 6 of the Access to Information Act (Act).  The Office of the Information Commissioner received a complaint that DND had not responded to the request within the time limits set out in the Act.

The complaint is not well-founded.

Read more
May 15
2020

The duty to assist – clarification of the request and collaboration of both parties (6.1-0005)

Institution
-
Section of the Act
6.1
Decision Type
6.1 decision
Summary

An institution submitted an application to the Information Commissioner for approval to decline to act on a request for information under subsection 6.1(1) of the Access to Information Act (the Act). The head of the institution was of the opinion that it had met its duty to assist the requester in connection with this request, and that the request is an abuse of the right of access.

The Commissioner found that the application was premature. The institution took issue with the clarity of the access request, in addition to other arguments, yet failed to seek clarification of the access request from the requester. The Commissioner also elaborated upon several important elements to an application: compelling evidence regarding the request at issue and the general overarching obligations of both parties to clarify the request under ss. 4(2.1) – responsibility of government institutions, and 6 – request for access to record.

The Commissioner denied the application.

Read more
Apr 3
2020

Final report (3215-00087): Canadian Human Rights Commission

Institution
Canadian Human Rights Commission
Section of the Act
19
23
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) refused to disclose information citing subsection 19(1) – Personal information, section 22 – Testing/auditing procedures, and section 23 – Solicitor-client privilege of the Access to Information Act .

During the course of the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC)’s investigation, the CHRC agreed to disclose all information previously withheld under section 22 of the Act and portions that were previously withheld under solicitor-client privilege. While the CHRC refused to disclose the remainder of the withheld information, it did not convince the OIC  that such information met all the requirements for severance under subsection 19(1) and section 23 of the Act.

The OIC therefore issued a report recommending that the CHRC disclose portions of the information previously withheld as personal information and portions of the information previously withheld under solicitor-client privilege. The CHRC agreed with the recommendations and released additional information.

The complaint is well-founded.

Read more
Mar 12
2020

The duty to assist – an important step before an application to decline

Institution
-
Section of the Act
6.1
Decision Type
6.1 decision
Summary

An institution submitted an application to the Information Commissioner for approval to decline to act on a request for information under subsection 6.1(1) of the Access to Information Act. The head of the institution was of the opinion that it had met its duty to assist and that the access request is an abuse of the right of access. The requester took the position that the institution should process the access request and indicated a willingness to work with the institution to find a solution.

The Commissioner found that the application was premature. The institution did not satisfy her that, in keeping with its duty to assist, it was unable to find reasonable ways to continue working with the requester in order to process the access request. As a result, the Commissioner did not make a finding on whether the access request is an abuse of the right of access at this time.

The Commissioner denied the application. The institution is required to act on the access request.

Read more
Feb 18
2020

Final report (5819-01440): Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Institution
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Section of the Act
10(3)
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had not responded to a request for information under the Access to Information Act more than two years after receiving it and is deemed to have refused to give access. During the investigation, the RCMP provided very little information about the records or the processing of the access request, to help determine a response date. Without these details and because the RCMP had still not responded to the access request, the Commissioner orders the RCMP to respond to the access request within 10 business days from the day the order takes effect.* The complaint is well-founded.

* The RCMP responded to the request on March 2, 2020, before the coming into effect of the order.

Read more
Feb 5
2020

Repetitive, duplicative requests - both vexatious and an abuse of the right to make a request

Institution
-
Section of the Act
6.1
Decision Type
6.1 decision
Summary

An institution made an application to the Information Commissioner for approval to decline to act on an access request under subsection 6.1(1) of the Access to Information Act (the Act). The institution alleged that the access request is both vexatious and an abuse of the right to make a request.

The institution explained that the requester was displeased with how the institution handled his affairs and that in the 17 years since, has submitted a total of 893 requests, many of which are closely related.

Read more
Jan 14
2020

Final report (5819-00733): Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Institution
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Section of the Act
10(3)
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is deemed to have refused to give access to records requested under the Access to Information Act (Act). The RCMP was asked, and failed to provide adequate representations. Since the breach of the Act was ongoing, an initial report with intended order was issued. Following the receipt of the initial report, the RCMP responded to the access request rendering any prospective order pointless. The complaint is well-founded.

Read more
Nov 29
2019

Formal request for information already received in response to a request not made under the Act –Vexatious, abusive or made in bad faith?

Institution
-
Section of the Act
6.1
Decision Type
6.1 decision
Summary

An institution made an application to the Information Commissioner for approval to decline to act on an access request under subsection 6.1(1) of the Access to Information Act.

The institution explained that, in response to a request not made under the Act (the “informal request”), it had already disclosed to the same requester some of the information sought in an access request (the “formal request”).

The institution sought the Commissioner’s approval to exclude the informally released records from the scope of the formal access request.

Read more
Date modified:
Submit a complaint