Decisions

The Information Commissioner publishes the final reports on her investigations on this Web site when she deems them to be of value in providing guidance to both institutions and complainants.

The Office of the Information Commissioner has established the Decisions Database to enable users to search final reports and other decisions, which outline the reasons and principles behind the Commissioner’s decisions and filter them using a number of criteria.

This database is updated regularly and will continue to grow as more final reports and decisions are added.

Other Corporate publications are available on the website.

Filters
Decision Type

106 decisions found

Aug 26
2019

Decision pursuant to 6.1, 2019 OIC 1

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 alleged that the access request is vexatious, is an abuse of the right to make a request and is in bad faith.

The institution explained that the requester is a former employee who was dismissed. Since this time, the requester has pursued other proceedings in relation to the termination. The requester has also submitted over a dozen requests under the Act and Privacy Act over a one-year period.

Read more
Jun 7
2018

Access to scientists

Institution
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Environment Canada
Fisheries and Oceans
National Research Council
Natural Resources Canada
Section of the Act
30(1)(f)
Decision Type
Systemic investigation
Summary

On March 27, 2013, former Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault commenced a systemic investigation into a complaint submitted by the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Victoria and Democracy Watch. This investigation concluded on February 28, 2018.

Read more
Jun 16
2016

The importance of leadership

Institution
Parks Canada
Section of the Act
30(1)(f)
Decision Type
Systemic investigation
Summary

In 2015–2016, the Commissioner completed a systemic investigation into Parks Canada’s approach to processing access requests. This investigation illustrates how collaborating with the Commissioner during her investigation can result in positive systemic changes for access rights.

Read more
May 14
2015

Investigation into an access to information request for the Long-gun Registry

Institution
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Section of the Act
30(1)(f)
Decision Type
Systemic investigation
Summary

The request at the basis of the complaint was made to the RCMP on March 27, 2012, before the coming into force of the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act. It requested access to the Firearms Registry database.

The requester filed a complaint with the Office of the Information Commissioner after receiving a response from the RCMP alleging that:

  1. That the information provided was incomplete (missing both columns and registrations);
  2. That the RCMP did not justify the incomplete response;
  3. That by destroying the responsive records, the RCMP obstructed his right of access, pursuant to section 67.1 of the Act.
Read more
Apr 10
2014

Interference with Access to Information: Part 2

Institution
Public Works and Government Services
Section of the Act
30(1)(f)
Decision Type
Systemic investigation
Summary

Pursuant to section 39 of the Access to Information Act, the Information Commissioner is reporting her findings in relation to her self-initiated investigation into the processing of eight access to information or consultation requests received by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) between July 22, 2008, and January 19, 2010. This investigation concerned the possibility of interference in the processing of these requests.

Read more
Nov 28
2013

Access to information at risk from instant messaging

Institution
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs / Indigenous Services
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Health Canada
Industry Canada
Justice Canada
Library and Archives Canada
National Defence
Privy Council Office
Public Works and Government Services
Transport Canada
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Section of the Act
30(1)(f)
Decision Type
Systemic investigation
Summary

In August 2012, the Information Commissioner launched a systemic investigation into the use and preservation of non-email, text-based messages on government-issued wireless devices. The decision to launch this investigation was, in part, the result of a complaint against Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (now Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada). In that case, the complainant had received an email in which one government official asked another to use a “pin” instead of email to communicate. When we investigated the complaint, we were informed that, prior to receiving the request for information, the relevant BlackBerrys had been replaced and subsequently destroyed. Thus, any information that might have existed and fallen within the scope of the access request was permanently lost.

Based on this complaint, as well as an increasing number of complaints related to missing records and “pins,” the Commissioner determined that there were reasonable grounds to self-initiate a complaint in order to investigate the impact of instant messaging, including PINs, on the right of access to information in Canada. The investigation focused on 11 institutions.

Read more
Date modified:
Submit a complaint