2016-2017 Appendix B Facts and figures
Summary of caseload, 2009–2010 to 2016–2017
|Complaints carried over from the previous year||2,514||2,086||1,853||1,823||1,798||2,091||2,244||3,010|
|New complaints received||1,653||1,810||1,460||1,579||2,069||1,738||2,036||2,077|
|New Commissioner-initiated complaints*||36||18||5||17||12||11||11||2|
|Total new complaints||1,689||1,828||1,465||1,596||2,081||1,749||2,047||2,079|
|Complaints discontinued during the year||575||692||641||399||551||407||353||828|
|Complaints settled during the year||–||18||34||172||193||276||71||101|
|Complaints resolved during the year**||–||–||–||–||–||–||67||467|
|Complaints completed during the year with findings||1,542||1,351||820||1,050||1,044||913||790||849|
|Total complaints closed during the year||2,117||2,061||1,495||1,621||1,788||1,596||1,281||2,245|
|Total inventory at year-end||2,086||1,853||1,823||1,798||2,091||2,244||3,010||2,844|
|Total new written inquiries***||–||–||208||258||248||431||448||468|
|Total written inquires closed during the year||–||–||186||263||236||235||633||426|
*The Commissioner may launch a complaint under subsection 30(3) of the Access to Information Act.
**The Commissioner introduced the “resolved” finding in March 2016. The Commissioner uses it when institutions send their final response to requesters during the initial stages of investigations into deemed refusal (delay) and extension complaints.
***Written inquiries are correspondence the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) receives that may result in new complaints under the Access to Information Act. For example, the OIC must determine whether the matter falls within the Commissioner’s jurisdiction before opening a complaint file. Even when a written inquiry does not become a complaint, the OIC must send a response. The OIC began tracking written inquiries in 2011–2012.
In 2016–2017, the Commissioner received 2,079 new complaints and closed 2,245. There are 2,844 complaints in the inventory as of March 31, 2017.
New complaints, 2009–2010 to 2016–2017
The figure is a vertical bar chart showing the number of complaints that the OIC registered for the years 2009–2010 to 2016–2017. There are three categories each year: refusal complaints, administrative complaints and complaints related to Cabinet Confidences exclusions.
In 2009–2010, the OIC received 961 refusal complaints, 694 administrative complaints and 34 Cabinet Confidences complaints.
In 2010–2011, the OIC received 996 refusal complaints, 810 administrative complaints and 22 Cabinet Confidences complaints.
In 2011–2012, the OIC received 1,036 refusal complaints, 391 administrative complaints and 38 Cabinet Confidences complaints.
In 2012–2013, the OIC received 1,040 refusal complaints, 519 administrative complaints and 37 Cabinet confidences complaints.
In 2013–2014, the OIC received 1,219 refusal complaints, 801 administrative complaints and 61 Cabinet confidences complaints.
In 2014–2015, the OIC received 1,102 refusal complaints, 604 administrative complaints and 43 Cabinet confidences complaints.
In 2015–2016, the OIC received 1,348 refusal complaints, 664 administrative complaints and 35 Cabinet confidences complaints.
In 2016–2017, the OIC received 1,154 refusal complaints, 880 administrative complaints and 45 Cabinet confidences complaints.
In 2016–2017, the Commissioner received 1,154 refusal complaints (commonly about the application of exemptions), 880 administrative complaints (about delays, time extensions and fees) and 45 Cabinet confidence exclusion complaints. Administrative complaints represented 42 percent of new complaints; the remaining 58 percent were either refusals or Cabinet confidence exclusion complaints.
Commonly cited exemptions in refusal complaints, 2016–2017
Note: The sum of all percentages may exceed 100 percent, because a single complaint may involve multiple exemptions.
The vertical bar chart represents the exemptions that were cited the most frequently cited in the refusal complaints registered in 2016–2017. The X-axis refers to the exemptions under the section of the Act while the Y-axis represents the number of refusal complaints for which the exemptions was cited, as a proportion of the total refusal complaints registered.
The results are as follows:
- Personal information (Section 19): 307 complaints (or 52.2% of all refusal complaints registered) evoked this exemption;
- Law enforcement and investigations (Section 16): 235 complaints (or 40.0%) evoked this exemption;
- Advice and recommendations to government (Section 21): 212 complaints (or 36.1%) evoked this exemption;
- Third-party information (Section 20): 131 complaints (or 22.3%) evoked this exemption;
- Solicitor-client privilege (Section 23): 129 complaints (or 21.9%) evoked this exemption;
- International affairs (Section 15): 113 complaints (or 19.2%) evoked this exemption.
The most commonly cited exemption in refusal complaints in 2016–2017 was section 19 (personal information). The next most frequently used exemptions were sections 16 (law enforcement and investigations), 21 (advice and recommendations to government), 20 (third-party information), 23 (solicitor-client privilege) and 15 (international affairs and defence).
New complaints by institution, 2009–2010 to 2016–2017
|Canada Revenue Agency||261||502||324||336||283||221||271||367|
|Royal Canadian Mounted Police||68||69||68||125||185||178||235||274|
|Canada Border Services Agency||43||29||36||63||106||78||161||153|
|Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada||72||84||66||109||305||246||181||127|
|Privy Council Office||84||57||36||52||48||54||50||82|
|Correctional Service Canada||53||82||65||57||56||33||59||52|
|Department of Justice Canada||32||30||47||24||51||44||44||49|
|Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada||29||47||47||45||60||23||31||47|
|Global Affairs Canada||136||31||56||83||120||83||86||44|
|Public Services and Procurement Canada||43||88||45||35||28||26||78||43|
|Environment and Climate Change Canada||14||15||17||26||29||26||35||35|
|Department of Finance Canada||16||13||10||17||19||12||17||35|
|Canada Post Corporation||35||41||46||8||10||30||31||32|
|Canadian Security Intelligence Service||4||22||8||15||20||27||34||28|
|Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada||6||0||1||2||2||6||3||28|
|Fisheries and Oceans Canada||18||11||23||18||21||18||25||26|
|Employment and Social Development Canada||18||26||25||20||37||33||38||23|
|Others (number of institutions)||508
The chart above shows the 20 institutions that were the subject of the most complaints in 2016–2017. Many institutions appear on this list from year to year.
Turnaround times for investigations, 2012–2013 to 2016–2017
Refusal complaints closed within nine months
This bar chart shows the proportion of refusal complaints that the OIC has closed within nine months after the date on which they were assigned to an investigator from 2012–2013 to 2016–2017.
In 2012–2013, 70.4% of refusal complaints were resolved within nine months (805 complaints).
In 2013–2014, 67.5% of refusal complaints were resolved within nine months (732 complaints).
In 2014–2015, 69.2% of refusal complaints were resolved within nine months (666 complaints).
In 2015–2016, 63.2% of refusal complaints were resolved within nine months (422 complaints).
In 2016–2017, 79.5% of refusal complaints were resolved within nine months (1,147 complaints).
In 2016–2017, the Commissioner closed 79.5 percent of refusal complaints within nine months of their being assigned to an investigator. The median turnaround time, measuring from the date of assignment, was 70 days. This is a decrease of 96 days from 2015–2016. However, there is a delay of 222 days (median) before a refusal file can be assigned to an investigator.
Administrative complaints closed within 90 days
This bar chart shows the proportion of administrative complaints that the OIC has closed within 90 days after the date on which they were assigned to an investigator from 2012–2013 to 2016–2017.
In 2012–2013, 70.4% of administrative complaints were resolved within 90 days (336 complaints).
In 2013–2014, 68.4% of administrative complaints were resolved within 90 days (473 complaints).
In 2014–2015, 63.4% of administrative complaints were resolved within 90 days (396 complaints).
In 2015–2016, 64.1% of administrative complaints were resolved within 90 days (387 complaints).
In 2016–2017, 74.3% of administrative complaints were resolved within 90 days (594 complaints).
In 2016–2017, the Commissioner closed 74.3 percent of administrative complaints within 90 days of their being assigned to an investigator. The median turnaround time, measuring from the date of assignment, was 36 days. This is a decrease of 12 days from 2015–2016. There is a delay of 27 days (median) before an administrative file can be assigned to an investigator.
Complaints closed by institution, 2016–2017
|Overall||With merit||Not well founded||Resolved||Settled||Discontinued|
|Canada Revenue Agency||380||89||63||162||5||61|
|Royal Canadian Mounted Police||232||64||45||24||2||97|
|Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada||200||26||42||44||3||85|
|Canada Border Services Agency||187||34||16||59||45||33|
|Public Service Commission of Canada||100||3||0||0||0||97|
|Correctional Service Canada||73||29||15||11||4||14|
|Global Affairs Canada||66||20||4||9||4||29|
|Public Services and Procurement Canada||59||10||12||7||6||24|
|Privy Council Office||55||20||4||5||2||24|
|Department of Justice Canada||45||10||8||4||2||21|
|Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada||40||10||2||6||1||21|
|Employment and Social Development Canada||37||11||4||4||2||16|
|Fisheries and Oceans Canada||36||10||0||8||3||15|
|Canadian Broadcasting Corporation||30||18||7||0||1||4|
|Environment and Climate Change Canada||28||8||4||4||1||11|
|Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat||27||10||3||1||0||13|
|Department of Finance Canada||25||7||1||5||1||11|
|Others (71 institutions)||391||95||63||70||12||151|
This chart lists the 20 institutions about which the Commissioner closed the most complaints in 2016–2017.