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Access to Information Act - Annual report 2018-19

Table of contents

This publication is available upon request in accessible formats.

For a print copy of this publication, please contact:

Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying

Tel.: (613) 957-2760
Fax: (613) 957-3078
Email: info@lobbycanada.gc.ca

This publication is also available electronically on the Web in HTML and PDF formats at the following address: https://lobbycanada.gc.ca.

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Except as otherwise specifically noted, the information in this publication may be reproduced, in part or in whole and by any means, without charge or further permission from the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying, provided that due diligence is exercised in ensuring the accuracy of the information reproduced; that the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying is identified as the source institution; and, that the reproduction is not represented as an official version of the information reproduced, nor as having been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying.

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Aussi offert en français sous le titre
Commissariat au lobbying – Loi sur l'accès à l'information – Rapport annuel 2018-2019


Introduction

The Access to Information Act (ATIA) (Revised Statutes of Canada 1985, Chapter A-1) was proclaimed on July 1, 1983. The ATIA gives Canadian citizens and permanent residents a broad right of access to information contained in government records, subject to certain specific and limited exceptions.

Section 72 of the ATIA stipulates that the head of every government institution shall prepare and submit to parliament an annual report on the administration of the ATIA for each fiscal year.

Consequently, this annual report is submitted by the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying (OCL) in accordance with the ATIA. It describes how the OCL fulfilled its access to information responsibilities during the fiscal year 2018-19.

The Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying

The Commissioner of Lobbying is responsible for the administration of the Lobbying Act (the Act) and the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct (the Code). The Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying (OCL) supports the Commissioner in her mandate. The authority of the Commissioner is derived from the Act. The legislation seeks to improve transparency and accountability regarding communications between lobbyists and federal public office holders and increase the confidence of Canadians in the integrity of government decision-making.

The mandate of the Commissioner is threefold:

  • establish and maintain the Registry of Lobbyists, which contains and makes public the registration information disclosed by lobbyists;
  • develop and implement educational programs to foster public awareness of the requirements of the Act; and
  • undertake investigations to ensure compliance with the Act and the Code.

Under the Act, the Commissioner of Lobbying also has the authority to grant exemptions to former designated public office holders who are subject to a five-year prohibition on lobbying activities.

The Commissioner reports annually to Parliament on the administration of the Act and the Code. The Commissioner is also required to table to Parliament reports on investigations, which include her findings, conclusions and the reasons for her conclusions.

Responsibility for information rights / Delegation of authority

The ATIA provides the authority to the Commissioner of Lobbying to exercise all powers granted under the Act. The OCL's Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Coordinator is delegated this authority via a Delegation Order, of which copies are attached in Annex A. The OCL has two employees responsible for the administration of the ATIA, an ATIP Coordinator and an ATIP Advisor.

The Director of Internal Service and Chief Financial Officer was the ATIP Coordinator from April 1, 2018 to April 30, 2018 and the Director of Registration and Clients Services was that ATIP Coordinator from May 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019. The ATIP Coordinator is responsible for the development, coordination and implementation of effective policies, guidelines and procedures to ensure the OCL's compliance with the ATIA. The Coordinator makes decisions on the disposition of requests under the ATIA, promotes awareness of the legislation to ensure organizational responsiveness to its obligations, as well as monitors and advises on compliance with the ATIA, regulations, procedures and policies. Further, the Coordinator acts as spokesperson for the OCL in dealings with the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Information Commissioner, and other government departments and agencies. The Coordinator is also responsible for conducting consultations with other federal organizations and other governments within Canada as required.

The ATIP Advisor is responsible for processing the requests received under the ATIA and making recommendations to the ATIP Coordinators on the disposition of any requests received.

Under the Act, the OCL collects information from registrants and lobbyists and the disclosures filed by registrants are accessible on the Registry of Lobbyists at the following address: lobbycanada.gc.ca.

Reports on Investigations that are completed must be tabled in both Houses of Parliament. They are also posted on the OCL's website.


Administration of the Access to Information Act

Statistical report

Annex B provides a statistical summary of requests under the Access to Information Act (ATIA) received during fiscal year 2018-19.

In 2018-19, the OCL received seven requests under the ATIA: two were treated formally and five informally. All seven requests were closed during this period. Both formal request were received from organizations. The five informal requests were received from three Canadian citizens, the media and an academic organization. All pertained to lobbying.

The OCL completed these requests as follows:

  • Existing records were partially disclosed for one request as pages contained information obtained under 16.2(1), information that could be injurious to the conduct of an investigation under 16(1)(c), and personal information (subsection 19(1)). The OCL processed 3680 pages and disclosed 1745 pages in an electronic format to the requester.
  • One request could neither be confirmed nor denied. Fees were not charged for this request.
  • All five informal requests were for a copy of records provided in previous requests which was provided free of charge.

Exemptions

  • Subsection 19(1) refers to material containing personal information.
  • Subsection 16.2(1) refers to information that was obtained or created by the Commissioner or on her behalf in the course of an investigation.
  • Paragraph 16(1)(c) refers to the disclosure of the information that could reasonably be expected to be injurious to the conduct of an investigation.

With respect to the time to complete each of the two formal requests, the request that could not be confirmed or denied was completed in less than 15 days, as for the other in 61 to 120 days. Four informal requests were completed in less than 15 days and one in 16 to 30 days.

In 2018-19, the volume of formal request received and completed by the OCL decreased by 60% from last fiscal year and had a decrease of 42% on consultations from other federal institutions.

Formal requests received, formal requests completed and consultation completed for other institutions, by fiscal year
Fiscal year Formal requests received Formal requests completed Consultation completed for other institutions
2018-19 2 2 7
2017-18 5 5 12
2016-17 8 8 3
2015-16 5 5 9
2014-15 4 5 9

Fees

The Service Fees Act requires a responsible authority to report annually to Parliament on the fees collected by the institution. With respect to fees collected under the ATIA, the information below is reported in accordance with the requirements of section 20 of the Service Fees Act.

The fees collected for the processing of requests under the ATIA during the reporting period totalled $5.00 for one formal request. The fee for the second request was refunded as the OCL neither confirmed nor denied having such information. The current fee structure is specified in the Access to Information Regulations. No fees are imposed for reviewing records, overhead or shipping costs.

In accordance with the Interim Directive on the Administration of the Access to Information Act, issued on May 5, 2016, the OCL waives all fees prescribed by the Act and Regulations, other that the $5 application fee set out in paragraph 7(1)(a) of the Regulations.

The OCL incurred total expenditure of $28,839 for the application of the ATIA in 2018-19. A total of $6,715 was allotted to staff salary and $22,124 to a professional service contract.

Information holdings

In accordance with the Access to Information Act, the information gathered by the OCL is used only for the purposes for which it was obtained.

The OCL is responsible for providing a full accounting of information holdings to the Treasury Board Secretariat and ensuring that updates are provided for inclusion in the Info Source publication. This publication contains a description of the classes of institutional records held by the OCL.

Info Source can be obtained through public or academic libraries or it may be viewed online on the Treasury Board Secretariat's website at www.infosource.gc.ca.

New/revised policies, guidelines and procedures implemented

During the reporting period, the OCL has uploaded summaries of completed requests on Canada's Open Data Portal. A procedure manual was developed to establish service standards and consistency of the program within the OCL.

OCL website

The OCL's website at lobbycanada.gc.ca allows members of the public to access and search the Registry of Lobbyists, as well as obtaining copies of reports such as the OCL's annual reports on Access to Information and Privacy. Summaries of completed requests are available on the OCL website and on Canada's Open Data Portal.

Reading room

A reading room is available at the OCL's office, situated on the 8th Floor at 410 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada  K1R 1B7.

Education and training activities

In 2018-19, the OCL provided training to staff on determining Information Records of Business Value in anticipation of the Office relocation in May 2019. Further training was provided to the Investigations Directorate on ways to facilitate the release of information.

Complaints

No complaints were received by the OCL from the Office of the Information Commissioner in 2018-19.

Appeals to the federal court

There were no applications filed during 2018-19 related to the ATIA.

Consultations from other institutions

In total, seven consultation requests were received from other federal institutions during the reporting period. All were closed during this reporting period. They where all completed within 15 days. A total of 37 pages were reviewed and recommended for full disclosure.

Time to process access to information request monitoring

Given the small number of requests received and processed by the OCL, no formal monitoring system was required during the reporting period.


Annex A — Delegation orders

Access to Information Act and Privacy Act delegation order

The Commissioner of Lobbying, pursuant to section 73 of the Access to Information Act and section 73 of the Privacy Act, hereby designates the person holding the position set out in the schedule hereto, or the person occupying on an acting basis that position, to exercise the powers, duties and functions of the Commissioner of Lobbying as the head of the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying, under the provisions of the Act and related regulations set out in the schedule opposite each position. This designation replaces all previous delegation orders.

Schedule

Position
Director, Internal Services and Chief Financial Officer

Access to Information Act and Regulations
Full authority

Privacy Act and Regulations
Full authority

Dated, at the City of Ottawa, this Tuesday, January 9, 2018.

Signature of Nancy Bélanger

Nancy Bélanger


Access to Information Act and Privacy Act delegation order

The Commissioner of Lobbying, pursuant to section 73 of the Access to Information Act and section 73 of the Privacy Act, hereby designates the person holding the position set out in the schedule hereto, or the person occupying on an acting basis that position, to exercise the powers, duties and functions of the Commissioner of Lobbying as the head of the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying, under the provisions of the Act and related regulations set out in the schedule opposite each position. This designation replaces all previous delegation orders.

Schedule

Position
Director of Registration and Client Services

Access to Information Act and Regulations
Full authority

Privacy Act and Regulations
Full authority

Dated, at the City of Ottawa, this Tuesday May 1, 2018.

Signature of Nancy Bélanger

Nancy Bélanger


Annex B — 2018-2019 Statistical report on the Access to Information Act

Statistical report on the Access to Information Act

Name of institution: Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada

Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2019-03-31

Part 1: Requests under the Access to Information Act

1.1 Number of requests

Number of requests
Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 2
Outstanding from previous reporting period 0
Total 2
Closed during reporting period 2
Carried over to next reporting period 0

1.2 Sources of requests

Sources of requests
Source Number of Requests
Media 0
Academia 0
Business (private sector) 0
Organization 2
Public 0
Decline to Identify 0
Total 2

1.3 Informal requests

Informal 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
4 1 0 0 0 0 0 5

Note: All requests previously recorded as “treated informally” will now be accounted for in this section only.

Part 2: Requests closed during the reporting period

2.1 Disposition and completion time

Disposition and completion time
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 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No records exist 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request transferred 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Total 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2

2.2 Exemptions

Exemptions
Section Number of Requests
13(1)(a) 0
13(1)(b) 0
13(1)(c) 0
13(1)(d) 0
13(1)(e) 0
14 0
14(a) 0
14(b) 0
15(1) 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) 1
16(1)(d) 0
16(2) 0
16(2)(a) 0
16(2)(b) 0
16(2)(c) 0
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) 2
16.3 0
16.4(1)(a) 0
16.4(1)(b) 0
16.5 0
17 0
18(a) 0
18(b) 0
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) 1
20(1)(a) 0
20(1)(b) 0
20(1)(b.1) 0
20(1)(c) 0
20(1)(d) 0
20.1 0
20.2 0
20.4 0
21(1)(a) 0
21(1)(b) 0
21(1)(c) 0
21(1)(d) 0
22 0
22.1(1) 0
23 0
24(1) 0
26 0
* I.A.:
International Affairs
* Def.:
Defence of Canada
* S.A.:
Subversive Activities

2.3 Exclusions

Exclusions
Section Number of Requests
68(a) 0
68(b) 0
68(c) 0
68.1 0
68.2(a) 0
68.2(b) 0
69(1) 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

Format of information released
Disposition Paper Electronic Other Formats
All disclosed 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 1 0
Total 0 1 0

2.5 Complexity

2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Disposition of Requests Number of Pages Processed Number of Pages Disclosed Number of Requests
All disclosed 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 3680 1745 1
All exempted 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 1
2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
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 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1745 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1745 0 0
2.5.3 Other complexities
Other complexities
Disposition Consultation Required Assessment of Fees Legal Advice Sought Other Total
All disclosed 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 0 0 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0

2.6 Deemed refusals

2.6.1 Reasons for not meeting statutory deadline
Reasons for not meeting statutory deadline
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
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

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

Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests
Disposition of Requests Where an Extension Was Taken 9(1)(a)
Interference With Operations
9(1)(b)
Consultation
9(1)(c)
Third-Party Notice
Section 69 Other
All disclosed 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 1 0 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0
No records exist 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0
Total 1 0 0 0

3.2 Length of extensions

Length of extensions
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 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 days 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 days 1 0 0 0
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 1 0 0 0

Part 4: Fees

Fees
Fee Type Fee Collected Fee Waived or Refunded
Number of
Requests
Amount Number of
Requests
Amount
Application 1 $5 1 $5
Search 0 $0 0 $0
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 1 $5 1 $5

Part 5: Consultations received from other institutions and organizations

5.1  Consultations received from other Government of Canada institutions and organizations

Consultations received from other Government of Canada institutions and organizations
Consultations Other Government of Canada Institutions Number of Pages to Review Other Organizations Number of Pages to Review
Received during reporting period 7 37 0 0
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 0 0 0 0
Total 7 37 0 0
Closed during the reporting period 7 37 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 of Canada institutions

Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other Government of Canada institutions
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 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 7
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 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 7

5.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations

Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations
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

6.1 Requests with legal services

Requests with Legal Services
Number of Days Fewer 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
1 to 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

6.2 Requests with Privy Council Office

Requests with Privy Council Office
Number of Days Fewer 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
1 to 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Part 7: Complaints and investigations

Complaints and Investigations
Section 32 Section 35 Section 37 Total
0 0 0 0

Part 8: Court action

Court Action
Section 41 Section 42 Section 44 Total
0 0 0 0

Part 9: Resources related to the Access to Information Act

9.1  Costs

Costs
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $6,715
Overtime $0
Goods and Services $22,124
• Professional services contracts $22,124
• Other $0
Total $28,839

9.2  Human resources

Human Resources
Resources Person Years Dedicated to Access to Information Activities
Full-time employees 0.10
Part-time and casual employees 0.00
Regional staff 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 0.00
Students 0.00
Total 0.10

Note: Enter values to two decimal places.

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