2017–18 Annual Report to Parliament — Access to Information Act

PDF version

Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018

This publication is available upon request in accessible formats.

Contact:
Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario 410 Laurier Avenue West, 3rd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5
Telephone: 613-941-7754
Fax: 613-952-9026
Email: atip-aiprp@feddevontario.canada.ca

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Access to Information Act (the Act) gives Canadian citizens, as well as people and corporations in Canada, the right to have access to records under the control of federal institutions that are not of a personal nature. This right of access is consistent with the principles that government information should be available to the public, necessary exceptions to the rights of access should be limited and specific, and decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government.

Section 72 of the Act requires that the head of every government institution prepare, for submission to Parliament, an annual report on the administration of the Actwithin the institution during each financial year.  For the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the President has been designated as the head of the institution by Order in Council. Tabling of the report “shall be laid before each House of Parliament within three months after the financial year in respect of which it is made or, if that House Is not then sitting, on any of the first fifteen days next thereafter that it is sitting.”

This Annual Report describes how FedDev Ontario, in its ninth year of operation, administered its responsibilities under the Act.

About the organization

Raison d'être

FedDev Ontario was created in 2009 to work with communities, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and other levels of government in southern Ontario, to actively promote the region, and to build a strong foundation of investment and partnerships to help secure the region's economic growth and long-term prosperity.

In 2018, FedDev Ontario's mandate was renewed for a five-year term, from 2019-2020 to 2023-2024.

Responsibilities

Through its suite of programs and activities, FedDev Ontario works to strengthen economic capacity for innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration; and to promote the development of a strong and diversified southern Ontario economy.

Scope of Operations

FedDev Ontario is headquartered in Waterloo and has regional offices in Ottawa, Peterborough and Toronto. Its mandate covers southern Ontario, which includes 37 Statistics Canada census divisions.

FedDev Ontario is part of the Innovation, Science and Economic Development portfolio. Its President oversees Agency operations and resources and reports to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Structure of the Access to Information and Privacy Office

Responsibility for processing requests received under the Access to Information Act rests with the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Coordinator. The ATIP Coordinator oversees the administration of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act (the Acts) within FedDev Ontario and ensures compliance with the legislation. The ATIP office structure also includes one officer as per the organizational chart in Annex A; this position became vacant in July 2017 and has not yet been filled.

The ATIP Coordinator is responsible for all daily ATIP activities and operations, as well as the development, coordination and implementation of effective policies, guidelines and procedures necessary to manage the Agency's compliance with the Acts. The ATIP office, which is located in Ottawa's regional office, responds to all formal requests submitted under the applicable Act.

The administration of both Acts at FedDev Ontario is also facilitated at the branch and regional office levels. Each organizational branch has a liaison officer who coordinates activities on the administrative processes and procedures of these Acts.

Delegation of Authority

The current ATIP Delegation Order was approved by the President (the head of the institution) on May 3, 2018. It provides full delegated authority to the ATIP Coordinator and to the Corporate Secretary. A copy of the ATIP Delegation Order is attached in Annex B.

Analysis of the Statistical Report

During the reporting period, FedDev Ontario received 19 Access to Information (ATI)requests, a decrease of 64% compared to the previous reporting period, and carried forward five requests from 2016-17. This represents a total ATI workload of 24 files. Excluding numbers for 2016-17, when a spike in requests was experienced (likely due to the public's interest in the Agency's Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program), the number of ATI requests received in 2017-18 is close to the five- year average of 21 requests received.

Graph 1. Access to Information Requests Received & Closed by Year

Access to Information Requests Received & Closed by Year
Text version
Graph 1.  Access to Information Requests Received & Closed by Year
Year Requests Received Requests Closed
2013-14 12 16
2014-15 24 21
2015-16 31 22
2016-17 53 61
2017-18 18 19

Sources of Requests

The breakdown of the 19 new requests received by type of user is as follows:

Media 2
Academia 1
Business (Private Sector) 11
Organization 2
Public 2
Decline to identify 1

Of the new requests received, three, or 16%, related to grants or contributions; 12, or 63%, concerned the Agency's internal activities; and four, or 21%, related to other matters.

Disposition and Completion Time

During the 2017-18 reporting period, 20 requests were completed and four requests were carried forward to financial year 2018-2019. A detailed statistical report on Access to Information requests is attached in Annex C.

The 20 completed requests were disposed of as follows: three requesters were provided full access to the relevant records, six requesters were granted partial disclosure, eight requests had no existing records, two requests were transferred and one request was abandoned by the requester. No requests were exempted in full.

FedDev Ontario processed 1,992 pages and disclosed 468 pages in the nine requests which held responsive records to Access to Information requests.

Of the 20 completed requests, the Agency responded to 19 requests within the 30 days completion range and one within the 181-365 days completion range.

There were no requests closed past the legislated deadlines. This represents an on-time completion rate of 100% (0% Deemed Refusal).

During the reporting period, extensions were required under the Act two times, under subsection 9(1)(c) to allow for consultations with third parties. There was one extension taken under subsection 9(1)(a).

It is important to note the fact that the number of extensions does not necessarily equate to the number of files for which extensions were taken. This is because any given file could require extensions for more than one reason (for example, for volume/interference with operations and for consultation with a third party; the statistical table would reflect this as two separate extensions).

Exemptions and Exclusions

As noted in Annex C, exemptions were taken under sections 19, 20, 21 and 22. FedDev Ontario did not invoke any exclusion pursuant to section 69 of the Act during the reporting period.

Additional Information

The Agency received 41 new access consultation requests from other government institutions, an increase of 32% from the previous reporting period. As can be seen in Graph 2 below, the number of access consultations has been steadily rising over the past five years.

Graph 2. Access Consultations Received & Closed by Year

Text version
Graph 2. Access Consultations Received & Closed by Year
Year Requests Received Requests Closed
2013-14 14 15
2014-15 15 15
2015-16 28 28
2016-17 31 33
2017-18 41 40

Overall, the Agency completed a total of 60 requests related to the Access to Information Act (20 access requests and 40 access consultation requests).

During this reporting period, the ATIP office experienced some staffing challenges including the departure of the office's ATIP Analyst in July.  Several different internal staff members were trained to assist the ATIP Coordinator on a part-time basis but due to internal resourcing issues, they were only available for a few months.  The ATIP Coordinator performed all duties for the remainder of the reporting period.  FedDev Ontario has been exploring staffing options to fill the gap and expects to resolve the staffing issue later in 2018-19.

Education and Training

All FedDev Ontario employees are required to take the Canada School of Public Service course on Access to Information and Privacy Fundamentals.  Between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018, a total of 157 people, completed the course.

During this reporting period, the ATIP office conducted a more focused ATIP training for 18 participants. This training included a review of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, as well as an emphasis on process, communication, timelines and the roles and responsibilities of the Liaison Officers, administrative staff and Offices of Primary Interest (OPIs).

Throughout the reporting period, the ATIP Coordinator provided ongoing advice and coaching to employees on access to information related matters as required.

Guidelines and procedures are provided to staff as part of the tasking documentation when they are tasked to respond to an access to information request.

Institutional Policies and Procedures

During this reporting period, the ATIP Coordinator worked with Agency and other stakeholders to prepare for impending changes to the Access to Information Act. Activities included the following: a review of current practices to determine necessary changes to support the implementation of the upcoming amendments to the ATIP legislation, preparation of a new process designed to facilitate the collection, review and posting of lists of memoranda received by the head of the institution, and partnering in the delivery of three video-conference sessions with appropriate Agency staff to inform about the coming changes and to provide guidance regarding best practices and new requirements.

The ATIP office determines and implements best practices on an ongoing basis as topics arise.

Complaints, Investigations and Court Action

There were no complaints received from the Office of the Information Commissioner pursuant to Section 32 during the reporting period concerning the administration of the Act. There were no investigations or court action during this period.

Monitoring Compliance

The ATIP office monitors a number of metrics for Access to Information requests. Response rates from OPIs are monitored on an ongoing basis to ensure that response rates are within allowable periods.

A weekly report is provided to the President via the Operations Committee listing the number of active requests (including access consultations and privacy requests), the number of new requests received, the status of each request and the estimated release date for each.

Ad hoc reporting takes place as required. The Corporate Secretary, Vice- Presidents, Director Generals or the Office of the President are notified as appropriate.

Annex A – Structure of Access to Information and Privacy Office

Marian Tomlinson
Corporate Secretary
613-941-3502

Dawn Cobden
ATIP Coordinator
613-941-7754

Vacant
ATIP Analyst

Annex B – Delegation Order

Access to Information Act and Privacy Act Delegation Order

The President of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, pursuant to section 73 to 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 President as the head of a government institution, under the section of the Acts set out in the schedule opposite each position. This Delegation Order supersedes all previous Delegation Orders.

Schedule

Schedule
Position Access to Information Act and Regulations Privacy Act and Regulations
Corporate Secretary Full authority Full authority
Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator,
Corporate Secretariat
Full authority Full authority

Dated, at the City of Ottawa
This 3rd day of May, 2018

Original signed by James Medding, President
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

ANNEX C – Statistical Report

Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act

Name of institution:
FedDev Ontario

Reporting period:
2017-04-01 to 2018-03-31

Part 1 — Requests under the Access to Information Act

1.1 Number of Requests

Number of Requests
  Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 19
Outstanding from previous reporting period 5
Total 24
Closed during reporting period 20
Carried over to next reporting period 4

1.2 Sources of requests

Sources of requests
Source Number of Requests
Media 2
Academia 1
Business (Private Sector) 11
Organization 2
Public 2
Decline to Identify 1
Total 19

1.3 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
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

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 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 3
Disclosed in part 1 4 0 0 0 1 0 6
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No records exist 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 8
Request transferred 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Request abandoned 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 11 8 0 0 0 1 0 20

2.2 Exemptions

Exemptions
Section Number of requests Section Number of requests Section Number of requests Section Number of requests
13(1)(a) 0 16(2) 0 18(a) 0 20.1 0
13(1)(b) 0 16(2)(a) 0 18(b) 0 20.2 0
13(1)(c) 0 16(2)(b) 0 18(c) 0 20.4 0
13(1)(d) 0 16(2)(c) 0 18(d) 0 21(1)(a) 0
13(1)(e) 0 16(3) 0 18.1(1)(a) 0 21(1)(b) 1
14 0 16.1(1)(a) 0 18.1(1)(b) 0 21(1)(c) 1
14(a) 0 16.1(1)(b) 0 18.1(1)(c) 0 21(1)(d) 0
14(b) 0 16.1(1)(c) 0 18.1(1)(d) 0 22 1
15(1) 0 16.1(1)(d) 0 19(1) 4 22.1(1) 0
15(1)–I.A.Footnote a 0 16.2(1) 0 20(1)(a) 0 23 0
15(1)–Def.Footnote b 0 16.3 0 20(1)(b) 2 24(1) 0
15(1)–S.A.Footnote c 0 16.4(1)(a) 0 20(1)(b.1) 0 26 0
16(1)(a)(i) 0 16.4(1)(b) 0 20(1)(c) 2
16(1)(a)(ii) 0 16.5 0 20(1)(d) 1
16(1)(a)(iii) 0 17 0
16(1)(b) 0
16(1)(c) 0
16(1)(d) 0
Footnotes
Footnote a

I.A.: International Affairs

Return to footnote a referrer

Footnote b

Def.: Defence of Canada

Return to footnote b referrer

Footnote c

S.A.: Subversive Activities

Return to footnote c referrer

2.3 Exclusions

Exclusions
Section Number of requests Section Number of requests Section Number of requests
68(a) 0 69(1) 0 69(1)(g) re (a) 0
68(b) 0 69(1)(a) 0 69(1)(g) re (b) 0
68(c) 0 69(1)(b) 0 69(1)(g) re (c) 0
68.1 0 69(1)(c) 0 69(1)(g) re (d) 0
68.2(a) 0 69(1)(d) 0 69(1)(g) re (e) 0
68.2(b) 0 69(1)(e) 0 69(1)(g) re (f) 0
  69(1)(f) 0 69.1(1) 0

2.4 Format of information released

Format of information released
Disposition Paper Electronic Other formats
All disclosed 0 3 0
Disclosed in part 1 5 0
Total 1 8 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 11 0 3
Disclosed in part 1981 468 6
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 disclo-
sed
Number of requests Pages disclo-
sed
Number of requests Pages disclo-
sed
Number of requests Pages disclo-
sed
Number of requests Pages disclo-
sed
All disclosed 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 5 59 0 0 0 0 1 409 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 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 9 59 0 0 0 0 1 409 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 2 0 0 0 2
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 2 0 0 0 2

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 2
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 2

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 1
61 to 120 days 1 0 0 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 1 0 0 2

Part 4 — Fees

Fees
Fee Type Fee Collected Fee Waived or Refunded
Number of requests Amount Number of requests Amount
Application 12 $60 2 $10
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 12 $60 2 $10

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 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 41 77 1 0
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 0 0 0 0
Total 41 77 1 0
Closed during the reporting period 40 72 1 0
Pending at the end of the reporting period 1 5 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 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 27 5 1 0 0 0 0 33
Exempt entirely 1 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 34 5 1 0 0 0 0 40

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 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
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 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

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 $110,709
Overtime $0
Goods and Services $10,013
• Professional services contracts $1,890  
• Other $8,123
Total $120,722

9.2 Human Resources

Human Resources
Resources Access to Information
Full-time employees 1.33
Part-time and casual employees 0.10
Regional staff 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 0.00
Students 0.25
Total 1.68

Note: Enter values to two decimal places.

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