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ARCHIVED - Info Source Bulletin Number 37B – Statistical Reporting


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Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat found certain reporting errors in the Access to Information Statistical Reporting 37B, 2013-14. These errors have since been resolved and an updated Bulletin is now posted.

Access to Information Act Statistics

The following is the collection of tables and figures that offer insights regarding requests made under the Access to Information Act and completed during the period April 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014. These figures are based on the statistical reports provided by government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act.

Requests Under the Access to Information Act: 2013–14


Requests Received Under the Access to Information Act
Requests Under the Access to Information Act Number of Requests
Received during 2013–14 reporting period 60,105
Outstanding from 2012–13 reporting period 9,545
Total 69,650
Closed during 2013–14 period 58,475
Carried over to 2014–15 reporting period 11,175

Requests Received Under the Access to Information Act: Comparison of 2012–13 and 2013–14

Figure 1: Requests Received Under the Access to Information Act: Comparison of 2012–13 and 2013–14

Figure 1: Requests Received Under the Access to Information Act: Comparison of 2012–13 and 2013–14 – Text version

The preceding figure depicts a 9% increase in Access to Information Act requests received in the 2013–14 reporting period as compared with the previous year. It also shows that, of the 69,650 requests to be processed, 84% of requests were completed. This a slight decrease of 2% when compared to the previous year.

Source of Access to Information Act Requests Received
Source Number of Requests
Business (private sector) 23,129
Public 23,723
Media 8,421
Organization 2,898
Academia 1,934
Total 60,105

Source of Access to Information Act Requests Received: Comparison of 2012–13 and 2013–14

Figure 1: Source of Access to Information Act Requests Received: Comparison of 2012–13 and 2013–14

Figure 2: Source of Access to Information Act Requests Received: Comparison of 2012–13 and 2013–14 – Text version

Disposition of Access to Information Act Requests Completed
Disposition of Requests Completed Requests as Percentage Number of Requests
2012–13 2013–14 2012–13 2013–14
Return to table note 1 reference * Requests are treated informally when it has been determined, through consultation with the applicant, that processing a formal request can be discontinued in favour of providing the information informally, i.e., outside the Access to Information Act. A request treated in this manner is not considered to have been abandoned.
All disclosed 21.6 26.8 11,681 15,684
Disclosed in part 52.8 50 28,534 29,250
All exempted 1.1 1.2 602 679
All excluded 0.5 0.9 278 521
No records exist 11.8 10.5 6,390 6,143
Request transferred 0.6 0.7 304 436
Request abandoned 9.7 7.7 5,256 4,520
Treated informally See table note 1 * 1.8 2.1 948 1,242
Total 100.0 100.0 53,993 58,475

Disposition of Access to Information Act Requests Completed: Comparison of 2012–13 and 2013–14

Figure 3: Disposition of Access to Information Act Requests Completed: Comparison of 2012–13 and 2013–14

Figure 3: Disposition of Access to Information Act Requests Completed: Comparison of 2012–13 and 2013–14 – Text version

Time Required to Complete Access to Information Act Requests According to Time Periods: Comparison of 2012–13 and 2013–14 See endnote 1
Completion Time Requests as Percentage Number of Requests
2012–13 2013–14 2012–13 2013–14
0 to 30 days 64.8 61 34,997 35,653
31 to 60 days 17.3 18 9,331 10,522
61 to 120 days 9.8 10.4 5,294 6,053
121 to 180 days 3.4 3.8 1,847 2,227
181 to 365 days 2.8 4.9 1,542 2,892
More than 365 days 1.8 1.9 982 1,128
Total 100.0 100.0 53,993 58,475

The preceding table reveals a 1.9% increase in the number of requests that were completed in the first 30 days after they were received and a 4.7% increase in the completion of requests within a 181 to 365-day time period. The data reflects all requests completed, including requests for which extensions were required.

Five-Year Comparison of Time Required to Complete Access to Information Act Requests According to Time Period See endnote 2

Figure 4: Five-Year Comparison of Time Required to Complete Access to Information Act Requests According to Time Period

Figure 4: Five-Year Comparison of Time Required to Complete Access to Information Act Requests According to Time Period – Text version

Time Required to Complete Access to Information Act Requests
Disposition of Requests (including requests for which extensions were required) Completion Time
0 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 11,267 3,107 852 176 252 30 15,684
Disclosed in part 13,984 6,407 4,361 1,661 2,012 825 29,250
All exempted 340 88 103 44 82 22 679
All excluded 163 146 78 64 64 6 521
No records exist 4,888 468 442 83 227 35 6,143
Request transferred 424 3 5 2 2 0 436
Request abandoned 3,417 251 205 189 251 207 4,520
Treated informally 1,170 52 7 8 2 3 1,242
Total number of requests 35,653 10,522 6,053 2,227 2,892 1,128 58,475
Total as percentage 61% 18% 10.4% 3.8% 4.9% 1.9% 100.0%

The preceding table shows that 61% of the Access to Information Act requests were completed within the initial statutory deadline of 30 days.

Relevant Pages Processed and Disclosed Relating to Access to Information Act Requests
Disposition of Requests Number of Pages Processed Number of Pages Disclosed Number of Requests
All disclosed 1,129,242 1,052,434 15,684
Disclosed in part 6,326,261 4,098,946 29,250
All exempted 5,208,956 36 679
All excluded 62,914 0 521
Request abandoned 353,264 107,084 4,520
Total 13,080,637 5,258,500 50,654

Other Considerations Relating to Complexity of Access to Information Act Requests
Disposition Consultation Required Assessment of Fees Legal Advice Sought Other Total
All disclosed 704 149 32 9,410 10,295
Disclosed in part 6,036 740 234 16,719 23,729
All exempted 241 21 19 73 354
All excluded 231 8 1 55 295
Request abandoned 286 477 11 553 1,327
Total 7,498 1,395 297 26,810 36,000

Reasons for Deemed Refusals Relating to Access to Information Act Requests See endnote 3
Number of Requests Closed Past the Statutory Deadline or Not Within the Time Frame Covered by an Extension (deemed refusal) Principal Reason
Workload External Consultation Internal Consultation Other See table note 2 *
Return to table note 2 reference * Other reasons include the unavailability of key officials, difficulties in obtaining relevant records, labour disputes, and lengthy power outages, etc.
8,197 6,106 694 676 721

Status of Requests Closed Relating to Access to Information Act Requests
Status of Requests Closed Requests as Percentage Number of Requests
2012–13 2013–14 2012–13 2013–14
Closed within the statutory deadline including extensions 89.3 86.0 48,231 50,278
Closed in deemed refusal 10.7 14.0 5,762 8,197
Total 100.0 100.0 53,993 58,475

Length of Extensions Relating to Access to Information Act Requests
Length of Extensions See endnote 4 9(1)(a) Interference With Operations 9(1)(b) Consultation 9(1)(c) Third-Party Notice
Section 69 Other See endnote 5
30 days or less 2,338 25 674 159
31 to 60 days 2,656 70 1,171 1,106
61 to 120 days 1,816 420 1,415 340
121 to 180 days 194 358 1,412 74
181 to 365 days 163 94 407 94
365 days or more 18 3 25 34
Total 7,185 970 5,104 1,807

Exemptions Applied Under the Access to Information Act


Information Obtained in Confidence
Provision Number of Requests
13(1)(a) 1,200
13(1)(b) 338
13(1)(c) 632
13(1)(d) 283
13(1)(e) 21
Total 2,474

Federal-Provincial Affairs
Provision Number of Requests
14(a) 660
14(b) 331
Total 991

International Affairs and Defence
Provision Number of Requests
15(1) International Affairs 2,354
15(1) Defence 1,480
15(1) Subversive activities 7,302
Total 11,136

Law Enforcement and Investigations
Provision Number of Requests
16(1)(a)(i) 601
16(1)(a)(ii) 380
16(1)(a)(iii) 132
16(1)(b) 651
16(1)(c) 4,371
16(1)(d) 119
16(2)(a) 189
16(2)(b) 25
16(2)(c) 1,294
16(3) 4
16.1(1)(a) 26
16.1(1)(b) 10
16.1(1)(c) 49
16.1(1)(d) 13
16.2(1) 49
16.3 14
16.4(1)(a) 5
16.4(1)(b) 1
16.5 13
Total 7,946

Safety of Individuals
Provision Number of Requests
17 169
Total 169

Economic Interests of Canada
Provision Number of Requests
18(a) 292
18(b) 473
18(c) 17
18(d) 331
18.1(1)(a) 51
18.1(1)(b) 25
18.1(1)(c) 1
18.1(1)(d) 137
Total 1,327

Personal Information
Provision Number of Requests
19(1) 20,702
Total 20,702

Third-Party Information
Provision Number of Requests
20(1)(a) 233
20(1)(b) 2,407
20(1)(b.1) 47
20(1)(c) 1,973
20(1)(d) 642
20.1 5
20.2 0
20.4 1
Total 5,308

Operations of Government
Provision Number of Requests
21(1)(a) 3,938
21(1)(b) 4,224
21(1)(c) 1,259
21(1)(d) 570
Total 9,991

Testing Procedures, Tests and Audits
Provision Number of Requests
22 326
22.1(1) 38
Total 364

Solicitor-Client Privilege
Provision Number of Requests
23 2,248
Total 2,248

Statutory Prohibitions
Provision Number of Requests
24(1) 2,019
Total 2,019

Information to Be Published
Provision Number of Requests
26 128
Total 128

Exclusions Applied Under the Access to Information Act


Act Does Not Apply to Certain Materials
Provision Number of Requests
68(a) 533
68(b) 26
68(c) 2
68.1 73
68.2(a) 68
68.2(b) 67
Total 769

Cabinet Confidences
Provision Number of Requests
69(1)(a) 203
69(1)(b) 8
69(1)(c) 54
69(1)(d) 146
69(1)(e) 622
69(1)(f) 30
69(1)(g) re (a) 759
69(1)(g) re (b) 15
69(1)(g) re (c) 425
69(1)(g) re (d) 238
69(1)(g) re (e) 486
69(1)(g) re (f) 166
69.1(1) 16
Total 3,168

Consultations by Other Federal Institutions Regarding Access to Information Act Requests: Comparison of 2012–13 and 2013–14
Consultations Number of Requests Number of Pages to Review
2012–13 2013–14 2012–13 2013–14
Received during reporting period 11,178 9,086 595,370 471,101
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 1,134 1,216 162,417 183,775
Total 12,312 10,302 757,787 654,876
Closed during the reporting period 11,262 9,515 632,007 547,748
Pending at the end of the reporting period 1,050 787 125,780 107,128

The preceding table shows a 16.3% decrease in the number of consultations by other government institutions.

Consultations by Other Organizations See table note 3 * Regarding Access to Information Act Requests: Comparison of 2012–13 and 2013–14
Consultations Number of Requests Number of Pages to Review
2012–13 2013–14 2012–13 2013–14
Return to table note 3 reference * Provincial or municipal institutions.
Received during reporting period 243 265 8,082 14,171
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 12 23 891 2,073
Total 255 288 8,973 16,244
Closed during the reporting period 241 252 8,089 12,143
Pending at the end of the reporting period 14 36 884 4,101

The preceding table shows an 13% increase in the number of consultations by other organizations.

Recommendations and Completion Time for Consultations by Other Federal Institutions Regarding Access to Information Act Requests
Recommendation Number of Days Required to Complete Consultation Requests See endnote 6
1 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 3,673 672 169 17 108 23 4,662
Disclose in part 1,982 1,037 547 138 89 36 3,829
Exempt entirely 180 55 32 4 0 0 271
Exclude entirely 30 6 4 0 0 0 40
Consult other institution14 144 38 24 5 7 2 220
Other 397 43 23 12 17 7 499
Total 6,406 1,851 799 176 221 68 9,521

Recommendations and Completion Time for Consultations by Other Organizations See table note 4 * Regarding Access to Information Act Requests
Recommendation Number of Days Required to Complete Consultation Requests
1 to 30 Days 31 to 60 Days 61 to 120 Days 121 to 180 Days 181 to 365 Days More Than 365 Days Total
Return to table note 4 reference * Provincial or municipal institutions
Disclose entirely 145 28 3 0 1 0 177
Disclose in part 39 12 6 1 0 1 59
Exempt entirely 3 0 0 0 0 0 3
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution14 4 0 1 2 0 0 7
Other 6 0 2 0 1 0 9
Total 197 40 12 3 2 1 255

Fees and Cost of Operations Relating to Access to Information Act Requests
Description of Fees and Costs Amount
Cost of operations See endnote 7 $62,585,847.00
Requests completed 58,475
Average cost per completed request $1,070.30
Pages processed 13,080,637
Average cost per page processed $4.78
Fees collected $331,782.00
Average fees collected per completed request $5.67
Fees waived $178,808.20
Average fees waived per completed request $3.06

Institutions That Received the Most Access to Information Act Requests
Rank Name of Institution Requests as Percentage Number of Pages Processed Number of Requests
Return to table note 5 reference * Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada was renamed Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada in July 2013
1 Citizenship and Immigration Canada 48.8% 1,241,427 29,281
2 Canada Border Services Agency 7.8% 386,072 4,671
3 Canada Revenue Agency 4.6% 1,636,782 2,751
4 National Defence 3.7% 234,134 2,231
5 Royal Canadian Mounted Police 2.9% 505,610 1,730
6 Health Canada 2.6% 206,812 1,563
7 Environment Canada 2.4% 185,385 1,459
8 Transport Canada 1.8% 202,969 1,091
9 Privy Council Office 1.5% 58,409 907
10 Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada See table note 5 * 1.5% 138,159 904
11 Other institutions 22.5% 8,284,878 13,517
Total 100.0% 13,080,637 60,105

Access to Information Act Requests Since 1983

Please note that the statistics reflect adjustments made throughout the years.

Total Number of Access to Information Act Requests Since 1983
Requests Under the Access to Information Act Number of Requests
Requests received 637,816
Requests completed 622,630

Disposition of Access to Information Act Requests Since 1983

Figure 5: Disposition of Access to Information Act Requests Since 1983

Figure 5: Disposition of Access to Information Act Requests Since 1983 – Text version

In the preceding figure:

  • “Withheld entirely” includes categories “all exempted” and “all excluded”
  • “Other” includes the categories “treated informally” and “request transferred”
  • “Unable to process” includes the categories “no records exist”, “requests abandoned” and “requests that could not be processed (1983-2011)”.
Disposition of Completed Access to Information Act Requests Since 1983
Disposition of Requests Completed Requests as Percentage Number of Requests
Return to table note 6 reference * The category “no records exist” was added in 2011–12.
Return to table note 7 reference ** The category “abandoned” lists requests from 2011-12 to present.
Return to table note 8 reference *** The category “requests that could not be processed” listed requests from 1983 to 2011 that were unable to process for the following reasons: “insufficient information provided by applicant,” “no records exist” or “abandoned by applicant”.
Disclosed in part 46.7% 290,519
All disclosed 26.6% 165,607
No records exist See table note 6 * 2.8% 17,692
Treated informally 2.3% 14,057
Abandoned See table note 7 ** 2.2% 13,738
All exempted 2.1% 13,322
Transferred 1.4% 8,809
All excluded 0.7% 4,180
Requests that could not be processed (1983‒2011) See table note 8 *** 15.2% 94,706
Total 100.0% 622,630

Time Required to Complete Access to Information Act Requests Since 1983
Completion Time (including requests for which extensions were required) Requests as Percentage Number of Requests
0 to 30 days 59.4% 369,945
31 to 60 days 18.3% 113,671
61 days or more 22.3% 139,014
Total 100.0% 622,630

Total Fees and Cost of Operations Relating to Access to Information Act Requests Since 1983
Description of Fees and Costs of Operations Amount
Requests completed 622,630
Cost of operations7 $670,470,779.70
Average cost per request completed $1,076.84
Fees collected $6,116,741.02
Average fees collected per request completed $9.82
Fees waived $3,105,579.94
Average fees waived per request completed $4.99