2017-2018 Annual Report on the Administration of the Access to Information Act

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Access to Information Act (Act) was proclaimed on July 1, 1983. It grants all Canadian citizens and permanent residents the right to examine or receive copies of records under the control of a federal government institution, subject to limited and specific circumstances. The Act is intended to complement and not replace existing procedures for access to government information and is not intended to limit in any way access to the type of government information that is normally available to the general public.

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 Act within the institution during each financial year.

This report covers the period from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018.

About the Canadian Transportation Agency

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal and regulator that has, with respect to all matters necessary for the exercise of its jurisdiction, all the powers of a superior court.

The CTA oversees the very large and complex Canadian transportation system, which is essential to the economic and social well-being of Canadians.

The CTA's decision-makers are regular Members appointed by the Governor-in-Council (GIC) and temporary Members appointed by the Minister of Transport from a GIC-approved roster. Members' key functions include making adjudicative rulings, regulations, and regulatory determinations, as well as designating CTA staff to exercise the role of enforcement officers.

The CTA has three core mandates:

  • to help ensure that the national transportation system runs efficiently and smoothly in the interests of all Canadians: those who work and invest in it; the producers, shippers, travellers and businesses who rely on it; and the communities where it operates.
  • to protect the human right of persons with disabilities to an accessible transportation network.
  • to provide consumer protection for air passengers.

To help advance these mandates, the CTA has three tools at its disposal:

  • Rule-making: The CTA develops and applies ground rules that establish the rights and responsibilities of transportation service providers and users and that level the playing field among competitors. These rules can take the form of binding regulations or less formal guidelines, codes of practice or interpretation notes.
  • Dispute resolution: The CTA resolves disputes that arise between transportation service providers on the one hand, and their clients and neighbours on the other, using a range of tools from facilitation and mediation to arbitration and adjudication.
  • Information provision: The CTA provides information on the transportation system, the rights and responsibilities of transportation service providers and users, and the CTA's legislation and services.

Organizational Structure of the ATIP Office

During this reporting period, the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Office was positioned in the Information Management and Technology Services Directorate (IMTSD). The Office is comprised of one ATIP Coordinator reporting to the Director of IMTSD.

The ATIP Coordinator is responsible for the daily activities related to the administration of the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act (PA) and ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Acts, the policies and directives, and any other ATIP policy instrument issued by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Some of the activities of the ATIP Office include:

  • processing requests for information submitted under the Act and requests for personal information pursuant to the PA;
  • responding to consultation requests received from other government institutions;
  • providing advice and guidance to requesters and promoting awareness to CTA employees;
  • updating, developing and implementing CTA procedures and practices for the application of the Acts;
  • collaborating with the Office of the Information Commissioner and with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner on the resolution of complaints;
  • preparing statistical reports and annual reports to Parliament on the administration of the Acts.

Open Court Principle

In its role as a quasi-judicial tribunal, the CTA operates like a court when adjudicating disputes and is therefore bound by the open court principle. This means that the CTA's adjudicating proceedings must be open and accessible to all Canadians.

Any submissions or documents filed with the CTA as part of its formal adjudication process are made part of the public record without redaction, unless a claim for confidentiality has been made to and accepted by the CTA. Requests for information related to adjudication decisions are processed informally, and records are released in their entirety unless a claim for confidentiality was made.

While requests for information on the public record are processed informally by other areas of the CTA, the ATIP Office must also apply the open court principle when these records form part of a response to a request made under the Act.

Delegation Order

Delegation orders set out the powers, duties and functions for the administration of the Act that have been delegated by the head of the institution, and to whom.

In May 2016, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer as head of the CTA delegated full authority to the Director of IMTSD and the Chief Corporate Officer as well as a partial authority to the ATIP Coordinator.

A copy of the signed delegation instrument is included in Appendix B.

Highlights of the Statistical Report, 2017-2018

All formal requests made under the Act received during this reporting year met their legislative deadline.

Requests received under the Act, Consultations and Informal requests

During the reporting period, the CTA received 44 new requests under the Act. This represents an increase of 14 requests (47%) over the previous year. The CTA also had four outstanding requests from the previous reporting period resulting in 48 active requests for which one request was carried over to the next reporting year.

In addition, the CTA received and completed 10 consultation requests under the Act from other government institutions involving records of potential interest to the CTA. Recommendations were provided within the time set by the consulting government institutions.

Informal requests for information is a shared responsibility at the CTA. The ATIP Office processed and responded to 35 informal requests which were completed within 15 days of receipt.

Overview of requests received and completed in the ATIP Office over the last four years

Reporting Year Requests Received Requests Completed* Consultation Requests Informal Requests
2017-2018 44 47 10 35
2016-2017 30 26 11 2
2015-2016 15 21 15 11
2014-2015 28 22 10 27
*includes outstanding requests from the previous reporting year

Disposition of Completed Requests

With respect to the disposition, 10 requests resulted in full disclosure to the requester, 16 requests were disclosed in part and one request was completed where all records were exempt. One request was transferred from another department, while no records existed in response to 15 requests, and 4 requests were abandoned.

Completion Time and Extensions on Completed Requests

Of the 47 requests completed in the reporting period, 40 requests (85%) were completed in 30 days or less. One request (2%) was completed within 60 days and six requests (13%) required up to 120 days.

The Act allows institutions to extend the legal deadline for processing a request for the following reasons:

  • Paragraph 9(1)(a): if the request is for a large number of records or necessitates a search through a large number of records and meeting the original time limit would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the government institution;
  • Paragraph 9(1)(b): consultations are necessary to comply with the request that cannot reasonably be completed within the original time limit, or
  • Paragraph 9(1)(c): notice is given to a third party pursuant to subsection 27(1) of the Act.

Three extensions were taken for consultation purposes under paragraph 9(1)(b) and five extensions were taken under paragraph 9(1)(c) to provide notice to third-party.

Exemptions and Exclusions

Exemptions and exclusions are the only grounds to withhold information found in records that are requested under the Act and their application is limited and specific. The majority of the exemptions invoked by the CTA fell under two sections of the Act: section 19, which protects personal information pertaining to individuals other than the requester, was invoked in 16 requests and section 20, which protects third party information, was invoked in 14 requests. These two sections remain the most used in the past four years.

The Act indicates that certain types of materials are excluded from its application, specifically, records that are already available to the public (section 68) and Cabinet Confidences (section 69). The CTA did not invoke exclusions on any requests completed during the reporting period.

CTA's statistical report on the Access to Information Act for reporting year 2017-2018 is provided in Appendix A.

Training

During the reporting period, the ATIP Office provided guidance to management and employees regarding the requirements of the Act through ongoing dialogue and informal discussions. Additionally, one awareness session was provided to 18 CTA employees.

Policies, Guidelines, Procedures and Initiatives

Continued efforts were made during the reporting period to refine and update processes to meet the requirements of the Act. For example, ATIP Liaisons were identified in each Branch to support the coordination of document retrieval within their specific areas.

Additionally, the ATIP tasking email for the retrieval of information has been updated to provide detailed instructions to further assist employees. Furthermore, the ATIP Office simplified its Statement of Completeness form that serves to ensure a thorough search for records by subject matter experts while providing recommendations on the disclosure of the records including contextual information to the ATIP Office.

Summary of Key Issues and Actions Taken on Complaints or Audits

There were no key issues, complaints or audits in the 2017-2018 reporting period.

Monitoring Compliance

During the reporting period, the CTA continued to use Access Pro Case Management (APCM) system to track and monitor all administrative activities and set due dates in order to meet statutory timelines. Due dates for all actions were communicated to staff and reminders sent as required. All actions were also detailed in a separate tracking tool and the status of each request continues to be communicated to the Chief Corporate Officer and the Director of IMTSD on a weekly basis.

Public Reading Room

The Act requires government institutions to provide facilities where the public may inspect any manual used by employees of the institution in administering or carrying out programs or activities of the institution that affect the public. A reading room is available at the CTA Office, situated on the 17th floor at 15 Eddy Street in Gatineau, Quebec.

Appendix A: Statistical Report on the Access to Information Act

Reporting Period: April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018

Part 1: Requests Under the Access to Information Act

1.1 Number of requests

  Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 44
Outstanding from previous reporting period 4
Total 48
Closed during reporting period 47
Carried over to next reporting period 1

1.2 Sources of requests

Source Number of Requests
Media 8
Academia 0
Business (private sector) 8
Organization 18
Public 2
Decline to identify 8
Total 44

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
35 0 0 0 0 0 0 35

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 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 3 5 1 1 0 0 0 10
Disclosed in part 1 10 0 5 0 0 0 16
All exempted 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No records exist 13 2 0 0 0 0 0 15
Request transferred 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Request abandoned 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 22 18 1 6 0 0 0 47

2.2 Exemptions

Section Number of Requests
13(1)(a) 1
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) 1
15(1) - I.A.* 1
15(1) - Déf.* 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) 0
16(1)(d) 0
16(2) 1
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) 0
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) 16
20(1)(a) 0
20(1)(b) 7
20(1)(b.1) 0
20(1)(c) 7
20(1)(d) 0
20.1 0
20.2 0
20.4 0
21(1)(a) 2
21(1)(b) 2
21(1)(c) 0
21(1)(d) 0
22 0
22.1(1) 0
23 3
24(1) 0
26 0
  • I.A. : International Affairs
  • Def. : Defence of Canada
  • S.A. : Subversive Activities

2.3 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

Disposition Paper Electronic Other Formats
All disclosed 0 10 0
Disclosed in part 1 15 0
Total 1 25 0

2.5 Complexity

2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Disposition of Requests Number of Pages Processed Number of Pages Disclosed Number of Requests
All disclosed 397 387 10
Disclosed in part 2 756 2 582 16
All exempted 0 0 1
All excluded 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 4
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0
2.5.2 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 8 95 2 292 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 9 400 5 786 2 1 396 0 0 0 0
All exempted 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 22 495 7 1 078 2 1 396 0 0 0 0
2.5.3 Other complexities
Disposition Consultation Required Assessment of Fees Legal Advice Sought Other Total
All disclosed 2 0 0 0 2
Disclosed in part 4 0 2 0 6
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 6 0 2 0 8

2.6 Deemed refusals

2.6.1 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 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

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

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 2
Disclosed in part 0 0 3 3
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 0 0 3 5

3.2 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 2 3
61 to 120 days 0 0 1 2
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 0 0 3 5

Part 4: Fees

Fee Type Fee Collected Fee Waived or Refunded
Number of Requests Amount Number of Requests Amount
Application 24 $120 20 $105
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 24 $120 20 $105

Part 5: Consultations Received From Other Institutions and Organizations

5.1 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 10 324 0 0
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 0 0 0 0
Total 10 324 0 0
Closed during the reporting period 10 324 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

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 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 7
Disclose in part 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
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 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 10

5.3 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

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 days 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

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 days 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

Section 32 Section 35 Section 37 Total
0 0 0 0

Part 8: 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

Expenditures Amount
Salaries $61,665
Overtime $0
Goods and Services $3,307
Professional services contracts $0  
Other $3,307
Total $64,972

9.2 Human Resources

Resources Person Years Dedicated to Access to Information Activities
Full-time employees 0.78
Part-time and casual employees 0.40
Regional staff 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 0.00
Students 0.00
Total 1.18

Appendix B: May 2016 Delegation Order

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Transportation Agency, pursuant to section 73 of the Access to Information Act and section 73 of 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, duties and functions of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer as the head of Canadian Transportation Agency, under the provisions of the Acts and regulations set out in the Schedule opposite each position. This designation replaces all previous delegation orders.

Original signed by

Scott Streiner

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

2016-05-02

Section of the Access to Information Act Description Authority Delegated to:
Administration of the Access to Information Act Chief Corporate Officer Director IMTSD ATIP Coordinator ATIP Analyst
4(2.1) Responsibility of head of institution
  • make every reasonable effort to assist the person in connection to the request, respond to the request accurately, completely and timely subject to the regulations
X X X X
7(a) Notice where access requested
  • give written notice to the requester as to whether or not access to records or parts thereof will be given
X X X X
7(b)
  • give access to the record or part thereof
X X X  
8(1) Transfer of request
  • transfer a request to another government institution with a greater interest
X X X X
9 Extension of time limits
  • extension of time limits and giving notices to requester and Information Commissioner
X X X X
11(2)(3)(4)(5)(6) Additional fees
  • assessing additional fees chargeable under the Act and section 7 of the regulations, notification to requester, waiving of fees
X X X  
12(2)(b) Language of access
  • determining if it is in the public interest to translate records requested in a particular official language
X X X  
12(3)(b) Access in an alternative format
  • determining if the giving of access in an alternative format to a person with a sensory disability is necessary and reasonable
X X X  
Exemption Provisions of the Act
13 Information obtained in confidence X X X  
14 Federal-provincial affairs X X    
15 International affairs and defence X X    
16 Law enforcement and investigations X X    
16.5 Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act X X    
17 Safety of individuals X X    
18 Economic interests of Canada X X    
18.1 Economic interest of certain government institutions X X    
19 Personal information X X X  
20 Third-party information X X X  
21 Operations of government X X    
22 Testing procedures, tests and audits X X X  
22.1 Internal audits X X X  
23 Solicitor-client privilege X X    
24 Statutory prohibitions X X X  
Other Provisions of the Act
25 Severance
  • determining if exempt information can reasonably be severed from otherwise releasable information
X X X X
26 Information to be published
  • determining whether to refuse to disclose information that will be published within 90 days of the request
X X X X
27(1)(4) Third party notification
  • written notice to third parties of intent to disclose information that relates to them and extend time limits
X X X X
28(1)(2)(4) Third party notification – representations
  • review third party representations and decide whether or not to disclose records and give written notice of the decision to the third party and waive requirement to submit representations in writing
X X X X
29(1) Disclosure on recommendation of the Information Commissioner
  • written notification to the requester and third party(s) regarding the decision to disclose following a recommendation by the Information Commissioner
X X X  
33 Advise Information Commissioner of third party involvement
  • advise the Information Commissioner of any third party that was notified under subsection 27(1), or would have been notified if the CTAhad intended to disclose the record
X X X X
35(2)(b) Right to make representations
  • make representations to the Information Commissioner in the course of an investigation of a complaint
X X X  
37(1) Notice to Information Commissioner of action taken or proposed
  • where appropriate, provide notice to the Commissioner of any action taken or proposed to be taken to implement recommendations, or reasons why no such action will be taken
X X X  
37(4) Access to be given to complainant
  • where decision was made to provide access, provide access
X X X  
43(1) Notice to third party (application to Federal Court for review)
  • upon being given notice of an application to Federal Court for review under section 41 or 42, give written notice of the application to third party(s)
X X X  
44(2) Notice to applicant (application to Federal Court by third party)
  • give written notice of the application to requester
X X X  
52(2)(3) Special rules for hearings
  • for an application under section 41 or 42 relating to refusal to disclose (or appeal) by reason of 13(1)(a) or (b) or 15 (international affairs or defence), the institution concerned can request that the application can be heard and determined in the National Capital Region, and can request to make representations ex parte
X X X  
71(2) Exempted information severed from manuals
  • decision to refuse to disclose parts of manuals in accordance with exemption criteria
X X X  
72 Annual Report
  • prepare and table Annual Report to Parliament including expenses within prescribed timelines
X X X  
Responsibilities under the Access to Information Regulations:
6(1) Transfer of request
  • consent to process an access request transferred from another government institution within time limits set out in the Act
X X X X
7(2) Search and preparation fees X X X  
7(3) Production and programming fees X X X  
8 Method of access X X X  
8.1 Limitations in respect of format X X X  
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