OTTAWA, May 31, 2012 /CNW/ - Canadians are receiving faster responses to access to information requests from some federal institutions, Information Commissioner of Canada Suzanne Legault said today. Despite these gains, the Commissioner characterized the access to information system as fragile, adding that improvements could be threatened by recently announced budget cuts.
The Commissioner made her remarks upon the tabling in Parliament today of her most recent report cards on the performance of institutions in response to access to information requests. The report re-assesses 18 institutions that were subject to report cards in 2008-2009.
The report shows that 13 of the 18 institutions performed better in 2010-2011 than they did in 2008-2009, and received higher letter grades. Two institutions received the same grade, while three performed worse than they did two years ago.
"Clearly, a number of institutions have made real efforts to enhance their service since my last report," Legault said. "These institutions have shown leadership by, among other things, devoting resources to the access function and fostering a culture of compliance," she noted.
"However, institutions are still in the early stages of improvement, so any threat to their resources could jeopardize the service they provide. This could mean that response times could once again increase," Legault said.
The Commissioner also emphasized the apparent benefits to the access to information system of vigorous oversight. Generally, the institutions that performed better in the most recent study were the ones that implemented all or most of the Commissioner's previous recommendations for improvement. She also acknowledged the crucial role of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics (ETHI) for its follow-up efforts subsequent to her previous reports.
The complete report, Measuring up: Improvements and ongoing concerns in access to information, 2008-2009 to 2010-2011, is available in the Reports and Publications section of the Office of the Information Commissioner's website: www.oic-ci.gc.ca
2010-2011 ratings by institution
|Institution||2008-2009 grade||2010-2011 grade||2010-2011 overall performance|
|Canadian Security Intelligence Service||D||A||Outstanding|
|Fisheries and Oceans Canada||C||A||Outstanding|
|Human Resources and Skills Development Canada||C||A||Outstanding|
|Canadian International Development Agency||F||B||Above average|
|National Defence||D||B||Above average|
|Privy Council Office||D||B||Above average|
|Public Safety Canada||C||B||Above average|
|Natural Resources Canada||F||C||Average|
|Royal Canadian Mounted Police||C||C||Average|
|Canada Revenue Agency||D||D||Below average|
|Canadian Heritage||F||D||Below average|
|Correctional Service of Canada||F||D||Below average|
|Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada||Red alert||D||Below average|
|Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada||C||F||Unsatisfactory|
|Canadian Food Inspection Agency||D||F||Unsatisfactory|
For further information:
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada
(O) 613-947-2311 / (C) 613-219-0338