(David McKie, Sept. 25, 2008) Scanned Release Package-final

A TIP Information Notices

•••

Access to Information

and Privacy

: Implementation iReports

'" ..... - .....

Information Notices: 2004 ·2()03

2002

200.1

Access to Info~mation and Privacy Coordinators

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No.:

DATE:

TO:

SUBJECT:

2003-15

December 16, 2003

Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Community Official Languages Requirements and the CAIR System

This note is to clarify Institutional obligations under the Official Languages Act (OLA) with respect to Access to Information Act requests entered into the Coordination Access to Information Requests (CAIR) System.

When an ATIP Office produces a summary of an access request or uses an abridged version of the applicant's original text, that summary or abridged version must be entered into the CAIR System in both official languages.

Please note that this translation requirement does not apply to entries that include the full text of the appJicanfs request. The "full text" of a request includes all the information that appears in the portion "Provide details regarding the information being

soughf' of the access to information request form (T8S 350-57) and in any deSCription of the information sought that is appended to the form. When a letter is used rather than the request form, "full tsxt" means the entire body of the letter;

Moreover, it is not necessary to translate entries when the full text was modified solely for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the Privacy Act, i.e. by removing (or by "hiding" when using the ATIPflowtracking system) personal information such as names of individuals; personal addresses, details of relationships between individuals, personal identifiers or any information that could identify the indiVidual. On rare occasions, confidential information subject to the exemption or exclusion provisions of the Access to Information Act may also be removed without triggering the requirement to translate the request.

Finally, it is not necessary to translate requests that have been reformulated by a government employee as long as the requester agrees to this rewording and acknowledges that it now replaces the original request.

We are presently working with Public Works and Government Services Canada to post a notice in the CAIA system to advise users that summaries and abridged requests entered in the system after December 16, 2003, appear in both official languages. In addition,we will investigate possible enhancements to the tracking and CAIR systems to minimize the impact on work processes. As an interim measure, we are asking institutions to insert one of the following standard phrases at the beginning of. each

entry: .

• Applicant's original full text

• Amended request, as agreed to by applicant

• Summary of request

• Abridged request

We are launching a review of the Policy for the Coordination of Access to Information Requests to examine all issues related to the CAIA system. As usual, we will consult the ATIP Community during this review.

Your ongoing cooperation and efforts to make the CAIA System a success and to ensure adherence to the OLA are greatly appreciated. Should you have any questions, please contact Therese St-Amant, Senior Policy Analyst. Information, Privacy, and Security Policy Division, at (613) 952-2994 or SI-Amant.There$!:!@tbs-sct.gc.ca.

http://www . tbs-sct.zc, cal gOs-sog/atio-aiorp/in-ai/in-ai2003/2003-15 e.asn

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oon001

2004-04-21

A TIP Information Notices

Anne Brennan

Senior Director

Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division Chief, Information Officer Branch

Modified: 2003-12-16

Top of page

http://www.tbs-sct.gc.calgos-sog/atip-aiprp/in-ai/in-ai2003/2003-15_e.asD

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OOfHf02

2004-04-21

ATIP Community Survey on the

Coordinated Access to Information Requests (CAIR) System

NOTE: The CAIR System was created as a means of complying with the Treasury Board Policy for the Coordination of Access to Information Requests (CAIR Policy, 1989). The original intent of the CAIR System was to ensure that requests received under the Access to Information Act, which raise matters that are

interd epartmental in scope or involve major legal or policy issues, are identified and coordinated.

1. Name of institution: 108 Departments and Agencies responded to this survey

NOTE: The Bank of Canada did not respond to this survey since it does not fall under the policies of the Treasury Board of Canada.

2. Prior to this survey, were you familiar with the requirements of the Treasury Board Policy for the Coordination of Access to Information Requests (CAIR)?

65.74% - Yes

32.41% - No

1.85% - Null

3. How often does your institution input details of its ATI requests onto the CAIR System?

22.22% 15.74% 8.33% 40.74% 10.19% 2.78%

- Within two days of receiving requests

- Weekly

- Monthly

- Never

- Other

- Null

Of!fl003

RDIMS# 216299

1

4. Hov often does your institution conduct searches of the CAIR System to determine whether or not other institutions have received A TI requests on a specific topic?

4.63% 13.89% 8.33% 11.l1% 58.33% 3.7~%

- Once a year

- Two to five times per year

- Six to ten times per year

- More than ten times per year

- Never

- Null

5. Do vou currently use alternatives to the CAIR System to determine whether other institutions have received . ATI requests on a specific topic?

44.44% - Yes

52.78% - No

2.78% - Null

If Yes, please indicate below all that apply (% is of those who said Yes): 43 responses (89.58%) - Telephone check with other ATIP offices

14 responses (29.17%) - E-mail check with other ATIP offices

6 responses (12.50%) - Other alternatives - please specify:

InTrlrm;;lTIrm Notices from IPSPD may alert us to receipt of various institutions in the Federal (In\,'~rnlm~nt

6 .. Does your institution use the CAIR System for any purpose(s) other than to determine whether or not other institutions have received requests on a specific topic?

89.81% 3.70% 6.48%

- No

- Null

- Yes. If Yes, please specify:

Uploading. Please note that DFAIT does not use the Reports,Bulietin or ;If ~rl\l""·n"""ent Documents functions

RDIMS# 216299

7. Please identify any specific experiences that you may have had when using the CAIR System. Check all that apply:

29.63% 8.33% 10.19% 10.19% 25.93% 22.22% 32.41% 17.59%

- The GAIR System is user-friendly

- The GAIR System is useful in our daily work

- The GAIR System is slow/tedious

- The GAIR System is not user-friendly

- The CAl R System is not updated by all institutions

- The information on the CAIR System is not useful to our institution

- Null

- Other - Please specify:

ooooo~;

RDIMS# 216299

3

does not generally directly impact the at our institution.

8. How often have you sought technical assistance during the past fiscal year regarding the CAIR System?

67.59% 13.89% 8.33% 0.93% 0.93% 8.33%

- Never

- Once

• Two to five times - Six to ten times

- More than ten times

- Null

9. What improvements can you suggest to the CAIR System?

report produced by Sue Lajoie (- s. 19( 1 ) Brennan

) submitted to

Economic Development for ,._.. ... "'u~, ... Regions

nellement un problems technique que nous ne pouvons "'''U'UU'''. Je ne peux reouperer un projet en particulier pour apporter modifications ou inscrire la date de fermeture du dossier. Je suis i1obIiQ€ie d'inscrire une date fictive ou alors attendre que Ie dossier soit I'entrer dans SCDAI.

ian Commercial Corporation

BF system. Advise us bye-mail when the deadline is '!:In''''''''f'n,lnn simply as a reminder that we must go into CAIR to update

ian Space Agency

n<:>I"II1i""rn pourrait etre un moyen lntaressant de partager entre certains points d'interets communs a la communaute de

nship and Immigration Canada

does not work here at CIC. Technical services are lem.

OOOO(}6.

RDIMS# 216299

4

Finance Canada . - search by file number
- no default to own institution (I never want to search for requests within
my own institution .. This is silly and should be blank as default)
- more pressure on departments to do regular updates
Foreign Affairs and International Trade . - Possibility of sending a general e-mail to all or selected distribution to I
other department(s) regarding their requests in CAIR or a general I
message to the ATIP Community
- When executing a search, that the search word(s) used be highlighted
in the text
,- Have a new request received report for a given period based on
received date as opposed to Date added to CAIA
- Add a response category to be downloaded from ATIP Flow to include
the 8 dispositions categories from the annual report, such as all
'disclosed/nothing disclosed. This would avoid applicants wanting to
seek information previously released.
i- Update the archives function of CAIR to eliminate ATI requests more
than 2 years old. DFAIT shows requests back to 1997, which have since
i 'been destroyed.
I - To address the burden and additional cost related to the translation of
the text of requests passed on to the institutions
I .~ Access to CAIR should be available to all ATIP officers, not just one or
I ,two officers of an institution
I ! - Access should be given to the public through the Internet
I
_ .. _ .... ..- - ChC1l1geATIP Officers o~J'!l~in screen to ATIP Coordinators ._ ......... _ .......
Environment Canada iWe would suggest that the search engine be enhanced to make it easier
. ...... - .... ' ...... -._ ... ' ..... _ .... ...... _ ... ft9~_earch by key \\'_ord . ..... -- .. __ .... _ ..........
The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited' Give me one FAX number or e-mail address and I wiIJprovide system
'with all in!" re.S!:lr9ir:'9._rrlYr.~g~e.~ts re.<::e.i\'e.~h.e.re.:.
,Seaway International Bridge : I could easily send immediately a summary of all my access to info !
jC()rp0r.l:i~io~f:..im ited ..... r.e.ql:l.e.~ts.if ygl:l_9.iye.l"i1e a sin9.I.e..~ l\?<rl~r:r1.~~r<?~_ e.='!IClila.~~re.s.~:
Fisheries and Oceans Canada : Discontinue this activity, or give it search capability and make more user
i friendly, even then,not sure it is worth the resources.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada ... l Speed .- ..... PH"__,
--
Jacques Cartier & Champlain Bridges : L'utilisation du systems COAl se fait sur une base tellement minime qu'if
: serait difficile d'identifierqu~lq_ue ameliorati<?n possible. . .. ~
National Capital Commission : Abandonner I'obligation de rencontrer les exigences de cette politique
:pour les organismes recevant moins de cent (100) demandes par
lannses, ......... _ .. ..... -.- . .........
Financial Transactions and Reports and Information on where it is and how to connect to it. I
Analysis Centre of Canada . .
jPlJbliC Work~andGovernment Services ,When using the "Search" function; thelimitof1000 requests should be
19~n!:l.da. ....... ..... . ...... ....,.. ...._ .... __ ..... __ .... .....___j r~_J'!lC?'!.e.~~_. Th.i~.~iIL~IIC?\AJ t.o.r'!1C?rE'.fle.?,i_~ilitY\AJ~~~~~~r.<::~i~g. __ ........... !Status of Women Canada

t_ __ " _ _ _." ~,._ ". 'w, ••••••• _ ,M .. _ •••• ~ •• _ ••••

. rtr~~~.~_~t,_ __._ __ .._. .

,We have not yet used it.

! It would be helpful to have a more rapid way of accessing. When the ....... i!:ly~!~!!.li!:l_~_l:Is.}'!i!._<::_~~~~~~~~!YYI3.E:lI1.?_~Q9?C!~~~.!C?~~<::~!:ls.. __ .

Treasury Board of Canada

i Bulletin Board - make it easier to search, to add text, '"

RDIMS# 216299

000001 5

10. Do you consider the CAIR System to be a necessary tool for your organization?

27.78% 59.26% 12.96%

- Yes

- No

- Null

Additional Comments:

n"I'f, .. nt has changed hands in 2004 and though AAFC, ATIP has been using the system plans our requests we entered in the system

that our offices uses this resource on a basis.

Pilotage Authority Canada

Council for the Arts

Industrial Relations Board

Company Limited

Technology

Food Inspection Agency

International Trade Tribunal

RDIMS# 216299

intent behind CAIR, the CIRB enters ATI

t.""· ... 'r'n said uests.

Corporation we do not receive excessive amounts of C4LICOIO, therefore we do not use the ATIP flow software. We simply the CAIR system and our own files, reports to complete all of our dates etc ...

it may not be a necessary tool for this organization, I can !i::lnnr", ... i::l't .. its usefulness to other organizations in terms of coordinating

000008

6

Canadian Space Agency .Je sais que certaines institutions ont des systernes pour Ie traitement
• des demandes mais est-ce que Ie COAl ne pourrait pas aussi contenir
tout les champs que I'on retrouve sur Ie rapport statistique annuel au
i SCT (Ex: trals, exemptions, exceptions, etc.) et ainsi eviter que les
: petites institutions pour qui I'achat d'un systerne couteux de traitement
ides demandes n'est pas justifiable utilisent un systems manuel ou
lmaison?
Canadian Transportation Agency 116)wed~ ~~t~e~rchi~ CAIR·ofte~:b~twhe~\f\Iedo,it is u~ef~i,
however, it is not absolutely necessary. Usually, you can tell by the
I ...... ...... ......... .. request which departments might have the same request, but CAIR is a
. ..• I.C)t_~if!1pl~ri3.l)~ lTlC>,r~.e.ff~9t!IJt:!,~sp~~ii3.lly i!k.~P!'-!P~tC>.~·9El_t~~y~lJ~ryc>'n.e.
jcorrectional Service of Canada :At this time, the CAIR system is being used to input and submit data on
: Access requests to Trea~uryBoard.
Finance Canada 10) Not "necessary", but helpful I
: I'm all for regular updates, but daily requirements are a little "overkill",
· especially for smalle~ departments
Foreign Affairs and International Trade t, Internet access easier than original version (1989) of the CAIR
· - Good tool to search for similar requests and to identify subjects and
IFarm CreditCa~ad~ . responsible institutions
I am not aware that Farm Credit Canada has access to this system
1 ; currently or if it ever did in the past.
!Immigration and Refugee Board ,We tried to get it going a while back, but had difficulty. Had 10 contact I
:TBS a few times and found it frustrating. We decided to put it aside,
I . 1 because of limited time and resources - it is not an activity that we
I iconsideri3. priority at this time.
lcanadian Human Rights Commission : 10) Le SCAlD n'est pas un outil necessalre etant donne que les I
· demandes de renseignements personnels sont beau coup plus I
j 'nombreuses a la Commission canadienne sur les drolts de la personne
I que leg dsmandes d'accss. Cela etant dit, Ie systems est utile pour
I : connaitre la nature des demandes re ues ar les iver or anismes et L . '!l_in.ist~t~~:.____~ ~_. d ~ ~ ~

Iindian and Northern Affairs Canada 'When institutions upload regularly it is a great tool for locating what

jl idepartments receiving requests similar to your institution (it's much

: faster than phoning and waiting for your calls to be returned).

11~~~~try~~~a~a _ .' ~.~~._~;~~~fu~;'~U.~~f~ttse_~~t_~~ NECESS~~Yt~~1 ~~~~~r _~~g~ni~_~t~~~,

llinternational Development Research The Centre is not linked to the CAIR system because it receives so fev-:, I

Centre requests; however, it does follow the procedures established for manuJ

l~--- -----_ ---r._~_n~~_~_·r--_useci-_ _ ---------~--------------~.-.----------_- -----.-~-_------- "---~--

Irvt0Qtreal Port Authori!y' I'

jNanaimo Port Authority \ Have not received a request for access to information.

lNational Battlefields Commission i La Commission reQoit peu ou pas du tout de demandes en vertu de la

t ._.. .. _ ..._ ._~=: loi sur I'acc~s a I'inform~tion ~~c.~l:Ir.~C!'IJQ~~~n~~~______ __

ronal Capital Commission !Le systsme n'est pas utile pour la plupart des organismes parce que la

! plupart des organismes n'y entrent pas les renseignements pour rendre

... . ~".. .. .. . ...: I~. ~y~_t~.rne utile ._____._ _ __

I'office of the Auditor General of Canada iThe OAG is not bound by the ATIA, therefore we only respond to I i.consultation requests from other departments. We do not use t~e CA~R .

,System. . ,

a, __ ~_.. . . _, . ~ _

000·00 ~

~ . ...t.. ....

RDIMS# 216299

7

Un mot pour vous informer que, puisque Ie Commissariat aux langues officielles n'est pas assujetti ala Loi sur l'acces a I'information, nous n'utilisons pas Ie systeme COAl et n'avons donc pas de reponse pour votre sondage .

• .. ···'··· O-;M~,.;;.,;,~' ;;;;";'O";O;' ;._.; ~~ ~.;...,,;,.M;.~~..;.;.;:, ~~· -.· .. roo", ! •• ~~ ~;;.~ - " .. ", - -- •.. '" •• ,." , , -'.,.' ' '.~~.~

c.e of the Superintendent of FinanCial. How can we input the data in C.AIR.within .. o. ne working day, as =

tutions Canada in the policy, when we do not know if the request will be processed as

formal or informal right away?

lFina'nciaTr-rans.·ac .. tio.n~~. an. d."-. R. " orts.·.-an~d. ~.·1.6. rliy'·;;cefved·AT.· .. ' req. u.es.t.s."Tn. · .. ·.la~.s.-.t·4m~.n.t. h.'·~~'~"·'~". '.~ ... ".".'.'"""'."'"~""."."'-"'.'"'"" .. ~ ... "- .... ~ ... ~ = .

IAnalysis Centre of ~"anad~_ .. . .. .. .. . ~ . .. . . .. . .

Prince Rupert Port Authority We have a small number of employees, any ATIP requests are handled as.0I'1(:)'>.f I11flnydlJ~!(:)sClssigll(:)~ to a" empl()y't;e.

Commissioner of Official Languages

1 I

{" ..

Given its cost/efficiency, the system should be discontinued. In addition, the cost related to the official language requirement to translate all entries will be exorbitant for what is basically a bureaucratic self-serving 'useless system. This is just an example of aberration in the ongoing saga of wasting taxpayers hard earned money. The person hours spent on this should be focused on the actual processing of the requests and not wasted on its administration.

. " .. r · .......•.......•... _ ~... • ~ , _'_"_'C' '. ••••• • •• _ •• _,.... .._ •••••••••.•• _ ••.•••••••• __ .• • •••••••••• _........... •.•••• • ••••• _. • __ ··.e'"··

IStandardS Council of Canada

I

The Standards Council of Canada rarely receives ATIP requests (average 1 to 2 per fiscal year). Additional information /clarification on how to access the CAIR System (for ATIP coordinators who are new to

: t.h(:)i rr()It;~ )'N.()':J!~ bE!lJ.~f.!flJl~ .......' . ....

[Treasury Board of Canada

I

; 1 0) As long as every department uses it.

- Should not default to a particular department when in search mode i-To be able to custom ize reports for ATI requests as opposed to going : th rough PWGSC

]veterans Affairs Canada The majority of requests received in our institution relate to individuals I

I deceased later than 20 years or to institution specific subjects. There

·are a very low number of requests that would be relevant or of interest to other institutions.'

.... . .

lWestern Economic Diversification 10) However I. have only recently received a user ID - I have not yet had I

Canada .. .. ~~~.'>.pp()~lJ.Il!tY..~'>..g~.t;~k:.!h~.p~()9.~~~.f'>.r .its..L.ls.f.!!lJ.!~e..s.s:. . .

10) We have yet to have a need to access the CAIR System, however

iwe would like to know how and when one could do so when needed. We : will be attending both the ATI and Privacy Act courses put on by the

1 Public Service Commission. Is the CAIR System slated to be a part of ,those courses? If not, can we (Whitehorse, Yukon) be provided with the

[approprlate training. . . .

_.-- .. _ .. , ............. _~;. ... .w-.;o~..-;,.;.;,...;_.;;;;.:>.;.~,:;"..;.:.;.; • .;.,~;~~,;; .•... '.'." •.. ' ..• ' ..•. ' ...•••..••. ' ...•... ~, .. = .. '""=~=~--= ........ ~==--~~~-=-- """"'" ..........

Yukon Surface Rights Board

RDIMS# 216299

000010

8'

,

INFORMATION NOTICE - ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND PRIVACY

NO. 2004-03

DATE: February 13, 2004

TO: Access to Information and Privacy (A TIP) Coordinators

SUBJECT: Survey on the CAIR System

As you are no doubt aware, the Treasury Board Secretariat is conducting a review of its entire policy suite. As part of the overall review process, the Treasury Board Policy for the Coordination of Access to Information Requests (CAIR

. Policy) and the CAIR System are being reviewed. To this end, the Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division (IPSPO) would like to obtain the views of the ATIP Community on the benefits of the CAIR System and on the frequency of its use.

./

As I understand it, at most institutions, the Coordinator delegates the responsibility for entering data on the CAIR System. I would greatly appreciate it if the ATIP Coordinator could review the attached CAIR Policy with the appropriate officials from your office who work with the CAIR System, fill out the enclosed questionnaire together and return . it to Francis Larose of IPSPD by Friday, February 27, 2004. We wish to obtain one reply per institution. The A TIP Coordinator's direct participation in this

.+. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat du Conseii du Tn!sor

Secretariat du Canada

AVIS - ACCES A L'INFORMATION ET PROTECTION DES RENSEIGNEMENTS PERSONNELS

N° 2004-03

DATE: Le 13 fevrier 2004

AUX : Coordonnateurs de l'acces a I'information et de la protection des renselgnements personnels (AIPRP)

OBJET: Sondage sur Ie systeme ·de COAl

Comme vous Ie savez sans doute, Ie Secretaire du Conseil du Tresor precede actuellement it un examen de toutes ses politiques. Dans Ie cadre du processus d'examen global, on examine la Politique de coordination des demandes d'acces a /'information (Politique de COAl) du ConseiI du tresor et Ie systeme de CDAI. A cette fin, la Division des politiques de I'information, de la protection des renseignements personnels et de la securite (DPIPRPS) souhaite savoir ce que pense la collectivite de I'AIPRP des avantages du systeme de COAl et la frequence de son utilisation .

Je comprends que, dans la plupart des institutions, Ie coordonnateur delegue la responsabilite de verserles donnees dans Ie systeme de COAL J'apprecierals beaucoup

. si Ie coordonnateur pouvait revoir la Politique de CDAI ci-jointe avec les perso'nnes approprlees, remplir ensemble Ie questionnaire ci-joint et Ie renvoyer it Francis Larose de la DPIPRPS au plus tard Ie vendredi 27 fevrier 2004. Nous deslrona recevolr un seul formulaire rempli par institution. La participation directe des

'.: ",

000011 ';

"

short survey, which should take only five to ten minutes to complete, will be most helpful in allowing us to determine the effectiveness of the CAIR System within the ATIP Community.

You may respond by fax at (613) 952- 7287, or by mail to the following address:

Francis Larose Administrative Coordinator

Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat L'Esplanade Laurier, East Tower

140 O'Connor Street, 8th Floor Ottawa, Ontario K1A DR5

The survey will also be sent bye-mail and you may answer the ten survey questions electronically. When sending your response, please ensure that you save the completed questionnaire and forward it as an attachment to Larose.Francis@tbssct.gc.ca.

. Should you have any questions, please contact Francis Larose at (613) 946-4945 or Terry Murray at (613) 941-4462 or at Murray.Terry@tbs-sct.gc.ca.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for completing this survey, thus helping us to improve our service and meet your expectations.

-2-

coordonnateurs a ce sondage, qui ne devrait prendre qu'entre cinq et dix minutes, nous aidera grandement a determiner dans quelle mssure la collectivite de I'AIPRP trouve Ie systems de COAl efficace.

Vous pouvez envoyer vos reponses par telecopleur en composant Ie (613) 952-7287 ou par la poste a I'adresse suivante :

Francis Larose

Coordonnateur a I'administration

Division des politiques de I'information, de la protection des renseignements personnels et de la securite

Secretariat du Conseil du Tresor du Canada L'Esplanade Laurier, tour est

140, rue O'Connor; aeetage

Ottawa (Ontario) K1A OR5

Le sondage vous sera egalement envoye par courriel et vous pouvez repondre aux dix questions du sondage par voie electronique. Lorsque vous enverrez vos reponses, veuillez vous assurer de sauvegarder Ie questionnaire rempli et de Ie transmettre en tant que piece jointe a Larosa.Francis@tbs-sct.gc.ca .

Si vous avez des questions, veuillez telephoner a Francis Larose «613) 946-4945) ou a Terry Murray «613) 941-4462) ou envoyer un courrlel a Murray.Terrv@tbs-sct.gc.ca.

Je desire profiter de I'occasion pour vous remercier de remplir ce questionnaire et de nous aider, par consequent, a amellorer nos services et a repondre avos attantes.

Directrice principale

Division des politiques de I'information, de la protection des renseignements personnels et de la securite Direction du dirigeant principal de I'information

Anne Brennan Senior Director

Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division Chief Information Officer Branch

000012

Slide 1

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Slide 2

Background of the TB Policy for CAIR

• Approved in April 1989

• To ensure statutory requirements and intent of ATIA and Regulations are consistently met across government .-\

/

• Requires all government institutions listed in schedule 1 of ATIA to upload details of each ATI request, excluding personal information, to the CAIR System (CAIRS) within 24 hours of receipt of request, and identify requests that are Interdepartmental in nature or involve major new legal or policy issues

• Gives responsibilities to TB5 and DOJ to consult and advise govemment institutions regarding requests that have been identified as interdepartmental in scope or as involving major legal or policy issues of government-wide significance

• Requires PWGSC to manage and operate CAIRS z-

,.

t) There was a widespread concern at the time about the lack of coordination of A TIA requests. This was mainly due to the random nature of requests, the difficulty of

• assessing their impact in isolation and instances of similar requests to a number of

I departments. Another contributing factor was the suspect nature of the quaiity of

'1 deCision-.making, experience, judgement and knowledge within the AT. I community, and J ~. the quality of legal advice provided on access issues

l/~ It was believed that the CAIR System would to a considerable extent address these

. problems .

~ The CAIR System is a database that was developed by the Government Telecommunications and Informatics Service (GTIS), an agency within the department of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC).

, 000014

Slide 3

ISSUES WITH THE CAiR POUCY AND SYSTEM

• While CAiRS was upgraded in 1999 in order to bring it into compliance with Year 2000, '.neither the system nor the associated CAIR Policy have undergone a significant review or modemization since their inception

• Not all institutions participate

• Not all requests submitted within 24 hours

• Details of requests entered by institutions sometimes contain personal information or other information that may qualify for exemptions under the ATiA (TBS has taken steps to resolve this issue)

( It is now a web-based program that can be accessed by federal institutions " through a dedicated site.

OOG015

Slide 4

Issues (Cont'd)

• In March 2003, the Information Commissioner initiated a complaint against TBS for its refusal to provide a requester with on-line access to CAIRS ~ ')

• On March 31,2004, the Information Commissioner informed the President of the Treasury Board that the complaint is well-founded and recommended that CAIRS be made publicly available on-line without further delay

• TB response to the Information Commissioner's recommendation is due on April 26, 2004

• Official language issues will have to be addressed if CAIRS is made publicly available ~

(L) Perhaps I should explain here that when the CAIRS was upgraded in 1999, a recommendation was made to make it accessible to the public. However, a few weeks prior to the launching of the system in June 2001, issues arose

concerning the new version of CAIRS.

First, it was learned that summaries of requests entered by institutions contained personal information, and that institutions were not meeting their obligations under the Official Languages Actwhen entering data into CAIRS. Consequently, TBS decided that, until those issues were addressed, CAIRS should remain a closed site.

Discussions with the Information Commissioner's office to resolve the complaint have been ongoing.

/}, The cost for providing the public with on-line access to entries in the CAIR System in both official languages has been estimated to be between $260,000 and $500,000 annually.

000016

Slide 5

Review of the CAiR Policy and System

• In order to assess the current situation,TBS is carl)'ing out a broad examination of the CAIR Policy and System

• Recommendations and options for the future of CAl R to be submitted to the Secretary in June 2004

• In Februal)' 2004, TBS conducted a survey of all ATIP Coordinators on CAIRS

• Of approximately 150 federal institutions, 108 responded to the survey

000017 ": •

Slide 6

Sutmary of the survey results

• Prior to the survey, rrore than 32%of respondents'M9re not farriliar wth the requirements of the CAiR Pdic,y

• fvb'e than 40% do not input details of their ATI requests onto CAlRS

• Of those WlO input data onto the system, 22% do so Wthin M.o days of receiving requests, 16% enter them on a 'N99kIy basis, and 8% on a rrmthly basis

.000018

Slide 7

Summary of survey results (cont'd)

• More than 58% of institutions are not conducting searches on CAIRS

• 5% are doing it once a year, 14% between two to five times per year and 19% more than six times per year

• 53% of respondents use alternatives to CAIRS to determine whether or not

other institutions have received ATI requests on a specific topic:

- 90% check by telephone

- 29% bye-mail

- 13% use other alternatives, such as coordinators' meetings and

information notices issued by the IPSPD

008019

Slide 8

Summary.of survey results (cont'd)

• 90% of respondents are not using CAIRS for any purpose(s) other than to determine whether or not other institutions have received requests on a specific topic

• 68% never requested any technical assistance during the past year, 14% requested it once and 10% more than once

• 59% do not consider the CAIR System to be a necessary tool for their organization.

000020

Slide 9

QUESTIONS

• What is the value of CAIR to institutions?

• What is the value of CAIR to central agencies?

• Should CAIR be retained?

- If yes, would the benefits of making CAIRS publicly available on-line worth the costs and resources needed?

ADlMS #219291

In addition to those questions, the review will also determine:

• If CAIRS is meeting its intended goals?

• If there are any areas for improvement and what would be the costs and operational issues associated with making those improvements? And

• If there are any alternative ways for the government to ensure coordination and provide the public with access to ATI requests, whether those requests are closed or ongoing?

000021

Reminder about the Survey on the CAIR System

I

Page 1 of 1

.+.

Access to Information

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Treasury Board of CWtada Secr'taiat du Conaell du Ttitor

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No.:

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2004-05

February 25, 2004

Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Coordinators

Reminder about the Survey on the CAIR System

This is further to Information Notice 2004-03, dated February 13, 2004, which included a short survey on the Coordination of Access to Information Requests System (CAIR System). This notice is intended as a reminder to ask that you please complete the survey and send It to my office no later than February 27, 2004. If you have already completed the survey and sent it to my office, please disregard this Notice.

As I indicated in the last Notice, we wish to obtain only one reply per institution. The A TIP Coordinator's direct partiCipation in this short survey, which should take only five to ten minutes to complete, will be most helpful in allowing us to determine the effectiveness of the CAIR System within the ATIP Community.

You may respond by fax at (613) 952-7287, or by mail to the following address:

Francis Larose Administrative Coordinator

Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat L'Esplanade Laurier, East Tower .

140 O'Connor Street, 8th Floor

Ottawa, Ontario

K1AOA5

The survey was also sent bye-mail and you may answer the ten survey questions electronically. When sending your response, please ensure that you save the completed questionnaire and forward it as an attachment to ~.9se . .Er~m~i§.~1Q~':.~tgg_J:_l:!.

Unfortunately, an incorrect telephone number for Francis Larose was quoted in the last Notice. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Should you have any questions, please contact Francis Larose at (613) 946-4945 or Terry Murray at (613) 941-4462 or at MYrrS!y..cT.e!Iy-®.tP.S.:S.l<.t,gg.pa. .

I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have already sent completed surveys to our office and those who will send the survey response to us by Friday, February 27, 2004.

Anne Brennan

Senior Director

Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division

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000022'

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2004-04-21

Survey on the CAIR System

Page 1 of3

•••

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2004-03

February 13, 2004

Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Coordinators

Survey on the CAIR System

As you are no doubt aware, the Treasury Board Secretariat is conducting a review of Its entire policy suite. As part of the overall review process, the Treasury Board Policy for the Coordination of Access to Information Requests (CAIR Policy) and the CAIR System are being reviewed. To this end, the Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division (IPSPD) would like to obtain the views of the ATIP Community on the benefits of the CAIR System and on the frequency of its use,

As I understand it, at most institutions, the Coordinator delegates the responsibility for entering data on the CAIR System. I would greatly appreCiate it if the ATIP Coordinator could review the attached CAIR Policy with the appropriate officials from your office who work with the CAIR System, fill out the enclosed qU~$ti.9nlJaire together and return it to Francis Larose of IPSPD by Friday, February 27, 2004. We wish to obtain one reply per institution. The ATIP Coordinator's direct partiCipation in this short survey, which should take only five to ten minutes to complete, will be most helpful In allowing us to determine the effectiveness of the CAIR System within the ATIP Community.

You may respond by fax at (613) 952-7287, or by mail to the following address:

Francis Larose Administrative Coordinator

Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat L'Esplanade Laurier, East Tower

140 O'Connor Street, 8th Floor

Ottawa, Ontario K1A OR5

The survey will also be sent bye-mail and you may answer the ten survey questions electronically. When sending your response, please ensure that you save the completed questionnaire and forward it as an attachment tolJ!r.QS.g,Er~m:i§.@_tb_s..:.~~t,!lQ.Jl~.

Should you have any questions, please contact Francis Larose at (613) 946-4955 or Terry Murray at (613) 941-4462 or at MYm~y,I!'!.rr.y@'lQ§:_$qJ,gQ,c_a.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for completing this survey, thus helping us to improve our service and meet your expectations.

Anne Brennan

Senior Director

Information; Privacy and Security Policy Division Chief, Information Officer-Branch

000023

http://www.tbs-sct.gc.calgos-SOg! atip-aiprp/in-ai/in-ai2004/2004-03 e.asn

2004-04-21

Survey on the CAIR System

ATIP Community Survey on the C_Q_QJ'1l_mml_d..A~.H_toJnf~nnat~~.YUtl..lCAlB)_S~m

NOTE: The CAIR System was created as a means of complying with the Treasury Board Policy for the Coordination of Access to Information Requests (CAIR Policy, 1989). The original intent of the CAIR System was to ensure that requests received under the Access to tntormeuon Act, which raise matters that are Interdepartmental in scope or involve major legal or policy issues, are identified and coordinated.

1. Name of institution:

2. Prior to this survey, were you familiar with the requirements of the Treasury Board Policy for the Coordination of Access to Information Requests (CAIR)?

rYes r: No

3. How often does your institution input details of its ATI requests onto the CAIR System?

r Within two days of receiving requests r: Weekly

r. Monthly

C Never

r Other

4. How often does your institution conduct searches of the CAIR System to determine whether or not other institutions have received ATI requests on a specific topic?

r Once a year

C Two to five times per year C Six to ten times per year

n More than ten times per year C' Never

5. Do you currently use alternatives to the CAIR System to determine whether other institutions have received ATI requests on a specific topic?

r NO eYES

If Yes, please indicate below all that apply:

n Telephone check with other ATIP offices IJ E-mail check with other ATIP offices r Other alternatives - please specify:

6. Does your institution use the CAIR System for any purpose(s) other than to determine whether or not other institutions have received requests on a specific topic?

http;/ /www.tbs-sct.zc.ca/zos-soz/ atip-aiprp/in-ailin-ai2004/2004-03 e.asn

Page 2 of3

000024

2004-04-21

Survey on the CAIR System

r No

r Yes. If Yes, please specify:

7. Please identify any specific experiences that you may have had when using . the CAIR System. Check all that apply:

r The CAIR System is user-friendly

r The CAIR System Is useful In our daily work r The CAIR System is slow/tedious

r The CAIA System is not user-friendly

r The CAIA System is not updated by all institutions

r The information on the CAIR System is not useful to our institution r Other - Please specify:

8. . How often have you sought technical assistance during the past fiscal year regarding the CAIA System?

r Never r Once

r: Two to five times r: Six to ten times

C More than ten times

9. What improvements can you suggest to the CAIA System?

10. Do you consider the CAIR System to be a necessary tool for your organization?

eyes C No

Additional Comments:

Modified: 2004-02-18

Top of pagel!ll_P'QrI:!\'J')tN.o_tIC~$

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000043

- •

Review of the Coordination of Access to Information Requests (CAIR) Policy and System

Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division

Treasury Board Secretariat

Edited Version - July 2004

RDIMS #234429

00004S .

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THIS REPORT.. 3

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 4

2. INTRODUCTION 7

2.1 Background 7

2.2 Scope and Objectives 8

2.3 Review Process and Methodology 8

3. REVIEW 8

3.1' Historical Development of the CAIR Policy and System 8

s. 21 (1 )(b) .12

3.3 Upgrading of CAIRS 13

3.4 Operation and Maintenance Costs for the Actual Web-based CAIRS 14

3.5 Value of CAIRS 15

3.5.1 To Federal Institutions and Agencies 15

3.5.2 To the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) : 20

3.5.3 To the Department of Justice (DOJ) ~ 22

3.5.4 To the General Public 23

4. ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS 27

,

5. OPTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ~ 28

5.1 Option (a): Maintain CAIRS and Ensure Compliance with the Existing CAIR

Policy 29

5.2 Option (b): Repeal the CAIR Policy 29

5.3 S. 21 (1 )(b) 29

5.4~ 31

6. A FINAL COMMENT 32

APPENDIX "A": Excerpt from the Access to Information Act 33

APPENDIX "B": Policy for the Coordination of Access to Information Requests 34

APPENDIX "C": Fields contained in a CAIR System Record 37

APPENDIX "D": Excerpt from the MOU between TBS and PWGSC 38

APPENDIX "E": Institutions listed in Schedule 1 of the A TlA. 39

APPENDIX "F": CAIRS Survey Instrument and Notice 45

APPENDIX "G": ATI Requests Reported in CAIRS in 2002-2003 49

APPENDIX "H"; ATI Requests Identified in CAIRS as Requiring Coordination

2002-2004 50·

APPENDIX "I": ATI P Information Notice - Official Languages Requirements 60

APPENDIX "J": Printed Screens of the CAIRS Public Website 62

APPENDIX "K": Printed Screens of the DND's Website 64

APPENDIX "L"; Description and Cost of activities to Post Completed Request

Report on Website 67

2

ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THIS REPORT

A TI. Access to Information

A TIA. , Access to Information Act

ATIP Access to information and Privacy

CAIR Coordination of Access to Information Requests

CAIRS Coordination of Access to Information Requests System

CFL. Common Look and Feel

CIC : Citizenship and Immigration Canada

DND Department of National Defence

DOJ Department of Justice

GTIS Government Telecommunication and Informatics Services

HC Health Canada

ILAP .Information Law and Privacy

IPSPD lnformation, Privacy and Security Policy Division

MOU Memorandum of Understanding

OLA Official Languages Act

OPC Office of the Privacy Commissioner

PCO Privy Council Office

PWGSC Public Works and Government Services Canada

TB Treasury Board

TBS Treasury Board Secretariat

Y2K Year 2000

3

09(1(141

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In February 2004, the Treasury Board Secretariat initiated a review of the Coordination of Access to Information Requests System (CAIRS), a central database containing the text of requests received by government institutions under the Access to Information Act, and the associated Coordination of Access to Information (CAIR) Policy, approved by Treasury Board Ministers in April 1989.

Part of the Treasury Board' Secretariat's broader review of its entire policy suite, the main objectives of the CAIR review were: to determine whether CAIRS was meeting its intended goals and objectives; to identify any areas in which the existing system could be improved; and, to establish the costs and operational issues associated with making those improvements.

The objective of the CAIR Policy is "to ensure that the intent of the Access to Information Act and the Access to Information Regulations are met in a consistent manner on a government-wide basis." To meet this objective, the CAIR Policy assigned responsibilities to all federal institutions listed in Schedule I of the Access to Information Act (excluding the Bank of Canada) to enter into the system the text of every access to intorrnatlon request received within one working day of receipt, excluding any personal information, and to identify those requests that are interdepartmental in nature or involve major new legal or policy issues. Institutions were also required to participate in coordination and consultation arrangements arising from the system. The policy also assigned

. responsibilities to the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Department of Justice to consult with and advise government institutions regarding those requests that have been identified in the system as requiring consultation or coordination. In addition, the Treasury Board Secretariat was required to monitor institutions' compliance with the policy.

CAIRS was originally developed to help government institutions meet the policy's requirement to identify those access to information requests of government-wide significance or raising major new legal or policy issues, and to ensure the response to such requests is coordinated. However, the review identified serious compliance issues and deficiencies, which have greatly affected the overall value and usefulness of the current system. Specifically, the review has revealed that

• not all institutions are inputting details of their access to information requests into the

system on a regular and timely basis;

• some institutions are not contributing at all to the system;

• personal information is still inadvertently entered into the system from time to time;

• only a small number of institutions are adhering to the requirements of the Official Languages Actwhen entering the text of their requests into the system;

• a large number of institutions are not conducting searches on the system to determine whether other institutions have received access to information requests on a specific topic;

• on average, the Treasury Board Secretariat uses the system once every two or three months for the purpose of monitoring or coordinating access to information requests;

• the Department of Justice has not used the system once for coordination or consultation purposes since at least 1999;

0000:48

4

• the Treasury Board Secretariat has not always been able to fulfil efficiently its responsibility to monitor institutions' compliance with the CAIR Policy due to insufficient resources; and

• the small number of access to information requests received annually that actually needs coordination arrangements does not justify the use of such an automated system.

These findings suggest the government can take one of two broad approaches to address the issues raised by the existing system and its associated policy:

a) Maintain the system and ensure compliance with the existing CAIR Policy

b) Repeal the CAIR Policy

Improving compliance with the CAIR Policy would require more active monitoring, increased information to institutions about their accountabilities, and the application of specific enforcement measures; but even with such measures in place, it is unlikely compliance issues would be fully addressed, especially within small institutions. Moreover, even if compliance issues could be fully addressed, the small number of ATI requests requiring interdepartmental coordination does not justify the use of a labour-intensive automated system like CAIRS.

For this reason, the second option is recommended. This approach would involve repealing the CAIR Policy and developing guidelines and practical alternatives in its place to ensure that new ATI requests raising matters that are interdepartmental in scope or involve major new legal or policy issues of government-wide significance are still identified and coordinated. Any new guidelines for the purpose of identifying or coordinating such requests would involve amending the relevant sectionfchapter of the ATI Policy and guidelines.

5

6

000050

2. INTRODUCTION

2.1 Background

The Coordination of Access to Information Requests System (CAIRS) is a central database containing text of requests received by government institutions under the Access to Information Act (A TIA). The system was created as a requirement under the Treasury Soard (TS) Coordination of Access to Information Requests (CAIR) Policy, which was approved by TB Ministers in April 1989, to allow:

• lead agencies, such as the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), to review new A TIA requests received by the federal government and determine whether requests raise policy or legal issues;

• the coordination of similar requests received by multiple institutions, which have government-wide implications; and

• institutions subject to the A TIA to identify whether other institutions have received similar requests.

The CAIR Policy was issued under the authority of paragraph 70(1)(C) of the ATIA to

. ensure that access to information (ATI) requests that raise matters that are interdepartmental in scope or involve significant legal or policy issues are identified and coordinated. The CAIR Policy was established to address widespread concern about the lack of coordination of ATI requests. Coordination was seen as an ongoing challenge because of the random nature of requests, the difficulty of assesslnq their impact in isolation and instances of similar requests received Simultaneously by a number of departments. Other contributing factors were the unequal quality of decision-making, experience, the level of judgement and knowledge within the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) community, and the quality of legal advice provided by departmental legal

. advisers on access issues. The CAIR Policy and system were designed to address these problems.

While CAIRS was upgraded in 1999 to bring it into compliance with government Y2K (Year 2000) requirements, neither the system nor the associated policy have undergone a significant review or modernization since their inception. As a result, a broad examination was needed in order to assess the current situation and to develop recommendations and options for the future of the CAIR policy and system.

The CAIRS review coincides with a broader TSS review of its entire policy suite (over 300 policies). The objectives of this Policy Suite Review are: to reduce the number of policies; to provide coherent direction on priority issues; to relate policies to priorities and results; to clarify roles, responsibilities and accountabilities; to improve accessibility; and, to target the appropriate audience. The objectives of the review of the CAIR policy and system are closely aligned with the broader goals.of the TSS policy suite review.

7

:O"O~'A>Il'~'·l "

.. lU,J~- .

2.2 Scope and Objectives

The CAIRS review objectives were as follows:

to determine whether CAIRS is meeting its intended goals and objectives regarding the identification and coordination of requests received under the A TlA that are interdepartmental in scope or involving major legal or policy issues;

to identify any areas in which the existing system could be improved, and to establish the costs and operational issues associated with making those improvements;

to assess the pros and cons of providing the public with on-line access to all ATI requests and identify any alternatives that would allow the government to ensure coordination of responses and provide the public with on-line access to both closed and ongoing ATI requests; and,

to provide a report, including recommendations and options, to the Secretary of the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Chief Information Officer with respect to the CAIR

Policy and System. .

2.3 Review Process and Methodology

As a first step in carrying out this review, historlcal documents related to discussions and correspondence at the time of the creation of the CAIR Policy and system were researched. Numerous documents were examined to determine the original intent of the policy and any changes that were made to the system since its implementation.

As part of the review, a survey was also conducted in February 2004 to obtain the views of

the ATIP community on the benefits of CAIRS and on the frequency of its use by .

government institutions. Meetings and discussions were held with representatives of TBS, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Privy Council Office (PCO) to brief them about the review and to determine the value of CAIRS to their organization. Meetings also took place with representatives of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) and Health Canada (HC) to discuss suggestions and options concerning CAIRS, as well as with the ATIP Coordinator of the Department of National Defence (DND) to discuss the

department's practice of publishing summaries of its completed ATI requests on the '

Internet.

3. REVIEW

3.1 Historical Development of the CAIR Policy and System

Since the A TlA came into force in 1983, requesters have criticised the lack of coordination and knowledge sharing among departments when dealing with ATI requests. In addition, some departments - particularly those that shared their information with many other departments or agencies - identified the need to coordinate their responses.to ATI requests. These departments were concerned that responses to similar requests received by more than one department were not adequately coordinated, and that some requests, which could establish legal or policy precedents on a government-wide basis, were not

8

000052

adequately identified. Ministers and Deputy Ministers had also expressed widespread concern about the lack of coordination in handling ATI requests.

In 1986, TBS surveyed the roles and job satisfaction of Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Coordinators'. Among other things, the study revealed that coordinators

expressed the view that TBS and DOJ should become more active in central coordination and policy leadership on issues with government-wide implications. They felt that, in some instances, government institutions were left on their own to decide on precedent-setting issues. They conceded that TBS and DOJ reacted well when approached on such matters, but indicated that there needed to be better anticipation of issues and more timely dissemination of precedent-setting cases and decisions. They also polnted out that departmental legal advisers changed frequently, resulting in lack of consistency in legal advice in some institutions. While there had been some improvements at the time in the coordination of access requests, it was determined that real progress could only be made by developing an automated database.

TBS, which fulfils the legislated responsibility of the designated Minister under the A TIA for government-wide coordination and administration of the Act,2 was asked to look into solutions to address the need for a better system of coordination of ATI requests. In this endeavour, TBS sought the assistance of Supply and Services Canada, now known as PubliC Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), to develop an automated system for government-wide application that would permit the identification and coordination of multiple or precedent-setting requests.

As a result of this activity, CAIRS was conceived in the fall of 1988. It was designed to provide policy analysts at TBS, legal advisors at DOJ and A TI P Coordinators with access' to a central database of ATI requests in order to coordinate responses and promote dialogue among government institutions. In addition to a database containing the text of all ATI requests received by government departments and aqencles, the original system also included the capability to quickly search through the database for relevant information, an electronic mail facility, and the capability to produce printed reports of information contained in the database.

In a letter dated July 21, 1989, the Secretary of TBS announced to the heads of all institutions subject to the ATIA the implementation of CAIRS to assist them in coordinating responses to A TI requests with other institutions. They were informed that the system was in the process of becoming fully operational and were asked for their support, as this was essential for its effective implementation. The letter also included a copy of the CAIR Policy approved by TB Ministers in April 1989.

1 In response to a request from the House of Common Standing Committee on Justice and Solicitor General, the President of the Treasury Board agreed in 1986 to undertake an examination of how ATIP coordinators perceive their role within institutions, and what additional help may be required from Treasury Board to support this function.

2 Pursuant to section 70 of the ATIA, the President of the Treasury Board, as "deslqnatsc Minister," is responsible for the government-wide coordination and administration of the Access to Information Act, which includes the preparation and distribution of related directives and guidelines. An excerpt from the legislation is included as APPENDIX "A".

9

This policy (see APPENDIX "B") established the principles under which CAIRS had been developed and set out the responsibilities of institutions participating in the system. Specifically, the policy required:

all government institutions listed in schedule 1 of the A TIA to upload details of each A TIA request, excluding personal information, to GAIRS within 24 hours of receipt of a request, identify requests that are interdepartmental in nature or involve major new legal or policy issues, and participate in coordination and consultation arrangements arising from the system;

TBS and DOJ to consult with and advise government institutions regarding requests that are identified as interdepartmental in scope or as involving major

legal or policy issues of government-wide significance3; and '

PWGSG to manage and operate the system.

The GAIR Policy also gives TBS the responsibility to monitor compliance with the policy based on the Access to information Annual Reports of government institutions.

The July ·1989 announcement by the Secretary of TBS concerning the implementation of a computerized index to streamline ATI requests was not met favourably by all interested groups. During the mid-summer of 198.9, there was a brief flare of publicity in the media concerning the real value of GAIRS and what this system was or was not deSigned to accomplish. Although some described the new system as being simply a coordinating mechanism that would only provide better service for people requesting government information, others feared the system could be used to control the release of information. In fact, they questioned whether the government had only the best interests of Ganadians at heart when implementing such a system and suspected that it would be used to control and orchestrate responses to access requests, particularly those for potentially sensitive information. In their view, such a system would restrict rather than enhance public access to information.

Some efforts were made at the time to reassure the media, users of the ATllegislation and Members of Parliament that GAIRS was not intended to provide a central vetting of access requests, but rather to facilitate consultation among departments and to allow for the provision of advice on requests that raise legal or policy precedents to ensure consistent and timely responses. Quoting from the GAIR Policy itself, it was explained that the objective of the policy was "to ensure that the statutory requirements and the intent of the

Access to Information Act and the Access to Information Regulations are met in a .

consistent manner on a government-wide basis." Those who felt that the system would be used to delay or obstruct access were advised that, by expediting the consultation process, CAl RS should improve response times for processing requests. They were told that the Policy makes it clear that "under no circumstances will consultation be used to delay or obstruct a request beyond time limits set out in the A TlA."

3 In its report entitled Open and Shut, the Parliamentary Committee that reviewed the Access and Privacy legislation in 1987 recommended that "the Treasury Board and the Department of Justice become more active in central coordination and policy leadership on issues with government-wide implications for access and privacy legislation." CAIRS is part of the government's response to that Committee.

OOtlf}54

10

GAIRS, a DOS-based application running on a stand-alone server at PWGSG, became fully operational in January 1990. At that time, government institutions averaging more than forty ATI requests per year were required to submit data about their ATI requests electronically to the GAIRS central database at PWGSG using GAIR workstations located within each of those institutions. They were also required to indicate in the system whether or not consultation was required with other departments regarding the request and whether it required coordination. Details of every request made to them had to be entered into the system within one working day of receipt. Those averaging less than forty requests per year were not required to adopt the electronic system and were permitted to supply the same information on paper for manual input into CAIRS within one working day of receipt of an ATI request.

Each request enteredirito CAIRS may include up to fourteen fi~lds of data. A description of these fields may be found in APPENDIX "C". According to the January 1990 GAIRS User Guide, the request number, organization code for requester, consultation required, received initial date and text of the request fields are mandatory fields. All other fields are either optional.or automatically generated by the system. The guide also specified that when entering the text of an ATI request into the system, institutions must eliminate from the summary any personal identifiers in accordance with the Privacy Act or any other information that may be exempted under the A TIA.

In late Summer/early Fall 1990, some discussions took place oetween

was a clear understanding between TBS and PCO that TBS, as well as DOJ, would use GAIRS only as a device to help deal with multiple requests and to identify institutions which may be facing requests involving difficult legal or policy interpretation issues. It was pointed out that the head of the responsible institution must determine what to release or not release under the AT/A, subject only to the review procedures provided under the Act.

Although TBS agreed at the time to remind ATIP coordinators of the need to be attentive to these types of requests, including their communication ramifications, it remained unconvinced that coordinators were always in the best position to determine which requests are sensitive from a government-wide perspective. TBS was of the view that such information should not be identified on CAIRS and that any decision aboutwhat would constitute a "sensitive" request must be made by senior management. It was the Secretariat's position that the effective identification of "sensitive" requests required an ongoing review by someone with the proper expertise.

11

s.21(1)(b)

s.21(1)(b)

12

3.3 Upgrading of CAIRS

In 1999, TBS decided to update CAl RS to make it fully Internet-based and compliant with government Y2K requirements. At that time, TBS officials suggested that the system be expanded to include more services to ATIP offices and to make it accessible to the public. No feasibility or impact studies were conducted as part of the proposed project, nor were consultations held with users of the system.

In June 2001, a few weeks prior to the launch of the web-based CAIRS, problems concerning the new version of the system were identified. Speclfically, official language requirements with respect to summaries of ATI requests entered into the system had not been adequately addressed, some summaries contained personal information, and the views of users had not been taken into consideration. In light of these concerns, TBS decided that the system should remain a closed, internal-to-government system.

The Government Telecommunication and Informatics Services (GTIS) Branch of PWGSC designed the new CAIRS. It is a bilingual application, in which the user selects the language of choice at login. Despite the fact that CAl RS is now fully I nternet-based and

OOOtJ57

13

runs within Netscape version 4.06 or later or Internet Explorer 5 or higher, its functionality has remained practically unchanged .. Access to the system requires a user 10 and password and institutions continue to input the text of their ATI requests into the system in accordance with the present GAIR Policy and approved practices. The only difference is that institutions that receive less than forty requests per year are now required to adopt the electronic format and upload the text of their requests into GAIRS over the Internet.

The new GAIRS database includes all of the information that is currently available in the original system plus four additional fields: 1) the name of the institution to which a request has been transferred; 2) the status of the request (opened, closed or on hold); 3) the reason the request is on hold (cost estimate, other, request clarification); and 4) whether consultation with another department is required, and the names of aU institutions that are being consulted. Institutions that have their own request tracking software can automatically upload the text of their request files into the GAIRS database. More than forty-five federal institutions and agencies, which account for approximately 95% of aU the ATI requests received in the government, are currently using ATIPflow4to track the

processing of their ATI and privacy requests. '

A brief online review of the system components revealed that there is a certain level of

- dysfunctionality in the current web-based GAIRS. For example, it is not Gommon look and Feel (GlF) compliant. There are some navigation problems between screens (sometimes the user cannot go back to the previous screen) and there are several buttons that do not lead to the expected content or to no content at all, The report menu item is quite limited and does not allow the production of special reports based on users' defined criteria. In addition, it was learned that the security access mechanism is based on the user's static IP address and may be cumbersome for both TBS and PWGSG to provide support services to users whose IP addresses have changed over time.

3.4 Operation and Maintenance Costs for the Actual Web-based CAiRS

As with the older DOS-based version, PWGSC is responsible through GTIS - now the IT Services Branch - to operate and maintain the new web-based GAIRS on behalf of TBS.

According to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between TBS and PWGSC dated March 25, 2003, the cost of providing support services for CAIRS for the period April 1, 2003 to March 31,2004, has been assessed at $30,226. This figure does not include the costs for overtime, special printing, hardware, software, etc., when these goods and services are a direct result of work performed for TBS on the GAIR application. It is specified in the MOU that any work completed outside the scope of the agreement and external to previously agreed upon schedules and deliverables will be subject to negotiations and a separate agreement between the parties.

4 ATIPf/ow is a software solution that has been developed by MPRSYS (now known as PRIVASOFT) to help governments manage the entire lifecycle of an ATI or Privacy request - from initial request to release of information. The ATIPflowdatabase contains a wealth of information from which institutions create tracking and management reports of various kinds and it can be

linked to automatically upload the text of their ATI requests into CAIRS. '

, 0,000·5'.8

14

The MOU also stipulates that PWGSGwill absorb the total support cost of $30,226.00 for fiscal year 2003-2004, but that TBS will provide funding in subsequent years as PWGSG would not be in a position to continue to fund this application. It also specified that each year a new agreement would be negotiated with TBS.

An excerpt of the MOU describing the specific details of the costs for providing support services for GAl RS for fiscal year 2003-2004 is attached as APPENDIX "0".

The figure in the MOU represents only the cost to PWGSC of maintaining and operating CAIRS on behalf of TBS. It does not cover the time and resources that TBS spends in providing support to CAIRS users, nor does it take into consideration any of the costs incurred by government institutions in the preparation, translation, vetting and uploading of the text of their ATI requests into GAIRS.

TSS and PWGSG are currently negotiating a new agreement for GAIRS for fiscal year 2004-2005, but the details of the agreement concerning the costs of operating and maintaining the system for that period were not known at the time this report was drafted.

3.5 Value of CAIRS

3.5.1 To Federal Institutions and Agencies

Under the existing CAIR Policy, all government institutions and agencies listed in Schedule I of the A T1A (19 departments and ministries ot state, and 152 other bodies and otflces)", with the exception of the Bank of Canada", must provide details of every request made to them under the ATJA excluding any personal identifiers to GAIRS maintained by PWGSG within one working day of receipt. Alist of all the government institutions and agencies listed in Schedule 1 of the Act may be found in APPENDIX "E".

As previously stated, CAIRS was created to assist government institutions and agencies in the coordination of ATI requests by providing them with the capability of determining whether similar or identical ATI requests have been made to other departments. By providing an overall picture of ATI requests to ATIP offices across the government, the system was expected to facilitate a more thorough consultation process, assist in faster response times, and reduce errors in the exemption or release of information.

To dispel any myths about the system, it is important to keep in mind that GAIRS is not an automatic coordination or consultation device. Although the system takes away much of the effort of identifying similar requests sent to more than one institution or requests received on a specific topic, it does not and cannot, in and of itself, improve the decisionmaking and judgmental abilities of departmental officials responsible for ensuring coordination or consultation during the processing of ATI requests. GAIRS is simply a tool to expedite the consultation and coordination process by allowing departments to know the

5 Source - Department of Justice Canada website at http://laws.justice.gc.caJen/A-1/157.html#rid- 218, updated December 31, 2003.

6 The TB CAIR Policy applies to all government institutions listed in Schedule 1 of the Access to

Information Act, except the Bank of Canada. ..

15

types and details of requests received by others. It does not initiate these processes on its own.

The concept of CAIRS, as a coordination tool, is relatively simple; however, the system only functions effectively with the full cooperation and diligence of each and all of the institutions to which the CAIR Policy applies. For example, institutions must:

• enter details of their ATI requests into the CAIR database, with all the personal or other information that may be exempted under the A TIA removed, within one working day of receipt or when registering the request;

• ensure adherence to the requirements of the Official Languages Act (OLA) when entering the text of their requests into the system;

• ensure that any modifications to requests resuiting from exchanges with requesters are recorded in the database ona timely and regular basis;

• identify those requests that, in their opinion, raise matters that are interdepartmental in scope or involve major new legal or policy issues and require coordination or consultation;

• conduct periodic searches of the central database, as needed, to determine whether similar or identical requests, which would require coordination or consultation, have been made to other departments; and

• ensure that their participation in any coordination or consultation arrangements arising from their utilization of the system does not result in delays that would prevent a response within the time limits provided for in the A TIA.

TBS and DOJ must scan new entries in the CAIRS database daily to assess coordination requirements and, where required, undertake ·necessary consultation or coordination with institutions within the prescribed time frame.

That said, one of the objectives of the review was to determine how valuable CAIRS is as a tool to help government institutions and agencies manage the ATI process across government. To this end, T8S conducted a survey of the ATIP community in February 2004 to obtam their views on the benefits of CAIRS and on the frequency of its use.

On February 13, 2004, a ten-question surveywas sent by fax and e-mail, along with an information notice, to all ATIP coordinators". A copy of the survey instrument and the accompanying information notice are attached as APPENDIX "F". Coordinators were given the option of either mailing, faxing or e-mailing the survey back to the Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division (lPSPD) of T8S no later than February 2ih. A reminder asking them to complete the survey in time and to send it back to IPSPD was

7 The ATIP Coordinator of the Bank of Canada and the Privacy Coordinators of the following institutions and agencies, which are not subject to the Access to Information Act, were excluded from the survey:

Canada Post Corporation Canadian Wheat Board Export Development Canada National Arts Centre

Office of the Auditor General of Canada Office of the Chief Electoral Office

Office of the Commissioner of Officials Languages

16

sent on February 25th• No follow up action was taken about those who did not return their completed survey questionnaire as required on February 2ih.

Of the 146 coordinators representing the 170 government institutions and agencies that are subject to the CAIR Policy, 105 responded to the survey. This corresponds to a

response rate of 71.9%. . .

A review of the survey responses received revealed that prior to the survey one third (33.3%) of all respondents were not familiar with the requirements of the CAIR Policy, and that 40% are not inputting any data onto CAIRS.

To assess the degree to which institutions are not reporting or under-reporting their requests into CAIRS, the number of requests reported by institutions in their ATIA annual and statistical reports to Parliament for fiscal year 2002-20038 was compared with the number of requests entered into CAIRS (Date Received Final) for the period April 1, 2002 to March 31,2003 inclusive. As shown in the table attached as APPENDIX "G", this comparison revealed a total of 2,098 requests were not reported in CAIRS during the period in question. This means that 9.1 % of all the ATI requests recorded by institLitions in their annual and statistical reports to Parliament for fiscal year 2002-2003 were not declared in CAIRS for the same period.

It was also interesting to note that only 22 of the 20,879 requests reported in CAIRS for 2002-2003 were identified in the system as requiring coordination. This represents 0.1 % of all the requests entered into CAIRS during that year, a ratio of roughly 1000: 1. An examination of CAIRS for the period April 1 ,2003 to March 31,2004 reconfirmed that the number of requests identified as requiring coordination was very small. Of the 21,579 requests (Date Received Final) entered into the system during that period, 3.7 or 0.17% were so identified.

This means that of the 42,458 requests that were entered into CAIRS during the last two fiscal years, only 59 were identified as requiring coordination by 18 government institutions. On average, this represents less than three requests per month.

Furthermore, two of the institutions accounted for more than 50% of all the requests that were identified as requiring coordination (see information provided in Table attached as APPENDIX "H"). According to TBS officials, of the 59 requests identified in the system as requiring coordination, only three eventually resulted in coordination arrangements from TBS.

Consequently, this raises a legitimate question as to how indispensable CAIRS really is in helping institutions to coordinate ATI requests across the government. Most simply put, do we really need a system like CAIRS to identify the small number of requests requiring coordination? Are there better, more cost effective ways of achieving the same results?

The examination of CAIRS data also revealed that 3,356 access requests were identified in the system as requiring consultation during the last two fiscal years. This represents 7.9% of all the requests that were entered into the system during that period, Given that

8 A similar comparison could not be done for 2003-2004, as annual and statistical reports to Parliament on the Access to Information Act were not available for that fiscal year at the time this report was being drafted.

17

most institutions already know which institutions they should consult, they don't need CAIRS for that purpose.

Based on this research, 92% of all the ATI requests that were entered into CAIRS during the last two ftscal years did not need coordination or consultation. This result raises the question of whether there is a legitimate need for all access requests to be routinely reported in CAIRS when only a small fraction of them require coordination or consultation. For example, a search of the system revealed that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) inputted 8,373 requests for CAIPS (Computer Assisted Immigration Processing System) notes into CAIRS during the period in question. Only 22 of those requests were identified as requiring consultation and none of them as requiring coordination. CIC's requests for CAIPS notes accounted for 19.7% of all the requests (almost one out of five requests) that were entered into the system during 2002-2004.

The results of the survey have also revealed that of the institutions inputting data onto the system, 22.8% indicated that they are doing it within two days of receiving requests; 16.2% stated that they are entering them on a weekly basis; and 8.6% on a monthly basis. Of the other respondents, 10.5% mentioned that they were using other methods for entering data onto CAIRS and 1.9% did not respond to the question.

The survey also found that a majority of the coordinators surveyed (more than 58%) are not conducting searches on CAIRS to determine whether or not other institutions have received ATI requests on a specific topic; 19% indicated conducting searches of the system less than six times per year, while 20% said they are doing it more than six times per year. 3% of coordinators did not answer the question.

Almost half of those surveyed (45.7%) explained that they are currently using alternatives to CAIRS to determine whether other institutions have received ATI requests on a specific topic. They are either checking by telephone, e-mail, or through meetings with other ATIP offices to identify such requests.

Only a small number of respondents (6.7%) indicated that their institution is using CAIRS for a purpose other than to determine whether or not other institutions have received requests on a specific topic. For example, one respondent mentioned that he is using the system to locate the name and address of ATIP coordinators for consultation purposes. Others respondents explained that the system is either being used to monitor ATI requests received by their institution, to calculate deadlines or to assist in the completion of their annual report.

A large number of coordinators (31.4%) did not respond to the question asking them to identify any specific experiences that they may have had when using CAIRS. Of those who responded to this multiple-choice question, 30.5% indicated that they find the system user-friendly and 8.6% that it is useful in their daily work. However, 10.5% said that it is not user-friendly and 21.9% that it is not useful to their institution; 10;5% stated that the system is slowftedious and 26.7% indicated that not all institutions update the system. Eighteen per cent of respondents provided other comments on the survey form.

Many of the respondents indicated they were unable to answer the question because they had little or no experience using the system. In some cases, they were unable to use the system because of technical problems or lack of training. Others indicated that the bulletin board and the report function were not functioning properly, that updates made to the

o 090f) 2

18

system are sometimes slow, and that the system must be searched for several consecutive days to identify whether any other institution has received the same or a. similar request. Finally, respondents noted that not all institutions input regularly into the

system. .

When asked how often they have sought technical assistance during the past year, more than two-thirds of respondents (67.6%) indicated having never requested such assistance, 14.3% stated that they have requested it once and 10.5% more than once. two of the respondents explained that they never received any answers to their requests for assistance: 7.6% of coordinators did not respond to the question.

In relation to the question 'What improvements can you suggest to CAIRS?" several respondents suggested that the search engine in CAIRS should be enhanced. They recommended making it easier to search by key word or by file number, and highlighting the search terms in the text. Several suggested using the bulletin board as a means to share information on points of common interest or concern and asked for the capability to send a general e-mail to all or selected distribution to other department(s) regarding their requests in GAIRS or a general message to the ATIP community. One respondent suggested adding response category including the eight disposition categories of completed requests from the annual report (such as All disclosed, Disclosed in part, Nothing disclosed (excluded), Nothing disclosed (exempt), Transferred, Unable to process, Abandoned by applicant or Treated informally) to the system. This information could be uploaded into CAIRS from ATIPflow. Other comments centred around addressing the administrative burden and additional costs that have been passed on to institutions with respect to the translation of the text of requests entered into CAIRS.

Other suggestions included: the need to update the archive function in GAIRS to .ellminate ATI requests in the system that are more than two years old; a SF system that would advise coordinators bye-mail that a deadline is approaching and that they must update their files in the system; the provision of more adequate training on the use of CAIRS; and giving the public access to the system through the Internet.

Only 28.6% of the respondents found CAIRS a necessary tool for their organization; 60% said that it is not; and 11.4% did not answer the question. Although a majority of respondents do not see CAIRS as being a "necessary" tool for their organization, many still consider it to be a useful tool for locating and identifying which departments have . received requests similar to the ones received by their institution. In fact, more than onethird of the 37 comments provided at the end of the survey were from coordinators who consider GAIRS to be a useful tool to their organization or other organizations. Some respondents even stated that CAIRS could become a "necessary" tool if all institutions subject to the A TIA are using it and are entering details of their requests into the central database on a regular and timely basis. One of the key advantages of CAIRS is that it allows' departments to know the types and details of requests received by others.

Some coordinators, who receive a very small volume of requests, explained that they use CAIRS as a basic tracking device for their own requests; and one respondent suggested adding additional features to CAIRS to make it more useful for organizations. For example, he suggested that it should contain all of the fields that are necessary to complete the annual and statistical reports to Parliament on the operation of the A TlA that institutions must submit to TBS at the end of every fiscal year.

Ofl0063

19

A number of respondents unfamiliar with GAIRS expressed interest in learning more about the system and its potential usefulness for their organization. Some comments were also made about the requirement to input the data-into GAIRS within one working day, as specified in the GAIR Policy. Some described this requirement as "overkill" as institutions do not always know at that time if the request will be processed formally or informally.

Finally, one coordinator pointed out that, given its cost/efficiency, the system should be discontinued. He noted that the cost related to the official language requirement to translate all entries was exorbitant and that the person hours spent on this type of administrative task would be better focused on the actual processing of the requests.

The results of the survey show us that much work remains to improve the GAIRS' overall usefulness and to ensure the full cooperation and participation of all government institutions and agencies. Given that a majority of institutions believe that CAIRS is not a necessary tool for their organization and that only a very small number of ATI requests are identified in CAIRS as requiring coordination, it is clear that legitimate concerns about the

value of this system need to be addressed. - -

3.5.2 To the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS)

TBS fulfils, through the Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division (IPSPD), the legislated role assigned to the President of the Treasury Board as the designated Minister responsible for the implementation and administration of the ATIA across government. To support this role, TBS develops and issues the policies and guidelines governing how the ATIP community applies the Act and its regulations, and monitors the implementation of these policies and guidelines within government institutions. While the ultimate decision regarding the disclosure of information and the application of the A TlA rests with the head of each government institution, TBS retains responsibility, as per the current GAIR Policy, for consulting with and advising departments about requests that have been identified as interdepartmental in scope or as involving major policy issues of government-wide

sign ificance.

TBS has filled this government-wide coordination and advisory role for the A TIA since 1983. Thus, the GAIR Policy approved by TB Ministers in 1989 did not assign TBS any new responsibilities, but rather defined its traditional role and provided a mechanism - GAIRS -for carrying it- out.

The advantages of GAIRS to TBS were apparent at the very early stage of its development. At the time, it was noted that had the system been operational, it would have saved a great deal of the effort and resources TBS had spent tracing requests involving major new legal and policy issues that had been made by a journalist to 22 separate institutions. The 22 requests straggled in over a period of two and half weeks. IBS learned about the requests several days into the process from a coordinator and had to devote considerable time in tracking down which departments had received the requests in question. By the time departments could be contacted, about a week and a half had elapsed. Once all the necessary verification had been completed, a meeting of all departments that had received the request was convened with TBS and DOJ, which provided legal and policy advice to assist the departments to expedite the processing of the requests. From this experience, it was evident that the coordination of requests across

20

OOfJOe 4

government could be a very time-consuming exercise and that a system like CAl RS would have been of great benefit to TBS in this situation.

As soon as CAIRS became operational, TBS portfolio officers (IPSPD officers) started monitoring the system on a daily basis in order to identify ATI requests sent to more than one institution or requests involving precedent-setting legal or policy issues. However, the identification process in CAIRS was not always easy since requesters could, using different wording, request the same information from several departments. Portfolio officers had to rely on their knowledge and experience to ensure that adequate coordination and consultation occurred in those cases.

IPSPD officers also discovered that not all institutions and agencies listed in Schedule 1 of the A TIA were contributing regularly to the system's central database. Although a number of departments were prompt in entering the text of their requests, many were batching their requests and entering them days or even weeks after they had been received. In

. addition, . other institutions were not contributing at all to the system. On several occasions, TBS did remind departments by phone or through its "lrnplementatlon Reports" that the CAIR Policy requires them to enter details of their requests into the system within one working day of receipt. While it was 'recognized that this was not possible 100 percent of the time, TBS advised departments that input into CAIRS should become an automatic element of registering a request. Otherwise the system could not fulfil its basic function: to give an early warning of the need for consultation or coordination.

The fact that many institutions were (and are still) not contributing to CAIRS on a regular and timely basis means the data in the system database is either incomplete or not current. As a result of this Situation, CAIRS' overall usefulness has been greatly limited and IPSPD officers must sometimes contact departments directly by phone or e-mail to determine if they have received a request on a specific topic. This time-consuming process is at times the only reliable way IPSPD has of ensuring that coordination takes place in an appropriate manner. .

Currently, IPSPD officers use CAIRS an average of once every two or three months for the purpose of monitoring or coordinating ATI requests .. Most of the time, searches of the CAIRS database are prompted by a call received from an ATIP office wanting to know if other departments have received a request on a specific topic. In addition to searching the database, IPSPD may alsocontact other departments by phone to verify if they have received the same or a Similar request. Depending on the nature and complexity of the request, IPSPD may convene a meeting of all departments that have received the request to offer them advice and guidance on difficult or precedent-setting cases. Typically, representatives of the Information Law and Privacy (ILAP) Section of DOJ also partiCipate in those meetings to provide legal interpretation and advice.

The review has reveaied that TBS is also using the system to monitor and analyse trends in the type of information that is formally requested under the provisions of the A TIA. For example, in the fall of 2003, IPSPD conducted a study of CAIRS to identity the information most frequently requested from institutions under the A TJA. The purpose of the review was to identify which type of information Canadians regularly request and to 'determine if any of that information could be routinely disclosed to them on an informal basis. The details of more than 6,800 requests entered into the system during a period of almost four months were reviewed for the purpose of the study.

01)0005,

21

Based on the results of this study, TBS has initiated a series of initiatives to make available information that is most often requested through ATI requests. Among other initiatives, travel and hospitality expenses of senior officials have been publicly posted on the TBS website since March 31, 2004 and this information will be followed in the next few months by the proactive disclosure of contract-related information. Although CAIRS was not specifically desiqneo for that purpose, TBS officials did acknowledge that, without the data in CAIRS, it would have been extremely difficult and time-consuming for them to identity the information most frequently requested from institutions under the Act. To do so would have required direct consultation and verification with government institutions.

Being listed in Schedule 1 of the A TIA, TBS must also comply with all of the requirements of the CAIR Policy. Accordingly, TBS ATIP officers are uploading to CAIRSdetaiis of all the ATI requests received by the Secretariat. They are also conducting searches of the system on a regular basis to determine whether or not other institutions have received ATI requests on a specific topic, The ATIP Office also uses the system for the purpose of processing ATI requests it receives every month for CAIRS data.

TBS ATIP staff also regularly reviews CAIRS entries to determine whether personal

, information has inadvertently been included in the system. If personal information is found, the responsible ATIP office is notified and asked to amend the entry.

To address this important privacy issue, IPSPD has reminded ATIP coordinators on several occasions through its "Implementation Reports" that care must be taken to ensure that personal identifiers (including names, addresses, or details of relationships) are not included in the database. Although the situation has greatly improved, it has never been fully resolved. For this reason, to ensure that personal information ls not inadvertently disclosed in response to an A TI request, TBS A TI P staff thoroughly reviews all the information in CAIRS before providing access to it. TBS considers the vetting of CAIRS records to be not only a safeguard, but also an obligation on its part, to ensure the appropriate protection of personal information.

A final problem TBS faces is ensuring institutions are meeting their obligations under the Official Languages Act (OLA) when entering the text of their requests into the system. On December 15,2003, TBS issued Information Notice #2003-15 to all ATIP coordinators to clarify institutional obligations under the OLA with respect to ATI requests entered into

, CAIRS9• A copy of the Information Notice is attached as APPENDlX "I".

3.5.3 To the Department of Justice (DOJ)

DOJ is, along with T8S, the department responsible for the ATIA and, as such, monitors its implementation and prepares proposals for reform. It also has the additional. responsibility of providing legal advice on the interpretation of the Act to most government institutions and to represent these institutions before the Federal Court and the Supreme Court in litigation arising from the Act. Through its Legal Services Unit, Litigation Units and the ILAP Section, DOJ has thus been providing legal interpretation and advice to

9 To determine the level of compliance with the directives given, TBS reviewed all eritries that government institutions made into CAIRS from December 15, 2003 to April 14, 2004. The review revealed that only a small number of institutions are following the instructions provided by the Board to ensure adherence to-the Official Languages Act.

(}'o 0'06 G

22 .

government institutions respecting the provisions of the A TIA since the Act came into force in 1983.

As with TBS, DOJ has been assigned the responsibility under the CAIR Policy to consult with and advise government institutions regarding requests that are identified as interdepartmental in scope or as involving major legal or policy issues of government-wide significance. By requiring DOJ to interact with CAIRS to help departments deal with requests involving difficult legal or policy interpretation issues, the CAIR Policy thus acknowledged DOJ's traditional role under the ATIA.

ILAP officials did monitor the system regularly for a few years after it became fully operational in January 1990. At that time, they were searching the system on almost a

. daily basis to identify any ATI requests that would involve new legal or policy issues or those that were common to several institutions. After having monitored CAIRS for a few years, however, ILAP concluded that the data in CAIRS was incomplete, not up-to-date and sometimes unreliable. Because not all institutions were contributing to CAIRS on a regular and timely basis, ILAP officials gradually used the system less and less frequently, to a point where they simply stopped using it altogether. The ILAP Section has not used CAIRS since at least 1999.

Based on its experience with CAIRS, the ILAP Section of the DOJ is of the view that the system, as it currently exists, is not really beneficial to its work and that the information in the system is not critical to its operations. The ILAP Section uses its regular contacts with departmental legal counsel and with litigation counsel to identify legal issues that may require the coordination of legal advice and, ultimately, the adoption of a common legal position from the DOJ as a whole.

That said, the department is prepared to revisit the issue, provided that all institutions to which the CAIR Policy applies are contributing to the system, as required under the Policy, and that the entries in the database are current, accurate and complete. If these conditions are met, the system could then become of some use to DOJ. Otherwise, it would be of little or no practical value to the department.

As with other institutions listed in Schedule 1 of the Act, DOJ is also subject to the requirements of the CAIR Policy. To this end, the ATIP Office inputs details of all the ATI requests that the department received onto CAIRS. The office confirmed that it does not use the system for any purpose other than to determine whether other institutions have received requests on a specific topic. Once again, because not all institutions are participating in the system, the ATIP Office also does not consider CAIRS a necessary tool for the department.

3.5.4 To the general public

Shortly after CAIRS was implemented in the late summer of 1989, PWGSC started receiving ATI requests for printouts of entries made in the central database or for reports of requests received by institution. Although there is nothing in the existing CAIR Policy that addresses the issue of making CAIRS data publicly available, CAIRS was designed with these types of requests in mind. Since, in theory, no personal or other exemptible information should be entered into the system, there should have been no issue with making all the data in the system's database publicly available. At the time, it was even

23

suggested the database be made publicly available on a periodic basis through the sale of diskettes or some other medium, thus removing CAIRS from the coverage of the A TIA.

Although requests from non-government personnel for all the data in CAIRS were anticipated from the beginning of-the project, public access to the online central database was always refused. The system was designed as an automated internal government network to be accessed only by authorized users (i.e., TBS, DOJ, PWGSC and ATIP' officers) to assist in better management of the ATI process across government. The' system was not conceived to serve users of the ATllegislation or as a public enquiry , system; and, with a limited number of access lines at that time, there was concern that extraneous use could critically overload the system.

Another reason for refUSing online public access to the CAIRS database was the legitimate concern about unauthorized disclosure of personal or confidential "third party" information that had been inadvertently uploaded into the system by individual ATIP offices. Although the names of applicants were automatically excluded from the system, it was found that, due to an error of input, personal or other information that should be exempted was occasionally left in the text of requests before they were entered in the system. While the existence of personal information in the system was (and is still) not extensive, any personal information is enough to cause concern from a privacy perspective. There has been some improvement on this issue in recent years, but the situation has never been fully resolved.

When CAIRS was being upgraded in 1999 to make.it fully Y2K compliant and accessible via Internet-based technology, there was a proposal. to provide the media and the general public with read-only access to certain fields in CAIRS, According to records, the public website would have been very similar to the one that is currently being used by ATIP offices. The Public search Window would have included a subset of the ATIP search' fields. After entering the search criteria and preSSing the Search button, the screen would have come back with the results at the bottom, showing the ATI request number, department and a text summary. Clicking on the request number would have taken the user to the details for that particular request. In addition, the public site would have also incorporated a menu where the user could have changed language, gone the Contact Us page, accessed Help, gone back to the Search page or linked to the Canada Site. Printed screens of the proposed Public Search Window are attached as APPENDIX "J".

In June 2001, the system had the technical capability to allow public access to CAl RS; however, the existence of a number of procedural and policy issues led TBS to postpone

24

000058

the implementation of this feature. First, the upgrade of CAl RS was done without the benefit of feasibility or impact studies, nor were consultations with users conducted. In addition, the system was not ready to go online for the following reasons: '

1. There was concern about the disclosure of personal information,inadvertently uploaded into CAIRS by individual ATIP offices (see details above).

2. Public access to CAIRS would require that the information contained in the database be available in both official languages. Both the translation costs (estimated in the range of $260,000 and $370,000)10 and the time required for the translation would need to be addressed.

3. Access should be provided to closed requests and not new or active requests.

While institutions are entering new requests in CAIRS, only relatively few are identified as closed in the system.

Furthermore, because many institutions are not contributing to CAIRS on a regular basis, the current database is incomplete. Unless TBS can ensure that the information is timely, accurate and complete, making CAIRS publicly accessible on-line would be of limited value to the public.

In January 2003, TBS took over CAIRS from PWGSC and began to process allATI requests for CAIRS data. Each month, TBS receives between two to four formal requests for new entries registered inCAIRS. As has beeh explained elsewhere in this report, because of the need to protect personal information, a close review of the CAIRS data is required prior to disclosure. As well, consultations are required with some institutions when any other sensitive infonnation is identified that might require exemption under the A TIA. Once this review is completed and any necessary action taken, the releasable information from CAIRS is provided to the requester, within the prescribed time frame sets out in the A TIA.

TBS is of the view that it is meeting its obligations under the A TIA when it discloses information from the CAIRS database upon receipt of requests from requesters. It was explained that, apart from one applicant, who complained to thelntormanon Commissioner that CAIRS data should be made publicly available online, there has been no significant

, demand for online access to CAl RS data.

In its June 2002 report entitled "Access to Information: Making it work for Canadians', the ATI Review Task Force recommended, as a means of facilitating the openness of the access process, that CAIRS be redesigned to make it more user-friendly, and that its component containing information on completed requests across government be made available to the public on a government website. The Review Task Force was of the view that a public website containing a searchable list of completed access requests would

10 The estlrnateot $260,000 was calculated based on the costs incurred by National Defence for the translation of that department's A riA requests summaries that are posted in both official languages on its web site. The estimate was calculated by taking into account the volume of requests then registered in CAIRS and the volume of requests translated by National Defence.

The estimate of $370,000 was provided by the Translation Office at PWGSC based on a one-month sample of CAIRS entries.

25

00006'9

inform users about information that has been previously requested, allow for more extensive research on the use of the Act, and show Canadians how the Act is working. The Review Task Force also recommended that government institutions be encouraged to post summaries of the information they have released which may be of interest to others, in addition of depositing a hard copy of the documents in their reading rooms.

OfJOO't' 0

26

4. ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS

The objective of the GAIR Policy is "to ensure that the statutory requirements and the intent of the Access to Information Act and the Access to Information Regulations are met in a consistent manner on a government-wide basis." GAIRS was developed as a tool to help institutions identify requests received under the A TIA that may raise matters that are interdepartmental in scope or involving major new legal or policy issues, and to facilitate a coordinated response to such requests.

To ensure the system achieve its objectives in support of the GAIR Policy, the ongoing commitment of all of the institutions subject to the GAIR Policy including TBS and DOJ, is required. But reality paints a very different picture.

The review confirmed that not all institutions are submitting details of their ATI requests into the system central database on a regular and timely basis, and that some institutions

o are not contributing at all to the system. The fact that entries in CAIRS are either incomplete or not current impairs the basic functionality of the system. Furthermore, a large number of institutions indicated that they are not conducting searches on GAIRS to determine whether other institutions have received A TI requests on a specific topic in order to assess their own consultation requirements. They are relying on the telephone, email or meetings to communicate with each other in order to obtain information about ATI requests or to notify others of the need for consultation or coordination.

In addition, personal information is still inadvertently entered into the CAIRS database from time to time, an ongoing cause for concern from a privacy perspective. Despite numerous warnings from TBS and even the OPG that care should be taken to remove applicants' and other personal identifiers prior to entering the information into CAIRS, this problem has never been fully resolved since CAIRS was launched in 1989. Since the OPC has stated that any disclosure of an individual's personal information from one ATIP office to another without the individual's consent - outside the provisions of section 8(2) of the Privacy Act - constitutes a contravention of the Act, all entries in GAIRS must be thoroughly reviewed before they can be released to any ATIP offices or requesters.

Another concern relates to compliance with the OLA when entering requests into GAIRS. When an ATIP office produces a summary of an ATI request or uses an abridged version of the applicant's original text, that summary or the abridged version must be entered into the system in both official languages. The translation requirement does not apply when the full text (not summaries, as is the most common practice) of the request is entered into the system. Although TBS has issued instructions to assist institutions in meeting their obligations under the OLA, only a small-number of institutions are following them.

The review has also confirmed that TB8, which is responsible for monitoring new ATI requests in CAl RS on a daily basis to determine if any requests are interdepartmental in scope or involve major new policy or legal issues of government-wide significance, only uses the system once every two or three months for that purpose or for the purpose of coordinating requests. The DOJ, which has been assigned similar responsibilities under the GAIR Policy, has not used the system for coordination or consultation purposes since 1999.

27

Iln(l n"J uuouv;1

".

TBS and DOJ have indicated that the system, as it currently exists, is of little or no practical value for coordination purposes. Consequently, both central agencies are relying on their regular contacts within institutions to be informed about ATI requests involving new policy or legal issues that may require coordination. Again, these practices defeat the initial intent and purpose for which CAIRS was designed, which is for both TBS and DOJ to scan new entries in CAIRS on a daily basis to assess and respond to the coordination requirements of government institutions.

It has also been established that TBS has not always been able to efficiently fulfil Its

- responsibility to monitor institutions' compliance with the CAIR Policy due to insufficient resources. This lack of monitoring and enforcement mechanisms is one of the significant reasons for compliance deficiencies with CAIRS. These deficiencies greatly limit the value and effectiveness of CAIRS to all users of the system.

Another factor that raises fundamental questions about CAIRS' effectiveness is the very small number of ATI requests that are identified in the system as requiring coordination. Based on an examination of CAIRS data covering the last two fiscal years, it was found that, on average, less than three requests per month are identified by institutions as requiring coordination. Further, according to TBS officials, only a very small percentage of these requests are actually raising matters that would require coordination arrangements. Of the 59 requests that were so identified in the course of the last two fiscal years, only three cases necessitated coordination arrangements from TBS. Such a tiny number simply cannot justify the use of an automated system like CAIRS.

Overall, the review found that CAIRS, as it currently exists, does not work effectively and efficiently as a government-wide coordination and consultation tool. Serious compliance issues and deficiencies concerning this system greatly affect its value and usefulness to all institutions, including TBS and DOJ. The review has also concluded that the small number of ATI requests received annually requiring coordination does not justify the time, resources and money that are needed to ensure full institutional compliance and make the system work the way it was originally intended.

5. OPTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The terms of reference under which this review was conducted permit the development of options and recommendations for improving/addressing issues that have been identified with the CAl R Policy and System.

The review's conclusions suggest one of two broad approaches could be taken to address the issues raised by CAIRS and its associated policy:

(a) Maintain CAIRS and ensure compliance with the existing CAIR Policy (b) Repeal the CAIR Policy

00'00,72

28

5.1 Option (a): Maintain CAIRS and ensure compliance with the existing CAiR Policy

This option does not involve changing the existing CAIR Policy but focuses. on strengthening compliance of institutions, where required, with the policy requirements.

There is currently a broad general duty in the CAIR Policy for TBS to monitor institutions' compliance based on their annual and statistical reports to Parliament on the application of the ATIA. However, the review did find that TBS has not been able to fulfil this function efficiently due to lack of sufficient resources. It was clear during the review that the lack of monitoring and enforcement mechanisms was the main reason for the level of noncompliance with the policy.

It is possible that active monitoring, increased information to institutions, and the application of some enforcement measures could achieve some improvement. However, given the extent and nature of the problem, we are of the view that these compliance issues are not likely to be fully addressed, especially within small institutions. The review found that, . despite numerous warnings from TBS, the problem of non-compliance has. been persistent since CAIRS became fully operational in 1990.

Further, even if compliance issues with CAIRS were fully addressed, the small number of ATI requests requiring coordination from a government-wide perspective does not justify the use of an automated system like CAl RS, which requires extensive input and ongoing monitoring from partiCipating institutions. For this reason, the second option is recommended.

5.2 Option (b): Repeal the CAIR Policy

This option recognises that CAIRS, as it currently exists, is of little or no practical value to institutions and central agencies for coordination purposes and, as a result, it should qe discontinued.

This option would involve repealing the CAIR Policy and developing guidelines and practical alternatives to ensure that new ATI requests that raise matters that are interdepartmental in scope or involve major new legal or policy issues of government-wide significance continue to be identified and coordinated. Any new guidelines for the purposes of identifying or coordinating such requests would involve amending the relevant section/chapter of the ATI Policy and guidelines.

29

0:£100·'" 'i

.. t .~}

6. A FINAL COMMENT

The findings of the review highlight the need for action and intervention in a number of areas. There is now an opportunity for all stakeholders to respond to the findings of the review and the options and recommendations put forward for consideration. This consultation will be an important part of the process and will hopefully elicit further insights and positive ideas regarding the future of the CAIR Policy and System and about the implementation of any other central system to help ensure that the statutory requirements

.. and the intent of the A TfA are met in a consistent manner on a government-wide basis.

O()(J07S

32

APPENDIX" A"

EXCERPT FROM THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT

SECTION 70

Duties and functions of designated Minister

70. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the designated Minister shall

(a) cause to be kept under review the manner in which records under the control of gover~ment institutions are maintained and managed to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Act and the regulations relating to access to records;

(b) prescribe such forms as may be required for the operation of this Act and the regulations;

(c) cause to be prepared and distributed to government institutions directives and guidelines concerning the operation of this Act and the regulations; and

(d) prescribe the form of. and what information is to be included in, reports made to Parliament under section 72.

33

OOO(J77

APPENDIX "8"

POLICY FOR THE COORDINATION OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION REQUESTS

34

POLICY OBJECTIVE

To ensure that the statutory requirements and the intent of the Access to Information Act and the Access to Information Regulations are met in a consistent manner on a government-wide basis.

POLICY STATEMENT

It is the policy of the government to ensure that requests received under the Access to Information Act, which may raise matters that are interdepartmental in scope, or involving major legal or policy issues are identified and coordinated.

This identification and coordination will take place under the principles that:

• Identification and coordination through consultation should improve decisionmaking concerning access to information requests;

• Under no circumstances will consultation be used to delay or obstruct a request beyond the time limits set out in the Access to Information Act;

• Heads of institutions bear the ultimate responsibility for all decisions relating to the disposition of access requests that they receive, subject only to the review procedures provided in the Act.

APPLICATION

This policy applies to all government institutions listed in Schedule I of the Access to Information Act.

POLICY REQUIREMENTS

Government institutions must:

• Provide details of every request made to them under the Access to Information Act excluding any personal identifiers to the Coordination of Access to Information Requests (CAIR) System, maintained by the Department of Supply and Services, within one working day of receipt, in accordance with the operating procedures of the system;

.• Identify to the CAIR System those requests which, in their opinion, raise matters that are interdepartmental in scope or involve major legal or policy issues;

• Participate in coordination and consultation arrangements arising from the CAIR System.

000079

35

RESPONSIBILITIES

Treasury Board Secretariat and the Department of Justice have a responsibility to consult with and advise government institutions regarding requests that have been identified as interdepartmental iti scope or as involving major legal or policy issues of government-wide significance.

The Department of Supply and Services is responsible for managing and operating the CAIR System.

MONITORING

Treasury Board Secretariat will monitor compliance with the policy based on the Access to Information Annual Reports of government institutions.

REFERENCES

This policy is issued under the authority of paragraph 70(1 )(c) of the Access to Information Act.

Reference should also be made to the Treasury Board Guidelines Relating to the Administration of the Access to Information Act.

ENQUIRIES

. Enquiries concerning this policy should be addressed to Information Management Practlces.Admlnlstrative Policy Branch, Treasury Board Secretariat.

OOo.on {}

36

APPENDIX "C"

Fields contained in a CAIR System Record

Description of information CAIR Field name Abbreviation Type*
Originating department DEPARTMENT DEP T
Text of request TEXT . TEXT T
Request number REQUEST_NO REQ N
Organization code for requester ORGANIZATION ORG T
Consultation required (YIN) CONSULTATION CON T
Coordination required (YIN) COORDINATION CON T
Received Initial date RI RI N
Received Final date RF RF N
Date added to Central CAl R RC RC N
Date last modified on Central CAIR MC MC N
Number of extension days EXTENSION EXT N
Completion Date CD CD N
Due Initial Date 01 or N
Due Final Date DF DF N *Type

T - Indicates a text filed

N - Indicates a numeric field

000081·

.37

APPENDIX "0"

(Except from the Memorandum of Understanding 12 between TBS and PWGSC for the CAIR System for the period of April 1 , 2003 to March 31, 2004)

RESOURCE ALLOCATION

Application management Services

- Basic services

$12,000

Network and Computing Services

- Ongoing infrastructure usage cost

- Ongoing infrastructure support

No releases planned for the application (per diem @ $780/day)

$ 2,268 15,958

o

$ 18,226

------

------

18,226 o

Telecommunications Services

TOTAL

$30,226

======

NOTES:

1) There are no costs for printing and distribution services provided by ST. Joseph's Corporation (Canada Communications Group). These charges will be additional to the above costs.

2) This is only for the support and corrective maintenance for the CAIRS application.

New cost will be estimated separately and a service agreement will be negotiated with the client, for any enhancements requested to the system. Any enhancement to the application may have an impact on the cost of this MOU and it will be evaluated case by case.

3) No releases are planned for fiscal year 2003-2004. If there is a need for a release, this MOU will have to be changed to incorporate the cost for that release.

4) PWGSC will absorb the total support cost of $30,226 for fiscal year 2003-2004.

TBS will be funding after 2003-2004, as PWGSC will not be in a position to continue fund this application. Each year a new agreement will be negotiated with TBS.

12 March 25, 2003 Version 1.0

o Ol~08 2

38

ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT

SCHEDULE I (Section 3)

GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS

Departments and Ministries of State

1) Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food

2) Department of Canadian Heritage

3) Department of Citizenship and Immigration

4) Department of the Environment

5) Department of Finance

6) Department of Fisheries and Oceans

7) Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

8) Department of Health

9) Department of Human Resources Development

10) Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

11) Department of Industry

12) Department of Justice

13) Department of National Defence

14) Department of Natural Resources

15) Department of Public Works and Government Services

16) Department of the SOlicitor General

17) Department of Transport

18) Department of Veterans Affairs

19) Department of Western Economic Diversification

Other Government Institutions

39

APPENDIX "E"

000083

1) Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
2) Atlantic Pilotage Authority
3) Bank of Canada 13
4) Belledune Port Authority
5) Blue Water Bridge Authority
6) British Columbia Treaty Commission
7) Business Development Bank of Canada
8) Canada Border Services Agency
9) Canada Council for the Arts 10) Canada Customs and Revenue Agency

11) Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation

12) Canada Employment Insurance Commission

13) Canada Industrial Relations Board

14) Canada Lands Company Limited

15) Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

16) Canada-Newtoundlano Offshore Petroleum Board

17) Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board

18) Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women

19) Canadian Air Transport Security Authority

20) Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal

21) Canadian Centre for Management Development

22) Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

23) Canadian Commercial Corporation

24) Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board

25) Canadian Dairy Commission

26) Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

27) Canadian Firearms Centre

28) Canadian Food Inspection Agency

29) Canadian Forces

13 TheTBS CAIR Policy applies to all government institutions listed in Schedule 1 of the Access to Information Act, except the Bank of Canada.

40

00.0084

30) Canadian Forces Grievance Board'

31) Canadian Government Specifications Board

32) Canadian Grain Commission

33) Canadian Human Rights Commission

34) Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

35) Canadian Institutes of Health Research

36) Canadian International Development Agency

37) Canadian International Trade Tribunal

38) Canadian Museum of Civilization

39) Canadian Museum of Nature

40) Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

41) Canadian Polar Commission

42) Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

43) Canadian Security Intelligence Service

44) Canadian Space Agency

. 45) Canadian Tourism Commission

46) Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board '47) Canadian Transportation Agency

48) Copyright Board

49) Communication Canada

. 50) Correctional Service of Canada

51) Defence Construction (1951) Limited

52) Department of Human Resources and Skills Development

53) Department of International Trade

54) Director of Soldier Settlement

55) The Director, The Veterans' Land Act

56) Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

57) Energy Supplies Allocation Board

58) Ethics Counsellor

59) Farm Credit Canada

60) The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited

41

000085

61) Federal-Provincial Relations Office

·62) Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

63) Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada

64) Fraser River Port Authority

65) Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation

66) Grain Transportation Agency Administrator

67) Great Lakes Pilotage Authority

68) Gwich'in Land and Water Board

69) Gwich'in Land Use Planning Board

70) Halifax Port Authority

71) Hamilton Port Authority

72) Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission

73) Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada

74) Immigration and Refugee Board

75) International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development

76) International Development Research Centre

77) The Jacques-Cartier and Champlain Bridges Inc.

78) Laurentian Pilotage Authority

79) Law Commission of Canada

80) Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board

81) Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board

82) Merchant Seamen Compensation Board

83) Military Police Complaints Commission

84) Montreal Port Authority

85) Nanaimo Port Authority

86) National Archives of Canada

87) The National Battlefields Commission

88) National Capital Commission

89) National Energy Board

90) National Farm Products Council

91) National Film Board

42

92) National Gallery of Canada

93) National Library

94) National Museum of Science and Technology

95) National Parole Board

96) National Research Council of Canada

97) National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy

98) Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

99) Northern Pipeline Agency

100) North Fraser Port Authority

101) Northwest Territories Water Board

102) Nunavut Surface Rights Tribunal

103) Nunavut Water Board

104) Office of Indian Residential Schools Resolution of Canada

105) Office of Infrastructure of Canada

106) Office of Privatization and Regulatory Affairs

107) Office of the Comptroller General

108) Office of the Co-ordinator; Status of Women

109) Office of the Correctional Investigator of Canada

110) Office of the Inspector General of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service

111) Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions

112) Pacific Pilotage Authority

113) Parks Canada Agency

114) Patented Medicine Prices Review Board

115) Pension Appeals Board

116) Petroleum Compensation Board

117) Port Alberni Port Authority

118) Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration

119) Prince Rupert Port Authority

120) Privy Council Office

121) Public Service Commission

122) Public Service Human Resources Management Agency. of Canada

43

123) Public Service Staffing Tribunal

124) Public Service Staff Relations Board

125) Quebec Port Authority

126) Regional Development Incentives Board

127) Royal Canadlan Mint

128) Royal Canadian Mounted Police

129) Royal Canadian Mounted Police External Review Committee

130) Royal Canadian Mounted Police Public Complaints Commission

131) Saguenay Port Authority

132) Sahtu Land and Water Board

133) Sahtu Land Use Planning Board

134) Saint John Port Authority

135) The Seaway International Bridge Corporation, Ltd.

136) Security Intelligence Review Committee

137) Sept-lies Port Authority

138) Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

139) Standards Council of Canada

140) Statistics Canada

141) Statute Revision Commission

142) St. John's Port Authority

143) Telefilm Canada

144) Thunder Bay Port Authority

145) Toronto Port Authority

146) Treasury Board Secretariat

147) Trois-Rivieres Port Authority

148) Vancouver Port Authority

149) Veterans Review and Appeal Board

150) ·Windsor Port Authority

151) Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board

152) Yukon Surface Rights Board

44

'O'O-OOB8

APPENDIX "F"

No.:

DATE:

TO:

SUBJECT:

2004-03

February 13, 2004

Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Coordinators Survey on the CAIR System

As you are no doubt aware, the Treasury Board Secretariat is conducting a review of its entire policy suite. As part of the overall review process, the Treasury Board Policy for the Coordination of Access to Information Requests (CAIR Policy) and the CAIR System are being reviewed. To this end, the Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division (IPSPD) would like to obtain the views of the ATIP Community on the benefits of the CAIR System and on the frequency of its use.

As I understand it, at most institutions, the Coordinator delegates the responsibility for entering data on the CAIR System. I would greatly appreciate it if the ATIP Coordinator could review the attached CAl R Policy with the appropriate officials from your office

who work with the CAIR System, fill out the enclosed questionnaire together and return it to Francis Larose of IPSPD by Friday, February 27,2004. We wish to obtain one reply per institution. The ATIP Coordinator's direct participation in this short survey, which

should take only five to ten minutes to complete, will be most helpful in allowing us to determine the effectiveness of the CAIR System within the ATIP Community.

You may respond by fax at (613) 952-7287, or by mail to the following address:

Francis Larose Administrative Coordinator

Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat L'Esplanade Laurier, East Tower

140 O'Connor Street, 8th Floor

Ottawa, Ontario K1A OR5

The survey will also be sent bye-mail and you may answer the ten survey questions electronically. When sending your response, please ensure that you save the completed questionnaire and forward it as an attachment to Larose. Francis@tbs-sct.gc.ca.

Should you have any questions, please contact Francis Larose at (613) 946-4955 or Terry Murray at (613) 941-4462 or at Murray.Terry@tbs-sct.gc.ca.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for completing this survey, thus helping us to improve our service and meet your expectations.

Anne Brennan Senior Director

Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division Chief, Information Officer Branch

OO·(UJ8 a

45

ATIP Community Survey on the

Coordinated Access to Information Requests (eAIR) System

NOTE: The CAIR System was created as a means of complying with the Treasury Board Policy for the Coordination of Access to Information Requests (CAIR Policy, 1989). The original intent of the GAIR System was to ensure that requests received under the Access to Information Act, which raise matters that are interdepartmental in scope or involve major legal or policy issues, are identified and coordinated.

1. Name of institution:

2. Prior to this survey, were you familiar with the requirements of the Treasury Board Policy for the Coordination of Access to Information Requests (CAIR)?

rYes r No

3. How often does your institution input details of its ATI requests onto the GAIR

System?

r Within two days of receiving requests r Weekly

C Monthly

r Never

r Other

4. How often does your institution conduct searches of the GAIR System to determine whether or not other institutions have received ATI requests on a specific topic?

r

Once a year

r; Two to five times per year r

Six to ten times per year

C More than ten times per year r

Never

46

5. Do you currently use alternatives to the CAIR System to determine whether other institutions have received ATI requests on a specific topic?

r NO rYES

If Yes, please indicate below all that apply:

r Telephone check with other ATIP offices r E-mail check with other A TI P offices

r Other alternatives - please specify:

6. Does your institution use the CAIR System for any purpose(s) other than to determine whether or not other institutions have received requests on a specific topic?

r No

r Yes. If Yes, please specify:

7. Please identify any specific experiences that you may have had when using the CAIR System. Check all that apply:

r The CAl R System is user-friendly

r The CAl R System is useful in our daily work r.: The CAIR System is slow/tedious

r The CAIR System is not user-friendly

r The CAIR System is not updated by all institutions

r The information on the CAIR System is not useful to our institution r

Other - Please specify:

8. How often have you sought technical assistance during the past fiscal year regarding the CAl R System?

n

Never

r Once

C Two to five times r Six to ten times

r More than ten times

000091

47

9. What improvements can you suggest to the CAIR System?

10. Do you consider the CAIR System to be a necessary tool for your organization?

rYes I" No

Additional Comments:

48

OOO,O!) 2

APPENDIX "G"

ACCESS TO INFORMATION - 2002-2003

Institutions ranked in "Most requests Received" Order

REQUESTS REQUESTS UNREPORTED
INSTITUTION RECEIVED INCAIRS REQUESTS
2002-2003 2002-2003 IN CAIRS
Citizenship and Immigration Canada 7,444 7,433 -11
Health Canada 1,367 1,351 -16
National Archives of Canada 1340 452 -888
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency 1,337 1,243 -94
National Defence 1,316 1,316 0
Public Works and Government Services
Canada 946 928 -18
Trans_Q_ort Canada 641 624 -17
Environment Canada 598 597 - 1
Royal Canadian Mounted Police 594 603 +9
Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Canada 529 532 +3
Other Departments 6,865 5,800 -1,065
TOTAL 22,977(1) 20,879(2) 2,098(3) (1) Institutions in their ATIA annual and statistical reports to Parliament for fiscal year 2002-2003 reported 22,977 ATI requests.

(2) 20,879 ATI requests were entered into CAIRS (Date Received Final) during the period from April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2003 inclusive.

(3) 2,098 or 9.1 % of all the ATI requests recorded by institutions in their annual and statistical reports to Parliament for fiscal year 2002-2003 were not declared in the CAl R System for the period.

. o:.OBOe 3·

49

APPENDIX "H"

Number of ATI requests identified in CAIRS as requiring coordination for fiscal years 2002-2003 and 2003-2004

INSTITUTION 2002- 2003- TOTAL %
2003 2004
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Reaions 1 1 2 3.4
Canada Firearms Centre - 1 1 1.7
Canada Revenue Agency_ 3 - 3 5.1
Canadian Commercial Co~oration - 3 3 5.1
Canadian Industrial Relations Board - 1 1 1.7
Canadian I nstitutes of Health Research 2 - 2 3.4
Canadian International Trade Tribunal 1 - 1 1.7
Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications
Commission - 5 5 8.4
Canadian Space Agency - 3 3 5.1
Citizenship and Immigration Canada 1 - 1 1.7
Defence Construction Limited 1 7 8 13.5
Department of Fisheries and Oceans 1 - 1 1.7
Environment Canada - 1 1 1.7
National Capital Commission 1 - 1 1.7
National Energy Board - 1 1 1.7
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council 1 1 2 3.4
Statistics Canada 1 - 1 1.7
Telefilm Canada 9 13 22 37.3

TOTAL 22(1) 371~/ 59(3) 100(4) (1) Of the 20,879 ATI requests (Date Final Received) reported in CAIRS for 2002- 2003, only 22 were identified in the system as requiring coordination. This represents 0.1 % of all the requests that were entered in CAIRS during that fiscal year, roughly a 1000 to 1 ratio.

(2) 37 or 0.17% of the 21,579 requests (Date Final Received) entered into the system for fiscal year 2003-2004 were identified as requiring coordination.

(3) 18 government institutions identified a total of 59 ATI requests in the CAIR System as requiring coordination during fiscal years 2002-2003 and 2003-2004. On average, this means that less than three ATI requests per month were identified as requiring coordination during the fiscal years in question.

(4) Two of the institutions, Defence Construction Limited and Telefilm Canada, account for more than 50% of all the requests that were identified in the system as requiring coordination.

50

000084

r .

APPENDIX "I"

ATIP Information Notice

No.:

DATE:

TO:

SUBJECT:

2003-15

December 16, 2003

Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Community

Official Languages Requirements and the CAIR System

This note is to clarify institutional obligations under the Official Languages Act (OlA) with . respect to Access to Information Act requests entered into the Coordination Access to Information Requests (CAIR) System.

When an A TIP Office produces a summary of an access request or uses an abridged version of the applicant's original text, that summary or abridged version must be entered into 'the CAIR System in both official languages.

Please note that this translation requirement does not apply to entries that include the full text of the applicant's request. The "full text" of a request includes all the information that appears in the portion "Provide details regarding the information being

sought" of the access to information request form (TBS 350-57) and in any description of the information sought that is appended to the form. When a letter is used rather than the request form, "full text" means the entire body of the letter.

Moreover, it is not necessary to translate entries when the full text was modified solely for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the Privacy Act, Le. by removing (or by "hiding" when using the ATIPflowtracking system) personal information such as names of individuals, personal addresses, details of relationships between individuals, personal identifiers or any information that could identify the individual. On rare occasions, confidential information subject to the exemption or exclusion provisions of the Access to Information Act may also be removed without triggering the requirement to translate the request.

Finally, it is not necessary to translate requests that have been reformulated by a government employee as long as the requester agrees to this rewording and acknowledges that it now replaces the original request.

51

We are presently working with Public Works and Government Services Canada to post a notice in the CAIR system to advise users that summaries and abridged requests entered in the system after December 16, 2003, appear in both official languages. In addition, we will investigate possible enhancements to the tracking and CAIR systems to minimize the impact on work processes. As an interim measure, we are asking institutions to insert one of the following standard phrases at the beginning of each entry:

• Applicant's original full text

• Amended request, as agreed to by applicant

• Summary of request

• Abridged request

We are launching a review of the Policy for the Coordination of Access to Information Requests to examine all issues related to the CAl R system. As usual, we will consult the ATIP Community during this review.

Your ongoing cooperation and efforts to make the CAIR System a success and to ensure adherence to the OLA are greatly appreciated. Should you have any questions, please contact Therese St-Amant, Senior Policy Analyst, Information, Privacy, and Security Policy Division, at (613) 952-2994 or St-Amant.Therese@tbs-sct.gc.ca.

Anne Brennan

Senior Director

Information, Privacy and Security Policy Division Chief, Information Officer Branch

52

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CSC20000150! csc

CSC20000151i csc

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Coordination of Access to Information Requests System

Details for CSC20000151

Request # CSC20000151

Department

Correctional Service of Canada

Status

Applicant Category Organization

Date Received Initial 2000-09-12

Date Due Initial . 2000-10-12

Transferred to Department

Date Received Final 2000-09-12

Date Due Final

Date Completed

Date Added to CAIRS 2000-09-18

Request Text

Inmate Telephone System project, the subject of a recent tender Copies of all correspondence, e-mails.briefing notes, memoranda, status reports, progress reports and similar records relating to the inmate telephone requirement and CSC's consideration of it (Inmate Telephone System project, the subject of a recent tender "RFP number 21120-00-7510") for the period from April 1, 1999 to September 3D, 2000)

f;3ack to List

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http.z/localhost/pwgsc/ cairsl ook up/ cairsL ookupDetailS creen.j sp

03111/2000

Pages 99-101 are-exempted entirely pursuant

000099

APPENDIX "L"

Description and Cost of Activities to Post Completed Request Report on Website

Activity Man Hours Cost
Taken
Creation of "Completed Requests" 2 minutes $1.00 (approx)
electronic report_(via ATIP Flow)_
Formatting of the electronic copy of 1.5 hours $30.00 (approx)
re_Q_ort
Almroval of report to be sent out 5 minutes $2.00 (approxl
Report sent to translation (via e-mail) 1 minute $0.50 (aoprox)
Translation of information (220 words/ 5 hours (approx) $355.00
hour @ $71/hr)*
Report returned from translation and 1 minute $0.50 (approx)
sent to Webmaster (via e-mail)
Upload of report onto the website** 40 minutes $25.00 (aoorox)
TOTAL 7.25 hours $414.00 The above amount is for the publishing of one report. We publish the reports every week. Please keep in mind that the costs will differ from other departments (the costs were calculated using the annual pays of the employees working on the reports and the amount of time it took them to do the task, and the translation costs are from our internal translation office).

The annual cost of such a project comes to $21,528 ($414 X 52 weeks).

Please note that the man hours taken is based on the real time used working with the document and not the amount of time that the document is in the employee's possession.

* NOTE: Amount of time translation office takes to assign translator to report for translation may vary due to workload. Man Hours Taken reported is for a 1000 word document. Cost is also associated with translation of non-technical information.

** NOTE: Amount of time spent by the webmaster to post information on the website depends on the tools being used, as well as the amount of information to be uploaded. Generally, our webmaster takes between 20-40 minutes to post the report on the net.

53

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