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DFAIT's "Prep Fee" memos

DFAIT's "Prep Fee" memos

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Published by David Akin
In 2009, the Access to Information division at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade instituted arbitrary "preparation fee" procedures which had the effect of forcing requesters to drop requests totalling more than 160,000 pages of records.
In 2009, the Access to Information division at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade instituted arbitrary "preparation fee" procedures which had the effect of forcing requesters to drop requests totalling more than 160,000 pages of records.

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Published by: David Akin on Feb 17, 2012
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02/17/2012

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McCull och , Monique ~CP
From : Sent: To: ce : Grenon , Jean-OCP January 30 , 2008 4 :17 PM Najrn, Ami -OCP; Lapointe, Dany -OCP; Lauzon, Dominique-OCP

McCulloch, Monique-OCP

Subjec t: Preparation Fees
Furthef 10our dscussion, please note that effective January 2008, preparation lees wi. now be charged lo r all AT1A requests of 500 or more pages. This change in policy has been approved by Monique McCuIod1. the AfDirector DFAIT - ATIP.

-."....,

AlDeputy Director DFAlT · ATIP

2008108101

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Page 1 of 1

McCulloch, Monlqu e · DCP
From : Grenon, Jean -DCP July 4. 2008 11:42 AM Thibodeau, Mathieu ·DCP; Regnier. Diane -DCP; Archambault, Francine -DC?; Falls. Ron DCP: Lamarre, Catherine -DCP; sauriol , tuce -OCP; Daigle. Jcaeone -DCP Najm, Ami -OCP; Bertrand, Cindy ·DCP; McCulloch, Monique -DCP Prep Fee Estimates

Sent:
To: cc: Subjec t :

Atta chments : Prep Fee - Issues to ccreicer.occ Attached is info that should be considered when estimating Prep fees, Please pass on to your Team members. Cheers Jean

2008/08/01

000002

..
UNCLASSIFIED

ATIP - Fees & Departmental Performance
FEES
• Fees are being adm iniste red by OFAIT in accordance with th e

Access to Information Act (ATI Act) and its Regu lations.
• While se ction 11(6) of the ATI Act does permit Departments to waive fees in certain cases, there are no legislative obligat ions to do so fo r routine andlo r late files. • Since January 2008 , the ATIP Division within DFAIT started to more fu lly adm iniste r permissible fees. However, DFAIT does not ch arge
search and preparation fee s in all cases.

Sea rch fees are being administered when requesters wish to proceed with the scope of the ir request that requ ires beyond 5 hours
of search time .

Similarly, preparation fees are being administered wh en requ esters
wish to proceed with the scope of the ir request and the volume of

pages to be reviewed for exemp tions exceeds 500 pages.

Requesters have the right to have the fees investigated by the Information Commissioner of Canada.

DEPARTME NTAL PERFORMANCE

There has been a steady increase of requests under both the Access

to Information Act and the Privacy Act. In 2007-200 8, DFAIT
expe rienced an 18.2% increase in requests to the Department.

T he Department has a unique role in the federal public service of processing fore ign cons ultations on beha lf of other government department s, a fu nction that also consumes scarce AT IP resources.

Steps are being taken to strengthen the departmenta l capacity and improve the overa ll performance of the function.

1
000004

23 Jun 08 Prepar.J.tion Fee - Estimates The following should be considered when calculating Preparation Fee estimates: a) the request results in volume of 500 pages or more, b) the $5.00 application fee (5 free hours of search and/or preparation ) was appl ied to search and/or preparation of records, c) a re-scope of the request was considered, if applicable, d) the type of records and complexity was considered, e) a samp ling of records preparation was considered, if applicable,

000003

,'"

", '

UNCLASSIFIED
• The Department has increased the number of permanent resou rce s

dedicated to our ATIP responsibilities and taken measures to staff all
vacancies within the AT IP Divisio n.

Despite the shortage of experienced ATIP analysts across the federal ATIP community, DFAIT has hired 12 new ATIP employees in the last 6 months.

Through increased staffing, the Department has reduced the workload per ATIP analyst ratio, which in turn will improve our 1009term retention of experienced staff.

The Department is introducing a permanent Policy & Training capacity to ensure that all ATIP Analysts receive the necessary indepth training and tools to do their job, as well as implement a structured ATIP awareness program for all departmental officials.

There have been a number of other steps taken to improve overall compliance, including measures to streamline the ATIP process.

In addition, in February 2008, DFAIT sent out letters to requesters asking them to confirm their desire to continue processing outdated requests under the ATI Act. The purpose of the exercise was to reduce the backlog of old files thereby increase efficiency by focusing limited resources on those requests that are still of interest.

For inform ation purposes only Since the beginning of the cale ndar year, the following is a breakdown of the volume of work that was eliminated for the ATI? Division (just unde r 200 ,000 pages ) as a result of sendi ng lette rs to requeste rs to confirm their continued interest for outdated ATI Act requests as we ll as sending prepa rat ion fees : Confirma tion lette rs Sent Abandoned Co nfirmed to continued/paid Outst anding Preparation Fee s

120

4 .
4

63
25

6S
35,186

'4
24
161,996

# page s abandoned

Prepared by MoniqueMcCulloch, N Director, OCP(992-1487) - July 11, 2008

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000005

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