Canadian Info Commissioner Issues Report Card

11 March 2011

There were “limited gains” in the transparency of Canada’s federal institutions, according to a “report card” issued March 10 by the Information Commissioner of Canada, Suzanne Legault.

The headlines about the report emphasized the poor ratings given the Canada Post Corporation and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation “for dragging their feet on answering information requests from the public,” as The Star put it.

More generally, she said that “new exemptions and exclusions to access to information legislation ushered in by the Federal Accountability Act (Fed AA) have resulted in limited gains for overall transparency in Canada’s federal institutions.” Her statement continued: “While the FedAA made more institutions subject the Access to Information Act, the accompanying limitations introduced a higher level of complexity that ultimately fetter Canadians’ access rights.”

She added that “the FedAA introduced a piecemeal approach to amending the Access to Information Act rather than following guiding principles that respect its basic tenets and a modern access to information regime.”

The report to Parliament studied the access to information performance of eight institutions that became subject to freedom of information act coverage as a result of the act.

The commissioner reported that six of the eight institutions studied had a strong performances, but assessed Canada Post with a “red alert”  and gave CBC an F grade. “Significant internal delays and drawn-out review and approval processes resulted in average response times of 190 days and 158 days, respectively,” according to the report, well beyond the prescribed 30 day response time.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , ,

Filed under: What's New