Federal Government Ranks Badly in Canadian Audit

1 October 2012

The Canadian national government is “stuck in a rut of delays” when it comes to responding to freedom of information requests, according to the author of the annual audit by Newspapers Canada, issued Sept. 24 at the Sunshine Summit in Calgary. 

“Municipalities continue to perform fastest in the audit, easily outpacing the senior levels of government,” noted Professor Fred Vallance-Jones, a professor at University of King’s College in Halifax, the lead researcher. “Thirty years after the Access to Information Act was passed, the federal government seems stuck in a rut of delays and can”t get out of the 50 to 60 percent range when it comes to completing requests on time.”

Overall, the report states:

The last year has been an eventful year for access to information in Canada, and not all the news is good. Newfoundland and Labrador tightened its grip on information with new amendments that will make records harder to obtain. In Ottawa, the federal information commissioner announced she would review the performance of the much-maligned federal Access to Information Act. Ontario’s commissioner, meanwhile, increased access to compliance and appeals statistics, while New Brunswick finally brought its municipalities under access legislation.

 

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