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Annual Report on the Access to Information Act for the period ending March 31, 2015

1.   Introduction

The Access to Information Act (the Act) extends to Canadians and individuals present in Canada the right to access information in records that are under the control of a government agency. According to the principles of the Act, government information should be available to the public, necessary exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific, and decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of the government.

Section 72 of the Act requires that the head of every institution subject to the Act prepare an annual report for tabling in Parliament. This report describes how Elections Canada administered its responsibilities under the Act during the reporting period from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015.

1.1   Mandate of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer

The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, commonly known as Elections Canada, is an independent, non-partisan agency that reports directly to Parliament. Its mandate is to:

In fulfilling its mandate, Elections Canada also has the responsibility to:

1.2   Structure of the Access to Information and Privacy Office

The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Office reports to the Information Management Division within the Chief Information Officer Branch of the Integrated Services, Policy and Public Affairs Sector of Elections Canada. It is managed on a full-time basis by the agency's ATIP Coordinator, to whom the Chief Electoral Officer has delegated his authority under section 73 of the Privacy Act. A copy of the delegation order identifying the responsibilities under that Act appears in Appendix I of this report. The ATIP Office consists of three additional full-time staff, two part-time consultants, and a full time summer co-op student.

The ATIP Office is responsible for the following activities: