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Annual Report on the Access to Information Act for the period ending March 31, 2012

2.   Key Activities and Accomplishments

2.1   Education and Training

Educating Elections Canada staff about the Access to Information Act supports our duty to assist individuals who request records under the organization's control. This year, the ATIP Office participated in an Elections Canada CIO Sector Open House and shared tools and information about access to information processes and responsibilities with about 100 employees.

Workshops for offices of primary interest were attended by 15 Elections Canada staff. Agency ATIP officers led two workshops to review and discuss the ATIP process, the government directives associated with the process and best practices under the Act. A presentation on our internal procedures for processing requests was also made to 25 Elections Canada executives. This was bolstered by many one-on-one informal training and awareness discussions.

The current chapter of Info Source is published on Elections Canada's website and Intranet to help Canadians and Elections Canada staff understand how the agency organizes its programs and uses information to fulfill its mandate. The Intranet also provides agency staff with additional training materials and guidance to help them fulfill their ATIP responsibilities.

2.2   Institutional Access to Information Policies and Procedures

Since January 2012, it is a Treasury Board requirement to post a summary of completed ATI requests on most federal websites. By proactively disclosing government information this way, Canadians and Parliament are better able to hold the government and public sector officials to account.

In the fall of 2011, the ATIP Office began to publish the summaries of all completed formal ATI requests since the beginning of fiscal 20112012. The additional transparency resulted in 42 informal requests for agency records already released under ATI legislation.

The ATIP process chart was updated this year to reinforce the commitment to respecting time frames and to ensure that requests are processed in compliance with the Access to Information Act. The chart is a step-by-step diagram of the roles and responsibilities that are carried out when formal requests for records are processed. It helps officials in the ATIP Office work collaboratively with colleagues who are accountable for records under the control of Elections Canada.