2016-2017 Annual Report on the Administration of the Access to Information Act

The Access to Information Act

The Access to Information Act (hereafter the “Act”) gives Canadian citizens, as well as individuals and corporations present in Canada, the right to access federal government records that are not of a personal nature. The public’s right of access to information is balanced against the legitimate need to protect sensitive information and to permit effective functioning of government, while promoting transparency and accountability in government institutions.

The Act complements but does not replace other procedures for obtaining government information. It is not intended to limit in any way access to government information normally available to the public upon request.

Section 72 of the Act requires the head of every government institution to submit an annual report to Parliament on the administration of the Act during the fiscal year. This report describes how the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) administered the Act throughout fiscal year 2016-2017.

Overview of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service

In 1984, the Government of Canada passed an Act of Parliament for the creation of a civilian security intelligence service. This legislation not only gave birth to CSIS, it also clarified the differences between security intelligence activities and law-enforcement work, bringing to an end the 120-year interlocking of Canada's security intelligence service with the federal police force. CSIS came into existence on July 16, 1984.

CSIS is at the forefront of Canada's national security establishment; and as such, its programs are proactive and pre-emptive. Its role is to investigate threats, analyze information and produce intelligence. CSIS reports to, and advises, the Government of Canada so as to protect the country and its citizens. Key threats include terrorism, espionage, foreign interference, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and cyber-threats against critical information systems and infrastructure.

Through its Security Screening Program, CSIS provides advice that prevents non-Canadians who pose security concerns from entering Canada or receiving permanent resident status or citizenship. CSIS also helps prevent individuals of security concern from gaining access to Canadian information, assets, sites or events.

The Access to Information and Privacy Section

The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Section reports to the Assistant Director Intelligence via the Director General Litigation and Disclosure Branch. The ATIP Section has an establishment of 15 employees to fulfill CSIS’ obligations under the Act and the Privacy Act. The CSIS Legal Services Branch provides legal advice as required.

When fully staffed, the ATIP Section is comprised of a Chief, a Deputy Chief, three unit Heads, eight Analysts and two Officers. During the reporting period, 14 positions were filled and the Deputy Chief position was vacant. All staff in the ATIP Section is fully dedicated to the administration of the ATIP program within CSIS, providing high-quality and timely responses to our clients.

Listed below are the ATIP Section’s responsibilities vis-à-vis the Act:

Monitoring the progress of requests

There is a robust case monitoring system in place using reports produced by the ATIP Case Management software. The status of requests is monitored by the Chief ATIP and the unit heads on an ongoing basis.

Deemed Refusals

A total of 491 requests were received in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.  The Service closed 457 requests and maintained a high on-time compliance rate of 96.9% with a 3.1% deemed refusal rate.  As of April 1st, 2017, 7 requests received during the 2016-2017 fiscal year are in a deemed refusal situation.

19 requests were closed past the statutory deadlines due to external and internal consultations, workload and other:

Other Requests

The ATIP Section also acted as a resource for CSIS officials and offered advice and guidance on the provisions of the legislation. The ATIP Section was consulted on issues relating to a range of matters, such as information management issues, security of information, draft policies and memoranda of understanding and releases of information made by CSIS outside the parameters of the Act.

Education and Training

During the 2016-2017 reporting period, 4 presentations were given. The ATIP Section also continued to conduct awareness sessions through an ATIP e-learning narrated slides. The narrated slides are a requirement for all new employees and act as a reference for all others. The narrated slides provide participants with an overview of the Act and the Privacy Act, to promote a better understanding of their responsibilities and obligations under the Acts and awareness of the ATIP process within CSIS.  Through the 2016-2017 period, they were viewed by 260 employees.

Delegation of Authority

In accordance with section 73 of the Act, a delegation order signed by the Minister of Public Safety Canada designates the persons holding the positions of Director of CSIS, the Assistant Director Intelligence, the Director General, Litigation and Disclosure Branch and the Chief ATIP to exercise and perform the duties of the Minister as Head of the institution. The order was issued on March 8, 2016, by the Minister of Public Safety Canada, the Honourable Ralph Goodale.

Requests under the Act

During this reporting period:

The subject matter of the requests covered mainly correspondence related to Briefing Notes, Intelligence Reports and Security Threat Assessments.

The following table maps out the trend for the previous three years.
Request Status

Fiscal Year

2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
Requests Received 366 669 491
Requests closed 314 708 457
Requests were outstanding from the previous period 48 90 52
Requests carried over to the next reporting period 100 51 86
Informal requests completed 298 329 342

Sources of Requests

Of the 491 new requests received during 2016-2017:

Disposition of Completed Requests

The dispositions of the 457 requests completed in 2016-2017 were as follows:

The table below shows the trend over the last three years.

Request Disposition

Fiscal Year

2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
All disclosed 3 13 5
Disclosed in part 130 179 196
All exempted 13 18 17
All Excluded 3 0 0
No records exist 35 63 77
Request transferred 4 7 6
Request abandoned 46 42 45
Neither confirmed nor denied 80 386 111

Completion Rate

During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the CSIS ATIP Section completed the 457 requests within the following time frames:

Exemptions Invoked

The ATIP Section invoked exemptions under the Act a total of 1, 315 times, as follows:

Exclusions Cited

The ATIP Section invoked exclusions under the Act a total of 132 times, as follows: 

Format of Information Released

During this reporting period, CSIS disclosed the information 89 times in paper format, 111 times in electronic format and once in another format.

Translation of Requests

No requests for translation were received.

Extensions

During this reporting period, 143 extensions were taken for the following reasons:

Length of Extensions

During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the extensions cited above were taken for the following lengths of time:

Fees

CSIS collected a total of $ 1,960.00 in application fees.

A total of $ 10,456.00 in fees were waived or refunded:

Consultations Received from Other Government of Canada Institutions

During this reporting period,

The table below shows the three-year trend.
Consultation Status Fiscal Year
2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
Consultations received 234 293 366
Consultations carried forward from previous year 43 31 37
Consultations completed 247 287 317
Consultations carried forward to next year 30 37 86

Completion Time for Consultations Received from Other Government of Canada Institutions

During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the CSIS ATIP Section completed the consultations within the following time frames:

Consultations Received from Other Organizations

One consultation was received from another organization.

Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences

During this reporting period, 7 consultations responses were received from either the Privy Council Office or the Department of Justice. No responses were received past the deadline.

The consultations were completed within the following time:

Complaints and Investigations with the Office of the Information Commissioner during 2016-2017

Resources Related to the Administration of the Access to Information Act

During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the ATIP section incurred $1,147,454 in salaries, $19 in overtime and $ 599 in costs relating to goods and services for a total of $1,148,072.

Significant Changes to Organization, Programs, Operations or Policy

None to report.

Overview of New or Revised Access to Information Act-related Policies and Procedures Implemented

None to report.

Changes As a Result of Issues Raised by the Office of the Information Commissioner

None to report.

Changes As a Result of Issues Raised by Other Agents of Parliament

None to report.

Federal Court Cases

There are no pending cases against CSIS.

 

2016-2017 Statistical report on the Access to Information Act

Name of the institution: Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Reporting period: 01 April 2016 to 31 March 2017

Part 1 – Requests under the Access to Information Act
1.1 Number of Requests
Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 491
Outstanding from the previous period 52
Total 543
Closed during reporting period 457
Carried over to the next period 86
1.2 Sources of requests

Source
Number of Requests
Media 221
Academia 42
Business (Private Sector) 21
Organization 1
Public 174
Decline to Identify 32
Total 491

1.3 Informal requests
Completion Time
1 to 15
Days
16 to 30
Days
31 to 60
Days
61 to 120
Days
121 to
180 Days
181 to
365 Days
More
Than 365
Days
Total
200 142 0 0 0 0 0 342

Note: All requests previously recorded as "treated informally" will now be accounted for in this section only.

Part 2 – Requests closed during the reporting period

2.1 Disposition and completion time
Disposition of requests Completion time
1 to 15 days 16 to 30 days 31 to 60 days 61 to 120 days 121 to 180 days 181 to 365 days More than 365 days Total
All disclosed 2 1 0 1 1 0 0 5
Disclosed in part 10 51 33 58 34 3 7 196
All exempted 3 8 4 1 0 0 1 17
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No records exist 26 45 6 0 0 0 0 77
Request transferred 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
Request abandoned 38 4 2 0 1 0 0 45
Neither confirmed nor denied 50 54 6 1 0 0 0 111
Total 135 163 51 61 36 3 8 457

2.2 Exemptions

Section
Number of requests
13(1)(a) 63
13(1)(b) 4
13(1)(c) 9
13(1)(d) 10
13(1)(e) 0
14 2
14(a) 3
14(b) 1
15(1) 47
15(1) - International Affairs 47
15(1) - Defence of Canada 1
15(1) - Subversive Activities 236
16(1)(a)(i) 11
16(1)(a)(ii) 8
16(1)(a)(iii) 128
16(1)(b) 69
16(1)(c) 145
16(1)(d) 2
16(2) 30
16(2)(a) 1
16(2)(b) 1
16(2)(c) 32
16(3) 0
16(1)(a)(i) 0
16.1(1)(a) 0
16.1(1)(b) 0
16.1(1)(c) 0
16.1(1)(d) 0
16.2(1) 0
16.3 0
16.4(1)(a) 0
16.4(1)(b) 0
16.5 0
17 9
18(a) 0
18(b) 2
18(c) 0
18(d) 1
18.1(1)(a) 0
18.1(1)(b) 0
18.1(1)(c) 0
18.1(1)(d) 0
19(1) 131
20(1)(a) 2
20(1)(b) 4
20(1)(b).1 0
20(1)(c) 0
20(1)(d) 5
20.1 0
20.2 0
20.4 0
21(1)(a) 74
21(1)(b) 62
21(1)(c) 19
21(1)(d) 14
22 1
22.1(1) 2
23 33
24(1) 170
26 0

2.3 Exclusions

Section
Number of requests
68(a) 7
68(b) 0
68(c) 0
68.1 0
68.2(a) 0
68.2(b) 0
69(1) 3
69(1)(a) 12
69(1)(b) 1
69(1)(c) 2
69(1)(d) 10
69(1)(e) 14
69(1)(f) 3
69(1(g) re (a) 21
69(1(g) re (b) 4
69(1(g) re (c) 17
69(1(g) re (d) 10
69(1(g) re (e) 20
69(1(g) re (f) 8
69.1(1) 0

2.4 Format of information released

Disposition
Paper Electronic Other formats
All disclosed 3 2 0
Disclosed in part 86 109 1
Total 89 111 1

2.5 Complexity
2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Disposition of requests Number of pages processed Number of pages disclosed Number of requests
All disclosed 19438 19407 5
Disclosed in part 68256 35183 196
All exempted 1162 0 17
All excluded 0 0 0
Request abandoned 1279 276 45
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 111

2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
Disposition Less than 100 pages processed 101 to 500 pages processed 501 to 1000 pages processed 1001 to 5000 pages processed More than 5000 pages processed
Number of requests Pages disclosed Number of requests Pages disclosed Number of requests Pages disclosed Number of requests Pages disclosed Number of requests Pages disclosed
All disclosed 2 85 2 315 0 0 0 0 1 19007
Disclosed in part 123 2394 49 5284 10 2526 11 6602 3 18377
All exempted 14 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request
abandoned
42 0 2 0 1 276 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 111 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 292 2479 56 5599 11 2802 11 6602 4 37384

2.5.3 Other complexities

Disposition
Consultation required Assessment of fees Legal advice sought Other Total
All disclosed 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 112 6 12 0 130
All exempted 4 1 1 0 6
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 2 0 0 0 2
Neither
confirmed nor
0 1 0 0 1
Total 118 8 13 0 139

2.6 Deemed refusals
2.6.1 Reasons for not meeting statutory deadline

Number of requests closed past deadline
Principal Reason
Workload External consultation Internal consultation Other
19 1 12 5 1
2.6.2 Number of days past deadline
Number of days past deadline Number of requests past deadline where no extension was taken Number of requests past deadline where an extension was taken Total
1 to 15 days 0 6 6
16 to 30 days 0 3 3
31 to 60 days 0 0 0
61 to 120 days 1 3 4
121 to 180 days 0 0 0
181 to 365 days 0 5 5
More than 365 days   0 1 1
Total 1 18 19

2.7 Requests for translation

Translation Requests
Accepted Refused Total
English to French 0 0 0
French to English 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0

Part 3 – Extensions

3.1 Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests
Disposition of request where an extension was taken 9(1)(a)
Interference with operations
9(1)(a)
Consultation
9(1)(c)
Third party notice
Section 69 Other
All disclosed 2 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 36 4 93 0
All exempted 1 2 1 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0
No records exist 0 0 1 0
Request abandoned 1 0 2 0
Total 40 6 97 0

3.2 Length of extensions

Length of extensions
9(1)(a)
Interference with operations
9(1)(a)
Consultation
9(1)(c)
Third party notice
Section 69 Other
30 days or less 19 0 8 0
31 to 61 days 15 1 22 0
61 to 120 days 5 2 54 0
121 to 180 days 0 3 10 0
181 to 365 days 0 0 3 0
More than 365 days 1 0 0 0
Total 40 6 97 0

Part 4 - Fees

Fee Type
Fee Collected Fee Waived or Refunded
Number of requests Amount Number of requests Amount
Application 392 $1,960 64 $320
Search 0 $0 0 $0
Production 0 $0 0 $0
Programming 0 $0 0 $0
Preparation 0 $0 0 $0
Alternative format 0 $0 0 $0
Reproduction 0 $0 176 $10,136
Total 392 $1,960 240 $10,456

Part 5 – Consultations received from other institutions and organizations

5.1 Consultations received from other government institutions and organizations

Consultations
Other Government of Canada Institutions Number of pages to review Other organizations Number of pages to review
Received during reporting period 366 35632 0 0
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 37 16671 0 0
Total 403 52303 0 0
Closed during the reporting period 317 45799 0 0
Pending at the end of the reporting period 86 6504 0 0

5.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other government institutions.

Recommendation
Number of days required to complete consultation request
1 to 15 days 16 to 30 days 31 to 60 days 61 to 120 days 121 to 180 days 181 to 365 days More than 365 days Total
Disclose entirely 12 20 4 1 0 0 0 37
Disclose in part 93 61 53 30 18 10 1 266
Exempt entirely 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 7
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 6 0 0 1 0 0 0 7
Total 117 81 58 32 18 10 1 317

5.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations.

Recommendation
Number of days required to complete consultation request
1 to 15 days 16 to 30 days 31 to 60 days 61 to 120 days 121 to 180 days 181 to 365 days More than 365 days Total
Disclose entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclose in part 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Exempt entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Part 6: Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences

6.1 Requests with Legal Services
Number of Days Fewer Than 100 Pages Processed 101-500 Pages Processed 501-1000 Pages Processed 1001-5000 Pages Processed More Than 5000 Pages Processed
Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed
1 to 15 3 19 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 2 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 1 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 6 34 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 0

6.2 Requests with Privy Council Office
Number of Days Fewer Than 100 Pages Processed 101‒500 Pages Processed 501-1000 Pages Processed 1001-5000 Pages Processed More Than 5000 Pages Processed
Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed
1 to 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Part 7: Complaints and Investigations
Section 32 Section 35 Section 37 Total
28 46 23 97

Part 8: Court Action
Section 41 Section 42 Section 44 Total
0 0 0 0

Part 9: Resources Related to the Access to Information Act

9.1 Costs
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $1,147,454
Overtime $19
Goods and Services $599
Professional services contracts 0$  
Other $599
Total $1,148,072

9.2 Human Resourcess
Resources Person Years Dedicated to Access to Information Activities
Full-time employees 7.00
Part-time and casual employees 0.00
Regional staff 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 0.00
Students 0.00
Total 7.00

Note: Enter values to two decimal places.

Date modified: