Directive on Access to Information Requests

Provides direction to government institutions on efficiently and consistently processing access to information requests.
Date modified: 2022-07-22

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Appendix B:  Mandatory Procedures for Access to Information Training

This Appendix provides guidance related to training in the application of the Act that all employees of government institutions should receive.

B.1 Effective date

  • B.1.1These procedures take effect on July 13, 2022.
  • B.1.2 These procedures were previously set out in Appendix B: Access to Information Awareness in the Interim Directive on the Administration of the Access to Information Act effective May 5, 2016.

B.2 Procedures applicable to all employees

  • B.2.1These procedures provide details on the requirements set out in section 4.1.2 of the Directive on Access to Information Requests. All employees of Government institutions must receive training on their obligations under the Access to Information Act, the application of the Act and related Treasury Board policies. The training should cover the following:
    • B.2.1.1The purpose of the Act;
    • B.2.1.2The applicable definitions;
    • B.2.1.3 Employees’ responsibilities under the Act, including the principles for   assisting requesters;
    • B.2.1.4Delegation, exemption decisions and the exercise of discretion;
    • B.2.1.5Employees’ obligation to make every reasonable effort to locate and retrieve all corresponding records according to the letter and the spirit of the request;
    • B.2.1.6The requirement to provide complete, accurate and timely responses;
    • B.2.1.7The complaint process, including the Information Commissioner’s order-making power, and review by the courts;
    • B.2.1.8Section 67.1 and 67.1(1) of the Act, which make it an offence to obstruct the Information Commissioner or the right of access, and which provides for criminal sanctions;
    • B.2.1.9Specific institutional policies and processes relating to the administration of the Act, including policies on information management.
  • B.2.2All employees of government institutions who have functional or delegated responsibility for the administration of the Act and the Regulations must receive training that covers the items listed above and in addition:
    • B.2.2.1The provisions concerning the extension of time limits; fees; exemptions and exclusions; the third-party notification process; the procedures and criteria respecting the authority to seek the Information Commissioner’s approval to decline to act on a request; and the language, format and method of access;
    • B.2.2.2The provisions of Part 2 of the Act and how they relate to Part 1;
    • B.2.2.3Public Reporting requirements, including annual reports to Parliament; and
    • B.2.2.4The role of the Information Commissioner, the Privacy Commissioner, and the Parliamentary Standing Committees in relation to the Act.
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