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 D:  Mandatory Procedures for Publishing Summaries of Completed Access to Information Requests

D.1 Effective date

  • D.1.1These procedures take effect on July 13, 2022.
  • D.1.2These procedures replace Appendix E – Criteria for posting summaries of completed access to information requests of the Interim Directive on the Administration of the Access to Information Act, dated May 5, 2016.

D.2 Publishing summaries of completed Access to Information request responses

  • D.2.1These procedures provide details on the requirement set out in section 4.1.47 of the Directive on Access to Information Requests. Institutions must:
    • D.2.1.1Publish summaries of the responses to completed Access to Information requests on the Open Government portal within 30 calendar days after the end of each month. Institutions also must report when there are no ATI requests to publish for a given month.
    • D.2.1.2The entry for each summary must include the following:
      • D.2.1.2.1The request number assigned by the institution;
      • D.2.1.2.2The year and month that the request was completed by the institution;
      • D.2.1.2.3A description of the request that reflects the final wording of the request after clarification was obtained from the requester, where applicable. Provide the information in a format that is understandable by Canadians, specifies institutions and dates, and which uses key words. The description must not include personal information or any other information that would be exempted or excluded under the Act, or that could reveal a requester’s identity;
      • D.2.1.2.4The disposition of the request (i.e., all disclosed; disclosed in part; all exempted; all excluded; or no records exist); and
      • D.2.1.2.5The number of pages disclosed.
    • D.2.1.3Publish the summaries simultaneously in both official languages, in accordance with the requirements of the Official Languages Act.
    • D.2.1.4Do not publish summaries of the following types of requests:
      • D.2.1.4.1Requests made under the Privacy Act;
      • D.2.1.4.2Requests made under the Access to Information Act that contain primarily personal information of the requester or that are uniquely of interest to the requester;
      • D.2.1.4.3Requests that were treated informally;
      • D.2.1.4.4Requests that were transferred to another government institution;
      • D.2.1.4.5Requests that were abandoned;
      • D.2.1.4.6Requests where the head of an institution has applied subsection 10(2) of the Access to Information Act and did not confirm nor deny the existence of records relevant to an access to information request; or
      • D.2.1.4.7Requests where the head of institution has declined to act pursuant to section 6.1. of the Act

D.3 Standard on data elements for the publication of completed access to information request responses

This standard provides details on the requirements set out in subsection 4.1.47 of the Directive on Access to Information Requests.

These are the fields that institutions need to complete when publishing summaries of completed requests.

Field Title 1. Year
Field Description The year the request was completed by the government institutions
Field Format YYYY  (For example: 2020)
Mandatory/ Optional Mandatory
Field Title 2. Month
Field Description The month that the request was completed by the government institution
Field Format The full name of the month the request was completed. For example, December (Note: An abbreviation of the month is not acceptable).
Mandatory/ Optional Mandatory
Field Title 3. Request Number/Numéro de demande
Field Description The unique identifier assigned to the request by the institution
Field Format A-YYYY-##### :  For example A-2020-01234
Mandatory/ Optional Mandatory
Field Title 4. Request Description (English)
Field Description Provide a clear and concise description of the completed request without identifying the requester or any other potentially sensitive, personal or redacted information. The description should be:
  • Summarize the request in plain language that would make sense to Canadians;
  • Reflect the final request;
  • Contain useful key words;
  • Reference specific dates (e.g. ‘covering 2015-2019’ vs. covering the last five years) and
  • Refer to the specific institution (e.g. ‘all records from Fisheries and Oceans Canada’ vs. ‘all records from your institution’).
Request terms, such as ‘please provide’ ‘a copy of’ ‘or all documentation related to’; internal file or reference numbers; and hyperlinks or web addresses should be removed
Field Format Alpha-numeric; Free text
Mandatory/ Optional Mandatory
Field Title 5. Request Summary (French)
Field Description Provide a clear and concise description of the completed request without identifying the requester or any other potentially sensitive or redacted information. The field data should be:
  • Summarized in plain language that would make sense to Canadians;
  • Be updated as necessary to reflect changes to the initial request;
  • Contain useful key words;
  • Reference specific dates (e.g. ‘covering 2015-2019’ vs. covering the last five years) and
  • Contain specific references to the institution (e.g. ‘all records from Fisheries and Oceans Canada’ vs. ‘all records from your institution’).
Request terms, such as ‘please provide’ ‘a copy of ‘‘or all documentation related to’; internal file or reference numbers; and hyperlinks or web addresses should be removed
Field Format Alpha-numeric; Free text
Mandatory/ Optional Mandatory
Field Title 6. Disposition
Field Description Indicate the request is whether the records were all disclosed, disclosed in part, all exempted, all excluded, or if not records exist.
Field Format The status must be one of the five options:
  • All disclosed
  • Disclosed in part
  • All exempted
  • All excluded
  • No records exist
 Mandatory/ Optional Mandatory
Field Title 7. Number of Pages
Field Description The number of pages which were fully or partly provided to the requester, or a value of 0 if no records were released to the requester.
Field Format Numeric.  For example 0, 10 or 25
Mandatory/ Optional Mandatory
Field Title 8. Additional Information (English)
Description Institutions can provide any additional information in this field in English.
Format Type Free text
Example The records provided were the most recent versions.
Mandatory/ Optional Optional
 Field Title 9. Additional Information (French)
Description Institutions can provide any additional information in this field in French.
Format Type Free text
Example Les documents fournis comprennent les versions les plus récentes.
Mandatory/ Optional Optional
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