Comments - 7. Access to information

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Issue to be addressed

Canadians want to have easier access to information held by the Government of Canada, including their own personal information.

Commitment

The Government of Canada will advance its commitment to more open and transparent government. We will:

  • undertake a full review of the Access to Information Act
  • improve tools available to people who request government information
  • improve transparency about personal information that the government holds

Milestones

7.1 Undertake a broad review of the Access to Information Act, including examining:

  • the extent of coverage of the act, including the range of institutions that are subject to the act and who can make requests
  • ways to improve the timeliness of responses to requests
  • the regime of exemptions and exclusions
  • appropriate protections for information relating to Indigenous peoples and governance
  • how new technologies could be used to improve the functioning of the system and service to the user

All sectors of Canadian society, including Indigenous organizations and representatives, will be engaged through online consultations and in-person engagement on issue clusters

7.1.1 The full review begins within one year of royal assent of Bill C-58

 

7.2 Issue a plain language guide offering clear explanations of exemptions and exclusions under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and their relationship to the work of federal institutions

7.2.1 A plain language guide is issued

 

7.3 Increase the number of summaries of previously-released access to information requests posted to open.canada.ca and available through informal requests

7.3.1 50% of institutions publishing summaries by June 2019

7.4 Make it easier for Canadians to access government information by improving the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Online Request Service

7.4.1 The number of participating government institutions is expanded by 50 institutions in each year of the Action Plan

7.4.2 Canadians, including users from a variety of backgrounds and levels of ATIP experience are engaged to improve the ATIP Online Request Service through user testing and feedback

 

7.5 Enable government institutions to provide requesters with responses to access to information requests electronically, subject to any necessary limitations to protect privacy and security

7.5.1 Rather than receiving paper copies or through compact discs, requesters can receive their requests through a digital means

 

7.6 Improve online information about how to make an access to information or personal information request

7.6.1 User testing demonstrates that users find the online information about how to make an access to information or personal information request helpful

 

7.7 Improve transparency about the personal information held by government by making descriptions of Canadians’ personal information holdings (known as personal information banks, or (PIBs)) available on open.canada.ca in a consolidated, searchable format

7.7.1 PIBs from 60 government institutions are available via open.canada.ca