Extensions Under the Access to Information Act
Alasdair S. Roberts
Suffolk University Law School
October 17, 2004
Canada's Access To Information Act requires that responses to requests for information be given within 30 days (Section 7). Requests that do not receive a response within 30 days are said to have received a "deemed refusal." However, the Act also allows institutions to extend the deadline for responding to a request (Section 9). Institutions can define the length of the extension, so long as it is reasonable. Extensions can be taken for one of three reasons: because of the breadth of the request; to undertake consultations with other departments; or to allow consultation with a business regarding the proposed release of commercially sensitive information. This note examines recent trends in the use of the discretion provided in Section 9. It is based on data that is provided to Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) by all federal institutions. (The data was provided to the author by TBS.) A brief interpretation of the data is also provided. The increased use of Section 9 is a response to the Information Commissioner's attempts to address systemic problems with delay in responding to access requests.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 5
Keywords: right to information, access to information, freedom of information, implementation, enforcementworking papers series
Date posted: February 28, 2009
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