LAC Asks “Trust Us”

On 30 April LAC posted a notice Update – Delays in responding to Access to Information Act and Privacy Act requests

The notice explains that “ability to respond within legislatively prescribed timelines to requests made under the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act has been greatly affected by both a marked increase in volume and health and safety measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Translated “greatly affected by” means LAC has failed to meet “legislatively prescribed timelines.”

The notice continues:

“We understand that such delays are difficult for our clients, and we are doing everything we can to remediate this exceptional situation.

Rest assured that we are actively looking at innovative processes and human resource solutions to address these delays and meet our increasing demand.”

LAC wants our trust. What does “actively looking at” really mean?  How can we be confident this is not just bureaucratic verbiage, as in this line from Yes Minister?

“under consideration” means “we’ve lost the file”; “under active consideration” means “we’re trying to find it”.

When will LAC move beyond looking to action?

2 Replies to “LAC Asks “Trust Us””

  1. I requested my military service file from LAC on May 27th, 2019, to which they replied that it would take them 18 month to respond. On April 1st 2021 they mailed the file to me.

    My experience working in an NGO engaged with another arm of the federal government was that issues with capacity and enhancement of programmes and their delivery usually were not resolvable at the level that we were engaged with, but at higher levels within the Department. If one couldn’t get the attention of the relevant ADM and Deputy Minister, your goose was cooked, often for years.

    Breakthroughs occurred through finding a “Champion” for the actions that one was promoting at a high enough level within the department bureaucracy, or at a high level in another Department or Departments, such that intra- or interdepartmental influence could be brought on the Deputy Minister, which filtered down several levels into money and action in our agency of concern. A political Champion helps too.

    It may well be that the Head of LAC, or, more likely, their superior or ADM, lacks sufficient clout within the Department to compete with other elements to gain the finance to improve service.

    Maybe those individuals should be highlighted/targeted, and a Champion sought, if a campaign is to be mounted to improve LAC service.

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