Library and Archives Canada ATIP Report

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has published its semi-annual progress report documenting its efforts on access to information and privacy (ATIP).

The report is largely on the process, not much on what has been achieved for the client.

A newly created ATIP Branch consists of over 180 employees, compared to approximately 40 employees working on the same tasks 18 months ago.

It was shocking to read that only two employees were working on Canadian Armed Forces Personnel Records requests a year ago in the National Capital Region resulting in a huge backlog with the resulting damage to LAC’s reputation. Now 27 employees are actively addressing this backlog.

The document does mention that LAC saw a decrease of 12.5 percent in its overall number of active complaints. Also “Since February 2023, LAC has used this new process to review records related to 66 client requests. Of those requests, 25 have been closed (approximately 12,000 pages); in the past, LAC would have consulted on all 12,000 pages. The new process enables LAC to make informed decisions regarding the disclosure and/or release of 11,000 pages and consultation on only 1,000 pages (a reduction of nearly 92 percent). Prior to the introduction of the new process, the average extension on these types of records would have been 225 days, and it may have taken longer due to delays at OGDs. LAC was able to close the majority of these 25 cases within 45 days.”

Will LAC actually disclose how many ATIP requests are pending of the various types? How many are delivered within legislated timelines? How many are overdue and by how long? How many were delivered to the client satisfaction? How many where abandoned? These types of KPIs are needed to demonstrate if the promising initiatives mentioned actually improve service.

One Reply to “Library and Archives Canada ATIP Report”

  1. Forty years ago today, ATIP came into effect and I was one of two employees in the section. Use of the legislation for accessing historical records has never met the expectations we had in the 1980s, but it now appears that LAC is finally serious about reducing the backlog. Personally, this is very good news … I may now see some movement on two requests I made in March 2022 for non-personnel records dating from the 1940s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *