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2014-2015 - Annual Report to Parliament - Access to Information Act

Policies, Guidelines, Procedures and Reporting

Policy Framework

Environment Canada’s access to information policy framework was approved in November 2012. In 2014-2015 Environment Canada began a review of its ATIP Policy Suite, this work will conclude in the coming year.

In 2014-2015, an ATIP analyst reference guide was created for use within the division. This guide is intended to help standardize internal practices and procedures in order to improve efficiency. The ATIP Division also began work on the development of an ATIP handbook to assist departmental employees in responding to requests under the Access to Information Act.  This guidance document will be completed in 2015-2016.



The ATIP Division regularly monitors the timeliness and trends associated with the processing of requests through ongoing communication with Branch and Directorate liaison contacts. In addition, a monthly ATIP update and quarterly trends report are provided to Environment Canada’s Executive Management Committee.


Publicly Accessible Information and Inquiry Points

Info Source is a series of publications containing information on the Government of Canada and on the government’s data collection activities. Info Source is intended to help the public access government information and to exercise their rights under the Privacy Act and Access to Information Act.

Each year, the ATIP Division prepares updates on Environment Canada’s activities and information holdings for publication in Info Source which is published on the Department’s website. During 2014–2015, Environment Canada made minor revisions to its Info Source chapter. A full review of the Info Source chapter based on the Department’s updated Program Activity Architecture is scheduled for 2015-2016.

Environment Canada’s comprehensive website provides information on the Department’s policies, its organizational structure and the means to contact Department officials. In accordance with the federal government’s policy of proactive disclosure, the Department’s website also allows access to internal evaluations and audits, as well as information on hospitality expenses, contracts and grants.

Environment Canada’s website also has an Access to Information and Privacy webpage that provides background information on both the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. It also contains a Frequently Asked Questions section and links to access to information request forms, personal information request forms and summaries of completed access to information requests.

In order to facilitate public access to information and to comply with the Act, the Environment Canada Library has been designated a public reading room. The Library is located on the 1st floor of the Place Vincent Massey Annex, 351 St. Joseph Boulevard, Gatineau, Quebec.


Online Request Service

In April 2014, Environment Canada joined the Treasury Board Secretariat Online Request Service Pilot Project. This initiative aims to make the process of requesting government records simpler and more convenient by enabling Canadians to submit their ATIP requests and application fees online. Environment Canada received 398 Access to Information requests online during the 2014–2015 reporting period. We expect the number of online requests to increase significantly over the coming year as applicants become more familiar with the online service.

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