Info czar says access-to-info system at risk
OTTAWA - The federal information commissioner says poor leadership and scant resources have left departments and agencies struggling to answer access-to-information requests from Canadians.
In her annual report, Suzanne Legault says the integrity of the system is at risk and the weaknesses must be urgently addressed.
The Access to Information Act, which came into force in 1983, allows people who pay $5 to request a variety of records from federal agencies â€” from correspondence and briefing notes to expense reports and audits.
The government is supposed to respond within 30 days or provide good reasons why a delay is necessary.
But Legault say says staff shortages mean institutions have gone six months without even acknowledging receipt of requests.
In other cases, the response time can vary from a year-and-a-half to more than three years.
Treasury Board President Tony Clement said earlier this year the Harper government was the most transparent in Canadian history.