Canada Border Services Agency
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Access to Information Act

Canada Border Services
Agency Annual Report
2012-2013

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Access to Information Act Report

Chapter Two: Statistical Report

Chapter One: Access to Information Act Report

Introduction

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is pleased to present to Parliament, in accordance with section 72 of the Access to Information Act, its Annual Report on the management of this Act. The report describes the activities that support compliance with the Access to Information Act for the fiscal year commencing April 1, 2012 and ending March 31, 2013. During this period, the CBSA has continued to build upon successful practices implemented in previous years.

"The purpose of the Access to Information Act is to extend the present laws of Canada to provide a right of access to information in records under the control of a government institution in accordance with the principles that government information should be available to the public, that necessary exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific and that decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government".[1]

As stated in subsection 72(1) of the Access to Information Act, "The head of every government institution shall prepare for submission to Parliament an annual report on the administration of this Act within the institution during each financial year."[2]

In fiscal year 2012-2013, the CBSA introduced new procedures and practices that will ensure the continued provision of timely service to Canadians who seek to exercise their right to access records under the Access to Information Act, and which demonstrate leadership in the management of increasingly numerous and complex Access to Information requests.

Organization

I. About the Canada Border Services Agency

Since 2003, the CBSA has been an integral part of the Public Safety Canada portfolio, which was created to protect Canadians and maintain a peaceful and safe society. In support of these priorities, the CBSA is responsible for providing integrated border services which facilitate the free flow of persons and goods, including animals and plants, that meet all requirements under the program legislation.

The CBSA carries out its responsibilities with a workforce of approximately 13,000 employees, including over 7,200 uniformed CBSA officers who provide services at approximately 1,200 points across Canada and at 39 international locations.[3]

II. Access to Information and Privacy Division

The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Division is comprised of four units: an Administration section, two Case Management units, and a Policy and Training unit. The Administration section's function is to receive all incoming requests and consultations, to ensure quality control on all outgoing correspondence, and to support both Case Management units in their day-to-day business. The Case Management units task all branches and regions with retrieval requests and provide daily operational guidance and support to CBSA employees. The Policy and Training unit develops policies, tools and procedures to support ATIP requirements within the CBSA and provides training to CBSA employees. On average, 41 full time equivalents (FTE), 5 part-time and casual employees, and 4 consultants were employed in the ATIP Division during the fiscal year 2012-2013.

The ATIP Coordinator for the CBSA is the Director of the ATIP Division. The ATIP Division is part of the Corporate Secretariat Directorate, which reports to the Vice-President of the Corporate Affairs Branch. Consistent with the best practices identified by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS)[4],the CBSA's ATIP Coordinator is positioned within three levels of the President, and has full delegated authority, reporting directly to the Director General, Corporate Secretariat, who in turn reports to the Vice-President of the Corporate Affairs Branch.

The ATIP Division works closely with other members of the Public Safety Canada portfolio, including the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Correctional Service of Canada, the Parole Board of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, to share best practices and develop streamlined processes for the retrieval of jointly held records within the 30-day legislated timeframe required to respond to access to information requests.

III. Upcoming Resource Challenges

The CBSA is expecting an increase in the number of requests received due to its high profile role in key Government of Canada initiatives, such as the Beyond the Border Action Plan. To this end, the ATIP Division has proactively launched a process, through a standing offer, to retain the professional services of Intermediate ATIP Consultants, Senior ATIP Consultants and Advanced ATIP Consultants to augment existing resources and to address increases in workload. These new resources will assist with the management and processing of ATIP requests and the development and delivery of ATIP related training.

Furthermore, the ATIP Division is being solicited more and more by other government departments, such as Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Service Canada, to support their programs. The requirements needed by these institutions are related to the requests received by the general public regarding their history of arrival dates into Canada. During fiscal year 2012-2013, the ATIP Division has dedicated 8 FTEs for processing these requests.

To help mitigate the impact that these resource challenges have on the Agency's performance and to avoid pushing the ATIP Division beyond its operational capacity, the ATIP Division strongly believes that it will have to invest additional funding and resources for the CBSA to maintain its high performance with respect to its ATIP obligations.

Activities and Accomplishments

I. Leadership

The CBSA has always been an active participant in the support and promotion of access to information, and fiscal year 2012-2013 was no exception.

The ATIP Division receives, coordinates and processes requests for information under the Access to Information Act, providing high quality and timely service to requesters. In addition, the ATIP Division supports a network of 18 ATIP Liaison Officers across the organization that assist with requests by searching and retrieving records, and coordinating recommendations from within their branch or region. This allows the ATIP Division to maximize efficiencies in request processing to ensure that requesters receive their information in the shortest time possible.

The ATIP Division further strengthened the administration of the access to information program throughout the CBSA by implementing a rigorous and more accountable consultation process. As of January 2013, all branches and regions are required to provide at least director-level approval and the inclusion of subject matter expertise for each office of primary interest involved in the consultation for records responsive to an access to information request. The new process is another step for the CBSA's new functional approach to the administration of the program.

The CBSA was one of the first of the Public Safety Canada portfolio institutions to post summaries of completed access to information requests on its website. By adopting this new initiative, the CBSA demonstrated its commitment to transparency and accountability to Canadian citizens. In fiscal year 2012-2013 the CBSA responded informally to 290 requests for copies of requests posted on its website.

The CBSA is also participating in the "whole of government" ATIP solution initiative led by TBS. This initiative is focusing on finding solutions and ways, to be used by all federal departments and agencies, of centralizing and modernizing the administration of ATIP by improving service quality and ease of access for citizens while reducing the processing costs for institutions. One of the proposed solutions is to explore the development of an ATIP request processing software suite for use by all federal government institutions.

Finally, the CBSA maintains a reading room, available for individuals from the general public who wish to review the Agency's publications or other public materials. Individuals may access the reading room by contacting the ATIP Director of the CBSA, by telephone at 613-941-7431, or by sending an e-mail to the following address: ATIP-AIPRP@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca. The reading room is located at:

Leima Building, 10th Floor
410 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0L8

II. Performance

The CBSA received 3,147 requests under the Access to Information Act in fiscal year 2012-2013. The CBSA has maintained a compliance rate of 88.1% in relation to the legislated time frames to respond to requests, a remarkable accomplishment, considering that the number of access to information requests the CBSA received has increased by 68.6% over the last year. This is in addition to the 16.1% increase received the previous fiscal year.

As mentioned in the "Upcoming Resource Challenges" section of this report, the increase in the number of access to information requests is largely attributable to individuals seeking copies of their history of arrival dates into Canada. Currently, 37.6% of all the access to information requests received by the CBSA come from individuals seeking their Traveller History Report (THR), which are used to prove residency requirements for benefits programs administered by CIC and Service Canada. In light of the increase in THR requests, the CBSA has initiated discussion with CIC to develop a more effective approach to provide THR access to CIC. As a result of these discussions, CIC introduced a new consent-based application form for Canadian Citizenship, and CIC's Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia, was given direct access to the CBSA system that generates the THR. Despite implementing these initiatives, THR requests continue to be referred to the CBSA from other parts of CIC. The THR requests are also having a direct impact on the CBSA Border Information Service telephone lines, as individuals are calling to enquire about the status of their request. Applicants are also approaching the CBSA ports of entry and regional offices directly in an attempt to gain access to their THR faster. The increase in requests is impacting the ATIP Division's ability to sustain compliance with the time requirements of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The compliance rate for access requests has dropped below the Agency's performance standard of 90%. An on-time compliance rate below 90% for access requests was last seen in fiscal year 2007-2008. Although some progress has been made, the CBSA will continue the discussions with CIC and Service Canada, and will continue to explore alternatives to accommodate these clients while reducing the burden on the CBSA.

The CBSA also continues to modernize its service delivery model. As indicated in the Agency's 2011-2012 Annual Report, a new Electronic Consultation Process was negotiated with CIC to promote the timely completion of consultations on records pertaining to routine client immigration files. In fiscal year 2012-2013, the Electronic Consultation Process was implemented and allowed both institutions to transmit client file related consultation packages at the Protected B classification level or lower through an encrypted messaging arrangement. This process provides improvements and facilitates the processing of ATIP requests by both parties, reduces duplication of effort, and promotes consistency in the treatment of these requests.

The CBSA continues to offer the electronic delivery of responses to access to information requests.  In fiscal year 2012-2013, the electronic responses made up 22% of all formal access to information requests closed.

In Round IX of the Management Accountability Framework (MAF) assessment, the CBSA received a rating of "Strong" for all three ATIP lines of evidence (LoE): 12.4 – Access to Information, 12.5 – Privacy and Protection of Personal Information, and 12.6 – Governance and Capacity. For the CBSA to maintain its "Strong" rating in future MAF assessments, TBS made the following recommendations for LoE 12.4 and 12.5:

  • Provide "principles for assisting applicants" to the applicant proactively and explicitly;
  • Establish a timeframe for the review of policies, procedures and supporting documentation; and
  • Clarify how privacy breaches are addressed (for LoE 12.5 only)

The CBSA has addressed all of these recommendations. In order to address the first recommendation, text was incorporated on the principles for assisting applicants in all ATIP acknowledgement letter templates.

In response to TBS recommendation that the ATIP Division establish a timeframe for the review of its policy, procedures and supporting documentation, a Privacy Policy and Procedural Review Chart was developed which provides timelines for updating all key divisional policies and procedures.

Finally, in response to TBS recommendation that the CBSA clarify how privacy breaches are addressed, a comprehensive Privacy Breach Protocol was developed, in consultation with Security and Professional Standards Directorate, and approved by the Agency's Executive Committee. The Privacy Breach Protocol incorporates a four-step process that includes a privacy breach checklist; a breach incident report; a risk assessment with scoring matrix; and sample notification letters. The Privacy Breach Protocol scoring matrix enables the Agency to determine the level of risk to both the individual and to the CBSA, allowing for more complete assessments of all circumstances surrounding a privacy breach.

Based on progress to date, and in continuing to strengthen the administration of the ATIP program within the CBSA, it is anticipated that the Agency will maintain its "Strong" rating for all three lines of evidence in future MAF assessments.

III. Human Resources

Finding and recruiting individuals who possess the necessary skills and experience for the ATIP discipline remains a challenge confronting all federal institutions. As a result, the market for ATIP Analysts is extremely competitive. Establishing the right organization with positions at the right levels is crucial to the success of the ATIP Division recruitment and retention efforts.

The ATIP Division implemented several human resource strategies over the past two fiscal years that better position the Division to maintain and minimize the impact on its current performance despite predicted access to information request workload increases. Part of the ATIP Division's success is attributable to its excellent core group of experienced staff who have been provided with opportunities to expand their knowledge and expertise through acting and assignment opportunities. These are part of the strategies implemented by the ATIP Division since fiscal year 2010-2011 and have continued in fiscal year 2012-2013.

The ATIP Division has hired and assigned six new FTEs to assist with the overflow of request attributable to individuals seeking copies of their history of arrival dates into Canada. The ATIP Division also hired a university student on a casual basis who joined the Policy and Training Unit, and is exploring the possibility of continuing this practice in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

IV. Education and Training

In fiscal year 2012-2013, the ATIP Division continued to conduct bilingual training sessions that supported the implementation of streamlined processing procedures and built an awareness of ATIP obligations. Specifically, 17 sessions were offered in which 377 National Capital Region employees took part. These sessions are designed to ensure that the participants fully understand their responsibilities under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, with a focus on requests made pursuant to the Acts, and the duty to assist principles, as well as the other elements required by TBS directives. The same session has also been delivered 9 times to 166 employees in 2 regions, with the intention of delivering this session to more regions in the new fiscal year.

The ATIP Division has also delivered customized sessions to particular audiences in high-demand areas. Specifically, 2 customized sessions were offered and have been well-received by 63 employees of the CBSA's Appeal Division. These sessions and targeted training will be offered again during the course of the new fiscal year.

The ATIP Division worked with the Information Management program to design a joint ATIP and Information Management online virtual learning tool for the CBSA employees. This session allows employees to increase their knowledge on information management, the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act, as well as related TBS policies and directives.  By learning the measures related to the ATIP request and the importance of information management, employees will have a better understanding of their role and responsibilities in supporting the Minister to fulfill his obligations under both Acts. It is anticipated that this tool will be available to all employees in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013-2014.

In addition,the ATIP Division organized quarterly National ATIP Liaison Officers Learning Events through conference calls. The purpose of these conference calls, that convene 18 ATIP Liaison Officers from branches and regions, is to exchange information about the challenges encountered in the branches and regions, discuss the latest policies and procedural developments and, otherwise, improve the ATIP Division – ATIP Liaison Officers relationship. These conference calls will be offered again during the course of the new fiscal year to ensure continued improvement and, safeguard the continual flow of communication that provides the necessary tools and training required by ATIP Liaison Officers in performing their duties.

Finally, the ATIP Division continues to participate in a TBS-led working group mandated in the area of community development, which more specifically examines the design of generic organizational ATIP models, work descriptions and associated generic competencies that will respond to various issues and challenges that have been identified by the ATIP community and support employees and organizational development in the ATIP field across the core public administration.

V. New and Revised Access to Information Act Policies and Procedures

Over the past two years, the CBSA has worked diligently to address TBS recommendations to improve its chapter for Info Source. The CBSA content of the chapter for Info Source is now organized by institutional functions, programs and activities, and all Classes of Records and Personal Information Banks are aligned under their related program and activities. The CBSA chapter for Info Source meets TBS requirements, and the CBSA will continue to update its Info Source throughout the 2013-2014 fiscal year in accordance with TBS requirements.

Moreover, as part of the Info Source modernization initiative, TBS launched a Decentralized Publishing Pilot Project in which the CBSA agreed to participate. The CBSA has been praised by TBS for their participation and their support in this pilot project. This participation provides the CBSA with a decreased reporting burden, an enrichment of information on the Agency's website, increased transparency, and a full content accessibility to users. For fiscal year 2013-2014, the CBSA has agreed to continue to collaborate with TBS in reaching their goal to have all institutions self-publishing Info Source chapters by December 2013. Furthermore, the CBSA will assist TBS with the interim and long-term implementation process, by assisting in the development of appropriate procedures, sharing best practices, improving of the functionality of Info Source publications, and by mentoring new institutions joining this process.

The ATIP Division has also developed ATIP Outgoing Consultation Directives, in response to recommendations made by the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada (OIC) related to their investigation of delays in the processing of requests. These directives provide instruction to staff to ensure that a unified approach is in place for consultations sent to other government departments under the ATIP Acts, decisions pertaining to time extensions are based on consultation requirements and processes, and, that timelines are respected in processing the requests. Furthermore, the ATIP Division has developed directives on incoming consultations received from other government departments to ensure requests are processed in a timely manner, that all stakeholders are given an opportunity to provide recommendations as to their disclosure and, that these consultation requests are given the same importance as the ATIP requests received directly by the CBSA.

The ATIP Division continues to provide the service of informally severing CBSA records, for internal programs, as if they had been requested under the Access to Information Act. The ATIP Division received 9 informal requests of this nature in fiscal year 2012-2013.

Delegation Order

See Annex A for a signed copy of the Delegation Order.

Chapter Two: Statistical Report

Statistical Report and Supplemental Reporting Requirements

See Annex B for the CBSA's statistical report on the Access to Information Act.

Interpretation of the Statistical Report

I. Overview

In fiscal year 2012-2013, the CBSA continued to refine its practices to maintain a high level of service to requesters while addressing increased workload-related issues. Statistics suggest these refinements are having a positive effect as evidenced by a continued high completion rate of requests within the legislated timelines.

II. Requests Received Under the Access to Information Act

The CBSA received 3,147 Access to Information Act requests in fiscal year 2012-2013, representing an increase of 68.6% from the previous year. The CBSA responded to 2,891 Access to Information Act requests during fiscal year 2012-2013, representing 91.8% of the total number of requests received. In total, 334 requests were carried forward from fiscal year 2011-2012 and 590 requests outstanding from fiscal year 2012-2013, were carried over to the 2013-2014 period.

Access to Information Requests Received/Completed

Of the 2,891 requests completed during fiscal year 2012-2013, the CBSA processed over 287,539 pages, an average of 99.5 pages per request. Of the 2,891 requests completed, the CBSA disclosed all the information to requesters in 18,847 pages processed (6.6%). Requests disclosed in part comprise the largest disposition category with 264,304 pages, representing 91.9% of the pages processed. Moreover, the CBSA has fully exempted 246 pages processed and excluded 14 pages processed from disclosure, representing 0.1% combined. Finally, the CBSA has processed 4,128 pages (1.4%) for requests that were, at the end, abandoned by the requester. The increase in the number of pages processed throughout the last few years is affecting the processing of the requests, as more time is required for revision and approval.

Pages Processed/Disclosed

III. Source of Requests

In total, 2,641 requests, representing 83.9% of all requests received, originated from the general public. Business enquiries comprise the second largest source category with 279 requests, representing 8.9% of the requests received. The CBSA also received 189 requests from media (6%), 37 requests from organizations (1.2%) and 1 request from an Academia source (less than 0.1%).

Source of Requests

IV. Completion Time

Of the 2,891 requests completed during the fiscal year 2012-2013, the CBSA responded to 2,043 requests within 30 days or less, representing 71% of all the requests completed. The CBSA has responded to 522 requests (18%) within 31 to 60 days, 194 requests (7%) within 61 to 120 days, and 132 requests (4%) required 121 days or more to be completed.

Completion Time

Of all the requests completed, the CBSA was successful in responding to 88.1% within the statutory time frames. This result reflects the CBSA's commitment to ensuring that every reasonable effort is made to complete the requests in a timely manner.

V. Extensions

The Access to Information Act allows departments to extend the legislated deadline of a request if the request cannot be completed within the legislated 30 day time limit. Section 9 of the Access to Information Act permits extensions if:

  • The request is for a large number of records or necessitates a search through a large number of records and meeting the original time limit would interfere with the operations of the institution;
  • Consultations are necessary to comply with the request; or
  • Notice of the request is given pursuant to subsection 27(1).

In total, 408 extensions were applied to requests during fiscal year 2012-2013. Of all the extensions required, 219 requests (53.7%) required an extension of 30 days or less. Of these 219 requests, extensions were applied in 130 instances (59.4%) for consultation, and in 86 instances (39.3%) for interference with operations such as searching for or through a large volume of records. The CBSA also invoked 3 extensions (1.3%) in order to conduct third party notifications in accordance with subsection 27(1) of the Access to Information Act.

The remaining 189 extensions (46.3%) went beyond 30 days. Of these 189 requests, extensions were required in 106 instances (56.1%) for consultation, and in 71 instances (37.6%) for interference with operations such as searching for or through a large volume of records. The CBSA also invoked 12 extensions (6.3%) in order to conduct third party notifications in accordance with subsection 27(1) of the Access to Information Act.

Extensions

When the CBSA requires extensions beyond 30 days, the ATIP Division notifies both the OIC and the requester.

VI. Disposition of Requests Completed

Of the 2,891 access requests completed in fiscal year 2012-2013, the CBSA provided full release of the information requested for 45% of the requests completed (1,300 requests), the most frequent outcome during the reporting period. Moreover, partial disclosure of the information requested has been applied in 34.8% of the requests (1,007 requests). Only 0.6% of the requests were completely exempted from disclosure (16 requests).

For the remaining 19.6% of the requests completed (568 requests), 11% (318 requests) were requests for which no documentation exists. Of the completed access requests, 8.1% were abandoned (234 requests).; Such an action may occur at any point in the processing of a request and is most often due to an absence of response from the requester. Additionally, 0.4% of the requests were records that did not fall under the control of the CBSA (12 requests). After initial review, these requests were transferred to the appropriate government institution for processing in accordance with section 8 of the Access to Information Act. Finally, 0.1% of the requests (3 requests) were excluded under the provisions of section 68 and 69 of the Access to Information Act, and less than 0.1% (1 request) of the completed requests was treated informally.

Disposition of Completed Requests

VII. Exemptions Invoked

Sections 13 through 24 of the Access to Information Act set out the exemptions intended to protect information pertaining to a particular public or private interest, and section 26 of the Access to Information Act is an administrative exception relating to the publication of information.

While most information is of a sensitive nature, the CBSA is making every effort to release as much information as possible, to remain consistent with the spirit of the Access to Information Act and the severability provisions of section 25. The majority of the exemptions invoked by the CBSA fell under five sections of the Access to Information Act. Section 16, which addresses law enforcement and criminal investigations, was used in 964 cases (32.8%). Section 19, which protects personal information, was used in 824 cases (28%). Section 15, which covers international relations, defence and subversive activities, was used in 437 cases (14.9%). Section 13, which protects information obtained in confidence, was used in 335 cases (11.4%). Section 21, which exempts records containing information relating to the internal decision-making processes of government, was used in 149 cases (5.1%). The remaining exemptions invoked were used in 229 cases (7.8%).

In terms of how the CBSA reports exemptions, if five different exemptions were used in one request, one exemption under each relevant section would be reported for a total of five exemptions. If the same exemption was used several times for the same request, it would be reported only once.

Exemptions Invoked

VIII. Exclusions Cited

Pursuant to section 68, the Access to Information Act does not apply to material that is published or available for purchase, library or museum material preserved solely for public record, and material deposited with the Library and Archives Canada. Records considered to be confidences of the Queen's Privy Council of Canada are excluded pursuant to section 69 of the Access to Information Act.

In this manner, exclusions were invoked a total of 4 times, or in 0.1% of the requests completed in fiscal year 2012-2013.

Exclusions cited in fiscal year fiscal year 2012-2013 Number of exclusions cited
S. Art. 68(a) 4
S. Art. 68(b) 0
S. Art. 68(c) 0
S.Art 68.1 0
S. Art. 68.2(a) 0
S. Art. 68.2(b) 0
S. Art. 69 (1)(a) 0
S. Art. 69 (1)(b) 0
S. Art. 69 (1)(c) 0
S. Art. 69 (1)(d) 0
S. Art. 69 (1)(e) 0
S. Art. 69 (1)(f) 0
S. Art. 69 (1)(g) re (a) 0
S. Art. 69 (1)(g) re (b) 0
S. Art. 69 (1)(g) re (c) 0
S. Art. 69 (1)(g) re (d) 0
S. Art. 69 (1)(g) re (e) 0
S. Art. 69 (1)(g) re (f) 0
Total 4
IX. Consultations

The CBSA received 366 Access to Information Act consultations, either from other government institutions, or from other organizations, in fiscal year 2012-2013. The CBSA closed 352 consultations during fiscal year 2012-2013. In total, 34 consultations were outstanding from fiscal year 2011-2012 and 48 consultations, outstanding from fiscal year 2012-2013, were carried over to the 2013-2014 period.

Of the 352 consultations closed during fiscal year 2012-2013, 241 consultations (68.5%) were completed in 30 days or less. Of these 241 consultations, recommendation of full disclosure was applied in 125 instances (51.9%) and, recommendation of partial disclosure was applied in 100 instances (41.5%). Moreover, the CBSA recommended to fully exempt all records for 12 consultations (5%). Finally, the CBSA has provided the recommendation to consult with another institution in 2 instances (0.8%), and other recommendations were invoke for 2 consultations (0.8%).

The remaining 111 consultations (31.5%) went beyond 30 days. Of these 111 consultations, recommendation of full disclosure was applied in 37 instances (33.3%) and, recommendation of partial disclosure was applied in 67 instances (60.4%). Moreover, the CBSA recommended to fully exempt all records for 6 consultations (5.4%). Finally, other recommendations were invoked for 1 consultation (0.9%).

Recommendations on Consultations

X. Complaints and Investigations

Subsection 30(1) of the Access to Information Act describes how the OIC receives and investigates complaints from individuals in respect to the information held by a government institution. Examples of complaints the OIC may choose to investigate include: refusal to disclose records or missing information or, if an individual has not been given access to information in the official language requested by the individual.

Throughout the 2012-2013 fiscal year, 41 Access to Information Act complaints were filed against the CBSA. This number represents 1.4% of all the requests completed during this period. The complaints received during the fiscal year were related to the following: time delay (3), refusal to disclose records or missing information (6), application of exemptions or exclusion (19), time extension (3), use and disclosure (4), and miscellaneous (6).

Complaints Received

There were 28 active complaints outstanding from fiscal year 2011-2012. The CBSA received 41 Access to Information Act complaints in fiscal year 2012-2013. The OIC resolved 33 complaints with the CBSA. A total of 36 complaints outstanding from fiscal year 2012-2013 are being carried forward into the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

Complaint Workload

Of the complaints resolved, 15 were well founded, 5 were not well founded, and 13 were abandoned or discontinued.  Where complaints are substantiated, the matter is reviewed by the delegated managers and processes are adjusted if required. For example, extensions may be reviewed to determine whether the length of time taken was appropriate, given the complexity of the request.

Complaints Closed in fiscal year 2012-2013
Well founded with recommendations – Resolved 7
Well founded with recommendations – Not Resolved 0
Well founded without recommendations – Resolved 8
Not well founded 5
Abandoned/discontinued 13
Not substantiated 0
Total 33

No key issues were raised as a result of Access to Information Act complaints and investigations.

XI. Appeals

There was no appeal to the Federal Court during the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

XII. Conclusion

The fiscal year 2012-2013 has proved to be challenging for the CBSA. New processes and employee training have helped streamline the Agency's response times in the face of growing volumes and case complexity. Moreover, the CBSA's human resource activities have allowed the improvement of ATIP expertise and increased ability to retain and develop employees. Challenges remain, however, and ongoing development of the Agency's employees and programs will be of the utmost importance in fiscal year 2013-2014. Furthermore, the implementation of new measures, and focusing on finding solutions to address the continual increase of Access to Information Act requests, will be essential for the CBSA to sustain compliance with the time requirements of the Act.

Annex A – Delegation Order

The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, pursuant to section 73 of the Access to Information Act and section 73 of the Privacy Act, hereby designates the persons holding positions set out in the schedule hereto, or the persons occupying on an acting basis those positions, to exercise the powers, duties and functions of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness as the head of Canada Border Services Agency under the provisions of the Act and related regulations set out in the schedule opposite each position. This designation replaces all previous delegation orders.

Schedule Canada Border Services Agency
Position Access to Information Act and Regulations Privacy Act and Regulations
President Full authority Full authority
Executive Vice-President Full authority Full authority
Vice-President, Corporate Affairs Branch Full authority Full authority
Director-General, Corporate Secretariat Full authority Full authority
Director, ATIP Division Full authority Full authority
Manager, ATIP Division Full authority Full authority
(except 8(2)(m))
Team Leader, ATIP Division Full authority Full authority
(except 8(2)(m))

Annex B – Statistical Report TBS/SCT 350-62


  1. Access to Information Act R.S., 1985, Chapter A-1, p. 1
  2. Ibid., p. 45
  3. Canada Border Services Agency website, About Us - What we do, accessed April 12, 2013
  4. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website Report on the TBS Study of Best Practices for Access to Information Requests Subject to Particular Processing, accessed April 12, 2013