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Policy on the Processing of ATIP Requests

AD 3030-0

ADM, CORPORATE SERVICES SECTOR
SMA, SECTEUR DES SERVICES INTÉGRÉS
1994-09-19

BACKGROUND

The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act came into effect in July 1983. They both concern information held by federal government institutions. The Access to Information Act establishes the rights of all individuals and corporate entities present in Canada to have access to information contained in federalgovernment records. The Privacy Act gives all individuals in Canada the right of access to information about themselves, and governs the collection, retention, use, protection and disclosure of personal information.

1.0 POLICY

It is the policy of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)to:

1.1 Ensure that all requests for access to information submitted under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act (ATIP) are processed through the Departmental Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator.

1.2 Ensure that decisions on the release of information and on the application of specific exemptions and exclusions are recorded and approved by the delegated authority as identified in the departmental Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act Designation Orders.

2.0 APPLICATION

2.1 This policy applies to all requests for information submitted to Natural Resources Canada under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

2.2 The administration and coordination of all activities related to the ATIP Acts are carried out by the departmental ATIP Secretariat.

3.0 DEFINITIONS

Excluded Records: Excluded records include published material, material available for purchase by the public, library or museum material made or acquired and preserved solely for public reference or exhibition purposes, material placed in Public Archives, the National Library or the National Museum of Canada by or on behalf of persons or organizations other than government institutions and confidences of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.

Exemptions: Exemptions are provisions of the ATIP Acts which entitle or require the heads of federal government institutions to withhold records/information requested under the Acts.

Formal Request: A formal request is a request that is made in writing to a government institution that has control of the record.

Informal Request: An informal request is a request for departmental records which does not invoke the right of access provided by the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Information subject to exemption under the Acts is not released informally. There are no formal time constraints, fees or opportunities for independent review of decisions for these types of requests.

4.0 MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS

4.1 Requests for information must be processed in accordance with the ATIP Acts, the ATIP Regulations and the Treasury Board Secretariat policy guides.

4.2 TAny formal written request for information submitted under the ATIP Acts must be forwarded to:

NRCan Departmental ATIP Secretariat
11th Floor, 580 Booth Street
Ottawa, Ontario
KIA OE4

4.3 The Acts requires that the Department respond within thirty (30) days of receipt of the request.

5.0 GUIDELINES

5.1 The ATIP Handbook describes the procedures to be followed for the processing of requests made under these Acts.

5.2 When any doubt exists as to whether information can be released informally, advice may be obtained from the ATIP Secretariat.

6.0 REFERENCES

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following documents:

6.1 Access to Information Act, R.S.C. 1980-81-82-83-85, c. 111, Sch I "1".

6.2 Access to Information Regulations.

6.3 Privacy Act,
     R.S.C. 1980-81-82-83-85, c. 111,
     Sch II "1".

6.4 Privacy Regulations.

6.5 Treasury Board Manual: Access to Information Volume, December 1993.

6.6 Treasury Board Manual: Privacy and Data Protection Volume, December 1993.

6.7 Departmental (NRCan) Access to Information and Privacy Handbook (May 1990) and Delegation of Authority Charts. (Available through the NRCan ATIP Secretariat).

7.0 FORMS

7.1 Access to Information Request Form - TBC 350-57 (Rev. 1990/11)

7.2 Personal Information Request Form - TBC 350-58 (Rev. 1990/11)

8.0 CANCELLATION

This document supersedes Module 3-2, Processing of ATIP Requests dated May 13, 1992 of the former EMR Administrative Policy Manual.

9.0 INFORMATION

For further information, please contact:

Coordinator, Access to Information and Privacy
Information Management Branch

Requesting Records or Information

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