Canadian Manufacturing

Complaints from Access to Information users more than doubled last year: info czar

The Trudeau government announced a review of the law in June

September 29, 2020  The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — A federal watchdog says dissatisfied users of the Access to Information Act lodged over 6,000 new complaints last year — more than double the number in the previous year.

In her annual report for 2019-20 tabled today, information commissioner Caroline Maynard urges the government to improve service and reduce delays in responding to requests.

The commissioner is an ombudsman for requesters under the access act, the key federal transparency law.

It allows users who pay $5 to request files ranging from briefing notes and expense reports to internal studies and email correspondence.

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However, the law introduced in 1983 has been widely criticized over the years as outdated and poorly managed.

The Trudeau government announced a review of the law in June, but has yet to provide details on how Canadians might participate.