Access to Information Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. A-1)

Act current to 2016-08-15 and last amended on 2016-04-05. Previous Versions

Third Party Information

Marginal note:Third party information
  •  (1) Subject to this section, the head of a government institution shall refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains

    • (a) trade secrets of a third party;

    • (b) financial, commercial, scientific or technical information that is confidential information supplied to a government institution by a third party and is treated consistently in a confidential manner by the third party;

    • (b.1) information that is supplied in confidence to a government institution by a third party for the preparation, maintenance, testing or implementation by the government institution of emergency management plans within the meaning of section 2 of the Emergency Management Act and that concerns the vulnerability of the third party’s buildings or other structures, its networks or systems, including its computer or communications networks or systems, or the methods used to protect any of those buildings, structures, networks or systems;

    • (c) information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to result in material financial loss or gain to, or could reasonably be expected to prejudice the competitive position of, a third party; or

    • (d) information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with contractual or other negotiations of a third party.

  • Marginal note:Product or environmental testing

    (2) The head of a government institution shall not, pursuant to subsection (1), refuse to disclose a part of a record if that part contains the results of product or environmental testing carried out by or on behalf of a government institution unless the testing was done as a service to a person, a group of persons or an organization other than a government institution and for a fee.

  • Marginal note:Methods used in testing

    (3) Where the head of a government institution discloses a record requested under this Act, or a part thereof, that contains the results of product or environmental testing, the head of the institution shall at the same time as the record or part thereof is disclosed provide the person who requested the record with a written explanation of the methods used in conducting the tests.

  • Marginal note:Preliminary testing

    (4) For the purposes of this section, the results of product or environmental testing do not include the results of preliminary testing conducted for the purpose of developing methods of testing.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure if a supplier consents

    (5) The head of a government institution may disclose any record that contains information described in subsection (1) with the consent of the third party to whom the information relates.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure authorized if in public interest

    (6) The head of a government institution may disclose all or part of a record requested under this Act that contains information described in any of paragraphs (1)(b) to (d) if

    • (a) the disclosure would be in the public interest as it relates to public health, public safety or protection of the environment; and

    • (b) the public interest in disclosure clearly outweighs in importance any financial loss or gain to a third party, any prejudice to the security of its structures, networks or systems, any prejudice to its competitive position or any interference with its contractual or other negotiations.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 20;
  • 2007, c. 15, s. 8.
Marginal note:Public Sector Pension Investment Board

 The head of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board shall refuse to disclose a record requested under this Act that contains advice or information relating to investment that the Board has obtained in confidence from a third party if the Board has consistently treated the advice or information as confidential.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 148.
Marginal note:Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

 The head of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board shall refuse to disclose a record requested under this Act that contains advice or information relating to investment that the Board has obtained in confidence from a third party if the Board has consistently treated the advice or information as confidential.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 148.
Marginal note:National Arts Centre Corporation

 The head of the National Arts Centre Corporation shall refuse to disclose a record requested under this Act if the disclosure would reveal the terms of a contract for the services of a performing artist or the identity of a donor who has made a donation in confidence and if the Corporation has consistently treated the information as confidential.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 148.

Operations of Government

Marginal note:Advice, etc.
  •  (1) The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains

    • (a) advice or recommendations developed by or for a government institution or a minister of the Crown,

    • (b) an account of consultations or deliberations in which directors, officers or employees of a government institution, a minister of the Crown or the staff of a minister participate,

    • (c) positions or plans developed for the purpose of negotiations carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of the Government of Canada and considerations relating thereto, or

    • (d) plans relating to the management of personnel or the administration of a government institution that have not yet been put into operation,

    if the record came into existence less than twenty years prior to the request.

  • Marginal note:Exercise of a discretionary power or an adjudicative function

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of a record that contains

    • (a) an account of, or a statement of reasons for, a decision that is made in the exercise of a discretionary power or an adjudicative function and that affects the rights of a person; or

    • (b) a report prepared by a consultant or an adviser who was not a director, an officer or an employee of a government institution or a member of the staff of a minister of the Crown at the time the report was prepared.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 21;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 149.
Marginal note:Testing procedures, tests and audits

 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information relating to testing or auditing procedures or techniques or details of specific tests to be given or audits to be conducted if the disclosure would prejudice the use or results of particular tests or audits.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. I “22”.
Marginal note:Internal audits
  •  (1) The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains a draft report of an internal audit of a government institution or any related audit working paper if the record came into existence less than fifteen years before the request was made.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) However, the head of a government institution shall not refuse under subsection (1) to disclose a draft report of an internal audit of a government institution if a final report of the audit has been published or if a final report of the audit is not delivered to the institution within two years after the day on which the audit was first commenced.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 150.
Marginal note:Solicitor-client privilege

 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information that is subject to solicitor-client privilege.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. I “23”.

Statutory Prohibitions

Marginal note:Statutory prohibitions against disclosure
  •  (1) The head of a government institution shall refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information the disclosure of which is restricted by or pursuant to any provision set out in Schedule II.

  • Marginal note:Review of statutory prohibitions by Parliamentary committee

    (2) Such committee as may be designated or established under section 75 shall review every provision set out in Schedule II and shall, not later than July 1, 1986 or, if Parliament is not then sitting, on any of the first fifteen days next thereafter that Parliament is sitting, cause a report to be laid before Parliament on whether and to what extent the provisions are necessary.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. I “24”.
Marginal note:Severability

 Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, where a request is made to a government institution for access to a record that the head of the institution is authorized to refuse to disclose under this Act by reason of information or other material contained in the record, the head of the institution shall disclose any part of the record that does not contain, and can reasonably be severed from any part that contains, any such information or material.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. I “25”.

Refusal of Access

Marginal note:Refusal of access where information to be published

 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act or any part thereof if the head of the institution believes on reasonable grounds that the material in the record or part thereof will be published by a government institution, agent of the Government of Canada or minister of the Crown within ninety days after the request is made or within such further period of time as may be necessary for printing or translating the material for the purpose of printing it.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. I “26”.
 
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