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

Act current to 2021-09-11 and last amended on 2021-08-12. Previous Versions

PART 1Access to Government Records (continued)

Third Party Intervention (continued)

Marginal note:Representations of third party and decision

  •  (1) Where a notice is given by the head of a government institution under subsection 27(1) to a third party in respect of a record or a part thereof,

    • (a) the third party shall, within twenty days after the notice is given, be given the opportunity to make representations to the head of the institution as to why the record or the part thereof should not be disclosed; and

    • (b) the head of the institution shall, within thirty days after the notice is given, if the third party has been given an opportunity to make representations under paragraph (a), make a decision as to whether or not to disclose the record or the part thereof and give written notice of the decision to the third party.

  • Marginal note:Representations to be made in writing

    (2) Representations made by a third party under paragraph (1)(a) shall be made in writing unless the head of the government institution concerned waives that requirement, in which case they may be made orally.

  • Marginal note:Contents of notice of decision to disclose

    (3) A notice given under paragraph (1)(b) of a decision to disclose a record requested under this Part or a part thereof shall include

    • (a) a statement that the third party to whom the notice is given is entitled to request a review of the decision under section 44 within twenty days after the notice is given; and

    • (b) a statement that the person who requested access to the record will be given access thereto or to the part thereof unless, within twenty days after the notice is given, a review of the decision is requested under section 44.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure of record

    (4) Where, pursuant to paragraph (1)(b), the head of a government institution decides to disclose a record requested under this Part or a part thereof, the head of the institution shall give the person who made the request access to the record or the part thereof forthwith on completion of twenty days after a notice is given under that paragraph, unless a review of the decision is requested under section 44.

 [Repealed, 2019, c. 18, s. 12]

Complaints

Marginal note:Receipt and investigation of complaints

  •  (1) Subject to this Part, the Information Commissioner shall receive and investigate complaints

    • (a) from persons who have been refused access to a record requested under this Part or a part thereof;

    • (b) from persons who have been required to pay an amount under section 11 that they consider unreasonable;

    • (c) from persons who have requested access to records in respect of which time limits have been extended pursuant to section 9 where they consider the extension unreasonable;

    • (d) from persons who have not been given access to a record or a part thereof in the official language requested by the person under subsection 12(2), or have not been given access in that language within a period of time that they consider appropriate;

    • (d.1) from persons who have not been given access to a record or a part thereof in an alternative format pursuant to a request made under subsection 12(3), or have not been given such access within a period of time that they consider appropriate;

    • (e) in respect of any publication or bulletin referred to in section 5; or

    • (f) in respect of any other matter relating to requesting or obtaining access to records under this Part.

  • Marginal note:Complaints submitted on behalf of complainants

    (2) Nothing in this Part precludes the Information Commissioner from receiving and investigating complaints of a nature described in subsection (1) that are submitted by a person authorized by the complainant to act on behalf of the complainant, and a reference to a complainant in any other section includes a reference to a person so authorized.

  • Marginal note:Information Commissioner may initiate complaint

    (3) Where the Information Commissioner is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to investigate a matter relating to requesting or obtaining access to records under this Part, the Commissioner may initiate a complaint in respect thereof.

  • Marginal note:Reasons for refusing or ceasing to investigate

    (4) The Information Commissioner may refuse or cease to investigate a complaint if, in the Commissioner’s opinion,

    • (a) the complaint is trivial, frivolous or vexatious or is made in bad faith; or

    • (b) an investigation or any further investigation is unnecessary having regard to all the circumstances of the complaint, including that the complaint is already the subject of an investigation or that the subject matter of the complaint has already been the subject of a report by the Commissioner.

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (5) If the Information Commissioner refuses or ceases to investigate a complaint, he or she shall give a written notice to

    • (a) the complainant, stating the reasons for refusing or ceasing to investigate the complaint;

    • (b) the head of the government institution concerned, if the Commissioner provided the head of the institution with a notice under section 32;

    • (c) any third party that was entitled under paragraph 35(2)(c) to make and that made representations to the Commissioner in respect of the complaint; and

    • (d) the Privacy Commissioner, if the Information Commissioner consulted him or her under subsection 36(1.1) or section 36.2.

Marginal note:Written complaint

 A complaint under this Part shall be made to the Information Commissioner in writing unless the Commissioner authorizes otherwise. If the complaint relates to a request by a person for access to a record, it shall be made within sixty days after the day on which the person receives a notice of a refusal under section 7, is given access to all or part of the record or, in any other case, becomes aware that grounds for the complaint exist.

Investigations

Marginal note:Notice of intention to investigate

 Before commencing an investigation of a complaint under this Part, the Information Commissioner shall notify the head of the government institution concerned of the intention to carry out the investigation and shall inform the head of the institution of the substance of the complaint.

Marginal note:Notice to third parties

 Where the head of a government institution refuses to disclose a record requested under this Part or a part thereof and receives a notice under section 32 of a complaint in respect of the refusal, the head of the institution shall forthwith advise the Information Commissioner of any third party that the head of the institution has notified under subsection 27(1) in respect of the request or would have notified under that subsection if the head of the institution had intended to disclose the record or part thereof.

Marginal note:Regulation of procedure

 Subject to this Part, the Information Commissioner may determine the procedure to be followed in the performance of any duty or function of the Commissioner under this Part.

Marginal note:Investigations in private

  •  (1) Every investigation of a complaint under this Part by the Information Commissioner shall be conducted in private.

  • Marginal note:Right to make representations

    (2) In the course of an investigation of a complaint under this Part by the Information Commissioner, a reasonable opportunity to make representations shall be given to

    • (a) the person who made the complaint,

    • (b) the head of the government institution concerned,

    • (c) a third party if

      • (i) the Information Commissioner intends to make an order, under subsection 36.1(1), requiring the disclosure of a record or a part of a record — or to recommend the disclosure of a record or a part of a record — that contains, or that the Commissioner has reason to believe might contain, trade secrets of the third party, information described in paragraph 20(1)(b) or (b.1) that was supplied by the third party or information the disclosure of which the Commissioner can reasonably foresee might effect a result described in paragraph 20(1)(c) or (d) in respect of the third party, and

      • (ii) the third party can reasonably be located, and

    • (d) the Privacy Commissioner, if the Information Commissioner consults him or her under subsection 36(1.1) or section 36.2.

    However no one is entitled as of right to be present during, to have access to or to comment on representations made to the Information Commissioner by any other person.

 
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