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

Act current to 2019-09-10 and last amended on 2019-08-28. Previous Versions

PART 1Access to Government Records (continued)

Exemptions (continued)

Operations of Government

Marginal note:Advice, etc.

  •  (1) The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Part 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
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 41(E)

Marginal note:Testing procedures, tests and audits

 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Part 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.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 22
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 41(E)

Marginal note:Internal audits

  •  (1) The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Part 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
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 41(E)

Marginal note:Protected information — solicitors, advocates and notaries

 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Part that contains information that is subject to solicitor-client privilege or the professional secrecy of advocates and notaries or to litigation privilege.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 23
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 10

Marginal note:Protected information — patents and trade-marks

 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Part that contains information that is subject to the privilege set out in section 16.1 of the Patent Act or section 51.13 of the Trade-marks Act.

  • 2018, c. 27, s. 273
  • 2018, c. 27, s. 277(E)

Statutory Prohibitions

Marginal note:Statutory prohibitions against disclosure

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

  • (2) [Repealed, 2019, c. 18, s. 11]

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 24
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 11
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 41(E)

Marginal note:Severability

 Notwithstanding any other provision of this Part, 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 Part 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.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 25
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 39

Refusal of Access

Marginal note:Refusal of access if information to be published

 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Part or any part of a record if the head of the institution believes on reasonable grounds that the material in the record or in part of the record will be published by a government institution, agent of the Government of Canada or minister of the Crown — other than under Part 2 — within 90 days after the request is made or within any further period of time that may be necessary for printing or translating the material for the purpose of printing it.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 26
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 11.1

Third Party Intervention

Marginal note:Notice to third parties

  •  (1) If the head of a government institution intends to disclose a record requested under this Part that contains or that the head has reason to believe might contain trade secrets of a third party, information described in paragraph 20(1)(b) or (b.1) that was supplied by a third party, or information the disclosure of which the head can reasonably foresee might effect a result described in paragraph 20(1)(c) or (d) in respect of a third party, the head shall make every reasonable effort to give the third party written notice of the request and of the head’s intention to disclose within 30 days after the request is received.

  • Marginal note:Waiver of notice

    (2) Any third party to whom a notice is required to be given under subsection (1) in respect of an intended disclosure may waive the requirement, and where the third party has consented to the disclosure the third party shall be deemed to have waived the requirement.

  • Marginal note:Contents of notice

    (3) A notice given under subsection (1) shall include

    • (a) a statement that the head of the government institution giving the notice intends to release a record or a part thereof that might contain material or information described in subsection (1);

    • (b) a description of the contents of the record or part thereof that, as the case may be, belong to, were supplied by or relate to the third party to whom the notice is given; and

    • (c) a statement that the third party may, within twenty days after the notice is given, make representations to the head of the government institution that has control of the record as to why the record or part thereof should not be disclosed.

  • Marginal note:Extension of time limit

    (4) The head of a government institution may extend the time limit set out in subsection (1) in respect of a request under this Part where the time limit set out in section 7 is extended under paragraph 9(1)(a) or (b) in respect of the same request, but any extension under this subsection shall be for a period no longer than the period of the extension under section 9.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 27
  • 2007, c. 15, s. 9
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 41(E)

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.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 28
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 41(E)
 
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