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					 FOIP 2002 Conference
   Edmonton, Alberta


Making it Work
for Canadians

     Andrée Delagrave,
Chair, Access To Information
     Review Task Force
  Government of Canada
Today’s Presentation


                   Work of the Task Force


                       Facts and Findings


               Modernizing the Legislation


   Improving Practices, Skills and Systems


              Creating a Culture of Access


                             Conclusions
WORK OF THE
TASK FORCE
                         Task Force Mandate

                                        Access to information
Conduct a                               is essential if we are to
comprehensive                           continue to have an
administrative and                      open and transparent
                                        government. The work
legislative review
                                        of the Task Force will
of access to                            provide valuable advice
information and make                    to Parliamentarians
recommendations                         to ensure that any
to government to                        legislative changes to
improve access to                       the Access to
government                              Information Act better
                                        reflect the expectations
information for all
                                        of the public while
Canadians                               protecting the privacy
                                        of individuals
 Honourable Lucienne Robillard                Honourable Anne McLellan
        What the Task Force Was Looking At



What needs to be modernized in the Access Act in light of
changes in government, new technology, globalization,
evolution in other jurisdictions, decisions, and citizen
expectations?


How can the needs of Canadians be better met, including
ways to make the access process easier, faster, and more
effective?


How can the needs of Canadians for government
information be met in other complementary ways including
proactive dissemination, informal disclosure, special
processes for researchers?
        What the Task Force Was Looking At



What dispute resolution and redress mechanisms would
ensure effective and fair resolution of complaints and foster
organizational learning?

How best to ensure that the public service is aware and
supportive of the principles of the Act? How can leadership
and accountability be improved? What is required in tools
and support both for access officials and for public servants
to deliver on access to information?


How to ensure better understanding of the issues, effective
reporting and continuous progress?
      Process Leading to Our Recommendations
 Information
                    Analysis    Guidance     Recommendations
  Gathering


Proposals
                                 External
Public
                                 Advisory
 Roundtables          Task      Committee
Public   Service     Force

ATI
 Coordinators
                                                 Task Force
Provinces                         ADM
                                  Advisory
                                                   Report
 & countries
                                 Committee
                                                  June 2002
Submissions

Stakeholders

                     External
IC   Reports
                     Research
Academic                        Expert
                                 Advice
Statistics
FACTS AND
FINDINGS
No Magic Solution: Need for a Comprehensive Approach
   to the Reform of the Access to Information Regime




                      Culture of
                       Access




             Modernizing       Improving
                 the           Practices,
             Legislation       Skills and
                                Systems
    Facts & Findings

1   Canadians are making a modest but
    increasing, & increasingly sophisticated,
    use of the Access to Information Act


2   In a knowledge-based society, information is
    a public resource and essential for collective
    learning


3   The formal process under the Act cannot
    meet all the needs of Canadians for
    government information


4   Researchers believe that ATIA has restricted
    access to some documents previously
    available
    Facts & Findings

5   After almost 20 years, the Act is still not
    understood by the public, users, third parties,
    or even the public service


6   There is agreement that the principles set out
    in the purpose clause of the Act are correct
    but they need to be better communicated

    At every stage of the access process, there a
7   need for more rigorous processes, clearer and
    more widely understood rules, and greater
    consistency in outcomes, both for requesters
    and for government institutions


8   We need to move from ad hoc model of
    resourcing to a program delivery one
     Facts & Findings

9    Competent and supported access
     professionals are key to an effective
     access regime

     There cannot be better access to information
10   without better information management. Public
     servants do not know when/how to create records.
     Poor information management source of poor
     performance

     September 11 has made us more aware of the
11   need for careful balancing of public interests when
     deciding on disclosure; and at the same time of
     democracy and openness as fundamental value of
     our society.


12   Overall costs approximately $30 million -
     less than $1 per Canadian per year
                            Comparisons 1985 - 2000

500%
                   % Change in Number of Requests
                   From 85-86

                   % Change in Costs From 85-86
400%

                   % Change in ATI Staff From 85-86

300%               % Change in Number of Requests
                   Carried Forward From 85-86



200%




100%




 0%
       85/86 86/87 87/88 88/89 89/90 90/91 91/92 92/93 93/94 94/95 95/96 96/97 97/98 98/99 99/00
                      Findings
                 Sources of Requests
                     Academic 1%
                                       TASK FORCE
                                       RECOMMENDS:
         Media
          11%                          Differential fee
                                        structure

Organizations            Businesses    Commercial
    16%                     40%         requests: fees
                                        for all activities
                                        at fee rate
        General Public                 General
            32%                         requests: fees
                                        for search &
                                        prep and
                                        reproduction
                                        over 5 hours and
                                        100 pages
                       Findings - Requests
Vast majority of requests are small       A few are very large
  (less than 100 pages released)      (over 1,000 pages released)




  80% of requests                       1% of requests


     $10 for 5 hours of search           Full reasonable costs
    and 100 pages reproduction
      What We Found
Encouraging Effective Requests


     A regular contact with the
      requester throughout the life
      cycle of request would have a
      positive impact on the precision
      of requests, satisfaction of
      users and workload of
      Information Commissioner
                  should have a
      Institutions
      duty to assist requesters
      Request should be on specific
      subject or specific records
   What We Found
Comparisons with Others

  In looking at other jurisdictions
  in Canada and abroad, the performance
  of the federal access to information
  regime is generally quite comparable
  The challenges are strikingly similar:
    timeliness

    resourcing

    information management

    transparency of new service delivery
     bodies
    effective oversight and resolution of
     disputes
    creating and maintaining support
MODERNIZING
THE LEGISLATION
      What We Found
         The Act


1   In balance and design the Act is sound


2   The scope of the Act is more restrictive
    than comparable legislation in other
    countries and Canadian jurisdictions

    Complete exclusion of Cabinet
3   Confidences with no review - found in no
    other jurisdiction

    Some oversights in the Act and some
4   new issues to be addressed


5   There are less administrative protections
    than in comparable legislation
The Task Force is Recommending

       Legislated criteria for coverage of
        institution under the Act
       More clarity about the records
        covered by the Act
         – contractors‟ records deemed
           under the control
         – clarity on ministers‟ offices
           records
         – tribunal and military justice
           records not covered
         – public servants own notes
           (not shared - not affecting
           rights) not covered
The Task Force is Recommending


         Cabinet confidences redefined and
          brought under the Act - 15 years
          protection - factual information
          protection for 5 years maximum
         Third party information about critical
          infrastructure vulnerabilities explicitly
          protected
         Advice and internal deliberations
          exemption be narrowed
         New exemption to protect information
          about sacred sites or natural sites
         Frivolous and vexatious provisions
          be added (IC consent)
The Task Force is Recommending



      Greatest single improvement:
      the exercise of discretion create
      good reflexes to:

       Good   reasons to withhold
       Time diminishes sensitivity -
        when can information be
        released without harm?
 What We Found
     Redress


 Mostinvestigations are
 informal but growth in formal
 investigations raises new
 procedural issues
 Canada  one of the last
 jurisdictions to have an
 Ombudsman as independent
 reviewer; other ICs have order-
 making powers and greater
 diversity of tools to promote
 compliance
What We Recommend
      Redress



  Expanded mandate for
  Information Commissioner
  Bettercommunication of
  investigation procedure
  Procedural   safeguards
  Moving  to full order-making
  at least in medium-term
IMPROVING
PRACTICES, SKILLS
AND SYSTEMS
                      Practices, Skills, Systems


                        Tools and          Providing
                         systems         information in
                                           many ways

   Performance
   measurement                                            Skilled access
   and reporting                                                staff


Effective decision-
                                                             Supportive
      making
                                                             managers
process/delegation

   Adequate
   training of                                              Adequate
 public servants                                            resources


            Educated                               Good records
           third parties                           management
                                Educated and
                                  assisted
                                 requesters
Improving Practices, Skills and Systems
       What We Are Recommending


           The  Government and
            departmental Web sites,
            include easily retrievable
            information in submitting
            requests -- and on the
            organization and
            responsibilities of institutions
            and the types of records they
            hold
Improving Practices, Skills and Systems
       What We Are Recommending

          Institutionsexamine their decision-
          making process for factors
          affecting timeliness and quality,
          including their delegation of
          authority under the Act, to ensure
          that as few approvals as possible
          are required, and that
          responsibilities are delegated as far
          down the organization as possible
          Accesscoordinators receive
          support and have easy access to
          the Deputy Head - and senior
          management
Improving Practices, Skills and Systems
       What We Are Recommending



          Enhanced  training and learning
           opportunities for access to
           information officials; learning
           networks
          Expanded   capacity for central
           expertise, and active support to
           government institutions; more
           advice and guidance on
           implementation issues, and
           disseminating best practices
Improving Practices, Skills and Systems
       What We Are Recommending



          Recruitment efforts - succession
          planning for access professionals
          Standardized  statements of
          qualifications, along with tools to
          help institutions determine the
          qualifications needed for
          particular positions
          Ensureaccess professionals
          have the tools to do the job (e.g.
          request tracking software)
Improving Practices, Skills and Systems
       What We Are Recommending


            Government institutions more
             systematically identify information
             that is of interest to the public and
             develop the means to disseminate
             it proactively
            Routinely release information,
             without recourse to the Act,
             whenever the material is low-risk in
             terms of requiring protection from
             disclosure; establish protocols for
             use in identifying information
             appropriate for informal disclosure
Improving Practices, Skills and Systems
       What We Are Recommending


            Develop special processes for
             researchers, and for systematic bulk
             review and release of historical
             records
            A coordinated government-wide
             strategy be developed to address
             the crisis in information
             management including the
             necessary audit and evaluation tools
            Standards be established for the
             documentation of the business of
             government
Improving Practices, Skills and Systems
       What We Are Recommending




            Orientation and training, and
             ongoing guidance in information
             management, be available for all
             employees
            Institutions develop performance
             measurement indicators to identify
             areas having difficulty, or systemic
             problems that senior management
             could address
CREATING A CULTURE
OF ACCESS
Creating a Culture of Access


    No matter how well crafted an access
    law may be, it will only be a good law if
    public officials make it work (J. Reid,
    Information Commissioner)



    Openness cannot be legislated. Culture
    is the key (Officials, Australia)


    On reflection, the single critical factor
    overlooked by us when approaching
    FOI was that it was a change process,
    not just a legislative matter (Kerny and
    Stapelton, Ireland)
Creating a Culture of Access


      ExternalAdvisory Committee
      recommended that culture be
      specifically targeted for reform
      Cultureis a critical factor in
      achieving compliance
      Publicservants supportive of ATI
      principles but frustrated with
      process
                 legislation and
      Prescriptive
      coercive measures can deter
      non-compliance -- not effective in
      encouraging positive compliance
CREATING A CULTURE OF ACCESS




 MATERIAL        IDEATIONAL
  ASPECT           ASPECT
    Tools          Values
    Resources      Symbols
    Systems        Beliefs
    Processes      Norms
           Creating a Culture of Access
            What the Public Servants Say

    Supporting Factors         Negative Factors
   Good information          Lack of clear direction
    management                 & policies
   Proper training           Sub-standard filing
   Leadership                 systems
   Proactive release         Insufficient resources
    policies                  Inadequate tools
   Clearly articulated       Frivolous requests
    requests                  Competing priorities
   Adequate resources        Access perceived as
   ATI a senior               “add-on” to real job
    management priority       Mixed messages from
                               leaders
                 The Cultural Lens
             What the public servants say

    Supporting Factors          Negative Factors
   Good information           Lack of clear direction
    management                  & policies
   Proper training            Sub-standard filing
   Leadership                  systems
   Proactive release          Insufficient resources
    policies                   Inadequate tools
   Clearly articulated        Frivolous requests
    requests                   Competing priorities
   Adequate resources         Access perceived as
   ATI a senior                “add-on” to real job
    management priority        Mixed messages from
                                leaders
             Cultural Lens Constructing a Culture of Access


    Tools to do the job
                             Values of the Public Service
Embedding access in values
   of the Public service     … In the heart of most public
   Awareness training of
                             servants lies the conviction that
     public servants
                             service to the public, [...], to the
       Incentives &
      Accountability
                             public interest, is what makes
                             their profession like no other. It
  How to serve Ministers     is why they chose it, for the most
                             part, and why they keep at it,
 Supportive Management
                             with enthusiasm and conviction,
   Corporate leadership
                             despite difficulties and
                             frustrations along the way.
                                               (Report on Ethics and Values
                                       in the Canadian Public Service, 1999)
             Cultural Lens Constructing a Culture of Access


    Tools to do the job         Democratic values:
                                 importance of access to
Embedding access in values
   of the Public service         information as it supports
   Awareness training of
                                 transparency in governments,
     public servants
                                 and informed citizenry
       Incentives &
      Accountability            Service values: stewardship
                                 and provision of information
  How to serve Ministers
                                 are part of the service role
 Supportive Management          Professional values:
                                 excellence in creating and
   Corporate leadership
                                 managing information is part
                                 of the public service
                                 professional standards
             Cultural Lens Constructing a Culture of Access


    Tools to do the job

                              Founda generally low
Embedding access in values
   of the Public service      awareness of principles and
   Awareness training of
                              Act
     public servants
                              Should be part of orientation
       Incentives &
      Accountability          training for new recruits
                              Trainingshould be tailored for
  How to serve Ministers
                              specific needs of institutions
 Supportive Management
                              Part   of management training
   Corporate leadership
                              Trainingshould include the
                              principles of access & best
                              practices
             Cultural Lens Constructing a Culture of Access


    Tools to do the job


Embedding access in values
                             “When    we recruit, we gild
   of the Public service
                              the lily, describing the
   Awareness training of
     public servants          great job & responsibilities.
       Incentives &
       Incentives &
      Accountability
      Accountability
                              We sell the nice part of the
                              job but we don‟t talk about
  How to serve Ministers
                              ATI. It‟s not really
 Supportive Management
                              mentioned in the job
                              description.” (Participant -
   Corporate leadership       Public Service Discussion Groups)
             Cultural Lens Constructing a Culture of Access


    Tools to do the job
                              “Ina pressure-driven system
Embedding access in values    of competing activities, there
   of the Public service
                              are almost no rewards for
   Awareness training of
     public servants
                              program managers for giving
                              priority to finding and then
       Incentives &
      Accountability
                              reviewing responsive
                              records” (David Flaherty)
  How to serve Ministers
                              “Access work needs to be
 Supportive Management        legitimized as „real work‟,
                              valued work and rewarded
   Corporate leadership       work” (Gladys Symons)
             Cultural Lens Constructing a Culture of Access


    Tools to do the job


Embedding access in values
   of the Public service      Improved   visibility,
   Awareness training of
                               positive incentives, and
     public servants
                               accountability are
       Incentives &
      Accountability
                               required
                              Organizational  culture is
  How to serve Ministers
                               constructed in the day-to-
 Supportive Management         day routines that are
                               accepted by all
   Corporate leadership
             Cultural Lens Constructing a Culture of Access


    Tools to do the job


Embedding access in values
   of the Public service
                              Perceived conflict between
   Awareness training of
     public servants          supporting a Minister &
       Incentives &
                              releasing sensitive
      Accountability
                              information needs to be
  How to serve Ministers      addressed squarely
                              Publicservants serve
 Supportive Management
                              Ministers under the law
   Corporate leadership
             Cultural Lens Constructing a Culture of Access


    Tools to do the job


Embedding access in values
                             “I […] expect that impending
   of the Public service
                             release of sensitive
   Awareness training of
     public servants         information will be brought
       Incentives &
                             to my attention in a timely
      Accountability
                             manner so that I may respond
  How to serve Ministers     to questions. This
                             requirement however should
 Supportive Management
                             not in any way contribute to
   Corporate leadership      delays in responding to
                             access requests…
             Cultural Lens Constructing a Culture of Access


    Tools to do the job
                             …Responding to the request
Embedding access in values
   of the Public service     for information from citizens
   Awareness training of
                             in a timely manner is essential
     public servants
                             not only because of the
       Incentives &
      Accountability         requirements of the access
                             legislation, but also to
  How to serve Ministers
                             enhance the opinion Canadian
 Supportive Management
                             citizens have of this institution
                             and to promote the
   Corporate leadership      Department‟s objective of
                             transparency.”
                                                          Minister
             Cultural Lens Constructing a Culture of Access


    Tools to do the job


Embedding access in values
   of the Public service     “The formula is simple: to
   Awareness training of
                             create a broad culture of
     public servants
                             access, employees must
       Incentives &
      Accountability         be encouraged by their
                             superiors to generate and
  How to serve Ministers
                             maintain it.”
 Supportive Management



   Corporate leadership

                                                     (G. Symons)
             Cultural Lens Constructing a Culture of Access


    Tools to do the job

                             Right management signals:
Embedding access in values
   of the Public service
                                 Appropriate exercise of
   Awareness training of
     public servants
                                  discretion in decision-making

       Incentives &
                                 Ensuring access training
      Accountability
                                 Monitoring compliance
  How to serve Ministers
                                 Adequate resources and
 Supportive Management           Fostering sense of pride in
                                  responsible disclosure
   Corporate leadership
             Cultural Lens Constructing a Culture of Access


   Tools to do the job
                               Leadership from the centre
Embedding access in value
  of the Public service
                                required

  Awareness training of
    public servants
                               Need to rebuild capacity in
       Incentives &
      Accountability
                                Treasury Board as a centre of
                                excellence & expertise in
  How to serve Ministers        collaboration with Justice

 Supportive Management
                               TBS to provide leadership and
  Corporate leadership
                                support to ATI community:
                                training, expertise,
                                classification, promotion of role,
                                succession planning
4 Key Mindsets to Promote



     Access as regular program
      delivery to Canadians
     Awareness in all public servants
      of creating Government of
      Canada records
     Focus on responsible release --
      instead of protection of
      information
     Providing information to
      Canadians a valued part of every
      public servant‟s job
CONCLUSIONS
       Conclusion
Toward More Transpacency

      Needednow is not a revolution but
      constant and irreversible evolution
      toward more transparency
      Need for a comprehensive
      approach - legislative,
      administrative and cultural. An
      investment of time, leadership and
      resources. And a vision of
      providing information to
      Canadians that looks beyond the
      narrow purview of the Access to
      Information Act
        Conclusion


The achievement of transparency
is an ongoing process more than
a revolution. It should not be a
partisan debate but a common
effort toward better democracy




                    Alain Dubuc,
                       La Presse
  Access to Information:
Making it work for Canadians

Report of the Access to Information
        Review Task Force


   www.atirtf-geai.gc.ca

				
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