PARLIAMENT of CANADA

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LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation No. 1: That Parliament review the Access to Information Act every five years.

Committee Response: The Committee supports this recommendation and suggests that the Minister consider amending the Act accordingly.

Recommendation No. 2: That all persons have a right to request access to records pursuant to the Access to Information Act.

Committee Response: The Committee supports this recommendation but strongly encourages the Minister to consider what cost-recovery options could be used to defray the costs of opening the process to foreign users and for all commercial users who resell the information for profit.

Recommendation No. 3: That the Access to Information Act provide the Information Commissioner with order-making power for administrative matters.

Committee Response: The Committee supports this recommendation and suggests that the Minister consider amending the Act accordingly.

Recommendation No. 4: That the Access to Information Act provide the Information Commissioner with discretion on whether to investigate complaints.

Committee Response: The Committee supports this recommendation and wishes to underline the need to establish a clear and defined framework for the exercise of this power, including consideration of limiting the Commissioner’s discretion to cases that involve frivolous and vexatious complaints or when precedents responsive to the complaint have already been established by a previous investigation. The Committee further recommends that the Commissioner should be required to provide a written response to the complainant with the reasons that the discretion has been invoked.

Recommendation No. 5: That the Access to Information Act provide a public education and research mandate to the Information Commissioner.

Committee Response: The Committee supports this recommendation and suggests that the Minister consider amending the Act accordingly.

Recommendation No. 6: That the Access to Information Act provide an advisory mandate to the Information Commissioner on proposed legislative initiatives.

Committee Response: The Committee supports this recommendation and suggests that the Minister consider amending the Act accordingly.

Recommendation No. 7: That the application of the Access to Information Act be extended to cover records related to the general administration of Parliament and the courts.

Committee Response: The Committee supports this recommendation subject to provisions protecting parliamentary and judicial privilege, and suggests that the Minister consider amending the Act accordingly.

Recommendation No. 8: That the Access to Information Act apply to Cabinet confidences.

Committee Response: The Committee notes that there were disagreements among witnesses about this recommendation and suggests that the Minister consider this recommendation in light of the arguments raised by the witnesses and the experience of other jurisidictions.

Recommendation No. 9: That the Access to Information Act require the approval of the Information Commissioner for all extensions beyond 60 days.

Committee Response: The Committee supports this recommendation and suggests that the Minister consider amending the Act accordingly.

Recommendation No. 10: That the Access to Information Act specify timeframes for completing administrative investigations.

Committee Response: The Committee supports this recommendation and suggests that the Minister consider amending the Act accordingly.

Recommendation No. 11: That the Access to Information Act allow requesters the option of direct recourse to the Federal Court for access refusals.

Committee Response: The Committee supports this recommendation and suggests that the Minister consider amending the Act accordingly.

Recommendation No. 12: That the Access to Information Act allow time extensions for multiple and simultaneous requests from a single requester.

Committee Response: The Committee supports this recommendation and suggests that the Minister consider amending the Act accordingly.

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