Newspapers Canada released its seventh annual National Freedom of Information (FOI) Audit on September 24 at the Sunshine Summit in Calgary. The launch of the 2012 report coincides with the beginning of Canadian Right to Know Week.
The annual FOI audit reviews the performance of Canadian governments with respect to their access to information regimes.The audit provides the public with an opportunity to see the degree to which our governments are in compliance with their own FOI legislation and facilitates comparisons among jurisdictions.
“The annual FOI audit represents an important tool for protecting the public’s right to access government information,” said John Hinds, CEO of Newspapers Canada.
“Municipalities continue to perform fastest in the audit, easily outpacing the senior levels of government,” noted Professor Fred Vallance-Jones, the National FOI audit’s lead researcher. “Thirty years after the Access to Information Act was passed, the federal government seems stuck in a rut of delays and can’t get out of the 50 to 60 percent range when it comes to completing requests on time.”
The FOI audit compares the performance of government and various public institutions across Canada. To obtain the data for the audit, a team of researchers requested the same information from the federal and provincial government, as well as a selection of municipalities.
The FOI audit was done in collaboration with Fred Vallance-Jones, associate professor of journalism at the University of King's College, and his team.
The 2012 Newspapers Canada FOI Audit is now available at www.newspaperscanada.ca/public-affairs/FOI2012