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Access to Information and Privacy

Background

The This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act (ATIA) and the This link will take you to another Web site Privacy Act came into effect in July 1983.

The This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act establishes the rights of all individuals (Canadian citizens and permanent residents within the meaning of subsection 2. (1) of the This link will take you to another Web site Immigration and Refugee Protection Act) and corporate entities present in Canada to have access to information contained in federal government records. The right of access is subject to certain specific and limited exceptions of the Act.

The This link will take you to another Web site Privacy Act gives all individuals in Canada the right to access their personal information held by the government and manages how their personal information is collected, kept, used, protected and disclosed [This link will take you to another Web site sections 4-8 of the Privacy Act].

This link will take you to another Web site Info Source is a directory of federal government information and related guides. Info Source publications support the federal government's ongoing commitment to promoting openness and the accessibility of information regarding its activities. It is a key reference tool to assist members of the public in exercising their rights to This link will take you to another Web site request government information under the This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act and the This link will take you to another Web site Privacy Act.

Quicklinks

How to Make a Request

Informal Requests

The Government of Canada encourages the release of information through informal requests. When an Access to Information request is for material which may be provided without recourse to the Act, the ATIP office will inform you that an access request is not required and that the information is being provided in accordance with normal government practice.

The Access to Information Act is intended to complement, not replace, established channels of communication. NSERC has always operated transparently and promoted open channels of communication with the research community and the public. We encourage you to contact us before using the ATI Act to request information.

Formal Requests

Any person or entity present in Canada pursuant to This link will take you to another Web site section 4 of the Access to Information Act and section This link will take you to another Web site 12. (1) of the Privacy Act has the legal right to request and obtain information that is under the control of a government institution.

You can submit a request for information held by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) by using the forms from the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada below:

Application steps

The following procedures should be followed when making a formal request under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act.

If a letter or e-mail is submitted instead of the Access to Information Request or Privacy Request form, the following information must be included:

  • statement that the information is being requested under the Access to Information Act or Privacy Act;
  • name of the appropriate government institution;
  • description of the records requested (be as specific as possible);
  • preferred method of accessing the records (e.g. receiving photocopies of the original documents or viewing the originals in the government office where they are located);
  • name, street address, city or town, province or territory, postal code, telephone number(s), e-mail address and signature of the applicant; and
  • date of request.

Principles for Assisting Applicants

In processing your request under the This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act or This link will take you to another Web site Privacy Act, the NSERC ATIP office will:

  • Process your request without regard to your identity.
  • Offer reasonable assistance throughout the request process.
  • Provide information on the Access to Information Act or Privacy Act, including information on the processing of your request and your right to complain to the appropriate Commissioner of Canada (the This link will take you to another Web site Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada or the This link will take you to another Web site Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada)
  • Inform you as appropriate and without undue delay when your request needs to be clarified.
  • Make every reasonable effort to locate and retrieve the requested records or personal information under the control of NSERC.
  • Apply limited and specific exemptions to the requested records or personal information.
  • Provide accurate and complete responses.
  • Provide timely access to the requested information.
  • Provide records or personal information in the format requested and, in certain circumstances, the official language requested.
  • Provide an appropriate location at NSERC to examine the requested information, if needed.

Fees

Access to Information Request

Applicants may be required to pay a This link will take you to another Web site fee for:

  • making an application ($5.00);
  • the costs of reproducing a record;
  • the time taken to search for a record or prepare (sever) any part of it for disclosure where the time exceeds five hours;
  • producing a computer record.

Fees cannot be charged for the following:

  • the costs of reviewing documents to determine whether they are exempt or excluded;
  • maintaining statistics or documentation relating to the administration of the Act;
  • filing (including filing of requests and re-filing of records);
  • providing facilities for processing requests or public access; or
  • shipping.

If costs are less than $25.00, fees are generally waived.

If costs exceed $25.00, all costs are payable in full and the applicant must send a deposit before NSERC proceeds with the request. All computer costs are payable in full by the applicant. All fees must be paid by the applicant before access is granted.

Privacy Request

There are no This link will take you to another Web site fees or charges for the processing of requests made under the Privacy Act.

Timeframe for Responding to Access or Privacy Requests

The legislated timeframe for responding to Access to Information or Privacy requests is 30 calendar days. This link will take you to another Web site Section 9 of the Access to Information Act permits an institution to extend the time limit to respond to a request beyond the 30 calendar days if:

  • the request is for a large number of records or requires a search through a large number of records, and the original time limit would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the institution;
  • external consultations are necessary and cannot reasonably be expected to be completed within the original time limit; or
  • notice to a third party is required to advise him or her that his or her information is the subject of a request and to provide them with an opportunity to provide input on the disclosure.

This link will take you to another Web site Section 15 of the Privacy Act permits an institution to extend the time limit to respond to a request for a maximum of 30 calendar days beyond the initial 30 days if:

  • the original time limit would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the institution; or
  • consultations are necessary and cannot reasonably be expected to be completed within the original time restriction.

Info Source

Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information provides information about the functions, programs, activities and related information holdings of government institutions subject to the This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act and the This link will take you to another Web site Privacy Act. It provides individuals and employees of the government (current and former) with relevant information to access personal information about them held by government institutions subject to the Privacy Act and to exercise their rights under the Privacy Act.

The This link will take you to another Web site Introduction to Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information and the This link will take you to another Web site List of institutions subject to the This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act and the This link will take you to another Web site Privacy Act are available centrally.

The This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act and the This link will take you to another Web site Privacy Act assign overall responsibility to the President of Treasury Board (as the designated Minister) for the government-wide administration of the legislation.

Records of Completed Access to Information Requests

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) posts monthly on its Web site a list of requests processed under the This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act. The list is chronological by year, month and request number.

The list may not include all requests for information that NSERC’s Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Office received. Requests that contain primarily personal information may not be posted.

You may wish to review the summary of Completed Access to Information Requests processed by NSERC’s ATIP Office. To obtain a copy of the records released, contact the Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator.

The records will be disclosed as they were released originally including format and language(s), with the exemptions and exclusions that were applied under the Access to Information Act (exemptions and exclusions may be reviewed and modified prior to release, if necessary).

Annual Reports

Do You Need Help?

If you have any questions about access to information and privacy, contact NSERC’s Access to Information and Privacy Office.

Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1H5
Telephone: 613-995-6214
Facsimile: 613-943-1222
E-mail: ATIP-AIPRP@nserc-crsng.gc.ca