Access to Information and Privacy
On this page
- How to Make a Request
- Timeframe for Responding to Access or Privacy Requests
- Info Source
- Records of Completed Access to Information Requests
- Annual Reports
As a federal agency, NSERC is responsible for complying with and administering the Access to Information Act (ATIA) and the Privacy Act. All information under the control of NSERC is subject to these two acts.
The Access to Information Act gives Canadian Citizens, permanent residents and corporate entities present in Canada the right to access information contained in federal government records. The right of access is subject to certain specific and limited exceptions of the Act.
The Privacy Act gives all individuals in Canada the right to access their personal information held by the Government of Canada. It also protects against the unauthorized disclosure of that personal information and controls how personal information is collected, used, stored, disclosed, and disposed.
How to Make a Request
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.
Use the ATIP Online Request Portal for a fast, easy, and convenient way to submit access to information or privacy requests to NSERC.
If you are unable to submit a request online, you can complete either an Access to Information Request Form (Access to Information Act) or a Personal Information Request Form (Privacy Act) and submit your request by regular mail or email:
125 Zaida Eddy Private, 2nd floor
Ottawa, ON K1R 0E3
Before submitting a request, ensure that NSERC is the agency that holds the information you are requesting. When submitting a request, be sure to include all relevant details to help the ATIP Office find the related records.
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;
- 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
Each request made to NSERC under the Access to Information Act must be accompanied by a $5 application fee. There is no fee to make a formal request under the Privacy Act.
For mailed requests, the fee must be paid by a cheque or money order made out to the Receiver General of Canada. For online requests, the fee must be paid by credit card through the ATIP Online Request Portal.
Timeframe for Responding to Access or Privacy Requests
The legislated timeframe for responding to Access to Information or Privacy requests is 30 calendar days. 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.
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: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information provides information about the functions, programs, activities and related information holdings of government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the 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 Introduction to Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information and the List of institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act are available centrally.
The Access to Information Act and the 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 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).
You may request electronic copies of previous annual reports by contacting NSERC’s Access to Information and Privacy Office.