Office of the Information Commissioner
The Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) was established in 1983 under the Access to Information Act (Canada’s freedom of information legislation) – to assist individuals and organizations who believe that federal institutions have not respected their rights under the Act. The OIC must also ensure that the rights of the government organizations and any involved third parties are respected. It provides arms-length oversight of the federal government’s access to information practices and encourages/assists federal institutions to adopt approaches to information-sharing that meet the objectives of the Act, and advocates for greater access to information in Canada. The OIC:
- carries out investigations and dispute-resolution efforts to resolve complaints
- monitors federal institutions’ performances under the Act
- represents the commissioner in court cases and provide legal advice on investigations and legislative matters
Anyone who feels that an information request was not properly handled by a federal institution may ask the OIC to investigate the issue. Typical reasons for making complaints include processing delays, denial of information, fees required, and official language concerns. The OIC is also subject to the Act. Anyone who believes that an access request submitted to us was improperly handled is entitled to make a complaint about our handling of an information request.