Frequently asked questions about ATIP

  1. What are the costs involved to submit a request under the Access to Information Act or Privacy Act?
     
  2. I have received my information from your Crown corporation and I am not satisfied with the results. What are my options?
     
  3. Where can I get more information about the Access to Information and Privacy Acts?
     
  4. How do I make an Access to Information request?
     
  5. How do I make a Privacy request?
     
  6. How long will it take to get the information I have requested?
     
  7. Can I obtain all the information the government has about me by submitting a request to your department?
     
  8. Does it matter which Act I submit my request under?
     
  9. In what format can my final response package be sent to me?
     

1. What are the costs involved to submit a request under the Access to Information Act or Privacy Act?

  • Under the Privacy Act, there are no associated costs as it is your personal information that you are requesting.
  • Under the Access to Information Act, there is an initial CA$5.00 processing fee, which covers the first five hours of search and preparation for your request. If more than five hours of search and preparation are needed, a fee estimate may be calculated and you will be advised of the additional costs, which are CA$10.00 for every hour of research and preparation beyond the first five hours. Furthermore, you may be assessed photocopy fees of up to $0.20 a page for large requests.
  • Please make sure that you clearly describe the information that you are seeking. The more general your request is, the less likely we will be able to find exactly what you are looking for.

2. I have received my information from your Crown corporation and I am not satisfied with the results. What are my options?

It is the right for anyone who requests information from an access to information and privacy (ATIP) office to file a complaint in relation to their request.

For Access to Information Act complaints, please send correspondence to:

Office of the Information Commissioner
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Québec  K1A 1H3

Note: The Office of the Privacy Commissioner does not process complaints sent by e-mail or phone. Please submit your complaint by mail.

For Privacy Act complaints, please send correspondence to:

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Québec  K1A 1H3

Note: The Office of the Privacy Commissioner does not process complaints sent by e-mail. Please submit your complaint by mail.

3. Where can I get more information about the Access to Information and Privacy Acts?

To learn more about the Acts, please refer to the information published on the following websites:

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Office of the Information Commissioner

Office of the Privacy Commissioner

4. How do I make an Access to Information request?

To make a request under the Access to Information Act, you may either submit your request on the IDRC Access to Information Request Form or you may write to us stating that your request is pursuant to the Access to Information Act. Your request should be forwarded, along with the CA$5.00 application fee, payable to the International Development Research Centre, to the following address:

Legal and Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator
Office of the Secretary and General Counsel
International Development Research Centre
PO Box 8500
150 Kent Street
Ottawa ON  K1G 3H9

Please note:

  • An application fee of CA$5.00 payable to the International Development Research Centre is required before the processing of your request under the Access to Information Act can begin.
  • To make an Access to Information request, you must either be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or have an address in Canada. Canadians living abroad will be required to provide proof of citizenship in order to receive the information they are seeking.
  • If you are not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident and you would like to submit a request to IDRC, you should to do so through a representative that is a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, or has an address in Canada.
  • Corporations, businesses, and organizations with a Canadian presence have the right to make an Access to Information request.
  • Please note that an applicant may be charged additional search fees and/or preparation fees in regards to a request they have submitted under the Access to Information Act.

5. How do I make a Privacy request?

To make a request under the Privacy Act, you may either submit your request on the IDRC Personal Information Request Form or you may submit a signed written request stating clearly what personal information you are seeking. There are no fees for accessing your own personal information under the Privacy Act.

Your request should be sent to:

Legal and Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator
Office of the Secretary and General Counsel
International Development Research Centre
PO Box 8500
150 Kent Street
Ottawa ON  K1G 3H9

Please note:

  • You must either be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident to make a request under the Privacy Act.
  • Your request for personal information shall provide sufficient details about the information you are seeking so as to render it reasonably retrievable.
  • Please DO NOT include your Social Insurance Number as it is not required to make a Privacy Act request.

6. How long will it take to get the information I have requested?

We have 30 calendar days in which to respond to a formal access to information request. However, if a lengthy or complex search is needed to locate the information or if external consultations need to be undertaken, we have a right to take more time to complete the request. If more time is needed, you will be advised of the extension.

7. Can I obtain all the information the government has about me by submitting a request to your Crown Corporation?

  • Both the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act only permit us to release information that is under the control of the International Development Research Centre. If you need information from a different federal institution, such as the Department of Global Affairs Canada (GAC), you will need to contact them directly. Please refer to the list of Access to Information and Privacy Coordinators.
  • Please note that you have a right to request information under the control of a specific institution.
  • The Acts only apply to federal government organizations. If you require information from provincial or municipal departments, you will need to contact them directly.

8. Does it matter which Act I submit my request under?

  • Your rights of access to your own personal information are in accordance with section 12 of the Privacy Act. If you are looking for information about yourself, it is best to apply under the Privacy Act, as you will not be charged for making your request.
  • Information other than personal information should be requested under the Access to Information Act.

9. In what format can my final response package be sent to me?

  • Your package may be sent to you either on paper or on CD. CD release packages are provided in a PDF format, which will work on both Mac and PC computers.
  • Please note that there may be fees associated with the production of paper documents.