CBC/Radio-Canada announced today that it is beefing up its Access to Information Office to respond to a greater-than-anticipated volume of requests in its first three months under the Access to Information Act.
CBC/Radio-Canada came under the Act on September 1, 2007. Since then, it has received nearly 500 requests, which is substantially higher than was anticipated, based on benchmarking against other organizations of similar size and scope. For instance, this is more than the number of requests typically received by the Department of Industry for an entire year. Amongst the Crown Corporations that came under the Act on September 1, the distant runner-up received approximately 50 requests in the first month, compared to a September total of about 350 for the national public broadcaster.
"We did not anticipate the volume of requests nor the labour-intensive nature of some of them," said Meg Angevine, Access to Information Coordinator. "As a result, the resources we had put in place to manage ATI have not been adequate to the task and we will not meet the target of responding to all requests within a 30-day timeframe."
"CBC/Radio-Canada takes its responsibilities under the Act seriously and will put in place processes and resources to respond to the flow of requests as quickly as possible," continued Ms. Angevine. "We have engaged an expert in access to information who will provide us with advice on how best to reorganize our resources. In the interim, we are actively filling additional positions to help us administer the backlog and get on a better footing."
CBC/Radio-Canada expects that it will take a number of months to revamp its ATI Office and overcome the backlog.
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. With 29 services offered on Radio, Television, the Internet, satellite radio, digital audio, as well as through its record and music distribution service and wireless WAP and SMS messaging services, CBC/Radio-Canada is available how, where, and when Canadians want it.
Through this array of activities, CBC/Radio-Canada brings diverse regional and cultural perspectives into the daily lives of Canadians in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, in nine languages on its international Radio service, Radio Canada International, and in eight languages on its Web-based Radio service RCI viva, a service for recent and aspiring immigrants to Canada.