CBC/Radio-Canada has been awarded a grade of “A” for its performance under Access to Information by the Information Commissioner in her special report tabled today in Parliament. The result is a significant improvement over the grade of “F” received by the Corporation in the Commissioner’s previous report, tabled in March 2011.
“We had a tough start under Access to Information, but we’ve worked hard to turn the ship around. We appreciate seeing that effort recognized,” said Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada. “The Corporation has taken concerted action on multiple fronts to fix the problems we had responding to requests. This grade confirms that we’re on the right track. The protocols, the mechanisms, and the support we now have in place will allow us to live up to the standards that Canadians expect and deserve from their public institutions.”
According to the Commissioner’s report: “The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) made dramatic improvements in its access to information operations and achieved an outstanding level of compliance in 2011–2012 […]As we have seen for other institutions, leadership was the primary factor in the CBC’s improved performance. After the CBC received an “F” on our 2009–2010 report card, the President and CEO made compliance with the Act a corporate priority and communicated the importance of transparency and compliance with the Act to all staff […] This, in turn, emphasized the importance of transparency throughout the institution and highlighted the expectation that sectors would fully support access to information operations.”
As a result of several initiatives undertaken to improve CBC/Radio-Canada’s performance under Access to Information, Canadians now have easier access to information about their public broadcaster. As of September 30, 2012, the Corporation’s average response to info requests was 36 days, down from a high of 187 days in 2008–2009. The “deemed refusal” rate (documents not released in the allocated timeframe), was down from 80.47% in 2007-2008 to 4.2% in 2010-2011, and is now at 2% (as of September 2012), the lowest it has ever been since becoming subject to the Act. The number of complaints filed with the Office of the Information Commissioner related to delays dropped from 384 in 2007-2008 to zero at the end of this past quarter.
To date, 105,352 pages of information have been released by the Corporation, much of which can be accessed in the Proactive Disclosure section of the corporate site. CBC/Radio-Canada is the only Crown Corporation and the only broadcaster to disclose this volume of records on the management of its activities.
“Our commitment to transparency and accountability is ongoing and remains a top priority. It is front and centre in the objectives of every member of our senior management team. Getting an “A” was one thing. Maintaining it will now be our next objective. We have to continue to live up to this standard,” concluded Lacroix.
For further information on CBC/Radio-Canada’s continuing efforts to improve transparency and accountability, please visit this page.
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages.