During the past year we responded to: 154 formal Access to Information Act (ATI) requests; 21 informal requests for records previously released under the Act by the Corporation; 17 consultations from other institutions subject to the Act (regarding information about CBC/Radio-Canada that appeared in records they were reviewing); and nine requests submitted under the Privacy Act.
All but one of these requests were answered on time or early. This includes all 30 of the ATI requests carried forward from 2012—2013, and 124 of the 159 ATI requests received during 2013—2014. None of the active 35 ATI requests carried into 2014—2015 were late.
During 2013—2014, we released approximately 32,000 pages of information, including almost 5,000 pages pertaining to meetings of CBC/Radio-Canada’s Board of Directors posted proactively on our Transparency and Accountability website, although they had not been requested formally under the Act. CBC/Radio-Canada also continues to proactively post records released in answer to ATI requests that are of general interest to Canadians.
We received 59 complaints regarding our processing of ATI requests in 2013—2014: an increase of 12 from the previous year, but significantly lower than the 525 complaints received in 2007—2008. At the same time, we worked diligently with the Office of the Information Commissioner during the year and reduced the backlog of pre-2013 ATI complaints against
CBC/Radio-Canada by more than 30%.
The downward trend in our “deemed refusal rate” continued during 2013—2014. This rate, which refers to requests not responded to within statutory limits, has dropped steadily from a high of 80.5% in 2007—2008 to 0.5% by the end of March 2014.
CBC/Radio-Canada’s Annual Public Meeting (APM) took place on October 23, 2013, live from Glenn Gould Studio at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto. Reflecting Canadians’ keen interest in their public broadcaster, over 300 people attended the event, not including those who tuned in via Twitter and webcast to hear Chair of the Board of Directors Rémi Racine, President and CEO Hubert T. Lacroix, and Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer Suzanne Morris provide highlights of 2012—2013 and an overview of the Corporation’s direction for the current fiscal year and beyond.
This year, radio took centre stage. Following the presentation of highlights from 2012—2013, panellists from
CBC Radio One, ICI Radio-Canada Première and ICI Musique1 talked about how the medium is changing, and the resulting opportunities for discussion and interaction with our audiences.
Archived material from the APM can be viewed here.
On December 4, 2013, CBC/Radio-Canada won the 2013 Award of Excellence for Corporate Reporting in the large Crown Corporations category in recognition of its 2011—2012 Annual Report. This prestigious award presented annually by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, promotes excellence in business reporting. We are very pleased that this award recognizes our commitment to best-in-class reporting and transparency. Refer here for further details.
This year, CBC/Radio-Canada updated its political activity policy (2.2.17) to clarify to staff our expectations about their public engagement in the political process and to maintain the Corporation’s rigorous standard of impartiality. You can view CBC/Radio-Canada's policy on political activity here.
CBC/Radio-Canada has an extensive code of Journalistic Standards and Practices and editorial control mechanisms to guide employees and to ensure that our programming remains balanced and accurate, particularly in today’s social media environment.
The most recent version, updated in November 2013, clarifies expectations for staff who wish to engage in political activity, an update which works in tandem with the changes made to the Corporation’s policy on political activity (2.2.17). You can view CBC/Radio-Canada’s Journalistic Standards and Practices here.
Public complaints about news and current affairs programming that are not resolved at the program level to the satisfaction of the complainants are dealt with by the Corporation’s two Ombudsmen. The Ombudsmen are completely independent of CBC/Radio-Canada programming staff and programming management, report directly to the President and, through the President, to the Board of Directors. The role of the Ombudsmen is pivotal in strengthening the national public broadcaster’s accountability and transparency to Canadians.
In 2013—2014, the Offices of the Ombudsmen handled a total of 4,162 complaints, expressions of concern and other communications. Of these, 2,896 concerned English Services and 1,266 concerned French Services. For English Services, 1,671 fell within the mandate of the Ombudsman (news and current affairs programming), compared to 912 for French Services. Communications not directly related to our news and current affairs programming were forwarded to the programming departments concerned.
In 2013—2014, the Ombudsmen terms of reference were updated; Ombudsmen are now a condition of licence for CBC/Radio-Canada. They are required to present two reports (annual and mid-year). The Board of Directors is required to respond to the annual report and its response is tabled with the CRTC.
The Ombudsmen can be reached at:The Ombudsman for English Services, CBC/Radio-Canada,
P.O. Box 500, Station A, Toronto ON M5W 1E6, (firstname.lastname@example.org); and Bureau de l’ombudsman pour les Services français, CBC/Radio-Canada, C.P. 6000, Montréal QC H3C 3A8 (email@example.com).
CBC/Radio-Canada employees at all levels are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct and policies governing their behaviour in such areas as respect for democracy, respect for people, integrity, stewardship and excellence. Our code of conduct and human resources policies can be viewed online here.
In pursuit of our mission to express Canadian culture and enrich the democratic life of the nation, we strive to be a socially minded organization in everything we do — from our programming and community activities that provide public value; to our social, environmental and business practices that benefit our Canadian communities; to our employee-related activities that enable our people to do their best to serve Canadians.
To illustrate the impact that we have on the communities we serve, we’ve created a dedicated website, called Social Responsibility and Public Value at CBC/Radio-Canada — Citizenship: Inside and Out, to present a sampling of our public value stories. In keeping with our environmental efforts, this publication is electronic only.