Government Transparency Act

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PURPOSE OF ACT

Purpose

1. (1) The purpose of this Act is to extend the present laws of eCanada to provide a right of access to information in records under the control of a government institution in accordance with the principles that government information should be available to the public, that necessary exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific.

INTERPRETATION

Definitions

2. In this Act,

“Court” “Court” means the Federal Court;

“designated Minister” “designated Minister” means a person who is designated as the Minister under subsection 2.2(1);

“foreign state” “foreign state” means any state other than Canada;

“government institution” “government institution” means

(a) any department or ministry of state of the Government of Canada, or any body or office, listed in Schedule I, and

(b) any parent Crown corporation, and any wholly-owned subsidiary of such a corporation.

“head” “head” , in respect of a government institution, means

(a) in the case of a department or ministry of state, The Minister of that ministry or department as appointed by the president or their alternate.

(b) in any other case, either the person designated under subsection 3.2(2) to be the head of the institution for the purposes of this Act or, if no such person is designated, the chief executive officer of the institution, whatever their title;

“record” “record” means any documentary material, regardless of medium or form;

“third party” “third party” , in respect of a request for access to a record under this Act, means any person, group of persons or organization other than the person that made the request or a government institution.

For greater certainty

3. (1) For greater certainty, any provision of this Act that applies to a government institution that is a parent Crown corporation applies to any of its wholly-owned subsidiaries.

DESIGNATION

Power to designate Minister

4 (1) The President may designate a Minister for the provision of this Act.

ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT RECORDS

Right of Access

5. (1) Subject to this Act, but notwithstanding any other Act of Government or regulation of eRepublik, every person who is a Canadian citizen has a right to and shall, on request, be given access to any record under the control of a government institution.

Responsibility of government institutions

(2) The head of a government institution shall, without regard to the identity of a person making a request for access to a record under the control of the institution, make every reasonable effort to assist the person in connection with the request, respond to the request accurately and completely and, subject to the regulations, provide timely access to the record.

Information about Government Institutions

Publication on government institutions

6. (1) The designated Minister shall cause to be published, on a periodic basis not less frequently than once each quarter, a publication containing

(a) a description of the organization and responsibilities of each government institution, including details on the programs and functions of each division or branch of each government institution;

(b) a description of all records of expenditure including monthly totals by program activity under the control of each government institution in sufficient detail to facilitate the exercise of the right of access under this Act;

Requests for Access

Request for access to record

7. A request for access to a record under this Act shall be made in writing to the government institution that has control of the record and shall provide sufficient detail to enable an experienced employee of the institution with a reasonable effort to identify the record.

Notice where access requested

8. Where access to a record is requested under this Act, the head of the government institution to which the request is made shall, subject to sections 9 and 11, within thirty days after the request is received,

(a) give written notice to the person who made the request as to whether or not access to the record or a part thereof will be given; and

(b) if access is to be given, give the person who made the request access to the record or part thereof.

Extension of time limits

9. (1) The head of a government institution may extend the time limit set out in section 8 in respect of a request under this Act for a reasonable period of time, having regard to the circumstances, if

(a) the request is for a large number of records or necessitates a search through a large number of records and meeting the original time limit would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the government institution,

(b) consultations are necessary to comply with the request that cannot reasonably be completed within the original time limit, or

Where access is refused

10. (1) Where the head of a government institution refuses to give access to a record requested under this Act or a part thereof, the head of the institution shall state in the notice given under paragraph 7(a)

(a) that the record does not exist, or

(b) the specific provision of this Act on which the refusal was based or, where the head of the institution does not indicate whether a record exists, the provision on which a refusal could reasonably be expected to be based if the record existed,

Existence of a record not required to be disclosed

(2) The head of a government institution may but is not required to indicate under subsection (1) whether a record exists.

Deemed refusal to give access

(3) Where the head of a government institution fails to give access to a record requested under this Act or a part thereof within the time limits set out in this Act, the head of the institution shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to have refused to give access.

Responsibilities of Government

Information obtained in confidence

11. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the head of a government institution shall refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information that was obtained in confidence from

(a) the government of a foreign state or an institution thereof;

(b) an international organization of states or an institution thereof;

Where disclosure authorized

(2) The head of a government institution may disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information described in subsection (1) if the government, organization or institution from which the information was obtained (a) consents to the disclosure; or

(b) makes the information public.

12. (1) The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be injurious to the conduct of international affairs, the defence of Canada or any state allied or associated with Canada or the detection, prevention or suppression of subversive or hostile activities, including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, any such information

(a) relating to military tactics or strategy, or relating to military exercises or operations undertaken in preparation for hostilities or in connection with the detection, prevention or suppression of subversive or hostile activities;

(b) relating to the quantity, characteristics, capabilities or deployment of weapons or other defence equipment or of anything being designed, developed, produced or considered for use as weapons or other defence equipment;

(c) relating to the characteristics, capabilities, performance, potential, deployment, functions or role of any defence establishment, of any military force, unit or personnel or of any organization or person responsible for the detection, prevention or suppression of subversive or hostile activities;

(d) obtained or prepared for the purpose of intelligence relating to

(i) the defence of Canada or any state allied or associated with Canada, or

(ii) the detection, prevention or suppression of subversive or hostile activities;

(e) obtained or prepared for the purpose of intelligence respecting foreign states, international organizations of states or citizens of foreign states used by the Government of Canada in the process of deliberation and consultation or in the conduct of international affairs;

(f) on methods of, and scientific or technical equipment for, collecting, assessing or handling information referred to in paragraph (d) or (e) or on sources of such information;

(g) on the positions adopted or to be adopted by the Government of Canada, governments of foreign states or international organizations of states for the purpose of present or future international negotiations;

(h) that constitutes diplomatic correspondence exchanged with foreign states or international organizations of states or official correspondence exchanged with Canadian diplomatic missions or consular posts abroad; or

(i) relating to the communications or cryptographic systems of Canada or foreign states used

(i) for the conduct of international affairs,

(ii) for the defence of Canada or any state allied or associated with Canada, or

(iii) in relation to the detection, prevention or suppression of subversive or hostile activities.

13. The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act information that the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be injurious to the enforcement of any law of Canada or a province or the conduct of lawful investigations, including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, any such information

Safety of individuals

14. The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to threaten the safety of individuals.

Economic interests of Canada

15. (1) The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains

(a) trade secrets or financial, commercial, scientific or technical information that belongs to the Government of Canada or a government institution and has substantial value or is reasonably likely to have substantial value;

(b) information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to prejudice the competitive position of a government institution or to interfere with contractual or other negotiations of a government institution;

(c) scientific or technical information obtained through research by an officer or employee of a government institution, the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to deprive the officer or employee of priority of publication; or

(d) information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be materially injurious to the financial interests of a government institution or to the ability of the Government of Canada to manage the economy of Canada or could reasonably be expected to result in an undue benefit to any person, including such information that relates to

(i) a contemplated change in tariff rates, taxes, duties or any other revenue source,

(ii) a contemplated change in the conditions of operation of financial institutions,

(iii) a contemplated sale or purchase of securities or of foreign or Canadian currency, or

(iv) a contemplated sale or acquisition of land or property.

Refusal of Access

Refusal of access where information to be published

16. (1) The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act or any part thereof if the head of the institution believes on reasonable grounds that the material in the record or part thereof will be published by a government institution, agent of the Government of Canada or minister of the Cabinet within thirty days after the request is made.

Deny Access

17. (1) No person shall, with intent to deny a right of access under this Act,

(a) destroy, mutilate or alter a record;

(b) falsify a record or make a false record;

(c) conceal a record; or

(d) direct, propose, counsel or cause any person in any manner to do anything mentioned in any of paragraphs (a) to (c).

REPORTS TO PARLIAMENT

Monthly Report

18. (1)The head of any agency or department of government listed in Schedule I shall within two weeks of the end of Congressional elections submit a monthly report to Parliament on the activities and consequent expenditures of the office during that financial period.

Transmission of reports

19. (2) Every report to Parliament made by to the Minister of Information.

Additions to Schedule I

22 (1) The President may, by order, amend Schedule I by adding thereto any department, ministry of state, body or office of the Government of Canada.

SCHEDULE I

GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS

Departments and Ministries of State

Canadian Wheat Board Director of CSIS Director of Wiki Ministry of Communication and Heritage Ministry of Defense Ministry of Finance Ministry of Foreign and ATLANTIS Affairs Ministry of Industries Minister of Immigration Ministry of Social Services Supreme Court of Canada Statistics Canada

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