Feds plan online pilot project for access-to-information requests
Canada's archaic access-to-information regime is
about to establish a toehold in the online world.
The Harper government plans a pilot project early next year to
allow ordinary citizens and others to request internal documents
under the Access to Information Act via the Internet.
The one-stop online portal would route each request to the proper
department, allow fees to be paid electronically, and permit
detailed tracking of the processing of the file.
The initiative will begin with just three departments, but is to
include most federal agencies and institutions over the next three
to four years.
Canada's access-to-information legislation was born in 1982,
before the age of the Internet, and the current system largely
reflects a bygone era of paper cheques and forms, envelopes and
For years, critics have pressed Harper government to haul the
creaking system into the digital world to save money and reduce
growing backlogs, pointing to Mexico and the United States as
(The Canadian Press)