ontario news watch

Access to Information plan includes administrative steps but no legislative changes

OTTAWA — The Liberal government is outlining a variety of steps intended to make the much-criticized Access to Information system work better.

But it appears any changes to the federal law will have to wait until after the next formal review, set to begin a year from now.

The Access to Information Act allows people who pay $5 to request government records ranging from emails and memos to reports and expense claims.

However, the law has long been criticized as slow and cumbersome, often resulting in long waits and blacked-out documents.

The federal plan released today focuses on administrative changes aimed at making the processing of requests more efficient and timely.

It says the next review of the access law, to begin in June 2025, will give the government a chance to explore ways to strengthen the legislation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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