CBC/Radio-Canada’s ongoing improvements in the field of transparency, accountability and access to information has earned the public broadcaster a spot as a finalist in the 2012 Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC)/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Awards.
The IPAC/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Awards program recognizes organizations that have demonstrated outstanding leadership by taking bold steps to improve Canada, through advancements in public policy and management. CBC/Radio-Canada was selected as a finalist from over 100 award submissions received from across the country. Winners will be announced in February 2013.
“This achievement confirms that we’re on the right path,” said Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada. “The Corporation had real difficulties in responding to Access to Information requests when we first came under the Access to Information Act in 2007. We’ve worked hard to fix those problems and now have in place the attitude, the machinery, and the support necessary for us to live up to the standards that Canadians expect and deserve from their public institutions.”
Faced with the challenge of improving its performance under Access to Information, the Corporation has taken concerted action on multiple fronts:
Executive leadership initiatives and employee engagement, including the addition of transparency and accountability to the annual performance objectives of the President and CEO and each member of the senior executive team.
Targeted organizational adjustments and capacity building, including change in leadership and structure of the Access to Information office, training for employees responsible for ATI in each department of the Corporation, and the development of ATI guidelines to provide employees with a tool to better understand how the law applies to various types of information.
Simplified access for the public to information about our operations, including quarterly Transparency and Accountability Bulletins, the posting of documents disclosed pursuant to ATI request of general interest to Canadians, and the proactive disclosure of records going beyond statutory requirements.
As result of these initiatives, Canadians now enjoy much 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 to from 80.47% in 2007-08 to 2%, the lowest it has ever been since becoming subject to the Act.
The number of complaints filed with the Office of the Information Commissioner about the corporation’s performance has dropped from a high of 525 in 2007-2008 to 70 complaints in 2011-2012 (those related to delays dropped from 384 complaints to zero at the end of this past quarter). To date, 105,352 pages of information have been released, 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.
“We take transparency and accountability very seriously. They are front and centre in my performance objectives and in those of every member of the senior management team. They are critical to our credibility, and credibility is essential for a public broadcaster,” concluded Lacroix.