Author Topic: DAOD 1001-2, Informal Requests for Access to Departmental Information  (Read 1791 times)

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DAOD 1001-2, Informal Requests for Access to Departmental Information

Date of Issue: 1999-10-12

Application: This is an order that applies to members of the Canadian Forces (CF) and a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND).

Supersession: NDHQ Instruction DG Exec Sec 3/91, Implementation - Access to Information Act

Approval Authority: This DAOD is issued under the authority of the Assistant Deputy Minister (Finance and Corporate Services) (ADM (Fin CS)).

Enquiries: Director Access to Information and Privacy (DAIP)

Any person, group of persons, or organization may ask for access to records under the control of the department. The request can be made in person, by telephone or in writing to a CF member or DND employee.

The request must be precise enough to allow an experienced CF member or DND employee to locate the records.
Operating Principles

It is DND and CF policy to allow access, on an informal basis, to the records under its control which do not qualify for an exemption or an exclusion under the Access to Information Act (AIA).

CF members and DND employees are expected to assist individuals in identifying the information they want or need, and provide access to that information as often as reasonably possible.
Reading Room

Most records previously released under formal access requests are available informally on demand in the reading rooms of the DND in the National Capital Region (NCR). In other regions, arrangements can be made with DAIP personnel to view these records in local reading rooms.

Synopses of most closed formal Access to Information cases are available through the departmental internet site ( These synopses do not include personal information that may lead to the identification of a requester.
Responsibility Table

The following table describes the authorities and their responsibilities in responding to informal access requests:
The...    has the responsibility to...


provide guidance/staff advice to Offices of Primary Interest (OPIs) on request/as required concerning the release of records.

Request Recipient

determine who is the appropriate OPI(s) and forward the request for information as soon as possible.


    * locate the records;
    * examine the records to determine if the information can be released;
    * seek DAIP advice if they have any doubt as to whether the material is exempt or excluded from release; and
    * release documents to the requester.

Top of Page
Processing an Informal Request
Process Table

The following table describes the process to be followed when responding to an informal access request:
Step    Action


Informal request received by OPI.
If …    Then …
• request is unclear    • obtain clarification from requester.
• request is clear    • proceed with recovery of documents.


OPI reviews Excluded Material and Exempted Material explanations in DAOD 1001-0 Access to Information and DAOD 1001-1 Formal Requests for Access to Departmental Information respectively to determine whether exclusions or exemptions should apply.
If …    Then …
• records require exemptions or exclusions   

• requester may be advised to make a formal request; or
• the OPI shall contact DAIP for direction concerning severance provisions.
• records do not require exemptions or exclusions    • records are released to requester by OPI subject to local practices.
Difference Between a Formal and an Informal Request

The following table presents the main differences between a formal and an informal request:
Formal request       Informal request

The person, group of persons, or organization must qualify for a right of access, including being present in Canada at the time of the request and the receipt of the material.


Anyone may ask for access to records under the control of the department.

The request must be sent to DAIP.


The request can be made to any CF member or DND employee.

The refusal of access must be based on an exemption or exclusion provision contained in the AIA and the applicant must be given the reasons for the refusal.

Access Refusal

The department does not have to state a provision of the AIA when refusing access but any denial of access should take into account the exemptions and exclusions contained in the AIA.

In writing within thirty (30) calendar days of the receipt of the request.


No time limit but as soon as possible.

The applicant may complain to the Information Commissioner if unsatisfied with the manner in which the request is processed.


The requester has no legal recourse but may submit a formal request under the AIA if unsatisfied with the response of the department.
Source References

    * Access to Information Act
    * Access to Information Regulations
    * Access to Information Act Extension Order No. 1
    * Access to Information Act Designation Order
    * Treasury Board Manual (Information and Administrative Management Component) - Access to Information Volume
    * NDHQ Policy Directive Revised Military Police Investigation Policy

Related References

    * DAOD 1001-0, Access to Information
    * DAOD 1001-1, Formal Requests for Access to Departmental Information

Privacy Act: Collection of personal information

4. No personal information shall be collected by a government institution unless it relates directly to an operating program or activity of the institution.

1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. II “4”.