Principles for assisting requesters

In processing your request under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) will:

  1. Offer reasonable assistance throughout the request process.
  2. Provide information on the Acts, including information on the processing of your request and your right to complain.

    Requests under the Privacy Act

    The Privacy Commissioner of Canada
    30 Victoria Street
    Gatineau, Quebec K1A 1H3
    1-800-282-1376 (toll-free)

    There is no time limit on when you can file a formal complaint to the Privacy Commissioner.

    Requests under the Access to Information Act

    Information Commissioner of Canada
    30 Victoria Street
    Gatineau, Quebec K1A 1H3

    You have the right to submit a complaint 30 days after submitting your request or within 60 days of receiving documents or a decision from LAC.

  3. Inform you, as appropriate and without undue delay, when your request needs to be clarified.
  4. Make every reasonable effort to locate and retrieve the requested records.

    We recommend that your request be sufficiently detailed, containing information such as an archival reference or, in the case of personnel records, identifying information about the individual (all names, date of birth, identifying numbers, etc.).

  5. Apply limited and specific exemptions to the requested records.
  6. Provide accurate and complete responses.
  7. Provide timely access to the requested information.

    LAC sometimes has to consult with other institutions that created records, which may lead to longer processing timelines to respond to an ATI request, as per Section 9(b) of the Access to Information Act.

  8. Provide records in the format and official language requested, as appropriate.
  9. LAC does not translate all of the archival records in its collections, nor does it translate the personnel files of former Canadian Armed Forces members or former federal public servants.
    In responding to ATIP requests on those records, LAC provides the responsive records in the original language in which they were created.

  10. Provide an appropriate location in the government institution where you can examine the requested information.

    All consultation of LAC material takes place in one of LAC’s public reference rooms.
    Please contact us if you would like to plan a visit.