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Canadians using the Access to Information Act have voiced concerns about excessive delays in producing government records and even a “culture of secrecy.”

The findings come in an interim report of a federal review of the access law — the main federal transparency tool — summarizing feedback gathered during consultations.

The Access to Information Act allows Canadians to request records, including internal documents such as emails and expense reports, from federal government agencies.

People who use the system complained that exemptions and exclusions were “excessively applied,” preventing the disclosure of relevant government information.

The interim report also says users lamented inconsistencies across government in the application of exemptions.

Treasury Board President Mona Fortier says the government is committed to a complete review of the access law and the report is an important first step.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 22, 2021.

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