Submitting a complaint under the Access to Information Act


If you submitted a request for information to a federal institution under the Access to Information Act and you are not satisfied with how the institution has processed your request, you may complain to the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada within 60 days after you received a response from the institution to which you sent your request.

Typical reasons for making complaints:

  • the response to your request is taking too long (delay and time extension complaints);
  • you believe you were improperly denied information that you requested (missing records, or improper application of exemptions or exclusions under the Act);
  • you did not receive the information in the official language of your choice, or in the alternative format requested; or
  • any other related matters.

Note: The Access to Information Act applies to the federal institutions listed in Schedule I (Government Institutions) of the Access to Information Act and Crown corporations (and their wholly owned subsidiaries).

Completing the complaint form

Before you begin, have the number assigned to your request by the institution (it will usually start with an A) on hand, if available. There is a space provided on the form for this number.

The complaint form has five sections:

  • Registration
  • Complaint
  • Details
  • Review
  • Complete

By clicking on edit icon, you will be able to review and correct the information in the form. You will not be able to change anything after you click “Confirm.”

Call 1-800-267-0441 (toll-free) or contact us by email ( to change any information you submitted.

Submitting more than one complaint

You may submit multiple complaints against the same institution on one form.

To submit complaints against more than one institution, complete a form for each institution.

Once you submit your complaint

When you submit your complaint, you will immediately receive an email confirming that your complaint was received and providing you with a temporary reference number.

A representative of the Office of the Information Commissioner will review your complaint and will contact you once your complaint is registered if additional information is required. An investigator will contact you once the investigation begins.


question mark Help with each section of the complaint form

Contact us: 1-800-267-0441 (toll-free) or Please quote your temporary reference number provided in your email confirmation.

Communications Code of Conduct

The Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada (OIC) is committed to communicating with you in a respectful, professional and civil manner. Similarly, we expect the same courtesy from you.

We understand that the circumstances or issues that you are communicating with the OIC about may be stressful. However, we will not accept abusive behaviour or communications towards our staff. This would include threats, vexatious or harassing comments or conduct, sexual harassment, intimidation, yelling or screaming, or obscene, racist or discriminatory statements.

The OIC is required by law to protect staff from abusive behaviour and will not tolerate such behaviour against our staff. Repeated behaviour of this kind may result in the OIC communicating with you only in writing or otherwise restricting future communications with you.


Complaints against the Office of the Information Commissioner

The Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) is subject to the Access to Information Act but does not investigate complaints against itself.

If your complaint is about the OIC’s processing of your request, submit it to the Information Commissioner, Ad Hoc by mail to the following address:

Office of the Information Commissioner, Ad Hoc
380, Smythe Road
Fredericton, NB E3B 3E4