03/31/2015 03:26 EDT | Updated 05/31/2015 05:59 EDT

Highlights of information watchdog's report on Access to Information reform

OTTAWA - Highlights of information commissioner Suzanne Legault's special report to Parliament on Access to Information reform:

—Fill gaps in the law's coverage by extending it to agencies including ministers' offices and institutions that support Parliament and the courts;

—Establish a legal duty to document government decisions;

—Limit time extensions beyond the initial 30 days to 60 additional days, unless the information commissioner approves more time to answer a request;

—Make cabinet records less than 20 years old subject to the law;

—Loosen various restrictions that allow agencies to withhold information;

—Create a general public interest override for release of information that embeds the principle of openness by default;

—Give information commissioner power to order the release of records;

—Require government to disclose more information automatically;

—Create new penalties for failure to comply with the law;

—Ensure the law is reviewed every five years.

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