Federal agencies and departments are struggling so much to process access to information (ATI) requests that they’re hiring record numbers of consultants to help tackle their swelling backlogs.

Although the surge in spending is helping to reduce backlogs in some agencies, in others it’s hardly making a dent. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) backlog has grown so large it surpassed the number of completed requests. Since 2017 the police force has awarded $3.5 million outsourcing ATI contracts.