Open Data sheds light on processing times

The Government of Canada has just released its Open Data Portal, allowing full access to a vast number of statistics related to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Immigration data is already the most sought information on the Open Data Portal with CIC listing the six most downloaded datasets on the Portal.

These datasets include information about Canada’s immigrants’ countries of origin, preferred immigration programs, settlement patterns as well as application inventories and processing times. For example, processing times for 80% of cases and approval rates for April 2012 to March 2013 are shown in the table below:

Immigration Categories Months to Process Approval Rate
Parents and Grandparents 55 92%
Spouses, Partners & Children 17 84%
Spouses & Partners 17 85%
Dependent Children 16 78%
Family Class (Other) 34 48%
Adopted Children (FC6/FC9) 28 69%
Government Assisted Refugees 41 73%
Private Sponsored Refugees 52 72%
Protected Persons Landed In Canada and Refugee Dependants 25 90%
Humanitarian & Compassionate 57 44%
Permit Holders Class 41 66%

Open Government, originally trumpeted by the Obama Administration, is proposed to increase government transparency and accountability. The launch of Canada’s Open Data portal was planned to coincide with Harper’s promotion of an international Open Data Charter of Principles at the G-8 Leaders Summit in Northern Ireland. The Charter commits Canada to the release of more data via a comprehensive online registry of data holdings, and to giving users unrestricted rights to re-use that data. The Charter also sets standards for data quality, interoperability, and comparability, and prioritizes high-value data types for early release.

Check out Data.gc.ca  for datasets compiled by over 20 departments and agencies, covering a broad range of topics, including statistics on wait time for permanent residency status, wait times at border crossings and information about soldiers in World War I. The Portal also features the new Open Government Licence, which offers unrestricted re-use of government data and information.