NWT Education Contracts, data printed to paper

The 2015 Newspapers Canada FOI Audit asked three departments in every province and territory for an electronic, machine-readable file of all contracts valued at $10,000 or more awarded by tender or RFP during the most recently completed fiscal year.

While the open data wave is washing across the country, it hasn’t quite arrived on the shores of the Northwest Territories, though the territory has an independently sponsored site that tries to fill the gap with some limited offerings.

The NWT Department of Education, Culture and Employment responded to the FOI Audit request for contracts data by sending a paper printout. Says the decision letter, “We are providing this information as a paper copy, since it is our practice not to provide records for Access to Information requests in electronic formats, except pdf files (on request).” You can see the whole response, and the two pages of printout below.

As the audit report pointed out, paper printouts of data rather defeat the whole point of data. We ran the paper through a scanner, extracted the data, and saved it in a downloadable CSV file. As the optical character recognition process we used can make errors, be sure to double check against the original if you use the data.

Feel free to use the records or data, but please credit the 2015 FOI audit.