Nova Scotians filed a record number of Freedom of Information requests last year, with document requests jumping more than 40 per cent.

The information comes from a government database CBC News obtained through a freedom of information request.

Top 10 longest wait times
Time (days)
Community Services 439
Community Services 370
Community Services 362
Community Services 260
Community Services 256
Economic Development 230
Community Services 225
Community Services 218
Economic Development 202
Community Services 195

Nova Scotians filed 1,562 Freedom of Information requests in 2012.

They cover all possible topics, from audits of civil servants' driving allowances, to records on screening programs for infant diseases.

Bureaucrats took an average of 28 days to respond to requests.

That's within the initial timeframe of 30 days.

"I'm pleased with that. I figure they're saying, ‘We'd better not go beyond 28,’ and they might have been able to come out with it a lot earlier.  But still, 28 days is good," said Darce Fardy, president of Nova Scotia's Right to Know Coalition.

But some requests took significantly longer to complete.

Two requests to the Community Services department that took more than a year.

Economic Development, the Department of Energy, and the Premier's Office had some of the longest average response times.

Fardy says prompt access to public records is important to keep citizens engaged in democracy.

"They feel the government is trying to keep that information from them. So they don't know enough about what's going on to make an intelligent decision at the polls. So they don't go," he said.

All Nova Scotians can make a freedom of information request by mailing a form with a cheque for $5.