Report on the administration of the Privacy Act 2013-2014

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About this publication

Publication author : Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

ISBN number : 2291-725X

Publish date : September 16, 2014

Summary :

This report deals with the activities of the Agency in implementing the Privacy Act for the fiscal year 2013-2014.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Mandate of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
  3. Access to information and Privacy Office
  4. Delegation of authority
  5. Interpreting the statistical report on access to personal information
  6. Training
  7. Administrative policies and practices
  8. Complaints and investigations
  9. Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA)
  10. Disclosure of personal information
  11. Actions planned for 2014-2015
  12. Appendix A - Delegation schedule
  13. Appendix B - Statistical report
  14. Appendix C - Supplementary reporting

Introduction

The Privacy Act (the Act), promulgated on July 1, 1983, aims to extend the present laws of Canada that protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by a government institution.

The purpose of the Act is to protect personal information by allowing individuals to consult information about themselves. It also imposes strict controls on how such information is gathered, used and shared.

Under section 72 of the Act, The head of every government institution shall prepare an annual report for submission to Parliament. This document therefore reports on the operations of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec in 2012-2013, as required by the Act.

The Privacy Act gives individuals general access to personal information about themselves held by federal institutions, subject to certain specific and limited exceptions.

Mandate of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Under its incorporating act, which came into effect on October 5, 2005, the mission of the Agency is to promote the long-term economic development of the regions of Quebec, giving special attention to those where slow economic growth is prevalent or opportunities for productive employment are inadequate. As part of its mission, the Agency is committed to promoting cooperation and a complementary relationship with Quebec and its communities.

Through its economic role, the Agency is central to government priorities with respect to the economy and employment. It is present in all Quebec regions, and works in conjunction with local organizations. The Agency supports communities and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) so they can take part in the economy of tomorrow and achieve their full potential by building on their strengths, in particular by supporting the improvement of SMEs’ performance, productivity and innovation capability.

Furthermore, the Agency provides support for regions facing major crises by helping them diversify their economic base so as to enhance their long-term development. Through its business offices, the Agency’s presence is well-rooted in all Quebec regions. It acts in relation to enterprises—predominantly SMEs—and non-profit organizations (NPOs). The Agency supports SMEs and NPOs in their development primarily by providing financial assistance for project implementation.

The Agency’s approach is inspired by the best practices identified with respect to regional economic development. It is:

Since April 1, 2012, the Agency has had one regular G&C program, the Quebec Economic Development Program. In addition to this program, the Agency contributed to the design and implementation of Canada-wide programs and targeted ad-hoc initiatives such as the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF) that ended in March 2014. This initiative aimed to support the rehabilitation and improvement of existing community infrastructure.

Agency’s Grants and Contributions Programs and Initiatives, as stated in the 2013-2014 Report on Plans and Priorities:

Regular Program:

Quebec Economic Development Program (QEDP)

Canada-wide Program Implemented in Quebec by the Agency:

Community Futures Program (CFP)

Infrastructure Canada’s delivery partner for the administration in Quebec:

Building Canada Fund–Quebec
Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund
Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund

Ad-hoc initiative:

Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund

Access to information and Privacy Office

The Access to Information and Privacy Office (AIPO) is a division of the Agency’s Corporate Secretariat, reporting directly to the Deputy Minister/President’s Chief of Staff.

AIPO has a manager from the Corporate Secretariat, an access to information and privacy coordinator and an access to information officer. The coordinator, with the help of the officer, oversees compliance with legislation, regulations, procedures and broad government trends. Half of the officer’s workload is devoted to processing requests for access to personal information.

Through its delegated authority, AIPO represents the Agency on matters relating to the Act in dealings with the public, Treasury Board Secretariat, the Commissioners of Information and Privacy and other federal departments and institutions.

AIPO's chief duties are:

Delegation of authority

The Agency’s enabling legislation identifies its head as being the Deputy Minister/President. In addition to managing the institution and overseeing management of Agency personnel, the Deputy Minister/President is responsible for application of the Privacy Act.

To this end, the authority for application of the Act was delegated to the manager position in the Corporate Secretariat, while most administrative authority was delegated to the position of access to information and privacy coordinator.

This delegation emerged from the 2011-2012 comprehensive access to information plan. This plan continues to reflect government trends and adheres to the overall principles of access to information. The section on “Administrative Policies and Practices” in this report provides more detail.

Interpreting the statistical report on access to personal information

The Agency received no requests for access to personal information in the fiscal year in question. Owing to its economic development activities, the Agency holds numerous documents containing information on third parties, but very little in the way of personal information. This is why records of requests for access to personal information are so rare.

Cost

Expenditures related to the administration of the Act totalled $55,928 in 2013-2014. That amount includes $48,524 in salaries for 0.80 FTEs. Even though the Agency hasn’t processed any request and only received one complaint in the reporting period, it planned to complete a privacy impact assessment as stated in its 2012-2013 annual report. This initiative also generated other activites that aim at carrying out policies or procedures relevant to privacy.

Thus, a total of $6,750 was spent on professional services related to the completion of an assessment of the risks to privacy; and $654 was spent on travel costs, software leasing, supplies and translation services.

Training

In fiscal 2011-2012, we were able to develop and deliver a series of mandatory training sessions entitled Access to Information and Privacy Protection. This major initiative was conducted by the AIPO team and instructed 316 Agency employees on issues of access to information and protection of personal data.

In 2013-2014, AIPO continued with training, focusing on new Agency employees or those who did not have the opportunity to attend training in 2011-2012. To this end, seven training sessions were provided to a total of 43 employees.

In addition, two awareness sessions were provided to three employees in the Minister’s office. Also, two Agency employees, whose duties call for a certain grasp of access to information matters, received a specific training.

Administrative policies and practices

Procedure

For the past four years, AIPO has had an Access to Information and Personal Information Procedure, submitted to and approved by the Agency’s top management. No amendments were made in 2013-2014.

The procedure meets the demands of the Directive on the Administration of the Access to Information Act, as updated in January 2012. The purpose of this directive is to facilitate compliance with legislative and regulatory strictures, spell out the roles and responsibilities of all those involved in processing access requests and provide an efficient model of practices and processes for handling access requests.

In addition to presenting the roles and responsibilities of the various individuals involved, this procedure presents the process for handling requests, intended to illustrate the various processing and approval stages in effect at the Agency, based on the steps indicated in the following diagram.

Processing Flow

Receipt

Processing

Communication

 

As part of a well defined process, AIPO is responsible for receiving and processing requests submitted under the Act and provides leadership in this regard. AIPO then forwards the requests to the office of primary interest, which is then responsible for forwarding the requested documents and providing AIPO with expert advice.

Once the document extraction process has been completed, AIPO analyses the documents on the basis of the Act, consults the office of primary interest, the departments concerned and third parties, if necessary. It then informs the branches and sectors concerned of the recommended dispositions, which are then submitted to the Manager, Corporate Secretariat, for approval.

A 48-hour notice included in AIPO’s decision is sent simultaneously to the managers involved. The documents are then prepared for reporting and sent to the applicants.

Information Available on the Agency's Web Site

Access to Information and Privacy

One section of the Agency’s site has information about its role in applying the Act. There, one can find especially details of access requests processed by AIPO and for which records have been released. In accordance with the Directive on the Administration of the Access to Information Act, the Agency has been publishing a monthly summary of access to information requests processed since May 2011. Summaries contain the identification, abstract and disposition of requests, as well as the number of pages released.

These Web pages also contain practical supplementary information to help citizens who want to file an access request. This section is intended as a gateway to AIPO’s services.

Complaints and investigations

During the reporting period, the Agency received one complaint about a request for access to personal information processed in 2012-2013. This complaint is still under discussion between the Agency and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, in part to assess the application of section 25 (Safety of individuals).

Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA)

As planned in 2013-2014, the Agency made the necessary arrangements for a privacy impact assessment for the Quebec Economic Development Program. At the time of writing this report, the PIA had been completed and approved. In addition to being sent to the parties concerned, the PIA will be posted on the Agency’s Web site.

Disclosure of personal information

In 2013-2014, no information was disclosed pursuant to subsection 8.(2)(m).

Actions planned for 2014-2015

The ATIPO will prioritize its initial mandate of responding to all requests for access to personal information in accordance with the spirit and letter of the Act.

In addition, it will continue improving its business practices while complying with access to personal information-related directives, regulations and major trends. The improvement of its business practices in 2014-2015 will be achieved in part through the drawing up and implementation of a new Privacy Policy, as suggested in the privacy impact assessment.

Appendix A - Delegation schedule

Delegation Schedule Privacy Act
Article Description Proposed delegation
Manager, General Secretariat Co-ordinator
8(2)(j) Disclose personal information for research purposes  
8(2)(m) Disclose personal information in the public interest or in the interest or the individual  
8(4) Retain copy of 8(2)(e) requests and disclosed records
8(5) Notify Privacy Commissioner of 8(2)(m) disclosures
9(1) Retain record of use
9(4) Consistent use
10 Include personal information in personal information banks
14 Notice where access requested
15 Extension of time limits
17(2)(b) Language of access
17(3)(b) Access to personal information in alternate format
18(2) Exemption (exempt bank) Disclosure may be refused  
19(1) Exemption - Personal information obtained in confidence  
19(2) Exemption - Where authorized to disclose  
20 Exemption - Federal-provincial affairs  
21 Exemption - International affairs and defence  
22 Exemption - Law enforcement and investigation  
22.3 Exemption - Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act  
23 Exemption - Security clearances  
24 Exemption - Individuals sentenced for an offence  
25 Exemption - Safety of individuals  
26 Exemption - Information about another individual  
27 Exemption - Solicitor-client privilege  
28 Exemption - Medical record  
31 Exemption - Notice of intention to investigate
33(2) Exemption - Right to make representation
35(1) Exemption - Findings and recommendations of Privacy Commissioner (complaints)
35(4) Exemption - Access to be given
36(3) Exemption - Report of findings and recommendations (exempt banks)
37(3) Exemption - Report of findings and recommendations (compliance review)
51(2),(3) Exemption - Special rules for hearings  
72(1) Exemption - Report to Parliament

I approve the delegation schedule.
[original signed]
Guy Mc Kenzie, Deputy Minister/President
Date: December 6, 2012

Appendix B - Statistical report

Part 1 – Requests under the Privacy Act

Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 0
Outstanding from previous reporting period 0
Total 0
Closed during reporting period 0
Carried over to next reporting period 0

Part 2 – Requests closed during the reporting period

2.1 Disposition and completion time
Disposition of requests Completion Time
1 to 15 days 16 to 30 days 31 to 60 days 61 to 120 days 121 to 180 days 181 to 365 days More than 365 days Total
All disclosed 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No records exist 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2.2 Exemptions
Section Number of requests
18(2) 0
19(1) (a) 0
19(1) (b) 0
19(1) (c) 0
19(1) (d) 0
19(1) (e) 0
19(1) (f) 0
20 0
21 0
22(1) (a) (i) 0
22(1) (a) (ii) 0
22(1) (a) (iii) 0
22(1) (b) 0
22(1) (c) 0
22(2) 0
22.1 0
22.2 0
22.3 0
23(a) 0
23(b) 0
24(a) 0
24(b) 0
25 0
26 0
27 0
28 0
2.3 Exclusions
Section Number of requests
69(1) (a) 0
69(1) (b) 0
69.1 0
70(1) (a) 0
70(1) (b) 0
70(1) (c) 0
70(1) (d) 0
70(1) (e) 0
70(1) (f) 0
70.1 0
2.4 Format of information released
Disposition Paper Electronic Other formats
All disclosed 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0
2.5 Complexity2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Disposition of requests Number of pages processed Number of pages disclosed Number of requests
All disclosed 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0
2.5 Complexity2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
Disposition Less than 100 pages processed 101-500 pages processed 501-1000 pages processed
Number of requests Pages disclosed Number of requests Pages disclosed Number of requests Pages disclosed
All disclosed 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 0 0 0 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0
Abandoned 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0
2.5 Complexity 2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests (continued)
Disposition 1001-5000 pages processed More than 5000 pages processed
Number of requests Pages disclosed Number of requests Pages disclosed
All disclosed 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 0 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0
Abandoned 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0
2.5 Complexity 2.5.3 Other complexities
Disposition Consultation required Legal Advice Sought Interwoven Information Other Total
All disclosed 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 0 0 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0
Abandoned 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0
2.6 Deemed refusals 2.6.1 Reasons for not meeting statutory deadline
Number of requests closed past the statutory deadline Principal Reason
Workload External consultation Internal consultation Other
0 0 0 0 0
2.6 Deemed refusals 2.6.2 Number of days past deadline
Number of days past deadline Number of requests past deadline where no extension was taken Number of requests past deadline where an extension was taken Total
1 to 15 days 0 0 0
16 to 30 days 0 0 0
31 to 60 days 0 0 0
61 to 120 days 0 0 0
121 to 180 days 0 0 0
181 to 365 days 0 0 0
More than 365 days 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0
2.7 Requests for translation
Translation Requests Accepted Refused Total
English to French 0 0 0
French to English 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0

Part 3 - Disclosures under subsection 8(2)

Paragraph 8(2)(e) Paragraph 8(2)(m) Total
0 0 0

Part 4 - Requests for correction of personal information and notations

  Number
Requests for correction received 0
Requests for correction accepted 0
Requests for correction refused 0
Notations attached 0

Part 5 - Extensions

5.1 Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests
Disposition of requests where an extension was taken 15(a)(i)
Interference with operations
15(a)(ii)
Consultation
15(b)
Translation or conversion
Section 70 Other
All disclosed 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 0 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0
No records exist 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0
5.2 Length of extensions
Length of extensions 15(a)(i)
Interference with operations
15(a)(ii)
Consultation
15(b)
Translation purposes
Section 70 Other
1 to 15 days 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 days 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0

Part 6 - Consultations received from other institutions and organizations

6.1 Consultations received from other government institutions and organizations
Consultations Other
government institutions
Number of pages to review Other organizations Number of pages to review
Received during the reporting period 0 0 0 0
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0
Closed during the reporting period 0 0 0 0
Pending at the end of the reporting period 0 0 0 0
6.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other government institutions
Recommendation Number of days required to complete consultation requests
1 to 15 days 16 to 30 days 31 to 60 days 61 to 120 days 121 to 180 days 181 to 365 days than 365 days Total
Disclose entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclose in part 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Exempt entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
6.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations
Recommendation Number of days required to complete consultation requests
1 to 15 days 16 to 30 days 31 to 60 days 61 to 120 days 121 to 180 days 181 to 365 days than 365 days Total
Disclose entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclose in part 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Exempt entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Exclude entirely 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Part 7 - Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences

Number of days Number of responses received Number of responses received past deadline
1 to 15 0 0
16 to 30 0 0
31 to 60 0 0
61 to 120 0 0
121 to 180 0 0
181 to 365 0 0
More than 365 0 0
Total 0 0

Part 8 - Resources related to the Privacy Act

8.1 Costs
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $48,524
Overtime $0
Goods and Services $7,404
• Contracts for privacy impact assessments $6,750  
• Professional services contracts $0
• Other $654
Total $55,928
8.2 Human Resources
Resources Dedicated full-time Dedicated part-time Total
Full-time employees 0.00 0.80 0.80
Part-time and casual employees 0.00 0.00 0.00
Regional staff 0.00 0.00 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 0.00 0.00 0.00
Students 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total 0.00 0.80 0.80

Appendix C - Supplementary reporting

Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences under the ATIA - Requests with Legal Services
Number of Days Fewer than 100 101-500 501-1,000
Pages Processed Pages Processed Pages Processed
Number of requests Pages Disclosed Number of requests Pages Disclosed Number of requests Pages Disclosed
1 to 15 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 1 2 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 2 0 0 0 0
Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences under the ATIA - Requests with Legal Services (continued)
Number of Days 1,001-5,000 More than 5,000
Pages Processed Pages Processed
Number of requests Pages Disclosed Number of requests Pages Disclosed
1 to 15 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0
Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences under the ATIA - Requests with Privy Council Office
Number of Days Fewer than 100 101-500 501-1,000
Pages Processed Pages Processed Pages Processed
Number of requests Pages Disclosed Number of requests Pages Disclosed Number of requests Pages Disclosed
1 to 15 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 1 3 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 2 11 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 3 14 0 0 0 0
Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences under the ATIA - Requests with Privy Council Office (continued)
Number of Days 1,001-5,000 More than 5,000
Pages Processed Pages Processed
Number of requests Pages Disclosed Number of requests Pages Disclosed
1 to 15 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0
Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences under the PA - Requests with Legal Services
Number of Days Fewer than 100 101-500 501-1,000
Pages Processed Pages Processed Pages Processed
Number of requests Pages Disclosed Number of requests Pages Disclosed Number of requests Pages Disclosed
1 to 15 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0
Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences under the PA - Requests with Legal Services (continued)
Number of Days 1,001-5,000 More than 5,000
Pages Processed Pages Processed
Number of requests Pages Disclosed Number of requests Pages Disclosed
1 to 15 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0
Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences under the PA - Requests with Privy Council Office
Number of Days Fewer than 100 101-500 501-1,000
Pages Processed Pages Processed Pages Processed
Number of requests Pages Disclosed Number of requests Pages Disclosed Number of requests Pages Disclosed
1 to 15 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0
Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences under the PA - Requests with Privy Council Office (continued)
Number of Days 1,001-5,000 More than 5,000
Pages Processed Pages Processed
Number of requests Pages Disclosed Number of requests Pages Disclosed
1 to 15 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0
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