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Annual Report to Parliament on the Administration of the Privacy Act - 2015-2016

Table of Contents

Introduction

We are pleased to table the Annual Report to Parliament on the administration of the Privacy Act (PA or the Act) for fiscal year 2015-2016, as required under section 72 of the Act.

Nota: The Department is referred to as Global Affairs Canada; however, the legal name remains the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

Purpose of the Privacy Act

The Privacy Act provides Canadian citizens and individuals present in Canada the right to seek access to their personal information that is held by the federal government. It also governs the collection, use, disclosure, retention and disposal of personal information.

Mandate of the Institution

On behalf of the Government of Canada, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development is Canada’s face and voice to the world, working to advance Canada’s political and economic interests in the international community as well as to apply Canadian experience to help address global issues.

The Department's legal mandate, as set out in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act, SC 2013, c. 33, s. 174 is to:

The Minister of Foreign Affairs is also responsible for the Export and Import Permits Act, RSC 1985, c. E-19, which authorizes the government to control and monitor the trans-border flow of specified goods, and for the Special Economic Measures Act, 40-41 Elizabeth II, c. 17, which authorizes the government to apply economic sanctions in response to a serious threat to international peace and security.

The Department also provides administrative support to other government institutions with personnel abroad.

Organizational Structure

The Access to Information and Privacy Protection Division (ATIP Office) is responsible for the administration of the Act, including the processing of requests and consultations. The Director of the ATIP Office reports to the Corporate Secretary, who in turn reports to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In 2015-2016, the ATIP Office staff fluctuated at around fifty-five to seventy (including consultants) to fulfill the Department’s obligations under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. As of March 31, 2016, the ATIP Office consisted of; a director, four deputy directors, seven team leaders, twenty nine analysts at various levels, seven clerical staff, seven consultants, 1 student, seven part-time and casual employees, and one systems administrator. The work ranges from processing complex and/or voluminous requests to more straightforward, routine requests and consultations from other government departments as well as providing advice to internal and external stakeholders and providing training to departmental staff.

Delegated Authorities

Under Section 73 of the Act, the Minister’s authority is delegated to enable the Department to meet its legislated requirements as well as exercise its powers. As a result of amalgamation, the Department is currently operating with two separate and distinct Delegation Orders. Since October 2009, responsibility for all sections of the Act was delegated to the Deputy Ministers, to the Corporate Secretary, to the Director of the ATIP Office, to the Deputy Directors of the ATIP Office, as well as to Heads of Mission for the purposes of disclosure under section 8(2)(m) of the Privacy Act. (See Annex A).

Administration of Requests

The following section explains in more detail the TBS statistical report as provided in Annex B

Privacy Requests

Between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016, the Department received 135 requests for personal information under the Privacy Act. Along with those new requests, 25 requests were carried over from the previous fiscal year, for a total of 160. During the reporting period, 127 requests were completed and 33 still active files were carried over to the next reporting period. More files were closed in this reporting period compared to the previous fiscal year.

Disposition of Completed Requests

The distribution of completed requests is as follows:

Table 1: Disposition of Completed Requests
RequestsNumber of Requests
All Disclosed8
Disclosed in Part73
Nothing Disclosed (Excluded)0
Nothing Disclosed (Exempt)1
Abandoned by applicant30
No records exist15
Total127

Exemptions and Exclusions

The exemption most commonly used by the Department during the period was section 26 [Information about another individual] of the Privacy Act. It was invoked in 73 requests. DFATD did not apply exclusions under subsection 70(1) [confidences of cabinet] during this reporting period.

Relevant Pages Processed and Disclosed

In all, during this reporting period, the Department disclosed 20,083 pages of the 27,851 relevant pages processed.

Extensions

During the reporting period, DFATD claimed extensions pursuant to subsections 15(a)(i) and 15(a)(ii): 37 and 21 times, respectively.

Consultations Received from Other Institutions

When a request contains records that are of interest to another institution, the Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator of that institution is consulted. Between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016, DFATD received 16 consultations under the Privacy Act from other federal government institutions.

During the reporting period, 15 consultations were completed under the Privacy Act

Internal Operations

Training and Development

During 2015-2016, the ATIP Office continued to provide analysts with the necessary training and tools to perform their jobs effectively via training sessions developed to meet the ATIP Office’s training needs. The Learning Roadmaps developed in a previous year have continued to be an effective tool to identify and formalize the training requirements for employees in the ATIP Division.

The ATIP Office also continued to benefit from its ATIP Professional Development Program which allows the Department to “grow its own” ATIP Analysts due to the shortage of experienced ATIP Analysts within the federal ATIP Community. This program has been very successful in addressing recruitment, retention and succession planning issues. Thirteen employees are presently in the program and recruiting continues.

The Policy & Governance Team assists in addressing the ATIP training needs of the ATIP Office, the Department and other federal government institutions. The Policy and Governance Team also advises the Department regarding compliance with the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act, their regulations and relevant Treasury Board of Canada policy requirements.

The ATIP Office continues to broaden its use of internal collaboration tools to share information, best practices, and facilitate cooperation across the Department. A structured, department-wide ATIP awareness program is in place and includes the following events: attendance at staff meetings, “Global Affairs Canada 101” courses which are designed for all employees, pre-posting training sessions in order to better prepare employees for their work at Canada’s missions abroad, and in sessions with subject matter experts during which records are reviewed in order to educate employees on the exercise of discretion when making recommendations. In addition, an online interactive ATIP awareness tutorial, developed in collaboration with the Canadian Foreign Service Institute, continues to be used.

To assist Consular Officers in understanding their roles and responsibilities vis-a-vis the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act in the context of providing consular services to Canadians, a specific training program is delivered using scenario-based practical exercises to better prepare employees for situations they may encounter in the course of their duties.

In all, during the reporting period, forty one formal training sessions were delivered to approximately five hundred and eighteen employees. The Department’s ATIP Division continuously strives to develop and refine its training tools through comments from employees participating in the various training session delivered.

New or Revised Policies, Guidelines and Procedures

While the workload has stabilized, it remains substantial and the Access to Information and Privacy Protection Office at the department is continually working to find efficiencies. In the past year, the division’s internal guidelines documents were converted to an “evergreen” electronic document.

The Department continued to place emphasis on educating departmental officials on their ATIP roles and responsibilities to ensure compliance and efficiencies.

Key Issues Raised, and Actions Taken as a Result of Complaints, Audits, and Investigations

During the reporting period, the Department received five complaints, of which three were on the same file. Two have been completed and three carried over to the next fiscal year.

The Department takes the issue of complaints seriously. In order to avoid complaints, the ATIP Office provided ATIP Awareness sessions throughout the Department, updating the Bureau Intranet and Internet ATIP web sites, ensuring that new personnel receive appropriate training.

Monitoring Processing Times

The Department monitors time to process requests using the following tools:

Administration of Personal Information

Privacy Breaches

Details regarding the six privacy breaches which took place during the reporting period:

Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA)

No PIAs were completed in 2015-2016.

Disclosure of Personal Information

Subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act provides that “personal information under the control of a government institution may be disclosed” without consent under certain specific circumstances.

Subsection 8(2)(m):

Personal information may be disclosed “for any purpose where, in the opinion of the head of the institution,

(i) the public interest in disclosure clearly outweighs any invasion of privacy that could result from the disclosure, or

(ii) disclosure would clearly benefit the individual to whom the information relates.

All notifications to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada occurred after the disclosures were made. There were 93 disclosures pursuant to subsection 8(2)(m) of the Privacy Act, as follows:

Compliance with the Auditor General’s November 2014 report. Proactive reporting to the RCMP of a travelling child sex offender convicted abroad, USA.

Annex A: Designation Orders

Privacy Act Designation Order

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, pursuant to section 73 of the Privacy Act, hereby designates the persons holding the positions set out in the schedule hereto, or the persons acting in those positions, to exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions of the Minister of Foreign Affairs as the head of a Government institution under the sections of the Act set out opposite each position in the schedule. This designation replaces the designation dated March 11, 1998.

Schedule

  1. Position: Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Section(s) of Privacy Act: All sections
  2. Position: Deputy Minister for International Trade
    Section(s) of Privacy Act: All sections
  3. Position: Director General Corporate Secretariat
    Section(s) of Privacy Act: All sections
  4. Position: Director, Access to Information and Privacy Protection Division
    Section(s) of Privacy Act: All sections
  5. Position: Deputy Director, Access to Information and Privacy Protection Division
    Section(s) of Privacy Act: All sections
  6. Position: Heads of diplomatic/consular missions
    Section(s) of Privacy Act: Paragraph 8(2)(m)

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, P.C., M.P.
Ottawa, October 02, 2009

Privacy Act Designation Order

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, pursuant to section 73 of the Privacy Act, hereby designates the persons holding the positions in the Canadian International Development Agency set out in the schedule hereto, or the persons occupying on an acting basis those positions, to exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions of the Minister of Foreign Affairs as the head of a government institution under the Act. This designation replaces the designation dated August 11, 1993.

Schedule

  1. Position: President
    Section(s) of Privacy Act: All sections
  2. Position: Secretary General
    Section(s) of Privacy Act: All sections
  3. Position: Coordinator, ATIP
    Section(s) of Privacy Act: All sections
  4. Position: Senior ATIP Advisor
    Section(s) of Privacy Act: 14, 15, 33(2)

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, P.C., M.P.
Ottawa, October 02, 2009

Annex B: Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development 2015-2016 Statistical Report

Statistical Report on the Privacy Act

Name of institution: Global Affairs Canada

Reporting period: 2015-04-01 to 2016-03-31

Part 1 - Requests under the Privacy Act

Table 2: Requests under the Privacy Act
Type of requestNumber of requests
Received during reporting period135
Outstanding from previous reporting period25
Total160
Closed during reporting period127
Carried over to next reporting period33

Part 2 - Requests Closed During the Reporting Period

2.1 Disposition and completion time
Table 3: Disposition and completion time
Disposition of requestsCompletion Time
1 to 15 days16 to 30 days31 to 60 days61 to 120 days121 to 180 days181 to 365 daysMore than 365 daysTotal
All disclosed22220008
Disclosed in part115231695473
All exempted01000001
All excluded00000000
No records exist492000015
Request abandoned2511201030
Neither confirmed nor denied00000000
Total32282820964127
2.2 Exemptions
Table 4: Exemptions
SectionNumber of requests
18(2)0
19(1)(a)12
19(1)(b)1
19(1)(c)1
19(1)(d)0
19(1)(e)0
19(1)(f)0
200
2123
22(1)(a)(i)2
22(1)(a)(ii)0
22(1)(a)(iii)0
22(1)(b)10
22(1)(c)0
22(2)0
22.10
22.20
22.30
23(a)0
23(b)0
24(a)0
24(b)0
254
2673
2719
280
2.3 Exclusions
Table 5: Exclusions
SectionNumber of requests
69(1)(a)0
69(1)(b)0
69.10
70(1)(a0
70(1)(b)0
70(1)(c)0
70(1)(d)0
70(1)(e)0
70(1)(f)0
70.10
2.4 Format of information released
Table 6: Format of information released
DispositionPaperElectronicOther formats
All disclosed611
Disclosed in part29440
Total35451
2.5 Complexity
2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Table 7: Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Disposition of requestsNumber of pages processedNumber of pages disclosedNumber of requests
All disclosed6276278
Disclosed in part256971945673
All exempted2201
All excluded000
Request abandoned1505030
Neither confirmed nor denied000
Total2785120083112
2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
Table 8: Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
DispositionLess than 100 pages processed101-500 pages processed501-1000 pages processed1001-5000 pages processedMore than 5000 pages processed
Number of RequestPages disclosedNumber of RequestsPages disclosedNumber of RequestsPages disclosedNumber of RequestsPages disclosedNumber of RequestsPages disclosed
All disclosed62472380000000
Disclosed in part3415432746646264161060800
All exempted1000000000
All excluded0000000000
Request Abandoned28000200000
Neither confirmed nor denied0000000000
Total6917902950448264161060800
2.5.3 Other complexities
Table 9: Other complexities
DispositionConsultation requiredLegal Advice SoughtInterwoven InformationOtherTotal
All disclosed00202
Disclosed in part21112034
All exempted00000
All excluded00000
Request Abandoned10304
Neither confirmed nor denied00000
Total22117040
2.6 Deemed refusals
2.6.1 Reasons for not meeting statutory deadline
Table 10: Reasons for not meeting statutory deadline
Number of requests closed past the statutory deadlinePrincipal Reason
WorkloadExternal consultationInternal consultationOther
40204610
2.6.2 Number of days past deadline
Table 11: Number of days past deadline
Number of days past deadlineNumber of requests past deadline where no extension was takenNumber of requests past deadline where an extension was takenTotal
1 to 15 days3710
16 to 30 days112
31 to 60 days178
61 to 120 days1910
121 to 180 days022
181 to 365 days134
More than 365 days134
Total83240
2.7 Requests for translation
Table 12: Requests for translation
Translation RequestsAcceptedRefusedTotal
English to French000
French to English000
Total000

Part 3 - Disclosures Under Subsection 8(2) and 8(5)

Table 13: Disclosures under subsection 8(2) and 8(5)
Paragraph 8(2)(e)Paragraph 8(2)(m)Subsection 8(5)Total
59393191

Part 4 - Requests for Correction of Personal Information and Notations

Table 14: Requests for correction of personal information and notations
Disposition for Correction Requests ReceivedNumber
Notations attached0
Requests for correction accepted0
Total0

Part 5 - Extensions

5.1 Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests
Table 15: Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests
Disposition of requests where an extension was taken15(a)(i) Interference with operations15(a)(ii) Consultation15(b) Translation or conversion
Section 70Other
All disclosed2010
Disclosed in part310190
All exempted0000
All excluded0000
No records exist2000
Request abandoned2010
Total370210
5.2 Length of extensions
Table 16: Length of extensions
Length of extensions15(a)(i) Interference with operations15(a)(ii) Consultation15(b) Translation purposes
Section 70Other
1 to 15 days0000
16 to 30 days370210
Total370210

Part 6 - Consultations Received From Other Institutions and Organizations

6.1 Consultations received from other government institutions and organizations
Table 17: Consultations received from other government institutions and organizations
ConsultationsOther government institutionsNumber of pages to reviewOther organizationsNumber of pages to review
Received during the reporting period1639500
Outstanding from the previous reporting period655200
Total2294700
Closed during the reporting period1572800
Pending at the end of the reporting period721900
6.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other government institutions
Table 18: Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other government institutions
RecommendationNumber of days required to complete consultation requests
1 to 15 days16 to 30 days31 to 60 days61 to 120 days121 to 180 days181 to 365 daysMore than 365 daysTotal
Disclose entirely00100001
Disclose in part01203028
Exempt entirely00000000
Exclude entirely00000000
Consult other institution01110003
Other11010003
Total134230215
6.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations
Table 19: Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations
RecommendationNumber of days required to complete consultation requests
1 to 15 days16 to 30 days31 to 60 days61 to 120 days121 to 180 days181 to 365 daysMore than 365 daysTotal
Disclose entirely00000000
Disclose in part00000000
Exempt entirely00000000
Exclude entirely00000000
Consult other institution00000000
Other00000000
Total00000000

Part 7 - Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences

7.1 Requests with Legal Services
Table 20: Requests with Legal Services
Number of DaysLess than 100 pages processed101-500 pages processed501-1000 pages processed1001-5000 pages processedMore than 5000 pages processed
Number of RequestPages disclosedNumber of RequestsPages disclosedNumber of RequestsPages disclosedNumber of RequestsPages disclosedNumber of RequestsPages disclosed
1 to 150000000000
16 to 300000000000
31 to 600000000000
61 to 1200000000000
121 to 1800000000000
181 to 3650000000000
More than 3650000000000
Total0000000000
7.2 Requests with Privy Council Office
Table 21: Requests with Privy Council Office
Number of DaysPages processed101-500 pages processed501-1000 pages processed1001-5000 pages processedMore than 5000 pages processed
Number of RequestPages disclosedNumber of RequestsPages disclosedNumber of RequestsPages disclosedNumber of RequestsPages disclosedNumber of RequestsPages disclosed
1 to 150000000000
16 to 300000000000
31 to 600000000000
61 to 1200000000000
121 to 1800000000000
181 to 3650000000000
More than 3650000000000
Total0000000000

Part 8 - Complaints and Investigations Notices Received

Table 22: Complaints and Investigations Notices Received
Section 31Section 33Section 35Court actionTotal
40307

Part 9 - Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs)

Table 23: Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs)
Number of PIA(s) completed
0

Part 10 - Resources Related to the Privacy Act

10.1 Costs
Table 24: Costs
ExpendituresAmount
Salaries$349,419
Overtime$79
Goods and Services$141,225
Professional services contracts$128,269 
Other$12,956
Total$490,723
10.2 Human Resources
Table 25: Human Resources
ResourcesPerson Years Dedicated to Privacy Activities
Full-time employees4.26
Part-time and casual employees0.70
Regional staff0.00
Consultants and agency personnel1.90
Students0.14
Total7.00

Note: Enter values to two decimal places.

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