Annual Report to Parliament on the Administration of the Privacy Act - 2016-2017

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 2016-2017, as required under section 72 of the Act.

Nota: The Department is referred to in this report as Global Affairs Canada. However, its legal name remains the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development as set out in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act.

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

Global Affairs Canada 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 Office (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 2016-2017, the ATIP Office staff fluctuated from forty-five to sixty (including consultants) to fulfill the Department’s obligations under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. As of March 31, 2017, the ATIP Office consisted of: a director, four deputy directors, nine team leaders, twenty nine analysts at various levels, eight clerical staff, four consultants, one student, one part-time student, four casual employees, and one systems administrator. The ATIP Office’s 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

Consistent with Section 73 of the Act, the Minister’s authority is delegated to the Deputy Ministers, to the Corporate Secretary, to the Director of the Access to Information and Privacy Protection Division, and 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.

Administration of Requests

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

Privacy Requests

In 2016-2017, the Department received 153 requests for personal information under the Privacy Act.  Along with those new requests, 33 requests were carried over from the previous fiscal year, for a total of 186.

During the reporting period, 168 requests were completed and 18 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 Disclosed18
Disclosed in Part55
Nothing Disclosed (Excluded)1
Nothing Disclosed (Exempt)1
Abandoned by applicant20
No records exist73
Total168

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 50 requests. Global Affairs Canada 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 14 002 pages of the 17 423 relevant pages processed.

Extensions

During the reporting period, Global Affairs Canada claimed extensions pursuant to subsections 15(a)(i) and 15(a)(ii): 34 and 11 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, 2016 and March 31, 2017, Global Affairs Canada received 19 consultations under the Privacy Act from other federal government institutions.

During the reporting period, 11 consultations were completed under the Privacy Act.

Internal Operations

Training and Development

During 2016-2017, the ATIP Office continued to provide analysts with the necessary training and tools to perform their jobs effectively. 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 Professional Development Program, which allows the Department to develop its own Analysts due to the shortage 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 and Governance Team assists in addressing the training needs of the ATIP Office and the Department. 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: 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 individual sessions with subject matter experts and liaison officers. 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-à-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.

During the reporting period, 21 formal ATIP training sessions were delivered to approximately 502 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.

In addition, seven training sessions focused on privacy policy were completed and attended by a total of 77 participants. In the coming year, the team will be implementing a number of tools to establish a more proactive, risk-based approach to privacy management and awareness within Global Affairs Canada.

New or Revised Policies, Guidelines and Procedures

While the workload has grown, the Access to Information and Privacy Protection Office at the department is continually working to find efficiencies. The division’s internal guidelines document has been converted to an “evergreen” electronic document which is updated whenever new policies are implemented or new ones are revised.

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. The Department closed three complaints over the same period, two of which had been opened in previous years. Four complaints have been carried over to the next fiscal year.

The Department takes the issue of complaints seriously. In order to avoid complaints, the ATIP Office has provided ATIP Awareness sessions throughout the Department, updating the Bureau Intranet and Internet ATIP web sites, and ensures that new personnel receive appropriate training. The Department also offers more thorough training on the privacy act for consular staff before they go abroad.

Monitoring Processing Times

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

Administration of Personal Information

Privacy Breaches

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

Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA)

Global Affairs Canada completed two privacy impact assessments (PIA) in FY 2016-2017.

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.

During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, Global Affairs Canada made a total of 55 disclosures pursuant to subsection 8(2)(m). In 5 of the 55 total disclosures, GAC determined that the public interest in disclosing personal information clearly outweighed any invasion of privacy that could result. All other disclosures were determined to clearly benefit the individual to whom the information relates.

Disclosures pursuant to subsection 8(2)(m)(i): 3 disclosures were made in the interest of public safety, whereas 2 disclosures were made to assist with investigations.

Disclosures pursuant to subsection 8(2)(m)(ii): 5 disclosures were made to notify the relevant authorities, or family, of an individual’s detainment or arrest abroad; 4 disclosures were made in an effort to locate individuals in distress; 6 disclosures related to advising local authorities or agencies regarding child welfare cases; 4 disclosures were made in an effort to assist with repatriation of an individual to Canada; and finally, 31 disclosures were made to either the families, friends or legal counsel of individuals requiring medical assistance.

All notifications to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada occurred after the disclosures were made. A recent change in procedure requires the Department to include the names of individuals subject to the disclosures under paragraph 8(2)(m) in the notifications to the Privacy Commissioner.  This resulted in some delays in our notifications and as of March 31st 2017, a number of disclosures of personal information under paragraph 8(2)(m) of the Act have not yet been reported to the Privacy Commissioner. We are currently preparing our notifications to the Privacy Commissioner to ensure we are complying with our obligations pursuant to 8(5) of the Privacy Act.

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 after each position in the schedule. This designation replaces the designation dated October 2, 2009.

Schedule

Position

  1. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (all sections)
  2. Deputy Minister of International Trade (all sections)
  3. Deputy Minister of International Development (all sections)
  4. Associate Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (all sections)
  5. Assistant Deputy Minister, Consular Services (pursuant only to paragraph 8(2)(m) as it relates to public interest disclosure)
  6. Heads of Mission (pursuant only to paragraph 8(2)(m) as it relates to public interest disclosure)
  7. Director General, Corporate Secretariat (all sections)
  8. Director, Access to Information and Privacy Protection Division (all sections)
  9. Deputy Directors, Access to Information and Privacy Protection Division (all sections)

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P.
Ottawa, July 04, 2017

Annex B: Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development 2016-2017 Statistical Report

Statistical Report on the Privacy Act

Name of institution: Global Affairs Canada

Reporting period: 2016-04-01 to 2017-03-31

Part 1 - Requests under the Privacy Act

Table 2: Requests under the Privacy Act
Type of requestNumber of requests
Received during reporting period153
Outstanding from previous reporting period33
Total186
Closed during reporting period168
Carried over to next reporting period18

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 disclosed466110018
Disclosed in part271213127255
All exempted00100001
All excluded01000001
No records exist12564100073
Request abandoned1640000020
Neither confirmed nor denied00000000
Total347423151372168
2.2 Exemptions
Table 4: Exemptions
SectionNumber of requests
18(2)0
19(1)(a)9
19(1)(b)1
19(1)(c)0
19(1)(d)0
19(1)(e)0
19(1)(f)0
200
2117
22(1)(a)(i)1
22(1)(a)(ii)0
22(1)(a)(iii)0
22(1)(b)3
22(1)(c)0
22(2)0
22.10
22.20
22.30
23(a)1
23(b)0
24(a)0
24(b)0
252
2650
2712
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 disclosed1440
Disclosed in part20350
Total34390
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 disclosed57650418
Disclosed in part168291348755
All exempted301
All excluded001
Request abandoned151120
Neither confirmed nor denied000
Total174231400295
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 disclosed163032201000000
Disclosed in part21822244673635274446500
All exempted1000000000
All excluded1000000000
Request Abandoned201100000000
Neither confirmed nor denied0000000000
Total591136264874635274446500
2.5.3 Other complexities
Table 9: Other complexities
DispositionConsultation requiredLegal Advice SoughtInterwoven InformationOtherTotal
All disclosed00202
Disclosed in part11010021
All exempted10001
All excluded00000
Request Abandoned00202
Neither confirmed nor denied00000
Total12014026
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
401021117
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 days134
16 to 30 days628
31 to 60 days145
61 to 120 days5813
121 to 180 days134
181 to 365 days145
More than 365 days011
Total152540
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
11551076

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 disclosed3000
Disclosed in part300100
All exempted0000
All excluded0000
No records exist1010
Request abandoned0000
Total340110
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 days1010
16 to 30 days330100
Total340110

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 period1286700
Outstanding from the previous reporting period724000
Total19110700
Closed during the reporting period1144100
Pending at the end of the reporting period866600
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
All disclosed10000001
Disclosed in part01110104
All exempted00000000
All excluded00000000
Consult other institution01012004
Other10000012
Total221221111
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
All disclosed00000000
Disclosed in part00000000
All exempted00000000
All excluded00000000
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
50308

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$437,909
Overtime$905
Goods and Services$135,419
Professional services contracts$127,769 
Other$9,650
Total$574,233
10.2 Human Resources
Table 25: Human Resources
ResourcesPerson Years Dedicated to Privacy Activities
Full-time employees5.68
Part-time and casual employees0.74
Regional staff0.00
Consultants and agency personnel1.63
Students0.11
Total8.16

Note: Enter values to two decimal places.

Date Modified: