Annual Report to Parliament on the Administration of the Privacy Act 2013-2014

Table of Contents

Chapter I – Report on the Privacy Act

About Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada plays a key role in discharging the Government's fundamental responsibility for the safety and security of its citizens. The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Act, 2005, and the Emergency Management Act, 2007, set out two essential roles for the Department: (i) to support the Minister's responsibility for all matters, except those assigned to another federal minister, related to public safety and emergency management, including national leadership and (ii) to coordinate the efforts of Portfolio agencies as well as provide guidance on their strategic priorities. The Department provides strategic policy advice and support to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness on a range of issues, including national security, border strategies, countering crime and emergency management. While Portfolio agencies deliver public security operations according to their mandates, Public Safety Canada, in its portfolio coordination role, brings strategic focus to the overall safety and security agenda. The Department also delivers a number of grant and contribution programs to Canadians related to emergency management and community safety. In addition, Public Safety Canada's Government Operations Centre provides strategic-level coordination and direction on behalf of the Government of Canada in response to events that affect the national interest. Through the development and implementation of clearly articulated policies and programs, the Department works towards the achievement of its strategic outcome: “A safe and resilient Canada”. Public Safety Canada is structurally organized into five branches: Emergency Management and Programs, Community Safety and Countering Crime, Portfolio Affairs and Communications, National and Cyber Security, Corporate Management; and it also has a Chief Audit and Evaluation Executive. The Branches are supported by the Legal Services Unit. The Department has regional presence in all provinces, as well as in the North. Public Safety Canada's regional offices are a primary contact in the regions to deliver a coordinated federal response to emergencies; facilitate the effective delivery of emergency management, Aboriginal policing and crime prevention programs; and improve partnerships with other levels of government and key regional stakeholders.

About the Public Safety Portfolio

The Public Safety Portfolio encompasses nine organizations which directly contribute to the safety and security of Canadians. In addition to Public Safety Canada, the Portfolio includes: Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA); Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS); Correctional Service of Canada (CSC); Parole Board of Canada (PBC); and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). It also includes three arm's-length review bodies: the RCMP External Review Committee; the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP; and the Office of the Correctional Investigator. Each organization in the portfolio administers its own access to information and privacy programs, under authorities delegated to them by the Minister.

About the Privacy Act

The Privacy Act protects the privacy of all Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada regarding personal information held by a government institution against unauthorized use and disclosure. The Privacy Act also gives Canadians, including those in Canada who are not permanent residents or citizens, the right to access personal information held by the government.

Section 72 of the Privacy Act requires that the head of every government institution submit an annual report to Parliament on the administration of the Act during the financial year. This report outlines how Public Safety Canada administered the Privacy Act throughout fiscal year 2013-2014.

The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Unit

The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Unit is part of Public Safety Canada's Executive Services Division within the Department's Portfolio Affairs and Communications Branch. This year, the Portfolio Affairs & Communications Branch reallocated internally to fund one additional analyst's position in the ATIP Unit. As a result, the unit now consists of one ATIP Coordinator, two senior advisors, five analysts, one junior analyst and one administrative officer. The ATIP Manager served as the Department's ATIP Coordinator until September, and the Director of Executive Services served as Coordinator for the balance of the reporting year.

The ATIP Unit is responsible for the coordination and implementation of policies, guidelines and procedures to ensure departmental compliance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The Unit is responsible for responding to requests made under the Acts, as well as providing the following services to the Department:

Delegation of Authority

The new Minister of Public Safety, appointed July 15, 2013, signed a new Delegation Order for the Privacy Act on January 23, 2014. Both the current and previous delegation instruments are reproduced at Annex A. The current delegation order reflects a change in departmental structure, delegating authority to apply exemptions under the Acts to the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, as well as the Assistant Deputy Minister of the National Cyber and Security Branch.

New or Revised Policies, Guidelines or Procedures

There were no new or revised guidelines, policies or procedures issued this fiscal year.

Training

The ATIP Unit was unable to provide training sessions on the Privacy Act and departmental processes this fiscal year due to resource levels, a 126% increase in the volume of Privacy requests, and a continued high volume in the number of Access requests received.

Challenges

Competing Priorities

The ATIP Unit at Public Safety Canada has no resources dedicated to privacy policy or training, therefore these activities are often given secondary priority to the processing of requests for information under both the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Requests under the Privacy Act are given equal priority to those under the Access to Information Act, but the policies, advice and training provided to the department can only be provided where time permits.

Increasing Volume and Complexity

The number of requests under the Privacy Act have more than doubled over the previous fiscal year and Public Safety has seen a significant increase in the overall volume of requests as well. Further, the complexity of the requests received is also challenging. The Analysts in the ATIP Unit have significant experience both in the department and in ATIP which provides a great breadth of understanding of the subject matter; however, significant review must take place as much of the personal information requested is intertwined with other individuals' personal information.

Investigations

There were no complaints received this year under the Privacy Act.

Appeals to the Court

There were no appeals to the Courts.

Privacy Impact Assessments Completed During the Year

Office of Reconsideration – Passenger Protect Program

The Department completed a first Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) for the Passenger Protect Program pertaining to the Office of Reconsideration. This PIA was submitted to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

Specified Persons Advisory Group – Passenger Protect Program

The Department completed a second PIA for the Passenger Protect Program pertaining to the Specified Persons Advisory Group. This PIA was also submitted to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

Chapter II – Privacy Act Statistical Report

Summary

In 2013-2014, Public Safety Canada received 68 requests under the Privacy Act, an increase of approximately 127 per cent over the previous year. Despite this increase in requests, Public Safety Canada completed 100 per cent on time, the sixth consecutive year of over 90 per cent on time completion. The average number of days to process a request was 14. Ninety-seven per cent of all requests were completed within 30 days.

Overall Workload Trends

Annex B provides a summarized statistical report on Privacy Act requests processed by Public Safety Canada between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014. The following section provides an overview and interpretation of this information.

In comparison to the past five years, the overall workload for the ATIP Unit increased this year. The figures below include formal Access and Privacy requests, and consultations received from other institutions.

The following table provides an overall breakdown of workload by category for the past five years.

2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014
ATI requests received by Public Safety Canada 208 298 363 494 465
Privacy requests received by Public Safety Canada 37 32 55 30 68
ATI consultations received from other institutions 136 223 235 248 255
Privacy consultations received from other institutions 18 9 21 10 9
Total workload 399 562 674 782 797

Requests Received under the Privacy Act

The number of privacy requests remains small compared to the volume of access to information requests. Public Safety collects little information directly from Canadians in comparison to portfolio agencies whose mandates are more operational in nature, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) who receive thousands of privacy requests annually.

Public Safety Canada received 68 new Privacy Act requests throughout the 2013-2014 fiscal year, representing an increase of approximately 127 per cent over the number of requests received the previous year (30). Two requests were carried forward from the previous fiscal year, resulting in a total of 70 requests to process during 2013-2014. Of these requests, 68 were completed during the reporting year, while the remaining two requests were carried forward to the next reporting year.

Extensions

Section 15 of the Privacy Act allows institutions to extend the legal deadline for processing a request if a search for responsive records cannot be completed within
30 days of receipt of the request or if the institution must consult with other institutions.
During the 2013-2014 fiscal year, the Department invoked two extensions of 16 to 30 days. The extensions invoked were due to a high volume of records and interference with operations.

Performance in Meeting Statutory Response Deadlines

Of the 68 completed requests, 45 were completed within 15 days, a further 21 were completed between 16-30 days and two between 31 and 60 days. All 68 of the requests were completed within the statutory deadline.

Disposition of Requests for 2013-2014

Thirteen requests received under the Privacy Act were disclosed without exemptions applied. Ten were disclosed in part, two were exempted in their entirety and two were abandoned. No records existed in response to 41 requests.

Consultations from other Institutions

The Department's role in coordinating with other federal institutions as well as those within the Public Safety portfolio has normally resulted in the Department having an interest in the records processed by other institutions. During fiscal year 2013-2014 a total of nine consultations from other institutions were received.

Disclosures Pursuant to paragraph 8(2)(m) of the Privacy Act

Subsection 8(2)(m) of the Privacy Act provides the head of the institution with the authority to disclose personal information where the public interest in disclosure clearly outweighs any invasion of privacy that could result from the disclosure, or where the disclosure would clearly benefit the individual to whom the information relates. During this reporting period however, Public Safety did not disclose personal information pursuant to paragraph 8(2)(m).

Appendix A – Delegation of Authority for the Privacy Act

Delegation Order – Privacy Act and Regulations
Section/Article Action Deputy Minister & Associate Deputy Minister Assistant Deputy Minister – National Security Assistant Deputy Ministers, Chief Audit Executive, Director General Communications ATIP Manager Senior ATIP Advisors & ATIP Analysts
8(2)(j) Disclosure for research purposes      
8(2)(m) Disclosure inthe public interest or in the interest of the individual        
8(4) Copies of requests under 8(2)(e) to be retained      
8(5) Notice of disclosure under  8(2)(m)      
9(1) Record of disclosures to be retained      
9(4) Consistent uses  
10 Personal information to be included in personal information banks  
14 Notice when access requested      
15 Extension of time limits    
17(2)(b) Language of access      
17(3)(b) Access to personal information in alternative 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 investigations    
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 Notice of intention to investigate      
35(1) Findings and recommendations of Privacy Commissioner (complaints)      
35(4) Access to be given      
36(3) Reportof findings and recommendations (exempt banks)      
37(3) Report of findings and recommendations (compliance review)          
51(2)(b) Special rules for hearings      
51(3) Ex parte representations      
72(1) Annual report to Parliament      
Delegation Order – Privacy Regulations
Section/ Article Action Deputy Minister & Associate Deputy Minister Assistant Deputy Minister – National Security Assistant Deputy Ministers, Chief Audit Executive, Director General Communications ATIP Manager Senior ATIP Advisors & ATIP Analysts
9 Reasonable facilities and time provided to examine personal information      
11(2) Notification that correction to personal information has been made      
11(4) Notification that correction to personal information has been refused      
13(1) Disclosure of personal information relating to physical or mental health may be made toa qualified medical practitioner or psychologist for an opinion on whether to release information to the requester      
14 Disclosure of personal information relating to physical ormental health may be made to a requester in the presence of a qualified medical practitioner or psychologist      

Appendix B – Statistical Report for 2013-2014 on the Privacy Act

PART 1 – Requests under the Privacy Act

Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 68
Outstanding from previous reporting period 2
Total 70
Closed during reporting period 68
Carried over to next reporting period 2

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 3 10 0 0 0 0 0 13
Disclosed in part 5 3 2 0 0 0 0 10
All exempted 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No records exist 34 7 0 0 0 0 0 41
Request abandoned 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Total 45 21 2 0 0 0 0 68
2.2 Exemptions
Section Number of requests Section Number of requests Section Number of requests
18(2) 0 22(1)(a)(i) 0 23(a) 0
19(1)(a) 0 22(1)(a)(ii) 0 23(b) 0
19(1)(b) 0 22(1)(a)(iii) 0 24(a) 0
19(1)(c) 0 22(1)(b) 0 24(b) 0
19(1)(d) 0 22(1)(c) 0 25 0
19(1)(e) 0 22(2) 0 26 10
19(1)(f) 0 22.1 0 27 0
20 0 22.2 0 28 0
21 1 22.3 0
2.3 Exclusions
Section Number of requests Section Number of requests Section Number of requests
69(1)(a) 0 70(1)(a) 0 70(1)(d) 0
69(1)(b) 0 70(1)(b) 0 70(1)(e) 0
69.1 0 70(1)(c) 0 70(1)(f) 0
70.1 0
2.4 Format of information released
Disposition Paper Electronic Other formats
All disclosed 7 6 0
Disclosed in part 5 5 0
Total 12 11 0

2.5 Complexity

2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Disposition of requests Number of pages processed Number of pages disclosed Number of requests
All disclosed 2594 2479 13
Disclosed in part 9016 5487 10
All exempted 0 0 2
All excluded 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 2
2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
Disposition Less than 100 pages processed 101-500 pages processed 501-1000 pages processed 1001-5000 pages processed More than 5000 pages processed
Number of Requests Pages disclosed Number of Requests Pages disclosed Number of Requests Pages disclosed Number of Requests Pages disclosed Number of Requests Pages disclosed
All disclosed 6 73 7 2406 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 5 219 2 370 1 418 1 1212 1 3268
All exempted 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Abandoned  2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 15 292 9 2776 1 418 1 1212 1 3268
2.5.3 Other complexities
Disposition Consultation required Legal Advice Sought Interwoven Information Other Total
All disclosed 0 0 13 13 26
Disclosed in part 1 0 10 10 21
All exempted 0 0 2 2 4
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0
Abandoned 0 0 2 2 4
Total 1 0 27 27 55

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
2.6.2 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 2 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 2 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 2 0 0 0
Total 2 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 9 59 0 0
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 0 0 0 0
Total 9 59 0 0
Closed during the reporting period 9 59 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 More than 365 days Total
Disclose entirely 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
Disclose in part 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
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 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Total 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 9
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 More 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  $202,756
Overtime $0
Goods and Services $0
Contracts for privacy impact assessments $0
Professional services contracts $0
Other $0
Total $202,756
8.2 Human Resources
Resources Dedicated full-time Dedicated part-time Total
Full-time employees 0.00 1.50 1.50
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 1.50 1.50
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