Annual Report to Parliament on the Administration of the Privacy Act 

PDF   Annual Report to Parliament on the Administration of the Privacy Act (PDF)

April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. About the ATSSC
  3. The Access to Information and Privacy Office
  4. ATSSC Statistical Overview
  5. Disposition of Completed Requests
  6. Exemptions Invoked
  7. Extensions and Completion Time
  8. Consultations
  9. Training Activities
  10. Policies, Guidelines and Procedures
  11. Complaints
  12. Monitoring
  13. Material Privacy Breaches
  14. Privacy Impact Assessments
  15. Disclosure of Personal Information Pursuant to Paragraph 8(2)(m) of the Act

Introduction

The Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada (ATSSC) is pleased to present to Parliament its annual report on the administration of the Privacy Act (the Act) for fiscal year April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018.

Section 72 of the Act requires the head of every federal government institution to prepare and table an annual report to Parliament on the administration of the Act during the fiscal year. This report provides an overview of the activities of the ATSSC in implementing the Act during the organization’s fiscal cycle.

The purpose of the Privacy Act is to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by a government institution and to provide individuals with a right of access to their information. It also protects the privacy of individuals by exercising strict control over the collection, disclosure and use of such information.

The ATSSC is fully committed to both the spirit and the intent of the Act to foster a culture of openness and transparency while ensuring the privacy of individuals with respect to their personal information held by the organization.

About the ATSSC

The Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada (ATSSC) was established with the coming into force on November 1, 2014, of the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada Act. The ATSSC is responsible for providing support services and facilities to 11 federal administrative tribunals by way of a single, integrated organization.

These services include the specialized services required to support the mandate of each tribunal (e.g., registry, research and analysis, legal and other mandate or case activities), as well as internal services (e.g., human resources, financial services, information management and technology, accommodation, security, planning and communications). Through these specialized services, the ATSSC supports improving access to justice for Canadians.

The administrative tribunals supported by the ATSSC include:

The ATSSC also supports the National Joint Council, the forum for co-development, consultation and information sharing between the government as employer and public service bargaining agents.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada is responsible for the ATSSC.

The Access to Information and Privacy Office

The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Office is responsible for administering the Privacy Act (the Act) on behalf of the ATSSC. Its mandate is to ensure compliance with the legislation, regulations and government policy and to create organizational standards and directives relating to the Act. Responsibility for the powers, duties and functions for the administration of the Act has been formally established and is outlined in the Delegation Order signed by the Chief Administrator. The Director, Planning and Communications and the ATIP Manager have been delegated authorities as described in the Delegation Order included in Appendix A.

Within the ATSSC’s organizational structure, the ATIP Office reports to the Planning and Communications Unit which is under the direction of the Chief Administrator. Oversight of the ATIP Office is administered by the Director, Planning and Communications. The ATIP Office consists of the manager and one analyst dedicated to access to information and privacy activities.

The ATIP Office receives, coordinates and processes requests in accordance with the Act, promotes awareness of the Act within the organization, fulfills reporting responsibilities relating to the Act. The ATIP office also provides expert advice and guidance to senior management and ATSSC staff on matters relating to the Act.

ATSSC Statistical Overview

The ATSSC received a total of 15 formal requests under the Act. Fifteen requests were completed this reporting period.

In addition to the formal requests, the ATSSC received 3 consultation requests from other government institutions. A copy of the Statistical Report is included in Appendix B.

In the last three reporting periods, the statistics indicate increase of 400% for formal requests and decrease of 77% for consultation requests. The overall volume of requests has increased by 13% from 16 requests in 2015-16 to 18 requests in this reporting period.

ATSSC Statistical Overview

Disposition of Completed Requests

During this reporting period, the ATSSC completed 15 requests under the Act, 3 of which resulted in a partial release and 1 resulted in a full disclosure. No records existed in response to 9 requests and 2 requests were abandoned.

Exemptions Invoked

The Privacy Act sets out specific exceptions to the right of access known as exemptions. Each exemption is intended to protect information relating to a particular public or private interest and form the only basis for refusing access to personal information under the Privacy Act. In the processing of requests, the only exemption invoked was section 26 (personal information about another individual), which was applied in 3 cases. This is consistent with the previous reporting year.

Extensions and Completion Time

Requests can be extended beyond the 30-day statutory time frame in three circumstances:

During this reporting period, no extensions were required.

The ATSSC responded to 10 requests within 1 to 15 days, 4 requests within 16 to 30 days and 1 request within 31 to 60 days. All 15 requests were completed within the statutory time frame.

Consultations

Along with processing requests received under the Act, the ATIP Office provides recommendations to other institutions regarding the release of records that concern the ATSSC. During this reporting period, the ATSSC received 3 consultation requests from other federal institutions.

Training Activities

To increase the knowledge and understanding of the Act across the ATSSC, training and awareness sessions were delivered by the ATIP Office. These sessions provided general information on the purpose and provisions of the Act, as well as the roles and responsibilities of employees and the ATIP Office. These awareness sessions were tailored to meet the specific needs of the units concerned.

Ongoing briefings occurred on an ad-hoc basis with our liaison officers. The liaison officers assist the ATIP Office in producing the requested records and providing insight into the subject matter of the requests.

During the reporting period, the ATIP Office delivered 6 awareness sessions to ATSSC employees. A total of 81 individuals participated in these sessions which represents 13% of ATSSC employees.

Policies, Guidelines and Procedures

The ATSSC is guided by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) suite of privacy policy and guidance instruments. During this reporting period, the ATSSC did not implement any new or revised institution-specific policies, guidelines or procedures.

Complaints

No complaints against the ATSSC were filed with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner during the reporting period.

Monitoring

The monitoring of privacy requests was conducted through the case management system containing all relevant and necessary information to ensure compliance with the legislated requirements and reporting obligations. The system was updated as new requests were received or the status of a file was changed. Weekly meetings between the ATIP Manager and the Director, Planning and Communications to discuss workload and priorities also assisted the ATSSC in meeting its statutory obligations.

Material Privacy Breaches

A privacy breach is deemed material if the breach involves sensitive personal information that could reasonably be expected to cause serious injury or harm to the individual, or involves a large number of affected individuals. During this reporting period, the ATSSC did not experience any material privacy breaches.

Privacy Impact Assessments

Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) are used to identify the potential privacy risks of new or redesigned federal government activities or services. They also help eliminate or reduce those risks to an acceptable level.

The ATIP Office provided advice to internal stakeholders in response to 2 cases concerning privacy practices associated with the redesign of activities or services. In both cases, a recommendation to perform a full PIA was not required.

During this reporting period, no PIAs were completed.

Disclosure of Personal Information Pursuant to Paragraph 8(2)(m) of the Act

Subsection 8(2) of the Act stipulates under which circumstances personal information under the control of a government institution may be disclosed. Paragraph 8(2)(m) states that disclosure of personal information is permitted for any purpose where, in the opinion of the head of the institution, the public interest in disclosure clearly outweighs any invasion of privacy that could result from the disclosure, or the disclosure would clearly benefit the individual to whom the information relates. During this reporting period, no disclosures were made pursuant to paragraph 8(2)(m) of the Privacy Act.


Appendix A

Privacy Act
Designation Order

Delegation Order for the purpose of the Privacy Act and Privacy Regulations

The Chief Administrator, pursuant to section 73 of the Privacy Act, hereby designates the persons holding the positions set out in the schedule hereto, or the person occupying the position on an acting basis, to exercise the powers, duties and functions of the Chief Administrator as the head of the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada, under the provisions of the Act and related regulations as specified in the schedule opposite each position.

This Delegation Order supersedes all previous Delegation Orders.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Dated, at the City of Ottawa, this 28 days of August, 2017.

Original signed by
Marie-France Pelletier
______________________________________
Chief Administrator


SCHEDULE

Powers, duties and functions delegated pursuant to Section 73 of the Privacy Act and Privacy Regulations

Legend:

CA
Chief Administrator
D
Director, Planning and Communications
M
Manager, Access to Information and Privacy
Provision Description CA D M
Privacy Acy
  DISCLOSURE AND ACCESS      
8(2)(j) Disclosure for research or statistical purposes X X X
8(2)(m) Disclosure in the public interest or in the interest of the individual X X  
8(4) Copies of requests under paragraph 8(2)(e) X X X
8(5) Notice of disclosure under paragraph 8(2)(m) X X X
9(1) Record of disclosures X X X
9(4) Consistent uses X X X
10 Personal information banks X X X
14(a) Notice when access requested X X X
14(b) Giving access to the record X X X
15 Extension of time limits X X X
17(2)(b) Language of access X X X
17(3)(b) Access in an alternative format X X X
  EXEMPTIONS      
18(2) Exempt banks X X X
19(1) Information obtained in confidence X X  
19(2) Where authorized to disclose X X  
20 Federal-provincial affairs X X  
21 International affairs and defence X X  
22 Law enforcement and investigations X X  
22.3 Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act X X  
23 Security clearances X X  
24 Individuals sentenced for an offence X X  
25 Safety of individuals X X  
26 Information about another individual X X X
27 Solicitor-client privilege X X X
28 Medical records X X X
  OTHER PROVISIONS      
33(2) Right to make representations X X X
35(1)(b) Notice of actions to implement recommendations of Commissioner X X X
35(4) Access to be given to complainant X X X
36(3)(b) Notice of actions to implement recommendations of Commissioner concerning exempt banks X X X
51(2)(b), 51(3) Special rules for hearings X X X
72 Annual report to Parliament X X X
Privacy Regulations
7 Retention of personal information requested under paragraph 8(2)(e) X X X
9 Examination of information X X X
11(2), 11(4) Notification concerning corrections X X X
13(1) Disclosure of personal information relating to physical or mental health X X X
14 Examination in presence of medical practitioner or psychologist X X X

Appendix B

Privacy Act
Statistical Report

Name of institution: Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada

Reporting period: 2017-04-01 to 2018-03-31

Part 1: Requests Under the Privacy Act

  Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 15
Outstanding from previous reporting period 1
Total 16
Closed during reporting period 15
Carried over to next reporting period 1

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 1 0 0 0 0 1
Disclosed in part 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No records exist 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 9
Request abandoned 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 10 4 1 0 0 0 0 15

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 3
19(1)(f) 0 22.1 0 27 0
20 0 22.2 0 28 0
21 0 22.3 0    

2.3 Exclusions

Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests
69(1)(a) 0 70(1) 0 70(1)(d) 0
69(1)(b) 0 70(1)(a) 0 70(1)(e) 0
69.1 0 70(1)(b) 0 70(1)(f) 0
    70(1)(c) 0 70.1 0

2.4 Format of information released

Disposition Paper Electronic Other Formats
All disclosed 1 0 0
Disclosed in part 1 2 0
Total 2 2 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 576 576 1
Disclosed in part 796 784 3
All exempted 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 2
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0
Total 1372 1360 6
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 0 0 0 0 1 576 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 2 158 0 0 1 626 0 0 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 4 158 0 0 2 1202 0 0 0 0
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
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 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
2.6.2 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 Subsections 8(2) and 8(5)

Paragraph 8(2)(e) Paragraph 8(2)(m) Subsection 8(5) Total
0 0 0 0

Part 4: Requests for Correction of Personal Information and Notations

Disposition for Correction Requests Received Number
Notations attached 0
Requests for correction accepted 0
Total 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 of Canada institutions and other organizations

Consultations Other Government of Canada Institutions Number of Pages to Review Other Organizations Number of Pages to Review
Received during reporting period 3 117 0 0
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 0 0 0 0
Total 3 117 0 0
Closed during the reporting period 3 117 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 of Canada 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
All disclosed 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Disclose 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
Consult other institution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

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
All disclosed 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclose 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
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

7.1 Requests with Legal Services

Number of Days Fewer 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
1 to 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

7.2 Requests with Privy Council Office

Number of Days Fewer 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
1 to 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Part 8: Complaints and Investigations Notices Received

Section 31 Section 33 Section 35 Court action Total
0 0 0 0 0

Part 9: Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs)

Number of PIA(s) completed 0

Part 10: Resources Related to the Privacy Act

10.1 Costs

Expenditures Amount
Salaries $61,219
Overtime $0
Goods and Services $1,987
  • Professional services contracts
$1,987  
  • Other
$0
Total $63,206

10.2 Human Resources

Resources Person Years Dedicated to Privacy Activities
Full-time employees 0.68
Part-time and casual employees 0.00
Regional staff 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 0.00
Students 0.00
Total 0.68

Note: Enter values to two decimal places.

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