Annual Report to Parliament 2013-2014 - Privacy Act

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Privacy Act was proclaimed on July 1, 1983.

The Privacy Act extends to individuals the right of access to information about themselves. This law also protects an individual’s privacy by preventing others from having access to personal information, and gives individuals substantial control over its collection and use.

Section 72 of the Privacy Act requires that the head of every government institution shall prepare, for submission to Parliament, an annual report on the administration of the Act within the institution during each fiscal year.

This report describes the administration of Status of Women Canada’s Privacy program for the fiscal year 2013-2014.

Part 1: General Information

Status of Women Canada

The mandate of Status of Women Canada is to "coordinate federal policy with respect to the status of women and administer related programs." This was set out in Order-in-Council 1976-779 and the Appropriation Act 1976-77.

The vision of Status of Women Canada (SWC) is a Canada where equality is achieved between women and men in all aspects of life.

The mission of the Agency is to exercise leadership and work in partnership to advance equality and increase women’s participation; to provide expert advice on how to take gender equality into account in developing the best policies and programs for all Canadians; and to support action and innovation that will lead to equality in communities across Canada.

The ATIP office reports to the Director General of Communications and Public Affairs. The office coordinates all activities related to the legislation within the Agency both at headquarters and in the regions.

Privacy Activities

The Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator is responsible for all aspects of program delivery, which include:

  • processing requests under the Privacy Act;
  • acting as spokesperson for the Agency in dealings with the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner regarding the application of the Privacy Act as it relates to the Agency;
  • preparing the annual report to Parliament and other statutory reports as well as other material that may be required by the institution;
  • reviewing and approving collections in accordance with the Government Policy on Information Collection;
  • developing policies, procedures and guidelines for the orderly implementation of both Acts;
  • promoting awareness of the Privacy Act to ensure agency responsiveness to the obligations imposed;
  • monitoring agency compliance with the Privacy Act; and
  • participating and advising in preparation of Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs).

Implementation of Privacy Activities and Administrative Issues

Delegation of Authority

The delegation orders were last amended in July 2013. The Coordinator/ Head of Agency and the Director General of Communications and Public Affairs have full authority while the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Coordinator has partial authority delegated by the Minister of Labor and Minister of Status of Women for administration and decision-making responsibilities under the two Acts. Appendix A provides a more detailed description of the delegation of authority.

Salary and Administrative Expenditures

The Access to Information and Privacy Office operates with two full-time employees and one part-time employee dedicated to the administration of both the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and related functions. Resourcing of the office is reviewed on a regular basis.

The agency’s allocation for the central coordination of the Privacy Act amounted to $0.00. There were no salary expenditures, with no amount committed to administrative costs.

Reading Room

A reading room is available at headquarters, as needed. Should a reading room be needed elsewhere, SWC’s regional offices in certain regions across Canada are available upon request.

Data Collection

The responsibility for the coordination of new data collection by the Agency is assigned to the ATIP Coordinator. This ensures both compliance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and the creation of new Personal Information Banks or Program Records, as necessary.

Part II: Report on the Privacy Act

Requests Under the Privacy Act

1. Statistical Report

The Annual Statistical report for the fiscal year 2013-2014 is included at the end of this chapter.

2. Interpretation of the Statistics

Between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013, Status of Women Canada received no privacy requests.

3. Privacy Impact Assessment

The Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) Policy came into effect on May 2, 2002. Its objective is to assure Canadians that privacy principles are being taken into account during the design, implementation and evaluation of the programs and services that involve personal information. The policy requires that the programs and services with potential privacy risks undergo a PIA. Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessments (PPIAs) are conducted to determine whether there are privacy-related concerns warranting a full PIA. During the 2013-2014 reporting period, there were no PPIAs or PIAs initiated.

4. Privacy Education and Training Activities

SWC has created reference tools which are updated regularly. These tools combined with training sessions held periodically throughout the year keep staff abreast of updates to Access to Information and Privacy related information.

5. Disclosures pursuant to Subsection 8(2)

Nil

6. Complaints and Investigations

During this fiscal year, no complaints were filed with the Privacy Commissioner.

7. Appeals to the Courts

There were appeals filed.