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Annual Report on the Administration of the Privacy Act 2019-2020

Table of contents


Introduction

The Privacy Act (Revised Statutes of Canada, Chapter A-1, 1985) was proclaimed on July 1, 1983.

The Privacy Act (the Act) extends to individuals the right of access to information about themselves held by the government, subject to specific and limited exceptions. The Act also protects an individual's privacy by preventing others from having access to personal information and gives individuals substantial control over its collection, use and disclosure.

This annual report describes how the Canada School of Public Service (the School) administered its responsibilities under the Act during the 2019-2020 fiscal year. This report is tabled in Parliament in accordance with section 72 of the Act.

The School acts much like a corporate training and development institution for its client organizations. It supports common public service learning at all levels nationwide and across more than 90 federal departments and agencies, while federal organizations focus on mandate-specific training and development. It has a legislative mandate to provide a range of learning activities to build individual and organizational capacity and management excellence within the public service.

Under its Departmental Results Framework, the School has one core responsibility to provide common learning to all employees of the core public service to serve Canadians with excellence.

Established on April 1, 2004, under the Public Service Modernization Act and operating under the authority of the Canada School of Public Service Act (CSPS Act), the School's primary responsibility is to provide a range of learning opportunities and develop a learning culture within the public service.

The School, a departmental corporation, is mandated under the CSPS Act to:

The School supports deputy head accountabilities with respect to leadership and professional development across the public service by identifying organizational needs and designing and delivering high‑quality, practical programs that address the key development requirements of public service employees.

Organizational structure and access to information and privacy responsibilities

The School's access to information and privacy (ATIP) activities are primarily carried out by the ATIP, Parliamentary and Cabinet Affairs, and Special Projects Unit. This unit reports to the Director General of Communications and Engagement and is led by a manager, who is the School's ATIP coordinator, as well as 1 ATIP advisor.

In addition to its activities related to parliamentary affairs and government accountability, the responsibilities of the School's ATIP, Parliamentary and Cabinet Affairs, and Special Projects Unit include the following:

Delegation of authority

In June 2019, the President of the Canada School of Public Service delegated full authority for the purposes of the Act to the Director General of Communications and Engagement; and to the ATIP, Parliamentary and Cabinet Affairs, and Special Projects Unit's manager, as the the ATIP Coordinator. A copy of the signed delegation instrument for the Act that took effect on June 17, 2019, is included as Annex A.

Interpretation of the Statistical Report on the Privacy Act for 2018–2019

The following outlines the information contained in the Statistical Report on the Privacy Act for 2019-2020, which is attached as Annex B.

Requests received under the Act

Between April 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020, the School received 30 new requests for personal information under the Privacy Act. This represents an increase of 18 (150%) requests over the previous exercise's total of 12. In addition to the new requests, 2 requests were carried over from previous exercise.

The School did not receive any consultations from other government institution in 2019-2020.

Disposition of completed requests

There were 13 requests (41%) that resulted in full disclosure, 14 requests (44%) that were disclosed in part, and some information that was therefore withheld in accordance with the Act's exemption provisions. Two requests (6%) resulted in full exemption, in 1 case (3%), the requested records did not exist, and two (6%) requests were abandoned.

Completion time and extensions

Overall, 8 requests (25%) were completed in 30 days or less, 10 requests (32%) in 60 days or less, 11 other requests (34%) in 120 days or less, 1 other request (3%) in 180 days or less, and 2 other requests (6%) in 365 days or less.

Section 15 of the Privacy Act provides for the extension of the statutory time limits for a maximum of 30 days if meeting the original time limit would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the government institution, or if consultations are necessary to comply with the request that cannot reasonably be completed within the original time limit. The School claimed an extension on 24 of the requests processed in 2019-2020. The extensions were required due to interference with operations and external consultation.

During the reporting period, the School was able to meet its deadline for 18 (56.3%) requests.

Exemptions and exclusions

Exemptions and exclusions are the only grounds to withhold personal information found in records that are requested under the Privacy Act. Their application is limited and specific, as stipulated in the Act.

The School invoked exemptions under paragraph 19(1)(d) in 1 case, 22(1)(a)(i) was invoked in 1 case, 22(1)(a)(ii) was invoked in 1 case, 22(1)(b) was invoked in 4 cases, Section 25 was invoked in 2 cases, and Section 26 was invoked in 10 cases.

The Act indicates that certain types of materials are excluded from its application; specifically, records that are already available to the public (Section 69) and Cabinet confidences (Section 70). The School did not invoke these exclusions on any requests completed during the reporting period.

Format of information released

The School provided records in electronic format in response to 27 cases. The School sent no responses in paper format.

Relevant pages disclosed

A total of 24 845 pages were reviewed by staff during the reporting period, with 18 061 pages resulting in disclosure (in full or in part) to requesters. The remaining 6 784 pages were withheld pursuant to the Act's exemptions.

Overview of requests received under the Privacy Act since 2012-2013
Fiscal year Requests received Requests completedNote* Number of pages processed Number of pages released
2019-2020 30 32 24,845 18,061
2018-2019 12 10 52,154 5,165
2017-2018 4 4 817 464
2016-2017 5 5 3,702 3,124
2015-2016 6 9 10,672 10,121
2014-2015 9 6 2,451 1,557
2013-2014 15 19 12,253 7,763
2012-2013 15 13 33,537 33,149

Costs

Salary costs related to the administration of the Privacy Act incurred by the ATIP and Parliamentary Affairs Office are estimated at $65,797. Overhead and maintenance costs are estimated at $99,226, for a total of $165,023.

Disclosures under paragraphs 8(2)(e) and 8(2)(m) of the Privacy Act

Paragraph 8(2)(e) of the Act allows for the disclosure of personal information to an investigative body subject to specific criteria prescribed by the Privacy Regulations. The School did not disclose any personal information pursuant to paragraph 8(2)(e) during 2019-2020.

Paragraph 8(2)(m) of the Act allows for the disclosure of personal information when the public interest clearly outweighs any invasion of privacy or when the disclosure would benefit the individual. The School did not disclose any personal information pursuant to paragraph 8(2)(m) during 2019-2020.

Training and awareness

The ATIP, Parliamentary and Cabinet Affairs, and Special Projects Unit informs and guides employees and requesters regarding the requirements of the Privacy Act through ongoing dialogue and informal discussions. During the reporting period, the ATIP, Parliamentary and Cabinet Affairs, and Special Projects Unit employees responded to inquiries from employees and senior management, providing advice and guidance on various subjects pertaining to the Act.

A dedicated section on the School's intranet site provides School employees and ATIP liaison officers with key information on ATIP, and reiterates employee accountability for ensuring personal information is handled in accordance with the Act. However, no formal training activities were provided during the reporting period.

New procedures, guidelines and directives

In 2019-2020, the School developed and implemented guidelines and tools to assist in the undertaking of work and processes in relation to privacy breaches.

Complaints

The School was notified of 6 new complaints received by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) in 2019-2020. Of the six complaints, two have been resolved and were related to delays or denials of access. From the 2 complaints resolved, the OPC concluded that 1 complaint was founded and the other complaint was unfounded. The remaining 4 complaints remain active in the investigation phase.

Monitoring time to process

Since the School is a small institution with a relatively small number of requests in comparison with other institutions, senior management is kept informed of the time taken to process personal information requests through ongoing verbal briefings. There were no requests to correct personal information in 2019-2020.

Material privacy breaches

There was one material privacy breach that occurred during the reporting year.

Privacy impact assessments

The School did not complete any privacy impact assessments in 2019-2020.

Public Interest Disclosures

No disclosures were made under paragraph 8 (2)(m) of the Privacy Act in 2019-2020.

Annex A – Delegation Order

Privacy Act

The President of the Canada School of Public Service, pursuant to section 73 of the Privacy Act, hereby designates the persons holding the positions set out in the schedule hereto, or the persons occupying on an acting basis those positions, to exercise the powers, duties and functions of the President, as the head of the Canada School of Public Service, under the provisions of the Act and related regulations set out in the schedule opposite each position. This designation replaces all previous delegation orders.


Taki Sarantakis
President of the Canada School of Public Service

Date
June 17, 2019
Privacy Act
Provision Description Director General, Communications and Engagement Manager, Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP), and Parliamentary Affairs (ATIP Coordinator)
8(2)(j) Disclosure for research purposes 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 8(2)(e) to be retained X X
8(5) Notice of disclosure under 8(2)(m) X X
9(1) Record of disclosures to be retained X X
9(4) Consistent uses X X
10 Personal information to be included in personal information banks X X
14 Notice where access requested X X
15 Extension of time limits X X
17(2)(b) Language of access X X
17(3)(b) Access to personal information in alternative format X X
18(2) Exemption (exempt bank) - Disclosure may be refused X X
19(1) Exemption - Personal information obtained in confidence X X
19(2) Exemption - Where authorized to disclose X X
20 Exemption - Federal-provincial affairs X X
21 Exemption - International affairs and defence X X
22 Exemption - Law enforcement and investigation X X
22.3 Exemption - Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act X X
23 Exemption - Security clearances X X
24 Exemption - Individuals sentenced for an offence X X
25 Exemption - Safety of individuals X X
26 Exemption - Information about another individual X X
27 Exemption - Solicitor-client privilege X X
28 Exemption - Medical record X X
31 Notice of intention to investigate X X
33(2) Right to make representation X X
35(1) Findings and recommendations of Privacy Commissioner (complaints) X X
35(4)  Access to be given X X
36(3) Report of findings and recommendations (exempt banks) X X
37(3) Report of findings and recommendations (compliance review) X X
51(2)(b) Special rules for hearings X X
51(3) Ex parte representations X X
72(1) Report to Parliament X X
Privacy Regulations
Provision Description Director General, Communications and Engagement Manager, Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) and Parliamentary Affairs (ATIP Coordinator)
9 Reasonable facilities and time provided to examine personal information X X
11(2) Notification that correction to personal information has been made X X
11(4) Notification that correction to personal information has been refused X X
13(1)  Disclosure of personal information relating to physical or mental health may be made to a qualified medical practitioner or psychologist for an opinion on whether to release information to the requestor X X
14 Disclosure of personal information relating to physical or mental health may be made to a requestor in the presence of a qualified medical practitioner or psychologist X X

Annex B – Statistical Report on the Privacy Act for 2019-2020

Name of institution: Canada School of Public Service

Reporting period: 2019-04-01 to 2020-03-31

Section 1: Requests Under the Privacy Act

1.1 Number of requests
Number of requests
Received during reporting period 30
Outstanding from previous reporting period 2
Total 32
Closed during reporting period 32
Carried over to next reporting period 0

Section 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 3 2 8 0 0 0 13
Disclosed in part 1 0 7 3 1 2 0 14
All exempted 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No records exist 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Request abandoned 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 3 5 10 11 1 2 0 32
2.2 Exemptions
Section Number of requests Section Number of requests Section Number of requests
18(2) 0 22(1)(a)(i) 1 23(a) 0
19(1)(a) 0 22(1)(a)(ii) 1 23(b) 0
19(1)(b) 0 22(1)(a)(iii) 0 24(a) 0
19(1)(c) 0 22(1)(b) 4 24(b) 0
19(1)(d) 1 22(1)(c) 0 25 0
19(1)(e) 0 22(2) 0 26 5
19(1)(f) 0 22.1 0 27 1
20 0 22.2 0 28 0
21 0 22.3 0
    22.4 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
Paper Electronic Other
0 27 0

2.5 Complexity

2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Number of pages processed Number of pages disclosed Number of requests
24,845 18,061 31
2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
Disposition Less than 100
pages processed
101 to 500
pages processed
501 to 1000
pages processed
1001 to 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 9 110 3 418 0 0 1 2,379 0 0
Disclosed in part 5 237 4 916 0 0 4 8,557 1 5,444
All exempted 1 0 1 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 17 347 8 1,334 0 0 5 10,936 1 5,444
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 Closed requests

2.6.1 Number of requests closed within legislated timelines
  Requests closed within legislated timelines
Number of requests closed within legislated timelines 18
Percentage of requests closed within legislated timelines (%) 56.3

2.7 Deemed refusals

2.7.1 Reasons for not meeting legislated timelines
Number of Requests Closed Past the Legislated Timelines Principal Reason
Interference with Operations / Workload External
Consultation
Internal
Consultation
Other
14 14 0 0 0
2.7.2 Requests closed beyond legislated timelines (including any extension taken)
Number of Days Past Legislated Timelines Number of Requests Past Legislated Timeline Where No Extension Was Taken Number of Requests Past Legislated Timelines Where an Extension Was Taken Total
1 to 15 days 0 7 7
16 to 30 days 0 1 1
31 to 60 days 0 3 3
61 to 120 days 0 1 1
121 to 180 days 0 1 1
181 to 365 days 0 1 1
More than 365 days 0 0 0
Total 0 14 14
2.8 Requests for translation
Translation Requests Accepted Refused Total
English to French 0 0 0
French to English 1 0 1
Total 0 14 14

Section 3: Disclosures Under Subsections 8(2) and 8(5)

Disclosures Under Subsections 8(2) and 8(5)
Paragraph 8(2)(e) Paragraph 8(2)(m) Subsection 8(5) Total
0 0 0 0

Section 4: Requests for Correction of Personal Information and Notations

Requests for Correction of Personal Information and Notations
Disposition for correction requests received Number
Notations attached 0
Requests for correction accepted 0
Total 0

Section 5: Extensions

5.1 Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests
Number of requests where an extension was taken 15(a)(i)
Interference with operations
15(a)(ii)
Consultation
15(b)
Translation purposes or conversion
Further review required to determine exemptions Large volume of pages Large volume of requests Documents are difficult to obtain Cabinet Confidence Section (Section 70) External Internal
24 0 2 17 4 0 1 0 0
5.2 Length of extensions
Length of Extensions 15(a)(i)
Interference with operations
15(a)(ii)
Consultation
15(b)
Translation purposes or conversion
Further review required to determine exemptions Large volume of pages Large volume of requests Documents are difficult to obtain Cabinet Confidence Section (Section 70) External Internal
1 to 15 days 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 days 0 2 17 4 0 1 0 0
31 days or greater 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 2 17 4 0 1 0 0

Section 6: Consultations Received From Other Institutions and Organizations

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 the reporting period 0 0 0 0
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0
Closed during the reporting period 0 0 0 0
Carried over to the next 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 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed 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
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
Disclosed 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

Section 7: Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences

7.1 Requests with Legal Services
Number of Days Fewer than 100
pages processed
101 to 500
pages processed
501 to 1000
pages processed
1001 to 5,000
pages processed
More than 5,000
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 to 500
pages processed
501 to 1000
pages processed
1001 to 5,000
pages processed
More than 5,000
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

Section 8: Complaints and Investigations Notices Received

Complaints and Investigations Notices Received
Section 31 Section 33 Section 35 Court action Total
6 2 3 0 11

Section 9: Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA) and Personal Information Banks (PIB)

Section 9.1: Privacy Impact Assessments
Number of PIAs(s) 0
Section 9.2: Personal Information Banks
Personal Information Banks Active Created Terminated Modified
  0 0 0 0

Section 10: Material Privacy Breaches

Material Privacy Breaches
Number of material privacy breaches reported to TBS 1
Number of material privacy breaches reported to OPC 1

Section 11: Material Privacy Breaches

11.1 Costs
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $65,441
Overtime $356
Goods and Services $99,226
Professional services contracts $92,141  
Other $7,085
Total $165,023
11.2 Human Resources
Resources Person years
dedicated to privacy activities
Full-time employees 0.89
Part-time and casual employees 0.00
Regional staff 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 0.17
Students 0.09
Total 1.15

Note: Enter values to two decimal places.


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