Publications and Reports

Annual Report - Privacy Act

Table of contents

Privacy Act

Annual report
(April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016)

Introduction

The Privacy Act protects the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by a government institution and provides individuals with a right of access to that information.

This report has been prepared and will be tabled in Parliament in accordance with Section 72 of the Privacy Act.  The information contained in this report pertains to the administration of the Privacy Act within the Parks Canada Agency. 

The Parks Canada Agency’s mandate is to protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage and to foster public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative integrity for present and future generations.  The Agency is responsible for 46 national parks, 168 national historic sites and 4 national marine conservation areas.  The Agency is highly decentralized with team members located across the country and often in remote areas.

Parks Canada’s Access to Information and Privacy Office coordinates all activities related to the legislation for the Agency.  It is comprised of six (6) full-time employees.  The Parks Canada Access to Information and Privacy Office has developed and continues to refine and improve internal policies and procedures in order to meet its obligations in compliance with the Privacy Act, regulations and Treasury Board policies.

The following report presents an overview of activities carried out within the Agency during the reporting period of April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016.

Statistical report - Privacy Act requests

The appended report (Appendix A) contains detailed statistics on the information requests processed under the Privacy Act.

Interpretation of the Statistical Report Privacy Act Requests

Between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016, eleven (11) formal information requests were received under the Privacy Act.  Two (2) requests were carried forward from the previous reporting period.  All requests were completed during the reporting period under review.

The eight (8) requests that were completed resulted in the partial disclosure of the records.  The information that was exempted from disclosure was personal information pertaining to other individuals. 

The five (5) requests included in the “no records exist” category concerned records that did not exist.

Time limitations

During fiscal year 2015-2016, seven (7) requests were processed within the initial 30-day period.  In six (6) cases, additional time was required due to the number of records requested.

Costs

The costs reported in the statistical report are only those costs incurred for the processing of requests as the Privacy Act does not authorize the assessment of fees for the processing of requests for personal information.

Formal / Informal Interface

The Agency continues to provide the public with information on an informal basis.  Information is provided only when the Agency is satisfied that the information requested concerns the individual requesting it or where at least one of the conditions outlined in subsection 8(2) of the Act is met.

Between April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, ten (10) informal requests were processed under the Privacy Act.

In addition to the above, the ATIP Office also reviews human resources investigation reports and requests for strategic advice dealing with human resource issues.

Complaints / Investigations

No complaints were filed with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada during the reporting period under review.

Consultations Received from Other Institutions and Organizations

Between April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, the Agency did not receive any consultations under the Privacy Act.  No consultations were carried forward from the previous reporting period.  No consultations were carried forward to the next reporting period.

Exempt Banks

The Agency maintains no exempt banks.

Administrative Practices

Delegation of Authority

In 2015-2016, decision-making responsibility for the application of the various provisions of the Privacy Act is fully delegated to the Agency’s Privacy Coordinator.

Procedures

The ATIP Office acts as a central coordinating point for the processing of information requests received under the Privacy Act.  As such, it maintains data banks and keeps statistical records on requests processed.  Requests are received by the ATIP Office and forwarded to the appropriate Program for retrieval of the requested records. Program officials retrieve the records and prepare preliminary recommendations concerning their disclosure.  These recommendations are reviewed by the ATIP Office.  It assesses the application of the Act and prepares the records for disclosure.

The ATIP Office does not presently monitor the time required to process privacy requests.  Additional reporting mechanisms are being planned in the next reporting period.

Briefing sessions

To ensure that all employees of the Agency are aware of the legislation, awareness sessions are given periodically.  These sessions provide basic information on the provisions of the Privacy Act.

In 2015-2016, twenty-three (23) sessions were given to Agency.  In total, one hundred and fifty-five (155) employees attended these sessions.  Parks Canada is working to expand the delivery of information sessions and training to staff of the Agency as part of a number of improvements to processes and practices in responding to privacy requests.

Privacy Impact Assessments

Between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016, no privacy impact assessments were initiated. 

Privacy Breaches

There were no material privacy breaches reported during the period under review.

Disclosure of personal information pursuant to 8(2)(e) of the Privacy Act

There was one (1) disclosure of personal information made during the reporting period under review.

Disclosure of personal information pursuant to 8(2)(m) of the Privacy Act

There were no disclosures of personal information made during the reporting period under review.

Data Matching Activities

There were no data matching activities during the reporting period under review.

Privacy Gap Assessment

During fiscal year 2015-2016, a Privacy Gap Assessment of all personal information holdings within the Agency was initiated. Once the Assessment is completed, it will assist in determining gaps with regards to non-compliance and will assist in establishing a national approach to streamlining the work that is being done nationally. Results of the Assessment will determine the necessity for privacy impact assessments and personal information banks in accordance with federal government policies and directives.