Publications and Reports

Annual Report - Privacy Act

Table of contents

Privacy Act

Annual report
(April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018)

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, 171 national historic sites, 4 national marine conservation areas and one national urban park. 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 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, 2017 to March 31, 2018.

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, 2017 and March 31, 2018, twelve (12) formal information requests were received under the Privacy Act.  All requests were completed during the reporting period under review.

Seven (7) 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 one (1) request included in the “no records exist” category concerned records that did not exist.

The three (3) requests included in the “abandoned” category were received from individuals who did not respond to our correspondence.

Time limitations

During fiscal year 2017-2018, all requests were processed within the initial 30-day period.  

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 making the request or where at least one of the conditions outlined in subsection 8(2) of the Act is met.

In addition to the above, Parks Canada’s ATIP Office also reviews human resources investigation reports and provides strategic advice on 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, 2017 to March 31, 2018, 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 exempts banks.

Administrative Practices

Delegation of Authority

In 2017-2018, decision-making responsibility for the application of the various provisions of the Privacy Act is fully delegated to the Vice-President, External Relations and Visitor Experience Directorate and the Agency’s Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator. The Agency continues to ensure that only those with the properly delegated authorities have an ability to have an impact on the disclosure process.

Procedures

Parks Canada’s 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 will be implemented if required.

Training sessions

Facilitating efficient and transparent access to information and privacy for Canadians is a priority for Parks Canada.  The Agency implemented a two-phased mandatory training program consisting of an online course on access to information and privacy given by the School of the Public Service and a 1.5 day formal, classroom-based and instructor-led course for employees that are regularly involved in access requests. 

Since the delivery of the mandatory training, the School has reported that 1,886 employees have taken the online course. As part of the second phase of the training program, forty-one (41) sessions were given to Agency employees across Canada in 2017-2018. In total, eight hundred and thirty-two (832) employees attended these sessions. 

To ensure that all employees of the Agency are aware of the legislation and their obligations, general awareness sessions are also given periodically to provide basic information on the provisions of the Privacy Act.

Privacy Impact Assessments

Between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018, seven (7) privacy impact assessments were still ongoing.  These assessments are still underway.

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 were no disclosures 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

The Agency is not involved in data matching activities.

Privacy Gap Assessment

The Agency continues to assess all personal information holdings within the Agency as a result of the 2016-2017 Privacy Gap Assessment.  The Assessment will assist in establishing a common approach in the collection and retention of personal information across the Agency to ensure compliance with the Privacy Act.  Results of the Assessment will help determine the necessity for privacy impact assessments and personal information banks in accordance with federal government policies and directives.