Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Trends And Statistical Overview

Highlights, Challenges and Trends

  • Due to Western Economic Diversification Canada’s (WD) extremely small caseload pertaining to requests for access to personal information, multi-year trends are not identified.
     
  • WD substantially updated and improved its Privacy Protection Procedures Manual in October 2012 to include more detailed information on the correction of personal information and the comprehensive Privacy Impact Assessment Handbook which was approved in April 2011.
     
  • WD recognized Data Privacy Day on January 28, 2012. staff messages and two posters, entitled Protect Yourself from Spam! and Privacy on the Go: Protecting Personal Information on Wireless Communication Devices, were placed throughout all WD offices.
     
  • WD continues to share it policy, procedures, best practices and staff awareness materials with other regional development agencies and the Small Agency Administrator’s Network.

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Statistical Overview

The following information provides additional context where appropriate to the statistical details found in Annex B – "2011-2012 Report on the Privacy Act (Statistical Report)".

A.  Personal Information Requests Received Pursuant to the Privacy Act

In 2011–2012, WD received one request for access to personal information pursuant to the Privacy Act. While WD does not historically receive many requests for personal information, this is a 66% decrease from the last two fiscal years.

In total, WD processed 106 pages responding to the request processed during this reporting period. Section 26 of the Privacy Act was invoked in whole or in part, and 106 pages were released. No consultations or extensions were required when processing the request.

The Act does not apply to certain materials such as published material pursuant to Section 69 or confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council pursuant to Section 70. WD did not invoke either of these sections during the 2011–2012 reporting period.

B.  Permissible Disclosure of Personal Information

Personal information collected by WD in the course of its programs and activities is being disclosed only for the purpose for which it was collected, in accordance with paragraph 8(2)(a) of the Privacy Act.

WD did not disclose personal information for any other purposes as outlined in paragraph 8(2)(m) during the 2011–2012 reporting period.

C.  Complaints and Investigations

WD received no complaints pursuant to the Privacy Act in 2011–2012, and there were no appeals or applications submitted to the Federal Court.

WD carried forward one complaint from 2010–2011. The Privacy Commissioner determined that the complaint was not substantiated and the file closed.

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D.  Privacy Impact Assessments

In 2010, TBS issued a new Directive on Privacy Impact Assessment, which required federal institutions to ensure that a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is conducted whenever personal information is used in an administrative decision-making process.

WD approved its Privacy Impact Assessment Handbook in April 2011, which provides departmental staff with the appropriate policy guidance and practical advice on when and how to conduct a PIA, including a Privacy Protocol; information to identify PIA requirements related to Treasury Board submissions; and is intended to strengthen and clarify roles and responsibilities of WD officials.

WD did not complete any PIAs in 2011–2012 and, therefore, no assessments were forwarded to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner or PIA summaries posted on WD’s public Web site.

Although WD did not conduct a Core PIA in this reporting period, the department ensures that careful consideration of privacy risks with respect to the creation, collection and handling of personal information is undertaken as part of its programs and activities.

E.  Operational Costs Associated with Administering the Act

WD’s cost for administrating the Privacy Act in the ATIP Unit is estimated as follows:

  • ATIP Unit salary costs, including a portion of the ATIP Coordinator’s and Deputy ATIP Coordinator’s salaries, and 15 percent of the ATIP Officer’s salary;
  • administrative operation and maintenance costs, which include non-salary expenses associated with the processing of requests and ATIP case management system licensing and upgrades; and
  • additional salary-related costs, which incorporate estimated costs for other departmental officials to retrieve, review and make recommendations concerning records responding to personal information request and translation of staff awareness materials and ATIP-related documents.

ATIP Unit salaries : $16,465
Administrative operation and maintenance costs : $3,321
Total ATIP Unit Costs : $19,786

Additional salary-related costs: $3,704
Total Departmental Costs: $23,490

The additional costs, which are not all captured in the Statistical Report, provide a more complete picture of the overall cost to the department to administer all aspects of its activities related to the Privacy Act. While the salary costs decreased slightly, the total estimated costs to administer the Act of $23,490 increased slightly from 2010–2011 due increased translation costs related to the Privacy Impact Assessment Handbook and upgrades to the ATIP case management system required as part of TBS’s revitalization of the statistical reports.