Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Trends and Statistical Overview

Highlights, Challenges and Trends

  • Western Economic Diversification Canada’s (WD) historically has a very small caseload pertaining to requests for access to personal information and, therefore, no multi-year trends have been identified.
  • WD participated in the “Horizontal Internal Audit on Protection of Personal Information in Small Departments” conducted by the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada.
  • WD promoted Data Privacy Day (January 28, 2014) via email to all staff as a news bulletin on the department’s intranet site.

Statistical Overview

The following information provides additional context to the statistical details found in WD’s 2013-2014 statistical report (Annex B – “Statistical Report on the Privacy Act”).

A.  Personal Information Requests Received Pursuant to the Privacy Act

WD did not receive any requests for access to personal information under to the Privacy Act in 2013-2014. The department has not historically received many requests for personal information. As a result, no exemptions or exclusions were applied.

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 2013–2014 reporting period.

C.  Complaints and Investigations

WD received no complaints pursuant to the Privacy Act in 2013–2014, and there were no appeals or applications submitted to the Federal Court.

In 2013, the Office of the Comptroller General (OCG) undertook an audit of eight small departments to assess compliance with the Policy on Privacy Protection and related directives. This audit included the collective suite of management processes that are in place to support departments in their efforts to comply with the policy and related directives. WD was the only regional development agency included in the “Horizontal Internal Audit on Protection of Personal Information in Small Departments”. The audit identified seven recommendations, of which only one applied to WD.

As a result, WD reviewed its Human Resources forms to ensure that privacy notices were included on forms which collected personal information. This concern was addressed immediately and actions completed in October 2013.

D.  Privacy Impact Assessment

WD completed one Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) in 2013–2014. The PIA was forwarded to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Treasury Board Secretariat in early January 2014. The PIA summary has been posted on WD’s public website

  • Western Diversification Program (WDP) / Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative – a PIA was completed to review the privacy risks associated with the collection of personal information under current or past grants and contributions programs.

    Several sub-programs or initiatives utilize the WDP terms and conditions, including WINN which is a new initiative launched by the department in late October 2013. In the process of reviewing funding applications submitted by for-profit organizations, it may be possible that WD undertake personal credit checks when deemed appropriate. This possibly would necessitate the collection of additional personal information that WD has not collected under the WDP or any of its previous sub-programs or initiatives.

    The department determined that only minor adjustments in its administrative processes were required to mitigate against any privacy concerns, and the appropriate actions were taken.

    Although this collection of personal information is new for the WDP, the potential collection of the information required for personal credits checks was identified in WD’s Personal Information Bank (PIB) WD PSE 055 – Grants and Contributions (G&Cs) Program, and no revision or new PIB was required.

E.  Privacy Breaches

One privacy breach was reported in fiscal year 2013-2014.

  • A briefcase was stolen, which included a personal notebook containing very limited personal information of three WD employees pertaining to performance reviews.

    The Deputy ATIP Coordinator/Departmental Security Officer met with the employee to assess the theft, catalogue information and assets stolen, and the associated risks with the loss. A Security Incident Report was filed, and the individuals affected were immediately notified of the breach.

    The breach was reported to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

F.  Operational Costs Associated with Administering the Act

WD’s cost for administrating the Privacy Act in the ATIP Unit including the ATIP Unit salary costs, including a portion of the ATIP Coordinator’s and Deputy ATIP Coordinator’s salaries, and 5 percent of the ATIP Officer’s salary (a total of .11 FTE/year). There were no costs pertaining to goods and services, including professional services contracts.

The salary costs are a best estimate of the time spent providing general advice and guidance to staff on privacy issues, a Privacy Impact Assessment, and the privacy breach.

Also included below, are additional departmental costs for translation of privacy-related awareness products, which are not included in the TBS annual statistical report (see Annex B).

ATIP Unit Salaries $10,095
Goods and Services $0
Total ATIP Unit Costs $10,095
Additional salary-related costs $135
Professional services contracts - translation $703