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Annual Report to Parliament on the Administration of the Privacy Act - April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019

Note: Some of the content is wider than usual.

1. Introduction

The Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) presents to Parliament its Annual Report on the Administration of the Privacy Act (the "Act") for fiscal year 2018-2019 (April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019). This report is prepared and tabled in accordance with section 72 of the Act.

The purpose of the Act is to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by government institutions and to provide individuals with a right of access to that information.

In accordance with Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat requirements, this report provides an overview of the activities of AAFC in administering its responsibilities under the Act. This report should be considered along with AAFC’s 2018-2019 Annual Report to Parliament on the Administration of the Access to Information Act, which is tabled separately.

AAFC’s Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Office is the focal point for access to information and privacy matters within the department. For fiscal year 2018-2019, AAFC responded to all formal privacy requests within the prescribed deadlines.

The department is committed to protecting the personal information under its control and recognizes that this protection is an essential element in maintaining public and employee trust in government. AAFC continues to exercise proactive personal information management through frequent engagement with AAFC’s ATIP office and effective risk assessment.

2. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's mandate

Our vision
Driving innovation and ingenuity to build a world-leading agricultural and food economy for the benefit of all Canadians.
Our mission
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides leadership in the growth and development of a competitive, innovative and sustainable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.
Responsibilities

The department’s activities extend from the farmer to the consumer, from the farm to global markets, through all phases of sustainably producing, processing and marketing agriculture and agri-food products. In this regard, and since agriculture is a shared responsibility, AAFC works closely with provincial and territorial governments.

The department is responsible for making sure that policies and programs of the organizations within the Agriculture and Agri-Food portfolio are coordinated and work to serve the interests of the sector and Canadians. The portfolio partners and agencies consist of the Canadian Dairy Commission, the Canadian Grain Commission, Farm Credit Canada, the Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal and the Farm Products Council of Canada. AAFC also includes the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency, a special operating agency that regulates and supervises pari-mutuel betting on horse racing at racetracks across Canada.

3. Access to Information and Privacy Office structure

The ATIP Office is the focal point for access to information and privacy matters within AAFC. Key responsibilities include

The ATIP Office reports to the Director General (DG), Communications Services, under the direction of the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of the Public Affairs Branch (PAB). The ADM, PAB, provides senior management support and leadership, acting as the department’s privacy champion.

The team is comprised of access and privacy policy analysts who play a key compliance and risk mitigation role for the department. Eleven positions are attributed to the office:

The cost of administering the ATIP Office (for both access to information and privacy matters) during the reporting period was $965,540, which included 9.87 full-time equivalents (or $664,412 in salaries and $263,030 for professional services).

4. Delegation of authority

Section 73 of the Privacy Act provides for the Minister of AAFC to delegate the powers, duties and functions designated by the Act.

The delegation of authority for the administration of the Privacy Act includes the Assistant Deputy Minister, PAB, the DG, Communications Services, and the ATIP Director positions, who have full delegated authority to approve exemptions under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, in accordance with the delegation of authority instrument approved by the Minister in July 2019. The DG and the ATIP Director are also authorized to make decisions regarding other privacy matters, such as the disclosure of personal information without consent in accordance with subsection 8(2) of the Act and registering new personal information collections in accordance with section 10. Certain administrative functions are also delegated to the ATIP Managers to enhance efficiency in request processing.

The delegation of authority instrument for the administration of the Privacy Act is appended hereto at Annexes A and B.

5. Interpretation and trends of the Privacy Act Statistical Report

Annual statistical reporting on the administration of the Act was first conducted in 1983. Since 2011-2012, government institutions have completed more in-depth statistical reporting forms on the administration of the Act as prescribed by TBS. The detailed statistical report on the Privacy Act for 2018-2019 is provided in Annex C.

Privacy requests received and completed

The ATIP Office received 27 new requests under the Privacy Act in 2018-2019, representing a 20% decrease from the number of privacy requests received last fiscal year. Despite this decrease, the total number of pages processed represented a 100-plus-percent increase over last fiscal, with 19,239 pages processed. Of the 19,239 pages, 15,476 were released entirely or in part.

The following charts provide an overview of the trends related to the volume of requests processed by AAFC over the past four years.

Exemptions invoked

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Processing trends for privacy tequests
Year Outstanding Received Completed Carried Forward
2015-2016 3 21 22 2
2016-2017 2 12 13 1
2017-2018 1 35 34 2
2018-2019 2 27 27 2
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Pages processed and disclosed
Year Pages Processed Pages Disclosed
2015-2016 7,193 6,533
2016-2017 2,799 2,692
2017-2018 9,243 8,711
2018-2019 19,239 15,476

Extensions

Consultations

Requests for correction of personal information and notations

6. Privacy complaints, investigations and audits

No complaints were received in relation to AAFC’s obligations under the Act. No investigations or audits were carried out.

7. Material privacy breaches

In May 2014, TBS launched the updated Guidelines for Privacy Breaches based on changes made to the Directive on Privacy Practices. The updated guidelines and directive establish a mandatory requirement for departments to report all material privacy breaches to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and TBS. In accordance with the Guidelines, a breach is defined as "material" if the breach "involves sensitive personal information that could reasonably be expected to cause serious injury or harm to the individual, and/or involves a large number of affected individuals".

No material privacy breaches occurred during the reporting period.

8. Privacy policies, guidelines, procedures and engagement

The ATIP Office updates its policies, guidelines and procedures as necessary to maintain and fulfill compliance requirements and to assist employees in their management of personal information.

During the reporting period, the ATIP Office continued to play an active role in assisting AAFC employees with the effective management of personal information under the department’s control. Through defined processes, the ATIP Office was engaged, on an ongoing basis, by AAFC clients seeking advice on a variety of privacy-related matters. The ATIP Office also participated in key working groups in order to proactively contribute to both departmental and community-wide initiatives. Highlights of work completed by the ATIP Office during the reporting period include the following:

9. Access to Information and Privacy training and education

The ATIP Office continues to offer access to information and privacy-related training to ensure that staff and management understand their roles and responsibilities with respect to the Acts and information management so that AAFC’s access to information obligations are fulfilled.

Courses are provided to new employees as well as to branch units when requested. The ATIP Office also offers specific training to key branches involved in the collection and handling of personal information required to support various departmental programs to ensure an understanding of their responsibilities as they relate to privacy protection. Moreover, additional sessions were developed in response to the department’s Administrative Recruitment and Development Program (ARDP), in order to provide a broad overview of administrative support staff responsibilities as they pertain to assisting senior managers in completing ATIP requests. General training was also provided to senior management with presentations delivered to branches’ executive committees.

During this reporting period, 11 formal awareness sessions were held, with 124 employees in attendance, and 2 sessions were provided in support of the ARDP program with a total of 25 participants. Two executive training sessions were also provided, with one directed to the Deputy Ministers’ Office and a second one to a Director General Management Committee meeting.

Training highlights include

10. Monitoring timelines

AAFC uses an automated system to monitor the timely processing of privacy requests. The workflow case management tool tracks all actions and due dates, stores relevant records requiring review, maintains audit logs, promotes the use of standard templates, allows extensive search capability to facilitate analysis, and generates progress and statistical reports.

The ATIP Office kept senior management apprised of the status of privacy request processing on a strict need-to-know basis only.

11. Privacy impact assessments

AAFC uses PIAs and privacy protocols to determine whether privacy risks may be present in new or existing AAFC programs or initiatives that manage personal information for administrative purposes.

One PIA update was undertaken during the reporting period for the AgriStability program.

Summaries of AAFC’s completed PIAs are published on the department’s Access to Information and Privacy Services pages.

12. Disclosures pursuant to paragraph 8(2)(m)

Paragraph 8(2)(m) of the Act allows for the disclosure of personal information without the consent of the individual in specific circumstances. During the reporting period, no such disclosures were made under that paragraph.

13. Closing

In closing, AAFC is fully committed to the requirements and spirit of the Act. The department will continue to work proactively to protect the personal information of its employees and the Canadian public that is under its control.

Delegation of authority instrument - Annexes A and B

Annex A - Privacy Act Designation Order - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, pursuant to section 73 of the Privacy Act, hereby designates the persons of the Department holding the positions set out in the schedule hereto, or the persons occupying on an acting basis those positions, to exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions of the Minister as the head of a government institution under the sections of the Act set out in the schedule opposite each position. This Designation Order supersedes all previous Designation Orders.

Date: July 29, 2019

Name: Minister Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Annex B - Delegation of authority instrument for the administration of the Privacy Act

Sections of the Privacy Act
Sections Powers, Duties or Functions Assistant Deputy Minister
Public Affairs Branch
Director General
Communications Services
Director
ATIP and Translation Services
Team Leader
8(2)(j) To disclose personal information for research of statistical purposes. X X X -
8(2)(m) To disclose personal information in the public interest or to benefit an individual. X X X -
8(4) To maintain records of requests from investigative bodies. X X X -
8(5) To notify Privacy Commissioner of disclosures in the public interest. X X X -
9(1) To maintain record of any use not included in InfoSource and attach to the personal information involved. X X X -
9(4) To notify Privacy Commissioner of consistent use of personal information and update index. X X X -
10 To include personal information in personal information banks. X X X -
14 To notify applicant and to give access to the record. X X X X
15 To extend time limit and notify applicant. X X X -
17(2)(b) To determine the necessity for translation or interpretation of record. X X X X
17(3)(b) Access to personal information in alternative format X X X X
18(2) To refuse to disclose information contained in an exempt bank. X X X -
19(1) To exempt personal information obtained in confidence from another government. X X X -
19(2) To disclose with consent of the other government. X X X -
20 To exempt personal information re: federal-provincial affairs. X X X -
21 To exempt information re: international affairs and defense. X X X -
22 To exempt information re: law enforcement and investigation. X X X -
22.3 To exempt information re: Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act X X X -
23 To exempt information re: security clearances. X X X -
24 To exempt personal information re: individuals sentenced for an offense. X X X -
25 To exempt personal information re: safety of individuals. X X X -
26 To exempt personal information about another individual. X X X -
27 To exempt personal information re: solicitor-client privilege. X X X -
28 To exempt personal information re: medical records. X X X -
33(2) To make representations to the Privacy Commissioner during an investigation. X X X -
35(1) To respond to Privacy Commissioner’s recommendations. X X X -
35(4) To provide access to applicant pursuant to Privacy Commissioner’s recommendation. X X X -
36(3) To receive Privacy Commissioner’s report of findings of investigation of exempt bank. X X X -
37(3) To receive report of Privacy Commissioner’s findings after compliance investigation. X X X -
51(2)(b) To request that Section 51 hearing be held in the National Capital Region. X X X -
51(3) To request and be given right to make representations in Section 51 hearings. X X X -
72(1) To prepare annual report to Parliament. X X X -
Legend:
X = Has delegated authority
- = Does not have delegated authority
Sections of the Privacy Regulations
Sections Powers, Duties or Functions Assistant Deputy Minister
Public Affairs Branch
Director General Communications Services Director
ATIP and Translation Services
Team Leader
9 Reasonable facilities and time provided to examine personal information X X X -
11(2) Notification that correction to personal information has been made X X X -
11(4) Notification that correction to personal information has been refused X X X -
13(1) Disclosure of personal information relating to physical or mental health may be disclosed to a duly qualified medical practitioner or psychologist in order to provide an opinion as to whether disclosure of the information would be contrary to the best interests of the individual X 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 X -
Legend:
X = Has delegated authority
- = Does not have delegated authority

Statistical reports - Annex C

Part 1: Requests Under the Privacy Act

1.1 Received during reporting period and outstanding from previous reporting period

Requests Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 27
Outstanding from previous reporting period 2
Total - requests 29

1.2 Closed during reporting period and carried over to next reporting period

Requests Number of Requests
Closed during reporting period 27
Carried over to next reporting period 2
Total - requests 29

Part 2: Requests Closed During the Reporting Period

2.1 Disposition and completion time

Disposition of Requests Completion Time: 1 to 15 Days Completion Time: 16 to 30 Days Completion Time: 31 to 60 Days Completion Time: 61 to 120 Days Completion Time: 121 to 180 Days Completion Time: 181 to 365 Days Completion Time: More Than 365 Days Total - Completion Times
All disclosed 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
Disclosed in part 2 10 5 0 0 0 0 17
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No records exist 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 5
Request abandoned 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total - disposition of requests 10 12 5 0 0 0 0 27

2.2 Exemptions

Section Number of Requests
18(2) 0
19(1)(a) 0
19(1)(b) 0
19(1)(c) 0
19(1)(d) 0
19(1)(e) 0
19(1)(f) 0
20 0
21 0
22(1)(a)(i) 0
22(1)(a)(ii) 0
22(1)(a)(iii) 0
22(1)(b) 1
22(1)(c) 0
22(2) 0
22.1 0
22.2 0
22.3 0
23(a) 0
23(b) 0
24(a) 0
24(b) 0
25 0
26 16
27 2
28 0

2.3 Exclusions

Section Number of Requests
69(1)(a) 0
69(1)(b) 0
69.1 0
70(1) 0
70(1)(a) 0
70(1)(b) 0
70(1)(c) 0
70(1)(d) 0
70(1)(e) 0
70(1)(f) 0
70.1 0

2.4 Format of information released

Disposition Paper Electronic Other Formats
All disclosed 2 0 0
Disclosed in part 4 13 0
Total - dispositions 6 13 0

2.5 Complexity

2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Disposition of Requests Number of Pages Processed Number of Pages Disclosed Number of Requests
All disclosed 11 11 2
Disclosed in part 19,228 15,465 17
All exempted 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 3
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0
Total - disposition of requests 19,239 15,476 22
2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
Disposition Less Than 100 Pages Processed - Number of Requests Less Than 100 Pages Processed - Pages Disclosed 101-500 Pages Processed - Number of Requests 101-500 Pages Processed - Pages Disclosed 501-1000 Pages Processed - Number of Requests 501-1000 Pages Processed - Pages Disclosed 1001-5000 Pages Processed - Number of Requests 1001-5000 Pages Processed - Pages Disclosed More Than 5000 Pages Processed - Number of Requests More Than 5000 Pages Processed - Pages Disclosed
All disclosed 2 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 5 107 8 1,689 2 1,146 0 0 2 12,523
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total - dispositions 10 118 8 1,689 2 1,146 0 0 2 12,523
2.5.3 Other complexities
Disposition Consultation Required Assessment of Fees Legal Advice Sought Other Total - Complexities
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 - dispositions 0 0 0 0 0

2.6 Deemed refusals

2.6.1 Reasons for not meeting statutory deadline
Number of Requests Closed Past the Statutory Deadline Principal Reason: Workload Principal Reason: External Consultation Principal Reason: Internal Consultation Principal Reason: Other
0 0 0 0 0
2.6.2 Number of days past deadline
Number of Days Past Deadline Number of Requests Past Deadline Where No Extension Was Taken Number of Requests Past Deadline Where An Extension Was Taken Total - Number of Requests Past Deadline
1 to 15 days 0 0 0
16 to 30 days 0 0 0
31 to 60 days 0 0 0
61 to 120 days 0 0 0
121 to 180 days 0 0 0
181 to 365 days 0 0 0
More than 365 days 0 0 0
Total - number of days past deadline 0 0 0

2.7 Requests for translation

Translation Requests Accepted Refused Total - Requests
English to French 0 0 0
French to English 0 0 0
Total - requests 0 0 0

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

Paragraph 8(2)(e) Paragraph 8(2)(m) Subsection 8(5) Total - disclosures
0 0 0 0

Part 4: Requests for Correction of Personal Information and Notations

Disposition Number
Notations attached 0
Requests for correction accepted 0
Total - disposition for correction requests received 0

Part 5: Extensions

5.1 Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests

Disposition of Requests Where an Extension Was Taken 15(a)(i)
Interference With - Operations
15(a)(ii)
Consultation - Section 70
15(a)(ii)
Consultation - Other
15(b)
Translation or Conversion
All disclosed 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 4 0 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0
No records exist 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0
Total - disposition of requests where an extension was taken 4 0 0 0

5.2 Length of extensions

Length of Extensions 15(a)(i)
Interference with operations
15(a)(ii)
Consultation - Section 70
15(a)(ii)
Consultation - Other
15(b)
Translation purposes
1 to 15 days 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 days 4 0 0 0
Total - length of extensions 4 0 0 0

Part 6: Consultations Received From Other Institutions and Organizations

6.1 Consultations received from other Government of Canada institutions and other organizations

Received during the reporting period and Outstanding from the previous reporting period
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 - consultations 0 0 0 0
Closed during the reporting period and pending at the end of the reporting period
Consultations Other Government of Canada Institutions Number of Pages to Review Other Organizations Number of Pages to Review
Closed during the reporting period 0 0 0 0
Pending at the end of the reporting period 0 0 0 0
Total - consultations 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 Number of days required to complete consultation requests - 16 to 30 days Number of days required to complete consultation requests - 31 to 60 days Number of days required to complete consultation requests - 61 to 120 days Number of days required to complete consultation requests - 121 to 180 days Number of days required to complete consultation requests - 181 to 365 days Number of days required to complete consultation requests - more than 365 days Total - Number of days required to complete consultation requests
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 - recommendation 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 Number of days required to complete consultation requests - 16 to 30 days Number of days required to complete consultation requests - 31 to 60 days Number of days required to complete consultation requests - 61 to 120 days Number of days required to complete consultation requests - 121 to 180 days Number of days required to complete consultation requests - 181 to 365 days Number of days required to complete consultation requests - more than 365 days Total - Number of days required to complete consultation requests
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 - recommendation 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Part 7: Completion Time of Consultations on Cabinet Confidences

7.1 Requests with Legal Services

Number of Days Fewer Than 100 Pages Processed - Number of
Requests
Fewer Than 100 Pages Processed -Pages Disclosed 101-500 Pages Processed - Number of
Requests
101-500 Pages Processed - Pages Disclosed 501-1000
Pages Processed - Number of
Requests
501-1000
Pages Processed - Pages Disclosed
1001-5000
Pages Processed - Number of
Requests
1001-5000
Pages Processed - Pages Disclosed
More than 5000
Pages Processed - Number of
Requests
More than 5000
Pages Processed - 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 - number of days 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 - Number of
Requests
Fewer Than 100 Pages Processed - Pages Disclosed 101-500 Pages Processed - Number of
Requests
101-500 Pages Processed - Pages Disclosed 501-1000
Pages Processed - Number of
Requests
501-1000
Pages Processed - Pages Disclosed
1001-5000
Pages Processed - Number of
Requests
1001-5000
Pages Processed - Pages Disclosed
More than 5000
Pages Processed - Number of
Requests
More than 5000
Pages Processed - 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 - number of days 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Part 8: Complaints and Investigations Notices Received

Section 31 Section 33 Section 35 Court action Total - Complaints and Investigations Notices Received
0 0 0 0 0

Part 9: Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs)

Number of PIA(s) completed: 0

Part 10: Resources Related to the Privacy Act

10.1 Costs

Expenditures Amount ($)
Salaries $271,216
Overtime $0
Goods and Services $79,874
Goods and Services - professional services contracts $59,846
Goods and Services - other $20,028
Total - expenditures $351,090

10.2 Human Resources

Resources Person Years Dedicated to Privacy Activities
Full-time employees 3.36
Part-time and casual employees 0.00
Regional staff 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 0.21
Students 0.00
Total - resources 3.57
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