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Environment Programs

Introduction

During 2003-2009 the Government of Canada and the provincial and territorial governments worked with the agriculture and agri-food industry and interested Canadians to develop and implement the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF). A total of 14 APF Environment Programs were created with the intent of helping the agriculture and agri-food sector achieve environmental sustainability in the areas of soil, water, air and biodiversity.

A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) was conducted on the following four APF programs which collect personal information:

Environmental farm planning (EFP) is a voluntary process used by individual land managers to systematically identify environmental risks and benefits from their own farming operation and to develop an action plan to mitigate the risks. The objective of the program is to encourage land managers to develop farm plans related to environmental risks and to continuously evaluate their environmental performance. The National Farm Stewardship Program (NFSP), Greencover Canada program, and the National Water Supply Expansion Program (NWSEP) provide technical and financial assistance to land managers and/or owners related to targeted areas of environmental sustainability.

Environment Programs developed and implemented through the APF ended on March 31, 2009. Under Growing Forward, provincial governments have been given responsibility for delivering all environmental grants and contribution initiatives across the country.

Objective

A PIA of the above four APF Environment Programs was conducted to determine if there were any privacy issues, and if so, to make recommendations for their resolution or mitigation. The PIA process was initiated while the Environment programs were in the early stages of implementation under APF.

Description

The scope of the PIA included the business process and the basic data flows of personal information associated with the four APF Environment Programs indicated above. The report focuses on AAFC's role in the delivery and management of each of the programs. In addition, considering the integral role played by delivery agents in the four programs, the PIA includes a description of the delivery agents' responsibilities with respect to the programs. Site visits were conducted with selected delivery agents in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.

The Personal Information Bank (PIB), Environment Programming (Agri-Environment Services Branch/Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration) AAFC PPU 624, outlines the details regarding the personal information collected under the Environment Programming, including the purpose, use, retention and disposal standards. This PIB will cover all past and future programming administered by AESB/PFRA.

Conclusion

As a result of the PIA, measures have been determined to mitigate any risks associated with the collection of personal information. These include: access controls, compliance audits and limiting the information collected. In addition, the corrective actions identified in the PIA were implemented and lessons learned were transferred to delivery partners across Canada.

For further information please contact:

Access to Information and Privacy
Tower 4, 5th Floor
1341 Baseline Road, Room 264
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0C5
Telephone: 613-773-1390
Facsimile: 613-773-1380
Email: aafc.atip-aiprp.aac@canada.ca

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