Annual Report on the Privacy Act 2008-2009

Table of Contents

Introduction

Mandate of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada

Roles and Responsibilities of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada

Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Office

Delegated Authorities

Statistical Report on the Privacy Act 2008-2009

Supplemental Reporting Requirements – Privacy Act

Statistical Report – Interpretation and Explanation

Consultations by Other Institutions

Complaints and Investigations

Trends

Privacy Impact Assessments and Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessments

New Data Sharing Activities

Privacy-Related Education and Training

Permissible Disclosures Made Pursuant to Subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act

Introduction

The Privacy Act was proclaimed into force on July 1, 1983. The Act grants Canadian citizens, permanent residents or any person present in Canada a right of access to their personal information that is held by federal government institutions, subject to specific and limited exceptions and to an independent review of decisions on disclosure.

Section 72 of the Privacy Act requires the head of each government institution to table an annual report on the administration of the Act within the institution.

This Annual Report provides a summary of the management and administration of the Privacy Act within the Public Prosecution Service of Canada for the fiscal year 2008-2009.

Mandate of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) was created on December 12, 2006 with the coming into force of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act, Part 3 of the Federal Accountability Act. The PPSC replaced the former Federal Prosecution Service of the Department of Justice Canada.

The mandate of the PPSC is set out in the Director of Public Prosecutions Act. The Act calls on the Director of Public Prosecutions (the Director) to:

The Director of Public Prosecutions Act empowers the Director to act independently in respect of federal prosecutions. With the exception of Canada Elections Act matters, the Attorney General of Canada can issue a directive to the Director in respect of a prosecution or assume conduct of a prosecution, but must do so in writing and a notice must be published in the Canada Gazette. To assist the Attorney General in deciding whether to give direction or assume conduct, the Director must inform the Attorney General of any prosecution or planned intervention that may raise important questions of general interest.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) provides prosecution-related advice to law enforcement agencies across Canada and prosecutes offences within federal jurisdiction. Approximately 50 federal statutes contain offences in respect of which the PPSC undertakes these roles.

The PPSC is not an investigative agency and conducts a prosecution when a charge of violating federal law has been laid by an investigative or law enforcement agency, following an investigation.

In all provinces and territories, except Quebec and New Brunswick, the PPSC is responsible for prosecuting all drug offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, regardless of which police agency investigates the alleged offences. In Quebec and New Brunswick, the PPSC prosecutes only those drug offences that were investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

In all provinces and territories, the PPSC prosecutes violations of federal statutes such as the Income Tax Act, the Fisheries Act, the Excise Act, the Customs Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and the Competition Act, as well as conspiracies and attempts to violate these statutes.

In the three territories, the PPSC is responsible for prosecuting all Criminal Code offences. In the provinces, the PPSC has jurisdiction to prosecute a limited number of Criminal Code offences, including those related to terrorism, criminal organizations, money laundering, proceeds of crime, and fraud. Under arrangements with the provinces, the PPSC may also prosecute Criminal Code offences that are otherwise within provincial jurisdiction when the accused also faces drug-related charges.

Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Office

The ATIP Office is the focal point for the application of access to information and privacy legislation at the PPSC. The mandate of the ATIP Office is to implement and administer the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The ATIP Office deals directly with the public in relation to access to information and privacy requests and, in collaboration with the Offices of Primary Interest (OPI), serves as the centre of ATIP expertise in enabling the PPSC to meet its statutory obligations under these Acts.

The ATIP Office undertakes the responsibility of the administration of the Privacy Act by:

During the reporting period of April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009, the ATIP Office became fully operational with the implementation of software for the tracking and processing of requests.

In the last half of the reporting period, two ATIP Advisor positions were staffed. During the previous two reporting years, the PPSC faced challenges in recruiting and retaining experienced and qualified personnel, and, as a result, the ATIP Office experienced staff turnover.

Organizational Structure

Organizational Structure

The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Office is comprised of a Manager, two Advisors and one Processing Assistant. The A/Senior Counsel and Director, Ministerial and External Relations, served as the organization’s ATIP Coordinator during the reporting year.

Delegated Authorities

Under section 73 of the Privacy Act, the head of a government institution may by order designate one or more officers or employees of that institution to exercise or perform any of the powers, duties or functions of the head of the institution under this Act. Full delegated authority is provided to the Director and A/Senior Counsel, Ministerial and External Relations, and also to the Manager of the Access to Information and Privacy Office. A copy of the Delegation Order can be found on the following page.

Access to Information Act and Privacy Act Delegation Order

Arrêté sur la délégation en vertu de la Loi sur l'accès à l'information et la Loi sur la protection des renseignements personnels

The Director of Public Prosecutions, pursuant to section 73 of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, hereby designates the persons holding the positions set out in the schedule hereto, or the persons occupying on an acting basis those positions, to exercise the powers and functions of the Director as the head of a government institution.

En vertu de l'article 73 de la Loi sur l'accès à l'information et la Loi sur la protection des renseignements personnels, le Directeur des poursuites pénales délègue aux titulaires des postes mentionnés à l'annexe ci-aprés, ainsi qu'aux personnes occupant à titre intérimaire lesdits postes, les attributions dont le Directeur est investi en qualité de responsable d'une institution fédérale.

Schedule/Annexe

Position/Poste Privacy Act and Regulations /
Loi sur la protection des renseignements personnels et règlements
Access to Information Act and Regulations /
Loi sur l'accès à l'information et règlements
The Director and A/Senior Counsel, Ministerial and Strategic Services Division/

Le Directeur et Conseiller juridique par intérim, Division des services ministériels et stratégiques
Full authority/Autorité absolue Full authority/Autorité absolue
Senior ATIP Advisor/Team leader, Access to Information and Privacy Office/

Conseillère principale en AIPRP/Chef d'équipe, Bureau de l'accès à l'information et de la protection des renseignements personnels
Full authority/Autorité absolue Full authority/Autorité absolue

Dated, at the City of Ottawa,
this 10 day of April, 2008

Daté, en la ville d'Ottawa,
ce jour d'avril 2008

Brian Saunders' Signature
Brian J. Saunders
Acting Director of Public Prosecutions
Directeur des poursuites pénales par intérim

Statistical Report on the Privacy Act 2008-2009

Statistical Report on the Privacy Act 2008-2009

Supplemental Reporting Requirements - Privacy Act

Treasury Board Secretariat monitors compliance with the Privacy Impact Assessment Policy, which came into effect on May 2, 2002, through a variety of means. Institutions are therefore required to report the following information for this reporting period.

Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessments initiated: 0
Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessments completed: 0
Privacy Impact Assessments initiated: 0
Privacy Impact Assessments completed: 0
Privacy Impact Assessments forwarded to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC): 0

Statistical Report – Interpretation and Explanation

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada’s Statistical Report on the Privacy Act for fiscal year 2008-2009 provides a summary of activity under the Act during the period from April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009. The following provides explanations and interpretations for information contained in this report.

I. Requests under the Privacy Act

The PPSC received seven (7) formal privacy requests during 2008-2009. Two (2) requests were carried over from the previous reporting period.

II. Disposition of Requests Completed

Eight (8) requests were completed during the fiscal year.

Disposition of Requests Completed

None of the privacy requests were disclosed in their entirety, as the type of information requested usually pertains to legal proceedings involving more than one person. Information pertaining to individuals other than the requester is not disclosed without the proper consent. Also, three (3) requests could not be processed, as no relevant records existed under the control of the PPSC.

III. Exemptions Invoked

Section III of the Statistical Report categorizes exemptions according to the section(s) of the Privacy Act invoked. As noted, the PPSC invoked exemptions pursuant to sections 19(1) [Personal information obtained in confidence] and 26 [Information about another individual] of the Act.

IV. Exclusions Cited

The Privacy Act does not apply to library or museum material preserved solely for public record, material placed in the Library and Archives Canada, as well as records considered to be confidences of the Queen's Privy Council, pursuant to sections 69 and 70 of the Act respectively.

In the 2008-2009 reporting period, no exclusions were invoked pursuant to sections 69 and 70 of the Act by the PPSC.

V. Completion Time

The time required to process the eight (8) completed requests is summarized below:

Completion Time

VI. Extensions

Section 15 of the Privacy Act allows institutions to extend the legal deadline for processing a request if a search for responsive records cannot be completed within 30 days of receipt of the request, or if the institution must consult with other institutions.

Three (3) extensions were taken during the reporting period for the following reasons.

Volume

2

Consultation with federal institution

1


VII. Translations

There were no requests for the translation of information from one official language to the other.

VIII. Method of Access

Statistics compiled for this section are based solely on those requests for which information was disclosed. Access to the relevant documents was given for five (5) requests and copies of material were provided in all cases.

IX. Corrections and Notations

The PPSC received one (1) request for correction to personal information during the reporting period. The PPSC was unable to accept this request for correction. The individual was informed that, as the records did not originate from this institution, a notation reflecting that a correction was requested but refused in whole would be attached to the individual’s personal information in the Crown file.

X. Costs

The PPSC spent a total of $53,770 administering the Privacy Act, of which salaries accounted for $37,479 and operational costs accounted for $16,291.

Consultations by Other Institutions

Where documents originate from other institutions, or are of interest to another institution, the Access to Information and Privacy Office normally consults the concerned institution on those records. The PPSC responded to seven (7) privacy consultations from other federal institutions during the reporting period.

Complaints and Investigations

To ensure that federal institutions comply with their privacy obligations, and that all requesters are treated fairly and consistently, section 29 and sections 41 to 52 of the Privacy Act provide for a review of decisions made under the Act. The first level of review is a formal complaint to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and the second is an appeal to the Federal Court.

During the reporting period, one (1) complaint was filed with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada against the PPSC. The complaint was in regards to a delay in the PPSC’s response to the applicant. The Privacy Commissioner’s finding was that the complaint was well founded.

Trends

The majority of the PPSC files contain significant amounts of personal and sensitive information. In responding to privacy requests, a single file can involve more than 30,000 pages of sensitive information. To ensure that the information is secure when transferring records from the Office of Primary Interest (OPI) to the ATIP Office in response to requests, the PPSC procured a portable, secure USB hard disk drive. This technology is currently being used to transport large volumes of data which can only be accessed through the use of both password and biometrics.

Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) and Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessments (PPIAs)

There were no Privacy Impact Assessments or Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessments initiated or completed during this reporting period. Therefore, no Privacy Impact Assessments were forwarded to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

New Data Sharing Activities

No new data sharing activities were undertaken during the 2008-2009 reporting period.

Privacy-Related Education and Training Activities

During this reporting period, the ATIP Manager led awareness sessions regarding the PPSC’s ATIP processes and employee obligations under the Privacy Act. The awareness sessions focused on the collection and use of personal information, and the process of responding to Privacy requests. The ATIP Manager held sessions in the following regions in the reporting period: Whitehorse, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Toronto. On-site sessions were also held in the National Capital Region. All sessions were attended by management, crown counsel, paralegals and administrative staff.

Permissible Disclosures made pursuant to subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act

During the reporting period, the PPSC made no disclosures of personal information pursuant to subsections 8(2)(e) [disclose to an investigative body], 8(2)(f) [disclose under agreement or arrangement between the Government of Canada and a provincial or foreign government], 8(2)(g) [disclose to a Member of Parliament for the purpose of assisting an individual], or 8(2)(m) [disclose in the public interest] of the Act.

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