Annual Report on the Privacy Act 2010-2011

Table of Contents

Introduction

Background

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

PPSC’s ATIP Organizational Structure

Delegated Authorities

Statistical Report – Interpretations and Explanations

Consultations by Other Institutions

Trends

Privacy-Related Education and Training Activities

Privacy-Related Policies, Guidelines and Procedures

Review – Treasury Board Secretariat’s Management Accountability Framework

Complaints and Investigations

Federal Court Review

Privacy Impact Assessments

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

Appendix A – Statistical Report on the Privacy Act 2010-2011

Appendix B – Additional Reporting Requirements – 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.

This annual report is prepared and is being tabled before each House of Parliament in accordance with section 72 of the Privacy Act.

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 2010-2011.

Background

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) became subject to the Privacy Act when it was established as an independent organization on December 12, 2006. The PPSC was created 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.

Mandate of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada

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

The Director of Public Prosecutions Act also empowers the DPP to:

With the exception of Canada Elections Act matters, the Attorney General of Canada can issue a directive to the DPP 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. As part of the DPP’s accountability to the Attorney General, and to assist the Attorney General in deciding whether to give direction in, or assume conduct of, a case, the DPP must inform the Attorney General of any prosecution or planned intervention that may raise important questions of general interest.

Most of the responsibilities of the DPP are carried out by federal prosecutors employed by the PPSC or private-sector agents retained by the DPP. Whether staff counsel or private-sector agents, all federal prosecutors work pursuant to delegations issued by the DPP under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada

The PPSC provides prosecution-related advice to law enforcement agencies across Canada and prosecutes offences within federal jurisdiction. In total, over 250 federal statutes contain offences that fall under the PPSC’s jurisdiction to prosecute. However, charges are regularly laid under approximately 60 of those statutes.

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 (OPIs), 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, 2010 to March 31, 2011, the ATIP Office continued to face challenges in recruiting and retaining experienced and qualified personnel. The PPSC’s ATIP office had a staff turnover rate of 75%.

PPSC’s ATIP Organizational Structure

PPSC's ATIP Organizational Structure

The PPSC’S ATIP Office is comprised of a Manager, two Advisors and one Junior Analyst. The Executive Director and Senior Counsel, Ministerial and External Relations Secretariat, serves as the organization’s ATIP Coordinator.

A counsel reporting to the Coordinator provides legal advice to the ATIP Office on the application and interpretation of the Privacy Act, its regulations, as well as relevant case law.

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 Executive Director and Senior Counsel, Ministerial and External Relations Secretariat, and also to the Manager of the Access to Information and Privacy Office.

Access to Information Act and Privacy Act Delegation Order

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.

Schedule

Position: Executive Director and Senior Counsel, Ministerial and External Relations Secretariat

Position: Manager, ATIP, Access to Information and Privacy Office

Dated, at the City of Ottawa, this 11 day of January, 2010

Signature of Brian Saunders
Brian Saunders
Director of Public Prosecutions

Statistical Report – Interpretation and Explanation

The following provides explanations and interpretations of the summarized statistical information contained in Appendix A of this annual report.

I. Requests under the Privacy Act

The PPSC received eight (8) formal privacy requests during the 2010-2011 reporting period. Eleven (11) requests were carried over from the previous reporting period. While this demonstrates a significant drop in the number of requests received in 2010-2011, the amount of requesters remained steady as over half of the privacy requests received during 2009-2010 came from one single individual.

II. Disposition of requests completed

Nineteen (19) requests were completed during this reporting period. The completed requests are categorized as follows:

Percentage of the Disposition of Requests

Percentage of the Disposition of Requests

The cases in which no information could be provided were mostly attributable to situations beyond the control of the PPSC. These requests are categorized as follows:

  1. Unable to process

    Three (3) requests could not be processed as no relevant records existed under the control of the PPSC.

  2. Abandoned

    Three (3) requests were abandoned. In two (2) of those cases, the applicants abandoned their requests in order to submit significantly different requests. In the third case, the applicant abandoned his request because the information was no longer of use to him.

III. Exemptions invoked

Section III of the Statistical Report illustrates the types of exemptions invoked by the PPSC in the processing of requests in accordance with the Act. The PPSC invoked only two exemptions in 2010-2011, which were sections 26 [Information about another individual] and 27 [Solicitor-client privilege]. The use of section 27 relates to the work of the PPSC which is to initiate and conduct federal prosecutions and to provide legal advice to law enforcement agencies and investigative bodies in relation to federal prosecutions. Furthermore, the PPSC’s files contain a great deal of personal information including information about accused, witnesses, victims, therefore section 26 was also applied.

IV. Exclusions cited

The Privacy Act does not apply to library or museum material preserved solely for public record, material placed in 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.

During this reporting period, no exclusions pursuant to sections 69 and 70 of the Act were invoked by the PPSC.

V. Completion time

The time required to process the nineteen (19) completed privacy requests is summarized below:

Completion time

VI. Extensions

Section 15 of the Privacy Act allows institutions to extend the 30 day deadline for processing a request if meeting the original time limit would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the government institution, or if the institution must consult with other institutions.

Nine (9) extensions were taken during this reporting period. The statutory deadline was extended in those cases because meeting the original time limit would have unreasonably interfered with the operations of the PPSC.

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 of the Statistical Report are based solely on those requests for which information was disclosed. Access to the relevant documents was given in part for thirteen (13) requests and copies of material were provided in those cases.

IX. Corrections and notations

The PPSC received no request for corrections to personal information during the reporting period, nor were notations required.

X. Costs

The PPSC spent a total of $219,898.28 administering the Privacy Act of which salaries accounted for $97,590.28 and operational costs accounted for $122,308.00.

The increase in costs from the previous reporting period was due to the hiring of a consultant to examine the PPSC’s existing privacy practices and procedures.

Consultations by Other Institutions

Where documents originate from other institutions, or are of interest to another institution, the ATIP Office consults the concerned institution on those records.

The PPSC responded to twenty-four (24) privacy consultations from the following five (5) federal institutions during this reporting period: Fifteen (15) from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP); four (4) from Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA); two (2) from Corrections Services Canada (CSC); one (1) from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT); one (1) from the Department of Justice (DoJ); and one (1) from Public Safety.

Percentage of Consultations Received from other Institutions

Percentage of Consultations Received from other Institutions

While the majority of consultations originated with the RCMP, that institution did not forward the majority of documents. The largest amount of records forwarded to the PPSC for consultation came from the DoJ.

Percentage of Pages Received from other Institutions

Percentage of Pages Received from other Institutions

Trends

As the PPSC has only been in existence since December 12, 2006, this is the first report in which the organization is able to examine its privacy workload over the last five fiscal years. Data from the 2006-2007 reporting period, however, represents only the last quarter of that year. Overall, the number of formal privacy requests has grown steadily. The number of privacy consultations from other government institutions has also seen a steady increase. The graph below illustrates the trend over the last five years.

Number of Requests and Consultations per Fiscal Year

Number of Requests and Consultations per Fiscal Year

Privacy-Related Education and Training Activities

During this reporting period, a training and awareness session regarding the PPSC’s ATIP processes and employee obligations under the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act was conducted by the ATIP Office for approximately 15 employees of the PPSC’s Atlantic Regional Office in Halifax. Three more sessions were held in the National Capital Region (October 2010, December 2010 and February 2011) for another 47 employees. Among the staff that attended these sessions were management, Crown counsel, paralegals, and administrative personnel.

In addition, informal privacy-related training was provided to PPSC employees throughout the year on an ad hoc basis.

Privacy-Related Policies, Guidelines and Procedures

In 2010-2011, the PPSC began reviewing and drafting privacy policies. It hired a consultant to examine the organization’s personal information holdings and assess whether any privacy gaps exist between current practices for the management of personal information and the PPSC’s obligations under the Act and related regulations. Following that assessment, a draft Privacy Management Framework was prepared to mitigate privacy risks to the PPSC’s operations and to ensure that sound privacy practices are observed. A first draft of the framework was prepared by the consultant, and a revised version is expected to be considered by senior management during the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

In 2010-2011, the ATIP Office also developed a Privacy Breach Protocol for PPSC-wide implementation.

Review – Treasury Board Secretariat’s Management Accountability Framework

As part of the Management Accountability Framework (MAF) assessment, the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) gave the PPSC an acceptable rating for fiscal year 2010-2011 in privacy related categories (MAF subsections 12.5 and 12.6), determining that the organization had effectively met the requirements of the Privacy Act. For 2011-2012, the PPSC will continue to review and update its Personal Information Banks to ensure that they meet TBS requirements.

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; the second is an application for judicial review to the Federal Court.

During this reporting period, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada investigated one (1) delay complaint against the PPSC. The complaint was deemed well founded, but no further action was required.

Federal Court Review

No applications to the Federal Court were filed under the Privacy Act during this reporting period.

Privacy Impact Assessments

During this reporting period, the PPSC did not complete any Privacy Impact Assessments.

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

During this reporting period, the PPSC made no disclosures of personal information pursuant to paragraph 8(2)(m) [disclose in the public interest] of the Act.

Appendix A - Statistical Report on the Privacy Act 2010-2011

Statistical Report on the Privacy Act 2010-2011

Appendix B - Additional Reporting Requirements - Privacy Act

Treasury Board Secretariat is monitoring compliance with the Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) Policy (which came into effect on May 2, 2002) and the Directive on Privacy Impact Assessment (which takes effect April 1, 2010) through a variety of means. Institutions are therefore required to report the following information for this reporting period. Note that because some institutions are using the Core PIA as outlined in the Directive in advance of the implementation deadline, they will not have Preliminary PIAs to report.

Indicate the number of:

Note: If your institution did not undertake any of the activities noted above during the reporting period, this must be stated explicitly.

In addition, institutions are required to report on the following:

Part III – Exemptions invoked

Paragraph 19(1)(e)
0
Paragraph 19(1)(f)
0
Subsection 22.1
0
Subsection 22.2
0
Subsection 22.3
0

Part IV – Exclusions cited

Subsection 69.1
0
Subsection 70.1
0

Note: If your institution did not invoke any exemptions or cite any exclusions noted above during the reporting period, this must be stated explicitly.

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