ARCHIVED - Annual Report to Parliament 2009-2010 - Privacy Act

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ARCHIVED - Annual Report to Parliament 2009-2010 - Privacy Act (PDF, 311 KB)


The purpose of the Privacy Act is “to extend the present laws of Canada that protect the privacy of individuals and that provide individuals with a right of access to personal information about themselves.” The federal Privacy Act regulates the collection, use and disclosure of personal information held by NRC.

In accordance with Section 72 of the Privacy Act, this twenty-sixth Annual Report on the administration of the Privacy Act at the National Research Council Canada (NRC) describes how NRC discharged its responsibilities in relation to the Act in the fiscal year 2009-2010.

National Research Council of Canada - Mandate

The National Research Council Canada (NRC) is an agency of the Government of Canada established in 1916 under the NRC Act. Its mandate is to help build an innovative, knowledge-based economy for Canada through research and development, technology commercialization and industry support.

As stated in the NRC Act, the agency is responsible for: undertaking, assisting or promoting scientific and industrial research in different fields of importance to Canada; establishing, operating and maintaining a national science library; publishing and selling or otherwise distributing such scientific and technical information as the Council deems necessary; investigating standards and methods of measurement; working on the standardization and certification of scientific and technical apparatus and instruments and materials used or usable by Canadian industry; operating and administering any astronomical observatories established or maintained by the Government of Canada; administering NRC's research and development activities, including contributions used to support a number of international activities; and providing vital scientific and technological services to the research and industrial communities.

Delegation of Authority

The newly appointed NRC President has delegated the responsibilities associated with the administration of the Access to Information Act to the Secretary General. The Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) office forms part of the Secretary General’s Office (SGO). Operational responsibility for the application of the Act has been delegated to the Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator.

A detailed signed Delegation Order can be found at Annex A.

Organizational Structure

The Secretary General is overall responsible for ensuring that NRC’s policies, procedures and practices are compliant with the application and administration of the Privacy Act. As shown in the Delegation Order, the Secretary General has delegated some of his authority to the Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator.

The ATIP office, under the guidance of the Secretary General, is comprised of one full-time Coordinator and Officer. The ATIP office is responsible for the coordination and implementation of policies, guidelines and procedures to ensure the organization’s compliance with the Privacy Act. The office also provides the following services to the organization:

  • Promote awareness of the Privacy Act within NRC
  • Processes privacy requests and privacy complaints
  • Provides advice and guidance to employees and senior officials on Privacy related matters
  • Prepares an Annual Report to Parliament
  • Responds to the SGO on the privacy related matters mentioned in the Management Accountability Framework
  • Coordinates and implements updates to Info Source
  • Administers Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessments
  • Manages the electronic management system
  • Develops internal procedures, policies and guidelines
  • Participates in forums for the ATIP Community, such as the Treasury Board
  • Secretariat ATIP Community Meetings, Training and Annual Meetings.

Interpretation of Statistical Report

Annex B provides a summarized statistical report on the privacy requests received and processed by National Research Council from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010. This section provides an interpretation of the statistical report.

During the fiscal year, NRC received eight (8) new privacy requests. One request (1) was carried forward from the previous fiscal year. During this reporting period, NRC completed the processing of a total of nine (9) privacy requests.

Section 15 of the Privacy Act allows institutions to extend the legal deadline for processing a request. NRC invoked an extension in the case of one (1) of the (9) nine requests. Meeting the original time limit of thirty days would have unreasonably interfered with the operations of the organization. In summary, out of the (9) nine requests, (8) eight were completed between 30 days or under, and one (1) between 31 to 60 days to complete.

The exemptions invoked were pursuant to sections 22(1) (b), 26 and 27 of the Privacy Act. Section 22 (law enforcement and investigation) was applied in one case. Section 26 (information about another individual) was applied in two cases while section 27 (solicitor-client privilege) was applied in one case.

The figures, as reflected in the chart below, indicate the number of requests received and processed over the past three years. The figures do not reflect requests processed informally or other queries that have been received in the ATIP office. NRC does expect that privacy requests and queries concerning privacy-related matters will continue to represent a significant portion of the workload.

The annual statistical report for the fiscal year 2009-2010 is included at the end of this chapter.

The annual statistical report for the fiscal year 2009-2010 is included at the end of this chapter.

Privacy-Related Training and Education

The ATIP office is committed to ongoing development and training. This year, two NRC employees participated in the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) and the Canada School of Public Service pilot training program specifically designed for the Office of Primary Interest. The ATIP Coordinator participated in a conflict resolution program at St. Paul University. Both the ATIP Coordinator and ATIP Officer contributed to regular TBS ATIP community meetings.

During the fiscal year, the ATIP office continued to provide information and advice to NRC directors, managers and staff, on an on-going basis. In particular, the ATIP office delivered an access and privacy awareness session to thirty-five (35) Senior Managers within the Industrial Research Assistance Program. ATIP awareness presentations were provided to a group of twenty-six (26) Human Resources Generalists and Hiring Advisors. Similar independent presentations were offered to a group of nine (9) members of the Finance Branch, and in addition to the management team (9) from the NRC Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation.

In collaboration with the Manager of Records Services, joint presentations on information management were provided to the following groups: Central Business Support (8 participants) and the Strategy and Development Branch (32 participants). All awareness sessions included information on the access to information legislation which has been accounted for in the Access to Information Act annual report.

In addition to the education and awareness sessions, the ATIP office worked with Human Resources Branch to create an online learning resource, Management 101, to support the training and development of NRC’s employees. In December 2009, the NRC Human Resources Branch launched LEAD Management 101 which included an ATIP 101 component.

The ATIP office with the support of the Communications Branch included an Access to Information and Privacy component in its weekly media circulation. These tools have complemented the training sessions and have been effective in generating greater awareness in the organization.

The ATIP office continues to work with the staff of Treasury Board Secretariat to capture the information necessary to satisfy the requirements identified in the Management Accountability Framework. NRC continues to work within a phased approach to improve NRC’s Info Source Chapter including the improvements of Personal Information Banks.

NRC’s ATIP office has not implemented any new and/or revised privacy related policies, guidelines or procedures during the reporting period.

Privacy Complaints

During this fiscal year, NRC did not receive any privacy complaints.

The outstanding complaint from 2008-2009 (P2008-0004) was completed this year. The Office of the Information Commissioner concluded that the matter was wellfounded and resolved. The requestor had complained about the exemptions that were invoked by NRC. Further to the investigation, additional information was provided to the requestor.

Privacy Iimpact Assessment Activities

NRC did not complete any Privacy Impact Assessments during the reporting period.

Section 8(2)(m) Disclosures

There was no disclosure made pursuant to section 8(2)(m) of the Privacy Act during the reporting period.

Annex A: Delegation Order

Access to Information and Privacy Acts Delegation Order (PDF, 43 Ko)

Annex B: Statistical Report

Report on the Privacy Act (PDF, 263 Ko)

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