Privacy Report 2007-2008

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The Honourable Rona Ambrose
President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Honourable Minister:

In accordance with section 72 of the Privacy Act, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada is pleased to submit to Parliament this report on activities relating to the application of the Act for the period 01 April 2007 to 31 March 2008.

Sincerely,

Gerard McDonald

Gerard McDonald


© Minister of Public Works and Government Services 2008
   Cat. No. TU1-4/2-2008
   ISBN 978-0-662-05824-3


Table of Contents

1.0

Introduction

2.0

Delegation of Authority

3.0

Requests for Personal Information

4.0

Costs

5.0

Complaints and Investigations

6.0

Training and Education

7.0

Privacy Impact Assessments

8.0

Disclosures Pursuant to Paragraphs 8(2)(e), (f), (g) and (m)

9.0

Data Matching and Sharing Activities

10.0

Statistics Required by Treasury Board

Appendices

    Appendix A -  Delegation Order
    Appendix B -  Statistical Report

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1.0 Introduction

The purpose of the Privacy Act is to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by government institutions such as the Transportation Safety Board (TSB), and to provide individuals with a right of access to that information.

Pursuant to section 72 of the Privacy Act, the TSB is pleased to table in Parliament this report on its activities relating to the application of the Act. The report covers the period from 01 April 2007 to 31 March 2008.

The TSB is an independent agency created in 1990 by an Act of Parliament (Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act). It operates at arm's length from other government departments and agencies such as Transport Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the National Energy Board to ensure that there are no real or perceived conflicts of interest. Under the legislation, the TSB's only object is the advancement of transportation safety in the federally regulated elements of the marine, pipeline, rail and air transportation systems. This mandate is fulfilled by conducting independent investigations that can include, if necessary, public inquiries into transportation occurrences. The purpose of these investigations and inquiries is to make findings as to the causes and contributing factors of the occurrences and to identify safety deficiencies. Therefore, recommendations may be made to improve safety and reduce or eliminate risks to people, to property and to the environment. The TSB has the exclusive authority to make findings as to causes and contributing factors when it investigates a transportation occurrence.

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The TSB's administration of its Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) activities is in accordance with the government's stated principles that government information should be available to the public with only specific and limited exceptions. Furthermore, the TSB treats personal information in compliance with the code of fair information practice expressed in the Privacy Act.

The ATIP function of the TSB operates within the Information Management (IM) Division of Corporate Services. This ensures effective integration of ATIP requirements into IM planning, policy development, records management systems and practices, and training and awareness activities. The ATIP Office provides functional advice and guidance to managers and employees concerning the release of information and protection of privacy.

This year, the ATIP Office introduced new guidelines for employees on responding to both formal requests made pursuant to the Access to Information Act and informal requests. These guidelines are intended to ensure that the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act are respected in all types of information disclosure. They provide guidance to TSB staff on the processes for responding to both informal and formal requests, as well as their roles and responsibilities in these processes.

In addition, the TSB invested in new technology to ensure that the small ATIP team is equipped with the best tools available to support them in the processing of access and privacy requests and in reporting on the TSB's administration of the two Acts.

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2.0 Delegation of Authority

As required by the legislation, a delegation of authority is in place. For the purposes of the Privacy Act, the "head of the institution" as defined in section 3 of the Act is the Executive Director. The Director General, Corporate Services, and the Manager, Information Management Division, have been delegated powers by the Executive Director deemed appropriate for the effective administration of the programs and to ensure that the TSB meets all its obligations fairly and consistently.

A copy of the Delegation Order is attached as Appendix A.

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3.0 Requests for Personal Information

No formal requests for personal information were received during the current reporting period, compared with two (2) received in the previous period. The one (1) request that had been carried forward from 2006-2007 was abandoned by the applicant in 2007-2008.

The TSB's policy of openness allows for the disclosure of information to individuals without necessarily requiring that they invoke the Privacy Act. Human Resources officers and support staff handle this kind of request as part of their routine duties.

The TSB remains vigilant in meeting requirements under the Act to protect personal information under its control. This is achieved by ensuring that employees are cognizant of their responsibility to protect the personal information they handle in the course of their duties and by respecting the code of fair information practice enshrined in the legislation.

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4.0 Costs

During 2007-2008, the ATIP Office incurred an estimated $9205 in costs to administer the Privacy Act. These costs do not include the resources expended by other areas of the TSB to meet the requirements of the Act.

5.0 Complaints and Investigations

No complaints were received during this reporting period.

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6.0 Training and Education

On-the-job training is provided to TSB ATIP staff on an ongoing basis. ATIP staff attended the annual Canadian Access and Privacy Association workshop, as well as various workshops organized by the Treasury Board Secretariat throughout the fiscal year. These workshops provided ATIP staff with valuable information on trends and best practices within the ATIP community, updates on recent complaints and court cases, and tools to help improve service standards within the field.

No specific training of TSB employees was undertaken by ATIP staff during the reporting period.

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7.0 Privacy Impact Assessments

The TSB did not undertake any Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA) during the reporting period.

8.0 

Disclosures Pursuant to Paragraphs 8(2)(e), (f), (g) and (m)

As part of ongoing delivery of its mandate, the TSB disclosed personal information pursuant to paragraph 8(2)(f) during the reporting period. It did not disclose information pursuant to paragraphs (8)(2)(e), (8)(2)(g) or (8)(2)(m).

9.0 Data Matching and Sharing Activities

The TSB did not undertake any new data matching or data sharing activities during the reporting period.

10.0 Statistics Required by Treasury Board

The statistics required by the Treasury Board Secretariat are found in Appendix B.

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Appendices

Appendix A - Delegation Order

DESIGNATION ORDERS

Privacy Act

The Executive Director, pursuant to Section 73 of the Access to Information Act, hereby designates the persons holding the positions of Director General, Corporate Services and Manager, Information Management Division, Corporate Services, or the persons occupying on an acting basis those positions, to exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions of the Executive Director as the head of a government institution under the Act.

Gerard McDonald

Gerard McDonald
Executive Director


Date: 11 June 2007

Appendix B - Statistical Report

Appendix B - Statistical Report

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