Annual Report to Parliament on the Administration of the Privacy Act 2011-2012

Introduction

The Privacy Act (ATIP) became law on July 1, 1983.

The Privacy Act extends to individuals the right of access to information about themselves held by the government, subject to specific and limited exceptions. The Act also protects the privacy of individuals by preventing others from having access to their personal information and gives individuals substantial control over its collection, use and disclosure.

Section 72 of the Privacy Act require that the head of every government institution prepare for submission to Parliament, an annual report on the administration of the Act within the institution during each financial year.

This report is intended to describe how the Canadian Space Agency administered its responsibilities during the period covered by the report in relation to the Act.

A. General information – Part I

1. Canadian Space Agency

To better understand the context in which the Privacy Act is implemented, the following presents background information about the Canadian Space Agency.

The Canadian Space Agency reports to the Minister of Industry.

The mission of the Canadian Space Agency is as follows:

"The Canadian Space Agency is committed to leading the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity".

To achieve this, the Canadian Space Agency is committed to leading the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.

Pursue excellence collectively;

Advocate a client-oriented attitude;

Support employee-oriented practices and open communications;

Commit to both empowerment and accountability;

Pledge to cooperate and to work with partners to our mutual benefit.

The Agency brings together most of the existing space programs of the federal government. It coordinates all elements of Canada's Space Program and manages major space-related activities in Canada. The Canadian Space Agency has the expertise to lead knowledge in Canadian specialty fields, and to sponsor, support and encourage the best Canadian companies to make the next steps in space development.

More information on the Agency's activities can be found at www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/default.asp

2. Organization for the implementation of privacy activities

The head of our institution pursuant to the Privacy Act is the Minister of Industry. The Minister has delegated certain powers, duties and functions pursuant to the Act to the Director General, Corporate Services and to some officers and employees of the Canadian Space Agency.

Operational responsibility for the implementation of the Act at the Canadian Space Agency has been delegated to the Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator who reports to the Director General, Corporate Services.

The Coordinator manages the ATIP Office. The Coordinator has a close working relationship with Executive Committee members concerning the application of, and compliance with the Act.

When a Privacy request is received, the Coordinator consults the appropriate managers and, as required, the Legal Services Directorate, the Treasury Board Information Practices Group or other institutions. When the Coordinator identifies a record as one that should be exempted under the Act, a recommendation to that effect is made to the Director General, Corporate Services.

When a record is identified as exclusion under the Privacy Act, the Coordinator recommends to the Legal Services Directorate that they consult with the Privy Council Office to confirm that it is an excluded record.

Formal requests made under the Act are carefully documented for reporting purposes and future reference.

The Library at Headquarters in Longueuil makes available to the public the current version of Info Source, as well as departmental publications and manuals as requested under Section 11 of the Privacy Act. The current version of Info Source can also be found at: www.infosource.gc.ca/index-eng.asp

B. Report – Privacy Act - Part II

1. Highlights

  • No new project or program required that CSA carry out a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) for the period covered by this report.

  • The ATIP Coordinator monitors the activities that could lead to these assessments and informs employees in regards to their obligations concerning personal information and PIA.

  • During this reporting year, the majority of CSA's section 8(2) disclosures were made pursuant to subsection 8(2)(a). No disclosure was made in 2011-2012 pursuant to subsection 8(2)(m).

  • A copy of the Delegation Order is attached at the end of this document.

2. Statistics report

The statistics report for the period of April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012, is included at the end of this chapter.

3. Requests received

The ATIP Office has received ten privacy requests during the period covered by this report. Eight were processed and two were carried over to the next reporting period.

4. Complaints

Four complaints were made pursuant to the Privacy Act during the period covered by this report. One complaint was found to be not well-founded by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. The other three were not resolved during this period.

5. Use and disclosure

The policy of the Canadian Space Agency concerning the use of personal information is that such information is used for the purpose for which it was obtained or compiled or for a use consistent with that purpose.

6. Exempt banks

The Canadian Space Agency has no exempt bank under the Privacy Act.

7. Awareness session

In addition to the management of Privacy requests, the ATIP Coordinator provides advice and guidance to CSA employees on compliance with the legislation. This is done by means of weekly information sessions on Privacy requests processing and on the handling of sensitive documents at CSA. The employees attend these sessions as needed. Twenty-six sessions were held and thirty employees attended.

8. Policies and procedures

In January 2012, CSA has informed all its employees and published on its Intranet site the following document: The Canadian Space Agency Privacy Protocol. The policies and procedures for the Privacy Act are accessible on the Agency's Intranet.