Annual report to Parliament on the application of the Privacy Act 2018-2019

Table of contents

Place du Centre
200 Promenade du Portage
4th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 1K8

12 June 2019

The Honourable William Morneau, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Finance and
Acting President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

 

Dear 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 its activities relating to the application of the Act for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

Sincerely,

The original version was signed by
Kathleen Fox
Chair

1.0 Introduction

Pursuant to section 72 of the Privacy Act, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (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 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

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 TSB, and to provide individuals with a right of access to that information.

The Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act provides the legal framework that governs the TSB’s activities. Our mandate is to advance transportation safety in the air, marine, pipeline and rail modes of transportation by:

  • conducting independent investigations, including public inquiries when necessary, into selected transportation occurrences in order to make findings as to their causes and contributing factors;
  • identifying safety deficiencies, as evidenced by transportation occurrences;
  • making recommendations designed to eliminate or reduce any such safety deficiencies; and
  • reporting publicly on our investigations and on the findings in relation thereto.

More information on the TSB is available at www.tsb-bst.gc.ca.

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.

2.0 ATIP Office organization

During 2018–19, the General Counsel held the responsibilities of the ATIP Coordinator. The ATIP Office also consisted of four full-time positions, one casual position and one consultant.

The ATIP Office administers the requests made pursuant to the Act and provides functional advice and guidance to managers and employees concerning the release of information and protection of privacy. ATIP analysts are required to exhibit strong consultative and negotiating skills when meeting with requesters, employees of the TSB, and representatives of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

3.0 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 Chair of the TSB. The incumbents of the positions of Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel, and Senior ATIP Analyst have been delegated powers by the Chair deemed appropriate for the effective administration of the Act. These employees ensure that the TSB meets all its obligations fairly and consistently. The delegation authority remained the same in 2018–19. A copy of the delegation order is attached as Appendix A.

4.0 Disposition of requests

4.1 Requests for personal information

During the 2018–19 reporting period, twenty-six (26) formal requests for personal information were received, compared to twenty-one (21) received in 2017-18 and thirty-two (32) in 2016–17. Privacy requests received by the TSB are primarily attributed to Canadian airline pilots inquiring as to whether they are named in any occurrences reported to the TSB. Certain international airlines request this information as a pre-employment requirement.

Of the twenty-five (25) requests closed in 2018–19, records were fully disclosed in twenty-one (21) cases and in three (3) cases records were disclosed in part. One (1) request was carried over to the next fiscal year.

Of the twenty-five (25) requests closed during the reporting period, twenty (20) were completed within 1 to 15 days, two (2) were completed within 16 to 30 days, two (2) were completed within 31 to 60 days and one (1) was completed within 61 to 120 days. The average time taken to process a request during the 2018–19 reporting period was 18 calendar days, compared with last year’s average of 15.8 calendar days, which is explained by a slight increase in the number of requests.

During this period, the ATIP Office was involved in the search, preparation, and review of 1943 pages of information, and the reproduction and release of 429 pages of information. Last year, 1357 pages were reviewed and 76 pages were released. The variation in the number of pages reviewed between years is due to the different type of requests received.

The TSB’s policy of openness allows for the disclosure of information to its employees without necessarily requiring that they invoke the Privacy Act. Human resources officers and support staff handle these requests 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.

4.2 Costs

During 2018-19, the ATIP Office incurred an estimated $48,071 in costs to administer the Privacy Act, compared to $40,242 for the 2017–18 reporting period. These costs include salaries, overtime, goods and services, and professional services contracts for temporary help staff but do not include the resources expended by other areas of the TSB to meet the requirements of the Act. The increase in cost is the result of the increased number of records reviewed compared to the previous reporting period.

5.0 Training and education

The TSB has an orientation program in place for new employees, which includes training on ATIP awareness. In addition, the TSB has now made it mandatory for all staff to attend more comprehensive ATIP training sessions given by the ATIP Office. During 2018–19, the ATIP Office provided four (4) training sessions to thirty-four (34) employees at the headquarters and the regional offices, as part of the new employee orientation program. The ATIP Office also provides advice and guidance upon request to individuals and small groups of employees.

Given the responsibilities and knowledge requirements of the TSB ATIP Office, there is a long learning curve for its staff. Continuous on-the-job training is provided to ATIP staff to ensure sound and current knowledge of ATIP requirements and procedures, as well as TSB operations. In this context, ATIP staff attended all ATIP Community Meetings organized by the Treasury Board Secretariat during 2018–19. These Community Meetings provided ATIP staff with valuable information on trends and best practices within the ATIP circle, updates on recent complaints and court cases, and tools to help improve service standards within the field. Additionally, a specialized lawyer on the Access to Information and Privacy Acts presented to all ATIP staff on the latest case law trends of relevance for the TSB.

6.0 Policies, guidelines and procedures

No new or revised privacy-related policies, guidelines, or procedures were implemented by the TSB during the reporting period.

7.0 Complaints and investigations

No complaints were received during 2018–19.

8.0 Monitoring process

The TSB monitors the time to process privacy requests, through biweekly meetings between the General Counsel (ATIP Coordinator) and the Senior ATIP Analyst, during which the status of outstanding requests is reviewed. Any significant issues are raised to the Chief Operating Officer on an ad-hoc basis when required.

9.0 Material privacy breaches

No material privacy breaches occurred during the reporting period.

10.0 Privacy impact assessments

The TSB did not undertake any privacy impact assessments during the reporting period.

11.0 Disclosures pursuant to paragraph 8(2)(m)

During fiscal year 2018–19, the TSB made no disclosure of information in the public interest pursuant to paragraph 8(2)(m).

12.0 Statistics required by Treasury Board

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

Appendices

Appendix A – Delegation order

Appendix B – Statistical report on the Privacy Act

Name of institution: Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2019-03-31

Part 1: Requests under the Privacy Act

1.1 Requests under the Privacy Act
  Number of requests
Received during reporting period 26
Outstanding from previous reporting period 0
Total 26
Closed during reporting period 25
Carried over to next reporting period 1

Part 2: Requests closed during the reporting period

2.1 Disposition and completion time
Disposition of requests Completion time
1 to 15 days 16 to 30 days 31 to 60 days 61 to 120 days 121 to 180 days 181 to 365 days More than 365 days Total
All disclosed 19 2 0 0 0 0 0 21
Disclosed in part 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 3
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No records exist 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 20 2 2 1 0 0 0 25
2.2 Exemptions
Section Number of requests
18(2) 0
19(1)(a) 2
19(1)(b) 1
19(1)(c) 1
19(1)(d) 0
19(1)(e) 0
19(1)(f) 0
20 0
21 0
22(1)(a)(i) 0
22(1)(a)(ii) 0
22(1)(a)(iii) 0
22(1)(b) 0
22(1)(c) 0
22(2) 0
22.1 0
22.2 0
22.3 1
23(a) 0
23(b) 0
24(a) 0
24(b) 0
25 0
26 3
27 1
28 0
2.3 Exclusions
Section Number of requests
69(1)(a) 0
69(1)(b) 0
69.1 0
70(1) 0
70(1)(a) 0
70(1)(b) 0
70(1)(c) 0
70(1)(d) 0
70(1)(e) 0
70(1)(f) 0
70.1 0
2.4 Format of information released
Disposition Paper Electronic Other formats
All disclosed 0 21 0
Disclosed in part 0 3 0
Total 0 24 0
2.5 Complexity
2.5.1 Relevant pages processed and disclosed
Disposition of requests Number of pages processed Number of pages disclosed Number of requests
All disclosed 36 36 21
Disclosed in part 1907 393 3
All exempted 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 1
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0
Total 1943 429 25
2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed, by size of request
Disposition Less than 100 pages processed 101–500
pages processed
501–1000
pages processed
1001–5000
pages processed
more than 5000
pages processed
Number of requests Number of pages disclosed Number of requests Number of pages disclosed Number of requests Number of pages disclosed Number of requests Number of pages disclosed Number of requests Number of pages disclosed
All disclosed 21 36 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 0 2 81 0 0 1 312 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 22 36 2 81 0 0 1 312 0 0
2.5.3 Other complexities
Disposition Consultation required Legal advice sought Interwoven information Other Total
All disclosed 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 1 0 0 1 2
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0 0
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 0 0 1 2
2.6 Deemed refusals
2.6.1 Reasons for not meeting statutory deadline
Number of requests closed past the statutory deadline Principal reason
Workload External consultation Internal consultation Other
1 1 0 0 0
2.6.2 Number of days past deadline
Number of days past deadline Number of requests past deadline where no extension was taken Number of requests past deadline where an extension was taken Total
1 to 15 days 0 0 0
16 to 30 days 0 0 0
31 to 60 days 0 1 1
61 to 120 days 0 0 0
121 to 180 days 0 0 0
181 to 365 days 0 0 0
More than 365 days 0 0 0
Total 0 1 1
2.7 Requests for translation
2.7.1 Requests for translation
Translation requests Accepted Refused Total
English to French 0 0 0
French to English 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0

Part 3: Disclosures under subsections 8(2) and 8(5)

3.1 Disclosures under subsections 8(2) and 8(5)
Paragraph 8(2)(e) Paragraph 8(2)(m) Subsection 8(5) Total
0 0 0 0

Part 4: Requests for correction of personal information and notations

4.1 Requests for correction of personal information and notations
Disposition for correction requests received Number
Notations attached 0
Requests for correction accepted 0
Total 0

Part 5: Extensions

5.1 Reasons for extensions and disposition of requests
Disposition of requests where an extension was taken 15(a)(i)
Interference with operations
15(a)(ii)
Consultation
15(b)
Translation or conversion
Section 70 Other
All disclosed 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 3 0 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0
No records exist 0 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 0 0
Total 3 0 0 0
5.2 Length of extension
Length of extensions 15(a)(i)
Interference with operations
15(a)(ii)
Consultation
15(b)
Translation purposes
Section 70 Other
1 to 15 days 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 days 3 0 0 0
Total 3 0 0 0

Part 6: Consultations received from other institutions and organizations

6.1 Consultations received from other Government of Canada institutions, organizations
Consultations Other Government of Canada institutions Number of pages to review Other organizations Number of pages to review
Received during the reporting period 0 0 0 0
Outstanding from the previous reporting period 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0
Closed during the reporting period 0 0 0 0
Pending at the end of the reporting period 0 0 0 0
6.2 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other Government of Canada institutions
Recommendation Number of days required to complete consultation requests
1 to 15 days 16 to 30 days 31 to 60 days 61 to 120 days 121 to 180 days 181 to 365 days More than 365 days Total
All disclosed 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
6.3 Recommendations and completion time for consultations received from other organizations
Recommendation Number of days required to complete consultation requests
1 to 15 days 16 to 30 days 31 to 60 days 61 to 120 days 121 to 180 days 181 to 365 days More than 365 days Total
All disclosed 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Consult other institution 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Part 7: Completion time of consultations on Cabinet confidences

7.1 Requests with Legal Services
Number of days Fewer than 100 pages processed 101–500 pages processed 501–1000
pages processed
1001–5000
pages processed
More than 5000
pages processed
Number of
requests
Number of pages disclosed Number of
requests
Number of pages disclosed Number of
requests
Number of pages disclosed Number of
requests
Number of pages disclosed Number of
requests
Number of pages disclosed
1 to 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7.2 Requests with Privy Council Office
Number of days Fewer than 100 pages processed 101–500 pages processed 501–1000
pages processed
1001–5000
pages processed
More than 5000
pages processed
Number of
requests
Number of pages disclosed Number of
requests
Number of pages disclosed Number of
requests
Pages Disclosed Number of
requests
Number of pages disclosed Number of
requests
Number of pages disclosed
1 to 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
31 to 60 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
61 to 120 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
121 to 180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
181 to 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More than 365 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Part 8: Complaints and investigations notices received

8.1 Complaints and investigations notices received
Section 31 Section 33 Section 35 Court action Total
0 0 0 0 0

Part 9: Privacy impact assessments (PIAs)

Number of PIAs completed 0

Part 10: Resources related to the Privacy Act

10.1 Costs
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $47,396
Overtime $0
Goods and services $675
• Professional services contracts $0  
• Other $675  
Total $48,071
10.2 Human resources
Resources Person years dedicated to privacy activities
Full-time employees 0.49
Part-time and casual employees 0.00
Regional staff 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 0.00
Students 0.00
Total 0.49
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