Annual report to parliament on the application of the Privacy Act 2011-2012

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The Honourable Peter Penashue, P.C., M.P.
President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
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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 its activities relating to the application of the Act for the period 01 April 2011 to 31 March 2012.


The original version was signed by

Wendy A. Tadros

© Minister of Public Works and Government Services 2012
Cat. No. TU1-4/2-2012E

Table of contents

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 01 April 2011 to 31 March 2012.

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 TSB activities. Our mandate is to advance transportation safety in the marine, pipeline, rail and air 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

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

The ATIP Office 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 office consists of four full-time permanent employees: the coordinator, who is also responsible for the information management function and dedicates approximately half of his time to ATIP, two analysts, and one administrative assistant to support the program.

The ATIP Office administers 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.  In addition, 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's office.

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. The Chief Operating Officer, the Director General Corporate Services and the Manager Information Management Division have been delegated powers by the Chair deemed appropriate for the effective administration of the Act and to ensure that the TSB meets all its obligations fairly and consistently.

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

4.0  Disposition of requests

4.1 Requests for personal information

Twenty-two (22) formal requests for personal information were received during the current reporting period, compared with eleven (11) requests during the previous period, an increase of 100%. Of these, records were fully disclosed to eleven (11) applicants, partially disclosed to three (3) applicants and documents did not exist in seven (7) cases. Two (2) requests were carried over to the next fiscal year.

Of the twenty-one (21) requests processed during the reporting period, seventeen (17) were completed within the 30-day limit, two (2) were completed within 31 to 60 days, one (1) was completed within 61 to 120 days and one (1) took between 181 to 365 days. The average time taken to process a request during the 2011–12 reporting period was 29.6 calendar days, compared with last year's average of 23 calendar days.

During this period, the ATIP Office was involved in the search, preparation and review of 2,357 pages of information and the reproduction and release of 1,681 pages of information. Last year, 800 pages were reviewed and 800 pages were released.

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

The TSB remains vigilant in meeting requirements under the Actto 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 2011–12, the ATIP Office incurred an estimated $13,410 in costs to administer the Privacy Act. 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.

5.0  Training and education

In terms of external training activities, 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.

In addition, the TSB has an orientation program in place for new employees. The ATIP Office prepared and delivered two (2) ATIP awareness sessions in 2011-12 to twenty-five (25) employees. The ATIP office also provides advice and guidance upon request to individuals and groups of employees on an informal basis.

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 this reporting period.

8.0  Privacy impact assessments

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

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

The TSB did not disclose any information pursuant to paragraph 8(2)(m) during the reporting period.

10.0  Statistics required by Treasury Board

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

Appendix A – Delegation order

Designation orders

Privacy Act

The Chair of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, pursuant to Section 73 of the Privacy Act, hereby designates the persons holding the positions of Chief Operating Officer, 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 Chair as the head of a government institution under the Act.

The original version was signed by

Wendy A. Tadros

Date: January 25, 2010

Appendix B – Statistical report

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Additional reporting requirements – Privacy Act

Institutions are required to indicate the number of:

Privacy Impact Assessments initiated
Privacy Impact Assessments completed*

* A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is not considered to be completed until the final, approved copy including all eight sections outlined in Appendix C of the Directive has been sent to both the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and to the Information and Privacy Policy Division, Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS). TBS also requires the PIA to be accompanied by the new or updated Personal Information Bank.

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