Annual report to parliament on the application of the Privacy Act 2014-2015

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

11 June 2015

The Honourable Peter Van Loan, P.C., M.P.
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
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 its activities relating to the application of the Act for the period 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015.

Sincerely,

The original version was signed by
Kathleen Fox

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 2014 to 31 March 2015.

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 www.bst-tsb.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 2014-15, the Director General of Corporate Services maintained responsibility as the ATIP Coordinator. The remainder of the ATIP office consisted of five full-time positions and one term position. Due to turnover and absences, the TSB engaged consultants during the year to support the program. In 2015-16, responsibilities for ATIP and the title of ATIP Coordinator will be transferred to the General Counsel position.

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 incumbents of the positions of Chief Operating Officer and the Director General Corporate Services 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 was updated in 2014-15. A copy of the Delegation Order is attached as Appendix A.

4.0 Disposition of Requests

4.1 Requests for Personal Information

In 2014-15, forty-four (44) formal requests for personal information were received during the current reporting period compared to fifty-nine (59) received in 2013-14. Eight (8) requests were brought forward from 2013-14 to 2014-15. Privacy requests received by the TSB are primarily attributed to Canadian airline pilots inquiring as to whether they are named in any occurrence reported to the TSB. Certain international airlines request this information as a pre-employment requirement. The TSB is not supportive of the use of occurrence data for this purpose and includes the following statement in the response letter:

“The presence of an individual’s name or licence number in the TSB’s Aviation Safety Information System (ASIS) database does not assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability. Conversely, the absence of personal information does not imply an occurrence-free flying record.”

Of the fifty-one (51) requests closed in 2014-15, records were fully disclosed to forty-three (43) applicants, partially disclosed to five (5) applicants, documents did not exist in two (2) cases, and one (1) request was abandoned by the requester. One (1) request has been carried over to 2015-16.

Of the fifty-one (51) requests closed during the reporting period, thirty-four (34) were completed within the 1 to 15 days, eleven (11) were completed within 16 to 30 days and six (6) were completed within 31 to 60 days, following an extension due to the volume of records to review. The average time taken to process a request during the 2014–15 reporting period was 16.1 calendar days, compared with last year’s average of 13.4 calendar days.

During this period, the ATIP Office was involved in the search, preparation and review of 1,672 pages of information and the reproduction and release of 810 pages of information. Last year, 636 pages were reviewed and 533 pages were released. The variation in pages reviewed between years is explained by the fact that the topics of the requests vary and a few requests completed in 2014-15 increased the number of records to search and process.

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 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 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 2014–15, the ATIP Office incurred an estimated $53,788 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 internal training activities, the TSB has an orientation program in place for new employees, which includes training on ATIP awareness. One (1) session was delivered in 2014-15 to twenty (20) employees. Additionally, training on ATIP awareness was also provided to twenty (20) TSB Air Investigators as part of an annual Air Safety Investigators Workshop. The ATIP office also provides advice and guidance upon request to individuals and small groups of employees on an informal basis.

In addition, the ATIP staff attended 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.

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 2014-15.

The TSB continues to raise awareness at meetings of all managers on what constitutes personal information and provided guidance on how to answer inquiries regarding employees without releasing personal information.

8.0 Monitoring process

The TSB monitors the time to process privacy requests, through bi-weekly meetings between the Director General Corporate Services and the Senior ATIP Analyst during which the status of outstanding requests are reviewed. Any significant issues are raised to the Chief Operating Officer on an ad hoc basis, such as when assistance is needed in processing a particularly complex request.

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 (PIA) during the reporting period.

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

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

12.0 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
Kathleen Fox

Date: January 25, 2010

Appendix B – Statistical report

Statistical report on the Privacy Act

Name of Institution: Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Reporting Period: 2014-04-01 to 2015-03-31

Part 1 - Requests under the Privacy Act

Requests under the Privacy Act
  Number of Requests
Received during reporting period 44
Outstanding from previous reporting period 8
Total 52
Closed during reporting period 51
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 32 9 2 0 0 0 0 43
Disclosed in part 0 1 4 0 0 0 0 5
All exempted 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
No records exist 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Request abandoned 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 34 11 6 0 0 0 0 51
2.2 Exemptions
Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests
18(2) 0 22(1)(a)(i) 0 23(a) 0
19(1)(a) 0 22(1)(a)(ii) 0 23(b) 0
19(1)(b) 0 22(1)(a)(iii) 0 24(a) 0
19(1)(c) 0 22(1)(b) 2 24(b) 0
19(1)(d) 0 22(1)(c) 0 25 0
19(1)(e) 0 22(2) 0 26 5
19(1)(f) 0 22.1 0 27 0
20 0 22.2 0 28 0
21 0 22.3 0    
2.3 Exclusions
Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests Section Number of Requests
69(1)(a) 0 70(1) 0 70(1)(d) 0
69(1)(b) 0 70(1)(a) 0 70(1)(e) 0
69.1 0 70(1)(b) 0 70(1)(f) 0
70(1)(c) 0 70.1 0    
2.4 Format of information released
Disposition Paper Electronic Other formats
All disclosed 6 5 32
Disclosed in part 5 0 0
Total 11 5 32

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 399 399 43
Disclosed in part 1273 411 5
All exempted 0 0 0
All excluded 0 0 0
Request abandoned 0 0 1
Neither confirmed nor denied 0 0 0
Total 1672 810 49
2.5.2 Relevant pages processed and disclosed by size of requests
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 Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed Number of Requests Pages Disclosed
All disclosed 43 399 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 2 64 3 347 0 0 0 0 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 46 463 3 347 0 0 0 0 0 0
2.5.3 Other complexities
Disposition Consultation Required Legal Advice Sought Interwoven Information Other Total
All disclosed 0 0 0 1 1
Disclosed in part 1 0 0 6 7
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 7 8

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
0 0 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 0 0
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 0 0
2.7 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)

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

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 1 0 0 0
Disclosed in part 5 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 6 0 0 0
5.2 Length of extensions
Length of Extensions 15(a)(i)
Interference With Operations
15(a)(ii)
Consultation
15(b)
Translation or Conversion
Section 70 Other
1 to 15 days 0 0 0 0
16 to 30 days 6 0 0 0
Total 6 0 0 0

Part 6: Consultations Received From Other Institutions and Organizations

6.1 Consultations received from other Government of Canada institutions and other 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 Ddays 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
Pages Disclosed Number of
Requests
Pages Disclosed Number of
Requests
Pages Disclosed Number of
Requests
Pages Disclosed Number of
Requests
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
Pages Disclosed Number of
Requests
Pages Disclosed Number of
Requests
Pages Disclosed Number of
Requests
Pages Disclosed Number of
Requests
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

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)

Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs)
Number of PIA(s) completed 0

Part 10: Resources Related to the Privacy Act

10.1  Costs
Expenditures Amount
Salaries $39,114
Overtime $0
Goods and Services $14,674
• Professional services contracts $13,165  
• Other $1,509  
Total $53,788
10.2  Human Resources
Resources Person Years Dedicated to Privacy Activities
Full-time employees 0.55
Part-time and casual employees 0.02
Regional staff 0.00
Consultants and agency personnel 0.00
Students 0.00
Total 0.57