Annual Report to Parliament 2010-2011


Requests Under the Privacy Act

I. Statistical Report

The annual statistical report for fiscal year 2010-2011 is included at the end of this chapter.

II. Explanation of the Statistics

  • 1. Requests Processed

    Sixty-eight (68) requests were received and nineteen (19) had been carried forward from the previous year, for a total of eighty-seven (87) requests to be processed during the fiscal year.

  • 2. Requests Completed

    Seventy-five (75) requests were completed during the year and twelve (12) were carried forward to be processed during fiscal year 2011-2012.

  • 3. Disposition of Requests Completed

      Number of RequestsPercentage
    All disclosed 1 1.33%
    Disclosed in part 41 54.67%
    Nothing disclosed (exempted/excluded) 0 0%
    Unable to process 21 28.00%
    Transferred 1 1.33%
    Abandoned by requester 11 14.67%
    Total 75 100%
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    1. Unable to Process

      Twenty-one (21) requests could not be processed as no relevant records existed under the control of the Department of Justice.

    2. Abandoned

      In eleven (11) cases, the applicants did not pursue the requests, as a result of obtaining further clarification regarding the subject matter of their requests and the role of the Department.

    3. Transferred

      Upon consent of the Applicant, one request was transferred to another government institution having greater interest in the request.
  • 4. Extensions

    Of the twenty-one (21) extended requests, eight (8) included extensions under sub-paragraph 15(1)(a)(i) (unreasonable interference with the operations of the government institution) and thirteen (13) included extensions under sub-paragraph 15(1)(a)(ii) (consultations with other institutions). No extensions were claimed under paragraph 15(1)(b) (translation or conversion of the information into an alternative format).

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  • 5. Completion Time

    The completion time can be summarized as follows:

      Number of RequestsPercentage
    30 days or under 49 65.33%
    31 to 60 days 16 21.33%
    61 to 120 days 1 1.33%
    121 days or over 9 12.00%
    Total 75 100%
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  • 6. Method of Access

    Access to the relevant documents was given, in whole or in part, in response to forty-two (42) requests. Copies were provided in all cases. The Department also offers the possibility of providing the release package to the applicant on CD-Rom, an option which tends to be more widely accepted.

III. Consultations by Other Federal Institutions or Departments

One hundred and eighty-five (185) consultation requests were received from other government institutions. These consultations are processed on a priority basis, taking into account the time limits imposed on each request. During this reporting period, Justice completed one hundred and eighty-four (184) consultations from other federal government institutions or departments.

Memoranda of Understanding were created to strengthen our commitment towards better service delivery to the institutions that consult the Department of Justice.

IV. Complaints and Investigations

The complaint findings are defined as follows:

  • Not Well-Founded: A finding that a complaint is not well-founded means that the investigation uncovered no evidence leading the Privacy Commissioner to conclude that the Government institution violated the complainant's rights under the Privacy Act.

  • Well-Founded: A finding that a complaint is well-founded means that the Government institution failed to respect the PA rights of an individual. This would also be the Commissioner's finding in a situation where the Government institution refuses to grant access to personal information, despite a recommendation that it be released. In such a case, the next step could be for the requester or the Commissioner to seek a review by the Federal Court of Canada.

  • Well-Founded/Resolved: The Commissioner will find a complaint to be well-founded/resolved when the allegations are substantiated by the investigation and the Government institution has agreed to take corrective measures to rectify the problem.

  • Resolved: Resolved is a formal finding that reflects the Commissioner's role as an ombudsman. It is a designation for those complaints where well-founded would be too harsh to fit what essentially is a miscommunication or misunderstanding. It signifies that the Commissioner's Office, after a full and thorough investigation, has helped negotiate a solution that satisfies all parties.

  • Settled during the Course of the Investigation: This is not a formal finding, but an acceptable means to dispose of a complaint when the investigation has been completed, and the complainant is satisfied with the efforts of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and does not wish to pursue the issue any further. The complainant retains the right to request a formal finding. When that happens, the investigator re-opens the file, and submits a formal report. The Commissioner reports the findings in a letter to the complainant.

  • Discontinued: This signifies that the investigation was terminated before all the allegations were fully investigated. A case may be discontinued for any number of reasons - for instance, the complainant may no longer be interested in pursuing the matter or cannot be located to provide additional information critical to reaching a conclusion. The Commissioner does not issue a formal finding in discontinued complaints.

The following table summarizes the reasons for the complaints and the results of the investigations:

  10-11Reporting periodOn-going
Reason for complaintReceivedDiscontinuedNot well foundedSettledWell founded  
Delay 0 0 0 0 2 1
Extension 0 0 2 0 0 0
Fees 0 0 0 0 0 0
Language 0 0 0 0 0 0
Miscellaneous 3 0 1 0 2 4
Publications 0 0 0 0 0 0
Refusal - 69 0 0 0 0 0 0
Refusal - Exemption 5 0 1 0 0 6
Refusal - General 0 0 0 0 0 0
Subtotal   0 4 0 4  
Total 8 8 11
  • 1. Complaints filed

    Eight (8) complaints were lodged with the Privacy Commissioner during the fiscal year.

  • 2. Investigations Completed

    The Office of the Privacy Commissioner completed the investigation of eight (8) complaints during the fiscal year. Many of these complaints had been carried forward from previous years.

    The decision reached was in favour of the Department in four (4) cases. Four (4) complaints were well-founded and four (4) were not well-founded.

  • 3. On-going Investigations

    At the end of the fiscal year, eleven (11) complaints were still under investigation by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

  • 4. Review by the Federal Court of Canada

    No applications were filed before the Federal Court pursuant to section 41 of the Privacy Act during the reporting period.

V. Requests for Correction of Personal Information

Paragraph 12(2)(a) of the Act provides that every individual given access to personal information about himself or herself that has been used, is being used, or is available for use for an administrative purpose is entitled to request correction of such information where the individual believes there is an error or omission therein.

The Department of Justice has not received a request for correction of personal information during the reporting period.

VI. Use and Disclosure

It is the policy of the Department of Justice that personal information is to be used solely for the purpose for which it was collected or for consistent uses.

VII. Disclosure under Paragraph 8(2)(d)

Sub-paragraph 8(2)(d) permits the disclosure of personal information to the Attorney General of Canada for use in legal proceedings involving the Crown in right of Canada or the Government of Canada.

The Department of Justice did not disclose personal information under paragraph 8(2)(d) during the reporting period.

VIII. Disclosure under Paragraph 8(2)(m) or any other 8(2)

Paragraph 8(2)(m) permits the disclosure of personal information in situations where the public interest in disclosure clearly outweighs any invasion of privacy that could result from the disclosure or when the disclosure would clearly benefit the individual to whom the information relates. The Privacy Commissioner must be informed of disclosures to be made under these provisions.

No communication was made pursuant to paragraph 8(2).

IX. Exempt Banks

The Department of Justice has no exempt banks under the Privacy Act.

X. Audits Conducted by the Privacy Commissioner

Pursuant to subsection 37(1) of the Privacy Act, the Privacy Commissioner may carry out investigations in respect of personal information under the control of government institutions to ensure compliance with paragraphs 4 to 8.

No formal investigations by the Commissioner were conducted during the reporting period.

XI. Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA)

A Privacy Impact Assessment was initiated with the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime for the reported period.


Statistical Report on the Privacy Act

Institution: Department of Justice

Reporting Period: 2010-04-01 to 2011-03-31

Part I: Requests under the Privacy Act

Received during reporting period 68
Outstanding from previous period 19
Completed during reporting period 75
Carried forward 12

Part II: Disposition of Requests Completed

All disclosed 1
Disclosed in part 41
Nothing disclosed (excluded) 0
Nothing disclosed (exempt) 0
Unable to process 21
Abandoned by applicant 11
Transferred 1

Part III: Exemptions Invoked

S. 18(2) 0
S. 19(1)(a) 1
(b) 1
(c) 3
(d) 1
S. 20 1
S. 21 2
S. 22(1)(a) 7
(b) 2
(c) 1
S. 22(2) 0
S. 23(a) 1
(b) 0
S. 24 1
S. 25 1
S. 26 41
S. 27 30
S. 28 0

Part IV: Exclusions Cited

S. 69(1)(a) 9
(b) 0
S. 70(1)(a) 11
(b) 1
(c) 1
(d) 3
(e) 18
(f) 4

Part V: Completion Time

30 days or under 49
31 to 60 days 16
61 to 120 days 1
121 days or over 9

Part VI: Extensions

  30 Days or Under31 Days or Over
Interference with operations 8 0
Consultation 13 0
Translation 0 0
TOTAL 21 0

Part VII: Translations

Translations requested 0
Translations prepared English to French 0
French to English 0

Part VIII: Method of Access

Copies given 42
Examination 0
Copies and examination 0

Part IX : Corrections and notation

Corrections requested 0
Corrections made 0
Notation attached 0

Part X: Costs

Financial (All Reasons)
Salary $ 263,019
Administration (O and M) $ 14,452
TOTAL $ 277,471
Person Year Utilization (All Reasons)
Person year (decimal format) 3.9
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