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2015-2016 Annual Report to Parliament - Privacy Act

Complaints, audits, investigations and appeals

Applicants have the right to register a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada regarding any matter relating to the processing of a request. 

During the 2015–2016 reporting period, there were 10 complaints filed against Environment and Climate Change Canada with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.  Five (5) of the complaints related to extensions and five (5) related to processing delays. Seventy percent (70%) of the complaints originated from the same source.

Nine (9) complaints were closed during the reporting period.   Table 1 provides a breakdown of the reasons and results of the complaints that were completed in 2015-2016

Table 1
 Reason for ComplaintNumber of DecisionsResults of Investigations Well founded, resolved without recommendationsResults of Investigations
Well founded, with recommendations – resolved
Results of Investigations
Well founded, with recommendations – not resolved
Results of Investigations
Not well founded
Results of Investigations
Results of Investigations

One complaint remains outstanding.

The department reviews the outcomes of all of the Privacy Commissioner investigations and where appropriate, incorporates lessons learned into business processes.

There were no recommendations raised by other Agents of Parliament during the reporting period.


In 2015-2016, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Audit and Evaluation Branch completed a Review and Benchmarking of Privacy Management within the department.  The results of the review and benchmarking confirmed that the department’s privacy practices were consistent with the other departments that participated in the benchmarking exercise.

The review of department’s privacy policies found that the required policies and processes for privacy management were in place within the department. The two areas identified for improvement were the approach to monitoring the implementation of Privacy Impact Assessments and reviewing ECCC's privacy policy framework to better define the requirements for collecting SINs.

As a result of the Audit, the ATIP Division has improved the monitoring of preliminary privacy impact assessment and privacy impact assessment activities within the department.    In addition, Environment and Climate Change Canada has drafted departmental guidance on the collection, use and disclosure of the Social Insurance Number.  This guidance document will be finalized and issued within the Department in early 2016-2017.

Applications/Appeals to the Federal Court or Federal Court of Appeal

There were no applications or appeals to the Federal Court or Federal Court of Appeal under the Privacy Act during the 2015–2016 reporting period.

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