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2013-2014 Annual Report to Parliament - Privacy Act

Policies, Guidelines, Procedures and Initiative

Policy Framework

Environment Canada’s access to information policy framework was approved in November 2012. The ATIP Secretariat is continuing to develop additional procedural guidance documents to assist departmental employees in responding to requests under the Access to Information Act.

In 2013-2014, Environment Canada developed a departmental Privacy Breach Protocol. The internal guidance documents are accessible to all Environment Canada employees through the Department’s ECollab site.

As a result of the Treasury Board Secretariat recent updates to the ATIP Policy Suite, Environment Canada will initiate a review of its policy documents in 2014-2015.

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Publicly Accessible Information and Inquiry Points

Info Source is a series of publications containing information on the Government of Canada and on the government’s data collection activities. Info Source is intended to help the public access government information and to exercise their rights under the Privacy Act and Access to Information Act.

Each year, the ATIP Secretariat prepares updates on Environment Canada’s activities and information holdings for publication in Info Source, which is published on the department’s website. During 2013–2014, Environment Canada continued to revise its Info Source chapter based on the Department’s program activity architecture.

Environment Canada’s comprehensive website provides information on the Department’s policies, its organizational structure and the means to contact Department officials. In accordance with the federal government’s policy of proactive disclosure, the Department’s website also allows access to internal evaluations and audits, as well as information on hospitality expenses, contracts and grants.

Environment Canada’s website also has an Access to Information and Privacy webpage that provides background information on both the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. It also contains a Frequently Asked Questions section and links to access to information request forms, personal information request forms and summaries of completed access to information requests.

In order to facilitate public access to information and to comply with the Act, the Environment Canada Library has been designated a public reading room. The Library is located on the 1st floor of the Place Vincent Massey Annex, 351 St. Joseph Boulevard, Gatineau, Quebec.

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Online Request Service

During the 2013-2014 reporting period, Environment Canada joined the Treasury Board Secretariat Online Request Service Pilot Project. This initiative aims to make the process of requesting government records simpler and more convenient by enabling Canadians to submit their ATIP requests and application fees online. The department is scheduled to begin receiving online requests in April 2014.

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Data Sharing Activities

The Department did not undertake any new internal or external data sharing activities in 2013–2014.

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Exempt Personal Information Banks

Environment Canada has no exempt Personal Information Banks.

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Privacy Impact Assessments

To fulfill its mandate, some of Environment Canada’s responsibilities require the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. As a trusted custodian of this information, the Department uses Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) in accordance with Treasury Board policy, as a risk management tool. Although Environment Canada did not initiate any Privacy Impact Assessments during the reporting period, the ATIP Secretariat, regularly provides advice to departmental employees on privacy matters.

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