Privacy Act

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Policies, Guidelines and Procedures

The ATIP Secretariat directs all activities within Environment Canada relating to the administration, application, and promotion of the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act. It provides advice to senior management on the implementation of the statutes and prepares reports to Parliament, the Treasury Board Secretariat, and senior management. The ATIP Secretariat represents the Department in complaints and investigations conducted by the Privacy Commissioner and in any Federal Court applications arising from ATIP matters.

Publically Accessible Information and Inquiry Points

Info Source is a series of publications containing information on the Government of Canada and its 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 submits updates on Environment Canada's activities and information holdings to the Treasury Board Secretariat for publication in Info Source. During 2010-2011 Environment Canada continued to revise its Info Source chapter based on Environment Canada'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 website also allows access to internal evaluations and audits, as well as information on hospitality expenses, contracts, and grants.

A new Environment Canada Access to Information and Privacy web page was created in March 2011. This page 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 and personal information request forms.

In order to facilitate public access to information, the Environment Canada Library has been designated a public reading room. The Library is located on the second floor of the Place Vincent Massey building, 351 St. Joseph Boulevard, Gatineau, Quebec.

Policy Development

During the 2010–2011 reporting period, the Department drafted a new suite of departmental access and privacy policies and directives in accordance with Treasury Board Secretariat requirements. Development of departmental procedures will continue in the coming year.

Data Sharing Activities

The Department did not undertake any new internal or external data sharing activities in 2010–2011.

Exempt Personal Information Banks

Environment Canada has no exempt Personal Information Banks.

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. During the reporting period, Environment Canada initiated one Privacy Impact Assessments. This PIA was still under development at the end of 2010–2011.

Personal Information Banks

During the 2008–2009 reporting period, the ATIP Secretariat began a review of personal information holdings obtained and collected through Departmental websites. This work has continued in the 2010–2011 period and involved the registration of 5 personal information banks with the Treasury Board Secretariat.

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