The Privacy Act Investigations Branch
The Privacy Act (PA) Investigations Branch receives and investigates complaints under the Privacy Act from individuals who believe they have not been given access to their personal information held by government institutions, or feel that their information has been inappropriately, collected, used, disclosed or managed. The Branch also investigates complaints that are initiated by the Commissioner, and receives notifications of breaches from federal government organizations. The Branch is headed by Ms. Sue Lajoie, the Director General, PA Investigations.
The PIPEDA Investigations Branch
The PIPEDA Investigations Branch investigates complaints under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). It is divided between Ottawa and Toronto. In Ottawa, the Branch receives and investigates all complaints of national scope filed by individuals or initiated by the Commissioner, from anywhere in Canada except from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). In Toronto, the Branch investigates complaints from the GTA and coordinates public education and stakeholder outreach activities in the GTA. The Branch is headed by Mr. Brent Homan, Director General, PIPEDA in Ottawa, and the Toronto Office is headed by Mr. Lorne MacDougall, Director, Toronto Office, who reports to the Director General, PIPEDA.
The Audit and Review Branch audits organizations to assess their compliance with the requirements set out in the two federal privacy laws. The Branch also analyses and provides recommendations on privacy impact assessment reports (PIAs) submitted to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) pursuant to the Treasury Board Secretariat Directive on Privacy Impact Assessment. It also receives and reviews public interest disclosures made by federal government organizations. The Branch is headed by Mr. Steven Morgan, Director General.
The Communications Branch focuses on providing strategic advice and support for communications and public education activities for the OPC. In addition, the Branch plans and implements a variety of public education and communications activities through media monitoring and analysis, public opinion polling, media relations, publications, special events, outreach activities and the OPC web sites. The Branch is also responsible for the OPC’s Information Centre, which responds to requests for information from the public and organizations regarding privacy rights and responsibilities. The Branch is headed by Ms. Anne-Marie Hayden, Director General.
The Legal Services, Policy and Research Branch (LSPR) provides strategic legal and policy advice and conducts research on emerging privacy issues in Canada and internationally. More specifically, the Branch provides strategic legal advice to the commissioners and various branch heads on the interpretation and application of the Privacy Act and PIPEDA in investigations and audits, as well as general legal counsel on a broad range of corporate and communication matters. The Branch represents the OPC in litigation matters before the courts and in negotiations with other parties both nationally and internationally. It reviews and analyzes legislative bills, government programs, public and private sector initiatives and provides strategic advice to the commissioners on appropriate policy positions to protect and advance privacy rights in Canada. The Branch prepares for, represents and supports the office in appearances before Parliament and in its relations with Parliamentarians. The Branch conducts applied research on the privacy implications of emerging societal and technological issues to support and inform the development of OPC policy guidance and best practices for relevant stakeholders. The Branch administers the Contributions Program, which was launched in 2004, to advance knowledge and understanding of privacy issues and to promote enhanced protection of personal information. The Branch is also responsible for the OPC’s Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Unit, which responds to requests for access to information from the public and organizations pursuant to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The ATIP Unit is also responsible for internal policies related to these Acts. The Director of the ATIP Unit is also the Chief Privacy Officer for the OPC. The Branch is headed by Ms. Patricia Kosseim, Senior General Counsel and Director General.
The Technology Analysis Branch identifies and analyzes technological trends and developments in electronic platforms and digital media. The Branch conducts research to assess the impact of technology on the protection of personal information in the digital world. It also provides strategic analysis and guidance on complex, varied and sensitive technological issues involving breaches in the security of government and commercial systems that store personal information. As a corporate centre of expertise, the Branch analyzes current and emerging issues and trends in national security and public safety. The electronic media and their impact upon the privacy rights of Canadians represent another key area of interest for the Branch. The technological expertise concentrated in the Branch also supports core functions of the OPC, including audits, investigations and Privacy Impact Assessment reviews. The Branch is headed by Noël Lachance, Director.
The Human Resources Management Branch is responsible for the provision of strategic advice, management and delivery of comprehensive human resource management programs in areas such as staffing, classification, staff relations, human resource planning, learning and development, employment equity, official languages and compensation. The Branch is headed by Ms. Maureen Munhall, Director.
The Corporate Services Branch provides advice and integrated administrative services such as corporate planning, resource management, financial management, information management/technology and general administration to managers and staff. The Branch is headed by Mr. Daniel Nadeau, Director General and Chief Financial Officer.