Findings under the Privacy Act

Definitions of findings and other dispositions under the Privacy Act

Well founded : The government institution failed to respect the Privacy Act rights of an individual. This category includes findings formerly classified separately as Well founded/Resolved, in which the investigation substantiated the allegations and the government institution agreed to take corrective measures to rectify the problem.

Not well founded : The investigation uncovered no or insufficient evidence to conclude that the government institution violated the complainant's rights under the Privacy Act.

Resolved : After a thorough investigation, the OPC helped negotiate a solution that satisfied all parties. The finding is used for those complaints in which well founded would be too harsh to fit what essentially is a miscommunication or misunderstanding.

Early resolution : Applied to situations in which the issue is dealt with before a formal investigation is undertaken. For example, if an individual complains about an issue the OPC has already investigated and found to be compliant with the Privacy Act, we explain this to the individual. We also receive complaints in which a formal investigation could have adverse implications for the individual. We discuss the possible impact at length with the individual and should he or she choose not to proceed further, the file is closed as "early resolution".

Settled during the course of investigation : The OPC helped negotiate a solution that satisfied all parties during the investigation, but did not issue a finding.

Discontinued : The investigation was terminated before all the allegations were fully investigated. A case may be discontinued for various reasons. For example, the complainant may no longer be interested in pursuing the matter or cannot be located to provide additional information critical to reaching a conclusion.