2013-14 Report on Plans and Priorities

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Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

 

(The original version was signed by)

The Honourable Robert D. Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada


Message from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Jennifer Stoddart

I am pleased to submit our 2013–2014 Report on Plans and Priorities, which sets out the strategic directions, priorities, expected results and spending estimates for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada for the coming fiscal year.

This year, I will be completing my second and last term, during which I will take stock of progress made, continue to meet Canadian’s evolving privacy needs and ensure an orderly transition to new leadership and a new headquarters.

Since 2008, our four policy development priorities have been information technology, public safety, identity integrity and protection, and genetic information. We will assess our progress in these areas in order to build on what we have learned and share it with various partners in the form of policy positions, resolutions, information materials and guidance.

We can expect that technologies and interest in privacy-related issues will continue to evolve rapidly, and we will maintain our focus on identifying the latest trends by: further improving our technological analysis laboratory; supporting independent research; and engaging the public (including youth), civil society, businesses and federal institutions in order to understand and address their information needs.

In this ever-changing environment, simply maintaining our ability to analyse and take action requires continuous effort. To achieve these high expectations, we will apply all of our intellectual and administrative expertise. We will continue to improve how we respond to complaints, to modernize our investigational services and to develop our partnerships at home and abroad in order to co ordinate our efforts wherever they are required.

The transitional year ahead will require agility in the sound stewardship of our human and fiscal resources; this is what will make the difference between adequate and excellent performance. Our move to new headquarters will provide us with a fresh look at our methods and operations. We will examine all possible efficiency gains by considering how we might share resources with other agents of Parliament who will also be moving to the same premises.

We will build on our recent progress and support our operational capacity while efficiently and prudently managing the resources entrusted to us by taxpayers. I am confident that at the end of this busy year of renewal, I will be able to pass on to my successor a dynamic team ready to meet the evolving needs of Canadians.

(Original signed by)

Jennifer Stoddart
Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Section I: Organizational Overview

Raison d'être

As an Agent of Parliament, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada reports directly to the House of Commons and the Senate. The mandate of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) is to oversee compliance with both the Privacy Act, which covers the personal information-handling practices of federal government departments and agencies, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Canada’s private-sector privacy law, along with some aspects of Canada’s anti-spam law. The OPC’s mission is to protect and promote the privacy rights of individualsFootnote 1.

Responsibilities

The Privacy Commissioner’s powers to further the privacy rights of Canadians include:

  • investigating complaints, conducting audits and pursuing court action under the Privacy Act and PIPEDA;
  • publicly reporting on the personal information-handling practices of public- and private-sector organizations;
  • supporting, undertaking and publishing research into privacy issues; and
  • promoting public awareness and understanding of privacy issues.

The Commissioner works independently of the government to investigate complaints from individuals with respect to the federal public sector and the private sector. While the focus is on mediation and conciliation, the Commissioner has the power to summon witnesses, administer oaths, and compel the production of evidence. In cases that remain unresolved, and in instances identified in the relevant legislation, the Commissioner may seek an order from the Federal Court to address the situation, if voluntary co-operation does not result.

Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture (PAA)

In line with its mandate, the OPC pursues the protection of individuals’ privacy rights as its Strategic Outcome. Toward that end, the Office’s PAA is composed of three operational programs and one management program. The PAA diagram below presents information at the program level as the OPC has no sub-program:

Strategic Outcome The privacy rights of individuals are protected.
Program Activity 1. Compliance Activities 2. Research and Policy Development 3. Public Outreach
4. Internal Services

Organizational Priorities

The OPC has a single Strategic Outcome, which is that the privacy rights of individuals be protected. Toward that end, and while working to deliver on its Expected Results found in Section II of this Report, the OPC identified three organizational priorities for the planning period to best position itself to succeed given the changes in its external and internal environment.

The table below describes each organizational priority linked to the Strategic Outcome, provides a rationale for each priority in relation to the OPC’s operating environment, and explains how the OPC plans to meet each priority during the planning period. More detail on the OPC plans is provided under Planning Highlights in Section II.

Priority TypeFootnote 2 Strategic Outcome and/or Program Activities
1. Continually enhance service to Canadians by integrating process improvements and implementing new legislative authorities. Previously committed to This priority is linked to the OPC’s single Strategic Outcome: The privacy rights of individuals are protected.
Description

Why this is a priority?

The OPC compliance mandate evolves as do technology, the economy, the nature of privacy and legislation. Hence it is imperative to continuously improve service delivery and maximize efficiencies through new and existing authorities.

Plan for meeting the priority

  • Integrate best practices, including recent changes to service delivery models, to further improve the efficiency of OPC processes throughout the Office.
  • Adapt the OPC investigative processes to fulfil new obligations under Canada’s anti-spam legislation, in collaboration with federal enforcement partners.
  • Increase cooperation with domestic and international stakeholders to address common privacy issues.
Priority Type Strategic Outcome and/or Program Activities
2. Consolidate results achieved in the four priority privacy issues and communicate outcomes to Canadians. New This priority is linked to the OPC’s single Strategic Outcome: The privacy rights of individuals are protected.
Description

Why this is a priority?

In 2008, the OPC decided to strategically focus its activities on four priority privacy issues to derive the greatest privacy protection for Canadians from available resources. In keeping with the rapid evolution of privacy issues, the Office needs to determine whether those priority areas should be pursued or modified to better protect the privacy rights of Canadians.

Plan for meeting the priority

  • Take stock of concrete results achieved after five years of focus on the following four priority privacy issues: information technology, public safety, identity integrity and protection, and genetic information.
  • Communicate the results for the benefits of Canadians.
Priority Type Strategic Outcome and/or Program Activities
3. Sustain organizational capacity in light of key transitions and fiscal constraints. New This priority is linked to the OPC’s single Strategic Outcome: The privacy rights of individuals are protected.
Description

Why this is a priority?

The OPC is committed to maintaining consistent, high quality service levels to Canadians through a time of important transition and limited resources. This requires a well nourished organizational capacity, a seamless change-management strategy, an ongoing search for efficiency gains, and horizontal information exchange and coordination.

Plan for meeting the priority

  • Maintain service excellence as well as employee well-being during the transition to a new Commissioner and the relocation of OPC headquarters.
  • Modernize administrative functions to optimize resources through common business processes as well as shared services and systems.
  • Optimize information sharing and collaboration to support integrated decision-making.

Risk Analysis

Key risks influence the OPC’s choice of organizational priorities, affect plans and performance, and steer decision-making. The OPC continually scans its environment to remain responsive to change. This section describes the OPC’s strategic context and operating environment, outlining key risks the organization faced along with their mitigation strategies.

Strategic Context and Operating Environment

Two main drivers shape the OPC’s operating environment: technological innovations and public policy. Technological innovations continue to emerge at lightning speed in an ever-expanding digital economy and society. Emerged and or emerging technologies, such as facial and voice recognition, always-on smart phones, geo-spatial technology, cloud computing, advanced analytics, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and, genetic profiling raise significant and novel privacy issues that can be difficult to understand. Innovative technologies and devices have created new channels and sources of data and are increasingly converging together as interrelated tools capable of capturing detailed information about individual activities, movements, behaviours and preferences. These technologies and innovations also challenge existing legal and governance structures.

Evolving public policy across a much broader range of subjects has increasing privacy implications, owing to the pervasiveness of information technologies. The OPC is thus frequently called upon to participate and comment on a broad range of issues, from public safety measures along the border to governmental surveillance of citizens online to the need for greater digital literacy among Canadians. To meaningfully engage into these debates, the OPC must not only contribute its privacy expertise, but a general awareness and knowledge of broader public policy issues and considerations. Consequently, the OPC’s activities and the nature of the issues the organization faces, are more complex and sophisticated than those which existed in 1983 when the Privacy Act was enacted, or in 2000 when PIPEDA first came into force.

Privacy issues flow across borders and jurisdictions and involve interrelated partners and players. The explosion in the information trade continues to raise complex jurisdictional issues, including the increased outsourcing of information to countries with lower privacy protections. Strengthened collaboration with provincial counterparts and international Data Protection Authorities has become critical for effectively addressing what are truly global issues.

Over the course of the last several years, there has been an exponential increase in the demand for, and value of, personal information. Advancements in data mining and analytics facilitate the creation of detailed personal profiles by combining personal information or tracking activities across multiple, diverse sources. Private sector companies continue to find new ways to leverage and monetize personal information. Personal information has become more valuable as government and private sector companies seek to draw meaning and make inferences from vast amounts of personal information being captured by sophisticated and integrated technologies. Governments demand more information on their citizens in the name of security and crime prevention. In light of these phenomena, there is also increased public awareness of privacy issues and a corresponding demand to protect personal information.

Key Risks

While risks are monitored throughout the year, the OPC updates its corporate risk profile annually. Risk analysis informs organizational priority-setting at an annual strategic planning session. Key risks are assessed for their degree of probability, as well as their potential impact on the successful delivery of the Office’s activities. During 2013-14, the Office will focus on managing the following three corporate risks, two being threats to mitigate and one being an opportunity to grasp:

Meeting expanding expectations – Risk that the OPC not meet expanding expectations.

The demand for OPC privacy advice and expertise is rising as is the complexity of the requests during a time of fiscal restraint. It is important to manage this situation well in order to maintain both the OPC’s solid credibility and a high quality of service for Canadians.

To address this risk, the Office strengthened its financial management framework and streamlined a number of its core processes, resulting in increased effectiveness and efficiency of its operations (i.e., projects to modernize Privacy Act investigations and streamline the PIA review process). To further mitigate this risk, the OPC will continue to improve service delivery and maximize efficiencies through promoting a culture of continuous improvement and integrating best practices from recent changes to other processes throughout the Office.

Change in leadership – Risk that the OPC not be ready to effectively support a change in leadership.

This year will mark the end of the current Commissioner’s mandate. This change in leadership, the first in 10 years for the OPC, represents an important transition that requires well thought-out planning to maintain continuity both in terms of direction within the organization and service to Canadians.

To effectively manage this risk, the Office will develop a transition plan that supports the Commissioner’s priorities in her mandate’s final year, while meeting the information needs of the new Commissioner. The Office will also enhance internal communications efforts to capture opportunities to support OPC employees at all points throughout the transition.

Relocation of OPC headquarters – Opportunity for the OPC to build greater synergies as part of the relocation to its new headquarters.

The OPC will be moving its headquarters to state-of-the-art facilities in October 2013. This move represents an opportunity to work more closely with other Agents of Parliament who will have their offices onsite and to create a work environment more conducive to greater information sharing and collaboration between employees. As a result, this is an opportunity for increased productivity through new found synergies.

Work is well underway to ensure a smooth transition. A committee was created to oversee the various aspects of the relocation and ensure continuous employee engagement. To capitalize on the opportunities that this move represents, the Office will explore opportunities for common and/or shared services with Agents of Parliament and continue to engage staff to ensure the new work environment is conducive to synergies and employee well-being.

In addition to the above high-level risks to be mitigated in 2013-14, two more risks identified in previous risk assessments continue to be mitigated but are considered acceptable risks given the effective mitigating measures in place: (i) the implementation of new responsibilities under Canada’s anti-spam legislation, including managing public expectations; and (ii) the management of OPC’s knowledge capital such that complete and appropriate information may be available for effective decision-making.

Planning Summary

The following two tables summarize the total planned financial and human resources allotted to the OPC for the next three fiscal years.

Financial Resources (Planned Spending — $ thousands)

Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2013-14
Planned Spending
2013–14
Planned Spending
2014–15
Planned Spending
2015–16
29,100* 29,100* 24,304 24,304
* Planned Spending amounts include funding of $4.1M for the OPC relocation which will be reimbursed over a period of 15 years starting 2014-15.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents—FTEs)

2013–14 2014–15 2015–16
181 181 181
Note that the number of Planned FTEs between 2012-13 and 2013-14 rose by five as a result of the Privacy Act – Investigations modernization project.

Planning Summary Table ($ thousands)

Strategic Outcome Program Actual Spending 2010–11 Actual Spending 2011–12 Forecast Spending 2012–13 Planned Spending Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
2013–14 2014–15 2015–16
The privacy rights of individuals are protected. Compliance Activities 9,568 12,633 12,004 11,154 10,950 10,950 The Privacy Commissioner is independent from government and reports directly to Parliament. It is therefore not required to report against the Government of Canada Outcomes.
Research and Policy Development 3,218 4,032 4,086 4,622 4,547 4,547 The Privacy Commissioner is independent from government and reports directly to Parliament. It is therefore not required to report against the Government of Canada Outcomes.
Public Outreach 3,298 3,225 3,320 3,152 3,094 3,094 The Privacy Commissioner is independent from government and reports directly to Parliament. It is therefore not required to report against the Government of Canada Outcomes.
Sub –Total 16,084 19,890 19,410 18,928 18,591 18,591  

Planning Summary Table for Internal Services ($ thousands)

Program Actual Spending 2010–11 Actual Spending 2011–12 Forecast Spending 2012–13 Planned Spending
2013–14 2014–15 2015–16
Internal Services 6,740 6,988 6,130 10,172* 5,713 5,713
Sub-Total 6,740 6,988 6,130 10,172* 5,713 5,713
* Planned Spending amounts include funding of $4.1M for the OPC relocation which will be reimbursed over a period of 15 years starting 2014-15.

Planning Summary Total ($ thousands)

Strategic Outcome(s) Program(s), and Internal Services Actual Spending 2010–11 Actual Spending 2011–12 Forecast Spending 2012–13 Planned Spending
2013–14 2014–15 2015–16
Total 22,825 26,878 25,540 29,100* 24,304 24,304
* Planned Spending amounts include funding of $4.1M for the OPC relocation which will be reimbursed over a period of 15 years starting 2014-15.

Expenditure Profile

In 2013-14, the OPC plans to spend $29.1 million to deliver on the three organizational priorities it has set, including the relocation of its headquarters and to achieve its Program expected results.

Spending Trend from 2009-10 to 2015-16

Spending Trend from 2009-10 to 2015-16

Spending Trend from 2009-10 to 2015-16

The graph illustrates the OPC’s spending trend over a seven-year period. It shows an increase of approximately $2 million in expenditures over the period of 2009-10 to 2012-13 mainly from the new funding for Canada’s anti-spam legislation.  Subsequently the funding for 2013-14 shows a significant increase mainly due to the funding received for the headquarters relocation. This increased spending is to be mostly for the office set up and equipment as well as the new technology infrastructure. The spending trend starting in 2014-15 reflects the reductions related to the Deficit Reduction Action Plan resulting from the OPC’s efforts to find efficiencies within its operations and use of resources.

The graph illustrates the OPC's spending trend over a seven-year period. It shows an increase of approximately $2 million in expenditures over the period of 2009-10 to 2012-13 mainly from the new funding for Canada's anti-spam legislation. Subsequently the funding for 2013-14 shows a significant increase mainly due to the funding received for the headquarters relocation. This increased spending is to be mostly for the office set up and equipment as well as the new technology infrastructure. The spending trend starting in 2014-15 reflects the reductions related to the Deficit Reduction Action Plan resulting from the OPC's efforts to find efficiencies within its operations and use of resources.

2013-14 Allocation of Funding by Program

The figure below displays the allocation of OPC funding by Program for 2013-14 (in millions of dollars). Thirty eight percent of OPC funding is allocated to Program 1 - Compliance Activities, which encompasses the Office’s main program delivery mechanisms: responses to information requests, complaint investigations, legal opinions, litigation proceedings, audits, and Privacy Impact Assessment reviews. The Program 4 – Internal Services includes the one-time cost related to the headquarters relocation.

2013-14 Allocation of Funding by Program

2013-14 Allocation of Funding by Program

The figure displays the allocation of OPC funding by Program for 2013-14 (in millions of dollars). Thirty eight percent of OPC funding is allocated to Program 1 - Compliance Activities. Program 2 – Research & Policy Development represents 16% of the allocation.  Program 3 – Public Outreach and Program 4 – Internal Services represent 11% and 35% respectively.

Estimates by Vote

For information on the OPC organizational appropriations, please see the 2013-14 Main Estimates publication.

Section II: Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome

All OPC efforts and activities are directed towards achieving the organization’s single Strategic Outcome, the protection of individuals’ privacy rights. The Office plays a leadership role in encouraging organizations that handle Canadians’ personal information to respect individuals’ privacy rights. Others who contribute to this mission include provincial and territorial privacy commissioners, data-protection authorities around the world, privacy advocacy groups, chief privacy officers, professional associations, consumer representatives, academics, Parliamentary committees, and federal departments and agencies.

Strategic Outcome: The privacy rights of individuals are protected.
Ultimate Outcome for Canadians: The OPC plays a lead role in influencing federal government institutions and private-sector organizations to respect the privacy rights of individuals and protect their personal information.
Performance Indicator Target
On a scale of ‘1 to 5’, change to the privacy practices of Canadian federal government institutions and private-sector organizations, as a result of OPC actions

(Measured based on: comparing annual OPC performance to the 2010-11 baseline for six main targets used to assess achievement of Program expected results, and applying the result of the comparison to a pre-defined scale of 1 to 5 for determining changes to privacy practices in Canada )
‘3’, representing ‘some improvement’ to privacy practices in Canada compared to the 2010-11 baseline; by March 31, 2014

This performance indicator to measure the Strategic Outcome is an umbrella indicator as it is based on performance information generated from six performance indicators that measure the results of each of OPC programs one, two and three. The OPC’s four programs (compliance activities, research and policy development, public education and outreach, and internal services) are described in the remainder of Section II with an overview; a table with the expected results for Canadians, the performance indicators and targets; the allocated financial and human resources; and planning highlights for 2013-14.

The OPC’s performance measurement framework (PMF) enables the Office to supplement qualitative approaches to performance reporting with quantitative measures of progress toward expected results and the Strategic Outcome. The OPC regularly assesses the implementation of the PMF and makes adjustments as needed to ensure that indicators are measurable and provide useful information for decision-making and accountability.

Program 1: Compliance Activities

Program Description

Program 1: Compliance Activities

The OPC is responsible for investigating privacy-related complaints and responding to inquiries from individuals and organizations. Through audits and reviews, the OPC also assesses how well organizations are complying with requirements set out in the two federal privacy laws, and provides recommendations on Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs), pursuant to Treasury Board policy. This activity is supported by a legal team that provides specialized advice and litigation support, and a research team with senior technical and risk-assessment support.

Financial Resources ($ thousands)

Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2013-14
Planned Spending 2013–14 Planned Spending 2014–15 Planned Spending 2015–16
11,646 11,154 11,180 11,180

Human Resources (FTEs)

2013–14 2014–15 2015–16
81 81 81
Program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets
Intermediate Outcomes
Federal government institutions and private-sector organizations meet their obligations under federal privacy legislation and implement modern practices of personal information protection. Percentage of investigation recommendations implemented within set timelines

(Measured based on: the analysis of responses to investigation reports)
90 percent
Percentage of audit recommendations fully implemented two years after publication of the final audit report

(Measured based on: the analysis of responses to audit reports)
75 percent
Immediate Outcomes
Individuals receive responses to their information requests and complaints. Percentage of information requests responded to within established service standards

(Measured based on: the analysis of Office statistics on turnaround time)
90 percent
Percentage of complaints resolved through early-resolution strategies, where no formal investigation is commenced

(Measured based on: the analysis of the disposition of complaints)
20 percent
Percentage of complaints responded to within 12 months of acceptance

(Measured based on: the analysis of Office statistics on response time for complaints)
95 percent
Federal government institutions and private-sector organizations receive advice and recommendations to improve their privacy practices, in compliance with federal privacy legislation and policies. Percentage of the PIA advice that results in added privacy protection for government programs/initiatives

(Measured based on: the analysis of the privacy outcome from the PIA consultations/ recommendations)
75 percent
Percentage of audits completed within planned timelines

(Measured based on: the analysis of time allotted to audits compared to planned times)
90 percent

Planning Highlights

While continuing to work toward the Compliance Activities outcomes (as identified in the above table) through its usual ongoing activities, the OPC will focus on the following strategic initiatives, particularly in 2013-14, to deliver on the organizational priorities and associated key commitments (presented in Section I):

  • Implement system improvements identified from the investigations modernization project for the resolution of Privacy Act complaints through a process of ongoing evaluation and enhancements. The project’s objective was to simplify the investigation procedures and reduce the time required to investigate formal complaints by developing a proportionate approach to resolving complaints.
  • Expand the investigations modernization project to the resolution of PIPEDA complaints, including a review of the capacity for early resolution activity from the Toronto Office, based on lessons learned from the work to modernize the resolution of Privacy Act complaints.
  • Adapt OPC investigative processes to fulfil new obligations under Canada’s anti-spam legislation, in collaboration with federal enforcement partners.
  • Implement a risk-based approach for identifying potential Commissioner-initiated complaints, consistent with the OPC four priority privacy issues.
  • Further enhance services provided by the OPC Information Centre to Canadians and organizations enquiring about their privacy rights and responsibilities (e.g. making full use of the new telephone system designed for call centres, new quality assurance measures)
  • Pursue specific collaborative initiatives, such as a global Internet privacy sweep, to further solidify strong domestic and international stakeholder relations in addressing common jurisdictional privacy issues. This will involve the development of bilateral/multilateral information sharing agreements, and possibly joint investigations.

Program 2: Research and Policy Development

Program Description

Program 2: Research and Policy Development

The OPC serves as a centre of expertise on emerging privacy issues in Canada and abroad by researching trends and technological developments, monitoring legislative and regulatory initiatives, providing legal, policy and technical analyses on key issues, and developing policy positions that advance the protection of privacy rights. An important part of the work involves supporting the Commissioner and senior officials in providing advice to Parliament on potential privacy implications of proposed legislation, government programs, and private-sector initiatives.

Financial Resources ($ thousands)

Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2013-14
Planned Spending 2013–14 Planned Spending 2014–15 Planned Spending 2015–16
4,622 4,622 4,132 4,132

Human Resources (FTEs)

2013–14 2014–15 2015–16
29 29 29
Program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets
Intermediate Outcomes
Public- and private-sector stakeholders are enabled to develop policies and initiatives that respect privacy rights. Percentage of positive feedback from stakeholders about the usefulness of OPC policy guidance

(Measured based on: the analysis of stakeholders’ feedback to OPC’s policy guidance via an electronic survey)
70 percent
Immediate Outcomes
Parliamentarians are able to draw on OPC expertise to identify and address privacy issues. Percentage of bills and issues with a high or medium relevance to privacy that receive the OPC’s views in the course of the legislative process

(Measured based on: the tracking of bills on which the OPC gave its views, either through parliamentary committee appearances, submissions or letter)
75 percent
Knowledge about privacy issues is advanced. Increased take-up of OPC research

(Measured based on: statistics on the number of website visits to OPC research papers or their URL links)
Annual increase relative to previous year

Planning Highlights

While continuing to work toward the Research and Policy Development outcomes (as identified in the above table) through its usual ongoing activities, the OPC will focus on the following strategic initiatives, particularly in 2013-14, to deliver on the organizational priorities and associated key commitments (presented in Section I):

  • Enhance the Office’s technological support capacity through an expanded state-of-the-art testing laboratory, namely to meet the anticipated demand associated with the introduction of Canada’s anti-spam legislation and the general increase of technology-related privacy issues.
  • Take stock of concrete results achieved between 2008 and 2013 of having focused the OPC activities on its four priority privacy issues (information technology, public safety, identity integrity and protection, and genetic information) and communicate outcomes for the benefit of Canadians.
  • Implement the strategy developed for maximizing the value and relevance of the OPC Contribution Program and for disseminating research results to stakeholders and the public.
  • Leverage knowledge gained through public opinion research to inform outreach initiatives and/or develop guidance materials to encourage compliance, notably for small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Program 3: Public Outreach

Program Description

Program 3: Public Outreach

The OPC delivers public education and communications activities, including speaking engagements and special events, media relations, and the production and distribution of promotional and educational material. Through public outreach activities, individuals are informed about privacy and personal data protection, enabling them to protect themselves and exercise their rights. The activities also allow organizations to understand their obligations under federal privacy legislation.

Financial Resources ($ thousands)

Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2013-14
Planned Spending 2013–14 Planned Spending 2014–15 Planned Spending 2015–16
3,152 3,152 3,160 3,160

Human Resources (FTEs)

2013–14 2014–15 2015–16
21 21 21
Program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets
Intermediate Outcomes
Federal government institutions and private-sector organizations better understand their obligations under federal privacy legislation and individuals better understand their rights. Percentage of participants in the annual OPC PIA workshop who feel they acquired a better understanding of the requirement to assess privacy risks of federal programs

(Measured based on: the analysis of results from electronic survey of participants to the OPC annual PIA workshop)
75 percent
Percentage of private-sector organizations that are moderately or highly aware of their obligations under federal privacy legislation

(Measured based on: biennial polling of private industry; next poll in 2013-14)
85 percent
Percentage of Canadians who feel they know about their privacy rights

(Measured based on: biennial public opinion polling; next poll in 2014-15)
20 percent
Immediate Outcomes
Individuals have access to relevant and timely information to protect their privacy rights. Annual increase in website visits

(Measured based on: the tracking and analysis of statistics on web site traffic)
Visits to OPC websites increase year over year
Federal government institutions and private-sector organizations have access to useful information about their privacy responsibilities. New channels or approaches for communicating privacy information and guidance each year

(Measured based on: the tracking of new channels and approaches to make information accessible)
At least 3

Planning Highlights

While continuing to work toward the Public Outreach outcomes (as identified in the above table) through its usual ongoing activities, the OPC will focus on the following strategic initiatives, particularly in 2013-14, to deliver on the organizational priorities and associated key commitments (presented in Section I):

  • Provide support to the Commissioner in her communication to the public, reflecting on her 10-year mandate.
  • Produce and make public a report on the concrete results achieved by the Office in relation to the four privacy issues that served as the focus of OPC activities since 2008.
  • Develop and/or implement communication strategies and efforts to reach the public and organizations, with a continued focus on youth as well as on online reputation management.
  • Focus communications efforts on small- and medium-sized enterprises through delivering key messages to promote robust PIPEDA compliance on a national scale, with a particular focus on the Office’s four privacy priority areas, and through the sharing of best practices and privacy tools.
  • Synthesize stakeholder outreach information, which highlights privacy interests and issues, to make the development of guidance and communication materials as relevant as possible to the privacy needs of Canadian businesses.
  • Make information more accessible to organizations subject to the Privacy Act to assist them in making sure their initiatives and programs safeguard the privacy of Canadians.
  • Promote the success of past research projects funded through the OPC Contribution Program, and transfer knowledge gained through contribution projects at a symposium to be held in 2013-14. 

Program 4: Internal Services

Program Description

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. As a small entity, the OPC’s internal services include two sub-programs: governance and management support, and resource management services (which also incorporate asset management services). Communications services are not included in Internal Services but rather form part of Program 3 – Public Outreach. Similarly, legal services are not included in Internal Services at OPC, but are covered under Program 1 – Compliance Activities, and Program 2 – Research and Policy Development.

Financial Resources ($ thousands)

Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates)
2013-14
Planned Spending 2013–14 Planned Spending 2014–15 Planned Spending 2015–16
10,172* 10,172* 5,833 5,833
* Planned Spending amounts include funding of $4.1M for the OPC relocation, which will be reimbursed over a period of 15 years starting in 2014-15.

Human Resources (FTEs)

2013–14 2014–15 2015–16
50 50 50
Program Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets
The OPC achieves a standard of organizational excellence, and managers and staff apply sound business management practices. Percentage of the Management Accountability Framework (MAF) areas rated strong or acceptable

(Measured based on: results from the biennial MAF self-assessment exercise and annual progress reports)
70 percent

Planning Highlights

The OPC will continue to work toward achieving and maintaining a standard of organizational excellence and have managers and staff apply sound business management practices. Over the next three years, and particularly in 2013-14, the OPC will sustain the organizational capacity in light of key transitions and fiscal constraints (its third Organizational Priority) by pursuing the following strategic initiatives, in addition to its usual ongoing activities:

  • Enhance internal communications efforts and opportunities to support OPC employees throughout key transitions, particularly in relation to the end of Commissioner Stoddart’s mandate and the start of a new Commissioner, and the move of OPC headquarters.
  • Optimize internal training and knowledge transfer through the dissemination of in-house research to maintain service excellence in a fiscally responsible manner.
  • Review organizational structures that may need to be revisited as a result of the investigations modernization project and other change initiatives within the Office.
  • Implement the government-wide Common Human Resources Business Processes to create efficiencies and implement revised human resource policy instruments and tools that support the organization’s priorities.
  • Effectively plan and execute the move of OPC headquarters, applying change management principles throughout the process to support the organization.   
  • Explore opportunities for common and/or shared services, both in the context of the relocation of OPC headquarters and in taking advantage of government-wide common systems initiatives (e.g. financial and human resources).
  • Intensify a horizontal and multi-disciplinary approach to delivering the OPC mandate. Further enhance information sharing and promote collaboration by fully implementing a new electronic document management system.

Section III: Supplementary Information

Financial Highlights

The future-oriented financial highlights presented in this Report on Plans and Priorities offer an overview of the Office's financial position and operations. These financial highlights are prepared on an accrual basis to strengthen accountability and improve transparency and financial management.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations and Departmental Net Financial Position
For the Year (ended March 31)
($ thousands)
  $ Change Forecast 2013-14 Estimated Results 2012-13
Total expenses 3,109 30,115 27,006
Total revenues 0 0 0
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 3,109 30,115 27,006
Departmental net financial position 1,770 1,414 (356)
Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Financial Position
For the Year (ended March 31)
($ thousands)
  $ Change Forecast 2013-14 Estimated Results 2012-13
Total net liabilities 378 5,336 4,958
Total net financial assets 227 3,088 2,861
Departmental net debt 151 2,248 2,097
Total non-financial assets 1,921 3,662 1,741
Departmental net financial position 1,770 1,414 (356)

Future-Oriented Financial Statements

The OPC future-oriented financial statements can be found on the OPC website.

List of Supplementary Information Tables

All electronic supplementary information tables listed in the 2013-14 Report on Plans and Priorities can be found on the OPC’s website.

  • Greening Operations;
  • Summary of Capital Spending by Program; and
  • Upcoming Internal Audits over the Next Three Fiscal Years.

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations Report

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures annually in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication. The tax measures presented in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication are the sole responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Section IV: Other Items of Interest

Legislation Administered by the Privacy Commissioner

Privacy Act R.S.C. 1985, ch. P21, amended 1997, c.20, s. 55
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act 2000, c.5

Statutory Annual Reports, other Publications and Information

For further information about the OPC and available resources, please visit the OPC website or contact the Office toll-free at: 1-800-282-1376.

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