2014-15 Report on Plans and Priorities

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Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

 

(Original signed by)

The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C, M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada


© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by
the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, 2014

Catalogue No. IP51-3/2014E-PDF
ISSN 2292-4957

ERRATUM

There was an error in the above ISSN number. It was changed from ISSN 2291-4957 to ISSN 2292-4957 in both HTML and PDF versions.


2014-15 Estimates

PART III – Departmental Expenditure Plans: Reports on Plans and Priorities

Purpose

Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPP) are individual expenditure plans for each department and agency. These reports provide increased levels of detail over a three-year period on an organization's main priorities by strategic outcome, program and planned/expected results, including links to related resource requirements presented in the Main Estimates. In conjunction with the Main Estimates, Reports on Plans and Priorities serve to inform members of Parliament on planned expenditures of departments and agencies, and support Parliament's consideration of supply bills. The RPPs are typically tabled soon after the Main Estimates by the President of the Treasury Board.

Estimates Documents

The Estimates are comprised of three parts:

Part I - Government Expenditure Plan - provides an overview of the Government's requirements and changes in estimated expenditures from previous fiscal years.

Part II - Main Estimates - supports the appropriation acts with detailed information on the estimated spending and authorities being sought by each federal organization requesting appropriations.

In accordance with Standing Orders of the House of Commons, Parts I and II must be tabled on or before March 1.

Part III - Departmental Expenditure Plans - consists of two components:

  • Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP)
  • Departmental Performance Report (DPR)

DPRs are individual department and agency accounts of results achieved against planned performance expectations as set out in respective RPPs.

The DPRs for the most recently completed fiscal year are tabled in the fall by the President of the Treasury Board.

Supplementary Estimates support Appropriation Acts presented later in the fiscal year. Supplementary Estimates present information on spending requirements that were either not sufficiently developed in time for inclusion in the Main Estimates or have subsequently been refined to account for developments in particular programs and services. Supplementary Estimates also provide information on changes to expenditure forecasts of major statutory items as well as on such items as: transfers of funds between votes; debt deletion; loan guarantees; and new or increased grants.

For more information on the Estimates, please consult the Treasury Board Secretariat website.Footnote 1

Links to the Estimates

As shown above, RPPs make up part of the Part III of the Estimates documents. Whereas Part II emphasizes the financial aspect of the Estimates, Part III focuses on financial and non-financial performance information, both from a planning and priorities standpoint (RPP), and an achievements and results perspective (DPR).

The Management Resources and Results Structure (MRRS) establishes a structure for display of financial information in the Estimates and reporting to Parliament via RPPs and DPRs. When displaying planned spending, RPPs rely on the Estimates as a basic source of financial information.

Main Estimates expenditure figures are based on the Annual Reference Level Update which is prepared in the fall. In comparison, planned spending found in RPPs includes the Estimates as well as any other amounts that have been approved through a Treasury Board submission up to February 1st (See Definitions section). This readjusting of the financial figures allows for a more up-to-date portrait of planned spending by program.

Changes to the presentation of the Report on Plans and Priorities

Several changes have been made to the presentation of the RPP partially to respond to a number of requests – from the House of Commons Standing Committees on Public Accounts (PAC - Report 15Footnote 2), in 2010; and on Government and Operations Estimates (OGGO - Report 7Footnote 3), in 2012 – to provide more detailed financial and non-financial performance information about programs within RPPs and DPRs, thus improving the ease of their study to support appropriations approval.

  • In Section II, financial, human resources and performance information is now presented at the Program and Sub-program levels for more granularity.
  • The report’s general format and terminology have been reviewed for clarity and consistency purposes.
  • Other efforts aimed at making the report more intuitive and focused on Estimates information were made to strengthen alignment with the Main Estimates.

How to read this document

RPPs are divided into four sections:

Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

This Organizational Expenditure Overview allows the reader to get a general glance at the organization. It provides a description of the organization’s purpose, as well as basic financial and human resources information. This section opens with the new Organizational Profile, which displays general information about the organization, including the names of the minister and the deputy head, the ministerial portfolio, the year the organization was established, and the main legislative authorities. This subsection is followed by a new subsection entitled Organizational Context, which includes the Raison d’être, the Responsibilities, the Strategic Outcomes and Program Alignment Architecture, the Organizational Priorities and the Risk Analysis. This section ends with the Planned Expenditures, the Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes, the Estimates by Votes and the Contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. It should be noted that this section does not display any non-financial performance information related to programs (please see Section II).

Section II: Analysis of Program(s) by Strategic Outcome(s)

This Section provides detailed financial and non-financial performance information for strategic outcomes, Programs and sub-programs. This section allows the reader to learn more about programs by reading their respective description and narrative entitled “Planning Highlights”. This narrative speaks to key services or initiatives which support the plans and priorities presented in Section I; it also describes how performance information supports the organization’s strategic outcome or parent program.

Section III: Supplementary Information

This section provides supporting information related to organizational plans and priorities. In this section, the reader will find future-oriented statement of operations and a link to supplementary information tables regarding transfer payments, as well as information related to the greening government operations, internal audits and evaluations, horizontal initiatives, user fees, major crown and transformational projects, and up-front multi-year funding, where applicable to individual organizations. The reader will also find a link to the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication, produced annually by the Minister of Finance, which provides estimates and projections of the revenue impacts of federal tax measures designed to support the economic and social priorities of the Government of Canada.

Section IV: Organizational Contact Information

In this last section, the reader will have access to organizational contact information.

Definitions

Appropriation
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Budgetary Vs. Non-budgetary Expenditures
Budgetary expenditures – operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to crown corporations. Non-budgetary expenditures - net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

Expected Result
An outcome that a program is designed to achieve.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. FTEs are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.

Government of Canada Outcomes
A set of high-level objectives defined for the government as a whole.

Management Resources and Results Structure (MRRS)
A common approach and structure to the collection, management and reporting of financial and non-financial performance information.

An MRRS provides detailed information on all organizational programs (e.g.: program costs, program expected results and their associated targets, how they align to the government’s priorities and intended outcomes, etc.) and establishes the same structure for both internal decision making and external accountability.

Planned Spending
For the purpose of the RPP, planned spending refers to those amounts for which a Treasury Board (TB) submission approval has been received by no later than February 1, 2014. This cut-off date differs from the Main Estimates process. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditure levels presented in the 2014-15 Main Estimates.

Program
A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results, and that are treated as a budgetary unit.

Program Alignment Architecture
A structured inventory of an organization’s programs, where programs are arranged in a hierarchical manner to depict the logical relationship between each program and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.

Spending Areas
Government of Canada categories of expenditures. There are four spending areasFootnote 4 (social affairs, economic affairs, international affairs and government affairs) each comprised of three to five Government of Canada outcomes.

Strategic Outcome
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization's mandate, vision, and core functions.

Sunset Program
A time-limited program that does not have on-going funding or policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made as to whether to continue the program. (In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration).

Whole-of-Government Framework
A map of the financial and non-financial contributions of federal organizations receiving appropriations that aligns their Programs to a set of high level outcome areas defined for the government as a whole.


Message from the Interim Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Chantal BernierI am pleased to submit the 2014-15 Report on Plans and Priorities on behalf of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. This report describes our strategic directions, priorities, expected results and spending estimates for the coming fiscal year.

This will be a year of transition as we adapt to two significant changes – my appointment as Interim Privacy Commissioner as well as a move to new offices in Gatineau, Quebec. However, there are no plans to change the course we have set in recent years given that a process is underway to appoint a permanent Commissioner. We will continue to strive for excellence as we meet the privacy challenges of a constantly evolving environment head on. In this task, we draw inspiration from the words of Henry Ford: “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

Our track record in addressing privacy issues in both the public and private sectors has won the respect of Canadians and of Parliamentarians. Our work atmosphere is one of collegiality and commitment. We are inspired by, and devoted to, our mandate to protect and promote the privacy rights of Canadians—at a societal turning point for privacy. And we have the benefit of fruitful cooperation with the private and public sectors, with our provincial, territorial and international counterparts, and with our fellow Agents of Parliament.

Our relationships with stakeholders in Canada and beyond are vital to our future success. We will work to maintain and build these links in the coming year. We will also continue to focus our work on the reality of risks to privacy as they arise.

Developments in information technology and the public safety context represent the most pressing privacy issues Canadians face, and there is every reason to believe we will continue to see complex new challenges related to these issues in the year ahead. For example, in the 12 months ahead we will continue to examine and share our views on the potential privacy implications of the federal government’s Beyond the Border initiative and the private sector’s expanding tracking and profiling of individuals to support new personalized business models. We will also conduct audits examining the safeguarding of personal information on portable devices.

I have the great fortune of having inherited from Jennifer Stoddart, my predecessor and an accomplished, internationally recognized leader; an organization that is truly a well-oiled machine. We will strive to continually enhance service to Canadians through this time of change, an ever-increasing workload and more limited resources. We will rely on our many assets to help us effectively manage our way through this transitional period and continually find new and innovative ways to fulfill our mission to protect and promote privacy rights.

(Original signed by)

Chantal Bernier
Interim Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

MinisterFootnote 5 : Peter MacKay

Institutional Head: Chantal Bernier

Ministerial portfolioFootnote 6 : Department of Justice Canada

Year established: 1982

Main legislative authorities: Privacy ActFootnote 7, R.S.C. 1985, c. P-21; Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents ActFootnote 8, S.C. 2000, c.5

Organizational Context

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 privacy rights of individualsFootnote 9 .

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 government to investigate complaints under the Privacy Act from individuals with respect to the federal public sector and she also investigates complaints under PIPEDA with respect to the private sector. While the focus under both Acts 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 the investigation does not result in a voluntary agreement/resolution.

Strategic Outcome(s) 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 as follows:

1 Strategic Outcome: The privacy rights of individuals are protected

1.2 Program: Compliance Activities
1.3 Program: Research and Policy Development
1.4 Program: Public Outreach

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 two organizational priorities for the planning period. These priorities were identified to ensure the Office was well positioned 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 10 Strategic Outcome
1. Effectively manage the organization through a period of transition. 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 2014-15, the OPC will be adapting to a new modern work environment following the move of its headquarter offices to Gatineau, Quebec, in February 2014. It will be led by an Interim Commissioner and during this period a permanent Commissioner may be appointed for a seven year term. Effectively managing through this transition period will ultimately help ensure that the Office’s credibility, which has been built over time—nationally and internationally—will be maintained and the Office will therefore be in a position to have a positive impact on Canadians’ privacy rights. Supporting staff, whose commitment to the mission of protecting and promoting privacy has been unwavering, is key to the Office’s ability to carry out its mandate, and will be critical during this transition period.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

  • Maintain service excellence, leveraging an organizational culture of high standards and dedication.
  • Engage and support employees to achieve a smooth transition, through effective collaboration and open communications.
Priority Type Strategic Outcome
2. Continually enhance service to Canadians. Previously Committed 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 volume of business and the technological and analytical complexity of privacy issues are increasing year over year. Furthermore, the OPC has had, and is expected to continue to experience, budgetary reductions. To remain responsive to Canadians, the OPC must look for ways to do more with less. In that context, the OPC will continue to look for creative ways to streamline processes and make use of technology to bring about further efficiencies to its service delivery to Canadians, while continuing to work to protect individuals’ privacy rights.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

  • Using a calibrated approach to tailor our compliance action to the specifics of each case, focus on systemic issues of importance for Canadians and adapt work processes to respond to growing public expectations, and increased workload.
  • Continue to cooperate with domestic and international counterparts to offer a more strategic, coordinated, global response to global issues, as well as leverage limited resources.

Risk Analysis

Key risks both to the privacy of Canadians and to the organization influence the OPC’s identification of priorities, affect plans and performance, and are factors in decision-making. The OPC continually scans its environment to ensure that it fulfills its core mandate in a manner appropriate to change. 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.

The table below outlines the three key risks the organization faces in 2014-15 along with mitigation strategies to address them.

Key risks

Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture

The first risk relates to the OPC’s ability to meet its obligations given the significant increase in complexity and volume of business, fiscal constraints and uncertainty related to the impact of its evolving mandate.

This risk is ranked high in terms of likelihood and moderate in terms of impact.

The Office will reduce its exposure to this risk by continuing to find strategic and innovative ways to deliver on its mandate. It will continue to modernize its investigations processes, expand the use of technology and focus on systemic issues of importance to Canadians.

The OPC will closely monitor performance against service standards through the Office’s monthly scorecard reports and will analyse progress towards operational commitments and to monitor this risk throughout the year.

The privacy rights of individuals are protected.

The second risk relates to the OPC’s ability to effectively manage through a period of transition. This risk stems from the uncertainty related to the impact of key transitions, namely the appointment of a new permanent Commissioner, as well as the Office’s move to a new modern work environment.

This risk is ranked high in terms of likelihood and moderate in terms of impact.

The Office will manage this risk by enhancing internal communications efforts, fostering open dialogue with employees, maintaining stability through a sustained focus on the four priority privacy issues during the transition and continuing to review organizational structures and recruitment practices to remain responsive to the changing environment.

The OPC will closely monitor trends in turnover rates, overtime use, utilization of leave and outputs to monitor this risk. Feedback from staff will also be used to monitor this risk.

The privacy rights of individuals are protected.

The third risk relates to the OPC’s ability to meet the public’s expanding expectations, in light of statutory limitations, fiscal constraints and increased workload.

This risk is ranked medium in terms of its likelihood and moderate in terms of its impact.

The OPC will manage this risk by focussing on attentive and effective media relations, actively communicating the work and mandate of the Office and maintaining effective relations with its partners and stakeholders.

The Office will monitor this risk by analysing trends in media activities, requests for OPC advice from stakeholders and information requests from the public.

The privacy rights of individuals are protected.

Strategic Context and Operating Environment

The OPC continues to operate in a dynamic, challenging environment. Rapid, unrelenting technological change has resulted in profound impacts on the right to privacy. It is now commonplace to hear about ground-breaking innovations in areas such as wearable computing, smart systems, drones, geo-spatial technology, cloud computing, facial and voice recognition, advanced analytics and genetic profiling. The challenge for existing legal and governance structures is that these technological developments bring with them new, sophisticated, and often hidden, ways to track and compromise our personal information. These issues pose formidable challenges to the OPC and its counterparts around the world.

In addition, there is escalating pressure from governments and private organizations to expand how they access and use personal information, in ways that increasingly stretch current legal and governance structures. For example, the decreasing cost of gathering, extracting and analysing large volumes of marketable intelligence from citizen and consumer behaviour, often referred to as “Big Data”, makes this phenomenon both more accessible and desirable to organizations. As well, there is an increasing number of private-public partnerships and exchanges of personal information, as both sectors share repositories (through enforcement and security demands, identity authentication partnerships, etc.) that pose challenges to privacy and accountability.

A prominent, if not key, feature of the current environment is the heightened public awareness of government surveillance and, in turn, the acknowledged need to protect personal information. There has been an increase in the number of questions raised about the scope of state surveillance activities. This issue is likely to continue to provide the backdrop for public policy debates with respect to privacy issues for years to come.

In the face of these remarkable developments, the OPC is actively leveraging resources to provide timely and informed advice to Parliament and other stakeholders through research on privacy issues, and the development of guidance and public positions, as it strengthens cooperation and enforcement in areas of mutual interest with its counterparts within Canada and around the world. In addition, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation is anticipated to come into force in the summer of 2014.

Planned Expenditures

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

Budgetary Financial Resources (Planned Spending — dollars)

2014-15 Main Estimates Planned Spending 2014–15 Planned Spending 2015–16 Planned Spending 2016–17
24,320,453 24,320,453 24,320,453 24,320,453

Reference level includes collective Bargaining and employee benefit plan adjustment.

Human Resources (Full-time equivalents—FTEs)

2014–15 2015–16 2016–17
181 181 181

Budgetary Planning Summary for Strategic Outcome(s) and Program(s) (dollars)

Strategic Outcome: The privacy rights of individuals are protected.
Strategic Outcome(s), Program(s) and Internal Services 2011-12 Expenditures 2012-13 Expenditures 2013-14 Forecast Spending 2014-15 Main Estimates 2014-15 Planned Spending 2015-16 Planned Spending 2016-17 Planned Spending
Compliance Activities 11,572,471 11,800,606 12,632,378 11,672,022 11,672,022 11,672,022 11,672,022
Research and Policy Development 3,930,540 4,028,548 4,109,251 3,834,863 3,834,863 3,834,863 3,834,863
Public Outreach 2,985,363 3,500,946 3,351,448 3,096,659 3,096,659 3,096,659 3,096,659
Strategic Outcome Subtotal 18,488,374 19,330,100 20,093,077 18,603,544 18,603,544 18,603,544 18,603,544
Internal Services Subtotal 7,654,492 6,208,756 9,830,944* 5,716,909 5,716,909 5,716,909 5,716,909
Total 26,142,866 25,538,856 29,924,021 24,320,453 24,320,453 24,320,453 24,320,453

*Internal Services estimated spending includes costs related to the move.

In 2013-14, the OPC plans to spend $29,924,021 to deliver on the three core organizational priorities it has set, including the relocation of its headquarters to Gatineau, Québec in winter 2014 and to achieve its expected results.

Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes

2014-15 Planned Spending by Whole-of-Government Framework Spending AreasFootnote 11 (dollars)

Strategic Outcome Program Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2014-15 Planned Spending
1. The privacy rights of individuals are protected 1.1 Compliance Activities Government Affairs A transparent, accountable, and responsive federal government 11,672,022
  1.2 Research and Policy Development Government Affairs A transparent, accountable, and responsive federal government 3,834,863
  1.3 Public Outreach Government Affairs A transparent, accountable and responsive federal government 3,096,659

Total Planned Spending by Spending Area (dollars)

Spending Area Total Planned Spending
Economic Affairs 0
Social Affairs 0
International Affairs 0
Government Affairs 18,603,544

Departmental Spending Trend

Departmental Spending Trend Graph

Departmental Spending Trend

The graph illustrates the OPC's spending trend over a six-year period (from 2011-2012 to 2016-17). The OPC has spent $26.1 million and $25.5 million in 2011-12 and 2012-13 respectively. The forecasted spending for 2013-14 is over $29.9 million. It shows an increase of approximately $4.5 million in expenditures over the period of 2012-13 to 2013-14 mainly due to the one-time funding received in 2013-14 to cover the relocation costs to Gatineau, Québec in winter 2014. This increased spending is mostly for the office set-up and equipment, as well as the new technology infrastructure. Subsequently, the funding for 2014-15 shows a significant decrease of approximately $5 million. The funding received for the move will be offset by future reductions to the OPC reference levels. The spending trend starting in 2014-15 also 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 OPC permanent funding in 2014-15 and ongoing will remain stable at $24.3 million.

The graph above illustrates the OPC’s spending trend over a six-year period. It shows an increase of approximately $4.5 million in expenditures over the period of 2012-13 to 2013-14 mainly due to the one-time funding received in 2013-14 to cover the relocation costs to Gatineau, Québec in winter 2014. This increased spending is mostly for the office set-up and equipment, as well as the new technology infrastructure. Subsequently, the funding for 2014-15 shows a significant decrease of approximately $5 million. The funding received for the move will be offset by future reductions to the OPC reference levels. The spending trend starting in 2014-15 also 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 OPC permanent funding in 2014-15 and ongoing will remain stable.

Estimates by Vote

For information on the OPC organizational appropriations, please see the 2014-15 Main EstimatesFootnote 12 publication.

Section II: Analysis of Program(s) by Strategic Outcome(s)

Strategic Outcome: The privacy rights of individuals are protected

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.

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, civil society, academics, Parliamentary committees, and federal departments and agencies.

Program 1.1: Compliance Activities

Description

This program oversees compliance with federal privacy legislation for public- and private-sector organizations, thus contributing to the protection of Canadian’s privacy rights. Through this Program, the OPC investigates privacy-related complaints and responds to inquiries from individuals and organizations, reviews breach reports and has the power to initiate its own investigations when warranted (Commissioner initiated complaints). 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 the Treasury Board Directive on Privacy Impact Assessment. This program is supported by a legal team that provides specialized advice and litigation support, and a research team with senior technical and risk-assessment support.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2014-15 Main Estimates 2014-15 Planned Spending 2015-16 Planned Spending 2016-17 Planned Spending
11,672,022 11,672,022 11,672,022 11,672,022

Human Resources (FTEs)

2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
81 81 81

Performance Measurement

Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Intermediate Outcomes
Federal government institutions and private-sector organizations meet their obligations under federal privacy legislation.

Percentage of complaints and incidents (breach notifications and OPC interventions) that are resolved to the satisfaction of the OPC

(Measured based on: disposition of investigations and analysis of conclusions of OPC interventions)

80 percent March 31, 2015

Percentage of audit recommendations substantially implemented two years after publication of the final audit report

(Measured based on: the analysis of responses to audit reports)

75 percent March 31, 2015
Immediate Outcomes
Individuals receive responses to their information requests and complaints.

Percentage of information requests and complaints responded to within established service standards

(Measured based on: the analysis of Office statistics on turnaround time)

90 percent March 31, 2015

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-related advice that results in added privacy protection for government programs or initiatives

(Measured based on: the analysis of the privacy outcome from the PIA consultations/ recommendations)

75 percent March 31, 2015

Planning Highlights

To remain effective in safeguarding the privacy rights of Canadians in the face of the growing volume and the technological and analytical complexity of privacy issues, the OPC will continue to renew its processes and leverage domestic and international partnerships. While working towards the Compliance Activities outcomes (as identified in the above table) through its usual ongoing activities, the OPC will also focus on the following strategic initiatives and activities in 2014-15 to deliver on the organizational priorities and associated key commitments (presented in Section I):

  • Maximize the efficiency of the investigations processes to improve service delivery to Canadians. Specifically, the OPC will continue to implement and monitor approaches and procedures aimed at modernizing processes related to Privacy Act investigations and will complete the enhancement of the complaint and breach handling processes under a PIPEDA Investigations Branch initiative to improve the efficiency, timeliness and quality of operations.
  • Streamline the provision and efficacy of legal services in support of investigations.
  • Undertake audits that examine the safeguarding of personal information on portable devices. The Office will also look into the collection of basic subscriber information by law enforcement.
  • Continue to prioritize the review of Privacy Impact Assessments related to the Beyond the Border Initiative and those which we assess as posing more serious risks to the privacy rights of Canadians.
  • Implement a new online feature enabling individuals to express concerns about a particular privacy matter without necessarily filing an official complaint. This will enable the OPC to identify specific trends for further action, leading to better compliance.
  • Enhance procedures and processes to address the increase in volume and complexity of breaches reported by federal departments/agencies.
  • Leverage strong domestic and international stakeholder relations, and support domestic and international privacy initiatives (e.g. undertake a second Internet Privacy Sweep) by participating, collaborating or providing leadership.
  • Further enhance the Office’s technological support capacity to provide timely and relevant results, to meet the anticipated demand brought on by the implementation of Canada’s anti-spam legislation and to address increasingly complex privacy issues.

Program 1.2: Research and Policy Development

Description

This program advances privacy knowledge, develops policy positions and provides strategic advice on the full range of privacy issues to Parliamentarians, government institutions and private sector stakeholders. Through this program, the OPC serves as a centre of expertise on emerging privacy issues in Canada and abroad by researching trends and technological developments, monitoring and analysing legislative and regulatory initiatives, providing strategic legal, policy and technical advice on key issues, and developing policy positions that advance the protection of privacy rights in both the public and private sectors. 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. Since 2004, the Program includes the administration of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act Contributions Program that funds independent privacy research and related knowledge translation initiatives, to advance knowledge and promote the practical application of that knowledge in ways that enhance privacy protection for Canadians.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2014-15 Main Estimates 2014-15 Planned Spending 2015-16 Planned Spending 2016-17 Planned Spending
3,834,863 3,834,863 3,834,863 3,834,863

Human Resources (FTEs)

2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
29 29 29

Performance Measurement

Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Intermediate Outcome
Public- and private-sector stakeholders are enabled to develop policies and initiatives that respect privacy rights.

Percentage of stakeholder requests for guidance on policies and initiatives that were responded to by the OPC

(Measured based on: the tracking of analysis provided to stakeholders)

100 percent March 31, 2015
Immediate Outcomes
Parliamentarians are able to draw on OPC expertise to identify and address privacy issues.

Percentage of requests from parliamentarians that were responded to by the OPC within service standards

(Measured based on: the tracking of responses to parliamentarians)

100 percent March 31, 2015
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 March 31, 2015

Planning Highlights

Knowledge about emerging and systemic privacy issues is the foundation for OPC advice and guidance. It helps to better inform organizations about the privacy implications of their actions. To remain effective, the OPC’s research and policy development work will remain focussed on the areas that pose the greatest risk to the privacy of Canadians. 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 and activities in 2014-15 to deliver on the organizational priorities and associated key commitments (presented in Section I):

  • Provide continued leadership on the four priority privacy issues (information technology, public safety, identity integrity and protection, and genetic information) to ensure stability during the transition to a new Commissioner and revisit these priorities once a new Commissioner is appointed.
  • Leverage our national and international partnerships to improve privacy protection globally, namely through our participation in Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) meetings and coordinated guideline/policy development, and through joint initiatives with international partners to strengthen cooperation and improve the global privacy protection framework.
  • Continue to coordinate and harmonize consistent policy positions across the Office by optimizing the use of horizontal forums and cross-functional working groups.
  • Build on existing relationships with academics, advocacy groups, business associations groups and other relevant stakeholders to identify emerging issues from technology and social trends that pose a challenge to privacy rights in Canada.
  • Continue efforts aimed at promoting cutting-edge research leveraging research results into practical outcomes for end-users.

Program 1.3: Public Outreach

Description

This Program promotes public awareness and understanding of rights and obligations under federal privacy legislation. Through this program, the OPC delivers public education and communications activities, including speaking engagements and special events, exhibiting, 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. Such activities also enable federal and private-sector organizations to better understand their obligations under federal privacy legislation.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2014-15 Main Estimates 2014-15 Planned Spending 2015-16 Planned Spending 2016-17 Planned Spending
3,096,659 3,096,659 3,096,659 3,096,659

Human Resources (FTEs)

2014–15 2015–16 2016–17
21 21 21

Performance Measurement

Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be Achieved
Intermediate Outcome
Federal government institutions and private-sector organizations better understand their obligations under federal privacy legislation and individuals better understand their rights.

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 2015-16)

85 percent March 31, 2016

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 March 31, 2015
Immediate Outcomes
Federal government institutions and private-sector organizations have access to useful information about their privacy responsibilities and 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 March 31, 2015

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 and activities in 2014-15 to deliver on the organizational priorities and associated key commitments (presented in Section I):

  • Develop and/or implement communication strategies and activities to inform Canadians and organizations subject to PIPEDA and the Privacy Act on privacy issues.
  • Promote voluntary compliance with PIPEDA through stakeholder outreach activities, which convey guidance, identify concerns and showcase the benefits of good privacy practices beyond compliance.
  • Continue to offer training sessions to federal government institutions on how to address privacy risks through the use of Privacy Impact Assessments. The Office will also facilitate knowledge transfer and ensure greater liaison and cooperation with federal government institutions through the use of investigative portfolio teams.
  • Maintain the OPC’s focus on attentive and effective media relations in order to supplement and strengthen our credibility and connection with Canadians.
  • Continue communication with national associations representing small- and medium-sized enterprises to promote best privacy practices and tools.
  • Increase communication of individual findings made under the Privacy Act and PIPEDA to raise awareness of privacy issues affecting Canadians.
  • Make further enhancements to the OPC website to ensure it remains compliant with applicable federal guidelines and that the information it holds is as accessible as possible to users.
  • Promote and distribute online privacy resources, through the use of new and existing channels and materials with a major focus on disseminating our resources to young people.

Internal Services

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 1.3 – Public Outreach. Similarly, legal services are not included in Internal Services at OPC, but are covered under Program 1.1 – Compliance Activities.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2014-15 Main Estimates 2014-15 Planned Spending 2015-16 Planned Spending 2016-17 Planned Spending
5,716,909 5,716,909 5,716,909 5,716,909

Human Resources (FTEs)

2014–15 2015–16 2016–17
50 50 50

Performance Measurement

Expected Result Performance Indicator Target Date to be Achieved
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. Next self-assessment planned for 2014-15)

70 percent March 31, 2015

Planning Highlights

During this period of transition, the OPC needs to incorporate effective change management strategies that balance existing institutional knowledge and experience with new approaches aimed at greater efficiency, economy and collaboration, while sustaining a committed and informed workforce, well-equipped to provide a high level of service in addressing privacy matters of greatest risk to Canadians.

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. The OPC will focus on the following strategic initiatives and activities in 2014-15, to deliver on the organizational priorities and associated key commitments (presented in Section I):

  • Maintain and enhance internal communications efforts and opportunities to support OPC employees throughout key transitions, particularly in relation to the appointment of a new Commissioner and the move of OPC headquarters. In particular, we will consider new ways to communicate with employees.
  • Continue to maximize collaboration and knowledge transfer across the organization and implement new tools and processes to facilitate inter-branch collaboration and to exploit internal expertise (e.g. new intake strategy for Privacy Act complaints, new inter-branch collaboration request template for PIPEDA files).
  • Further enhance the OPC’s knowledge/collaboration environment by implementing the 2014-2017 Information Management/Information Technology Strategy.
  • Continue to review organizational structures and recruitment practices to ensure they provide the flexibility to respond to the changing environment.
  • Develop leadership competencies in the areas of privacy and management through the development of a leadership program in order to maintain service excellence in a fiscally responsible manner.
  • Implement policy instruments and tools that support the organization’s priorities (e.g. Integrated Business Human Resources Plan, Common Human Resources Business Processes, Performance Management, Pay Modernization).
  • Continue to explore opportunities for collaborative services with other Agents of Parliament and implement government-wide common systems and processes, where applicable, to create efficiencies in the provision of internal services at the OPC, while maintaining the independence of the Office.
  • Make greater use of technology to deliver on the OPC’s mandate (e.g., secure electronic communication tool, online information request form).

Section III: Supplementary Information

Future-Oriented Statement of Operations

The future-oriented condensed statement of operations presented in this subsection is intended to serve as a general overview of the OPC’s operations. The forecasted financial information on expenses and revenues are prepared on an accrual accounting basis to strengthen accountability and to improve transparency and financial management.

Because the future-oriented statement of operations is prepared on an accrual accounting basis and the forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of this report are prepared on an expenditure basis, amounts will differ.

A more detailed future-oriented statement of operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net costs of operations to the requested authorities, can be found on the OPC’s websiteFootnote 13.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations For the Year Ended March 31 (dollars)

Financial Information Estimated Results 2013-14 Planned Results 2014-15 Change
Total expenses 28,126,050 27,943,301 182,749
Total revenues 0 0 0
Net cost of operations 28,126,050 27,943,301 182,749

The decrease of approximately $0.2 million between the estimated results for 2013-14 and planned results for 2014-15 is mostly due to the accrual accounting adjustments such as amortization and accrual liabilities. Planned spending in 2014-15 will remain stable in future years as OPC does not expect any change in its reference levels.

List of Supplementary Information Tables

The supplementary information tables listed in the 2014-15 Report on Plans and Priorities can be found on the OPC’s websiteFootnote 14.

  • Disclosure of Transfer Payment Programs under $5 million;
  • Greening Government Operations;
  • Upcoming Internal Audits and Evaluations over the next three fiscal years.

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations

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 EvaluationsFootnote 15 publication. The tax measures presented in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication are the sole responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Section IV: Organizational Contact Information

30 Victoria Street, 1st Floor
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 1H3
Canada

Telephone: 819-994-5444
Toll Free: 1-800-282-1376
Fax: 819-994-5424
TTY: 819-994-6591
Website: www.priv.gc.ca

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