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Informant complains identity disclosed to ex-wife

An individual alerted the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that his ex-wife, a CRA employee, had disclosed tax information and had viewed his tax information and that of others. He complained to the OPC that the tax agency had revealed to his former wife that in fact, he had made the accusations.

The complainant said he had been promised anonymity as an informant when he reported his ex-spouse’s actions to the CRA. The CRA, however, said it had informed the complainant on three separate occasions it could not withhold his identity and that if his former spouse requested the information under the Privacy Act, it could be released.

The CRA concluded the complainant’s ex-wife had, without authorization, accessed his tax records and had disclosed taxpayers’ information. She was disciplined for her actions. During the disciplinary process, she received a report indicating her ex-husband had informed the CRA about her alleged wrongdoing.

The complaint was not well-founded. Under the Privacy Act, the disclosure of the complainant’s name could not be withheld from the CRA employee.She was entitled to access that information because it was considered personal information about her under the Act.

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