Contributions Program 2013-2014 - Special Call for Proposals: OPC Pathways to Privacy Research Symposium Competition

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Applicant's Guide

1. Purpose of this Guide

This guide is designed to help applicants prepare a project proposal for funding under a special call for proposals for holding the OPC Pathways to Privacy Research Symposium.  Specific instructions for completing the application form as well as information about the assessment process are provided.

1.1 Eligible Applicants

Academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations, including industry associations and trade associations, are eligible under the Program for funding. Eligible applicants include consumer, voluntary and advocacy organizations.

1.2 Non-Eligible Applicants

  • For profit organizations
  • Political parties and organizations involved in partisan political activity; and
  • Current or former public office holders or public servants who are not in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Act or the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service, or any other relevant guidelines, principles or codes relating to conflict of interest or post-employment.

1.3 Application Date

The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, October 4, 2013, at 11:59 p.m.

Please forward your application to the following address:

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Care of: Contributions Program (Special Call: Research Symposium)
112 Kent Street
Place de Ville, Tower B, 3rd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 1H3


Applicants should note that all information requested in the Guide and Application Form must be received by the Office before an application is considered complete.

Only complete applications received at the above noted coordinates on or before the Program deadline will be considered.

Applications are deemed to have been received by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada on the date they are post-marked; the date they are delivered to a messenger or specialized courier agency; or the date they are sent by fax or e-mail. It is recommended that you verify with our Office to ensure that delivery of your application has been received by us.

1.4 Contributions Program Budget

The budget for the OPC's Contribution Program is $500,000 annually. This amount is subject to cancellation, reduction or increase in the event that funding levels are changed by Parliament.

The maximum amount that can be awarded for the symposium is $50,000 and only one applicant will be funded to organize and host this event.

2. Contributions Program

2.1 Objectives

The Program’s objectives are to:

1) Strengthen existing privacy research capacity in academic and not-for-profit sectors;

2) Generate new knowledge and support the development of expertise in selected areas of privacy and data protection;

3) Increase awareness and understanding among individuals and organizations across Canada of their privacy rights and obligations; and,

4) Promote uptake and application of research results by relevant stakeholders.

2.2 Eligible Projects and Research Priority Areas

Eligible Projects

The OPC will provide funding for a symposium aimed at promoting privacy and the protection of personal information in the private sector.

The Contributions Program finds its authority under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) which governs the collection, use or disclosure of personal information by organizations in the course of commercial activities. Accordingly, only symposium proposals that address privacy issues in the private sector or at the interface between the private and public sectors are eligible for funding.

Research priority areas

The OPC encourages symposium proposals that address one or more of the four priority areas of the Office, namely:

  1. Identity Integrity and Protection
  2. Information Technology
  3. Genetic Privacy & Biobanking
  4. Public Safety

However, the Office will also consider proposals in other areas related to privacy and protection of personal information in the private sector.

For full details on the research priorities, refer to the OPC publication Privacy priorities: Reflections on the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Strategic Priority Issues.

2.3 Duration of Projects

The OPC Contribution Program is structured to provide funding for eligible expenses that are incurred within the same fiscal year that funds have been awarded.  As such, the symposium must be held no later than March 31, 2014, and proposals for funding must plan accordingly to be eligible for funding under this call.

2.4 Allowable Expenses

Funds may be used only for expenses directly related to the activities related to the symposium. These activities are as reflected in either the original budgetary submission, or via subsequent approved budgetary adjustments. Expenses would include:

  • salary and benefits for members of the project team;
  • administrative costs, translation, secretarial assistance and publication costs;
  • contract costs for expertise not available in-house or work not reasonably performed in-house; and
  • other costs including travel (not to exceed government travel regulations), materials and supplies, and communications.

The OPC will not support any expenses incurred prior to, or after completion of, the funding period stipulated in the Agreement.

Other ineligible expenses that will not be funded under the Agreement include the purchase of buildings, land, vehicles and most other major capital costs.

Administrative expenses should be limited to no more than 15 per cent (15%) of the total project cost.

Contribution funds awarded to an applicant are subject to the terms of the Contribution Agreement signed by the applicant and the OPC. Funds must be spent only on the project and cannot under any circumstances be diverted to any other use. Expenses associated with the project are subject to audit.

For full details, refer to the Costing Memorandum in “Schedule B – Eligible Costs”.

3. Completing the Application

The following information corresponds to each section of the Application Form. You should provide answers to all questions and include any required detailed information in an appendix to the application form.

3.1 Identification of Applicant

  • Provide the full name of your organization along with any abbreviations frequently used, as well as the section name or division name;
  • Previous name, if changed in the last year;
  • Address, telephone numbers (with extension), fax numbers, e-mail addresses, and web site addresses, where applicable.

The mailing address and billing address should include full information on the organization's location, such as floor, suite or room number, street number and postal code. Should a Post Office Box be designated as the official mailing address, please provide this information as well.

3.2 The Proposal

Applicants must provide a symposium project proposal which, once agreed to by the OPC, will serve as a basis for the Contribution Agreement and cash flow. The project proposal should contain:

  1. Basic Information: Name, address, billing address, telephone number, facsimile number and e-mail address of the applicant's authorized representative, organizational structure including legal status, names of principal personnel and project administrators. Please provide contact information for both the principal researcher (where applicable), and/or the person responsible for administering the project.
  2. Legal Status: An attestation/confirmation that your organization is a not-for-profit organization.
  3. Organizational Background: Background of the organization including its mandate, objectives, and accomplishments.
  4. Previous Financial Support:  An indication of any previous financial support received from the OPC including the amount, the year when the funding was provided, the purpose of the funded activity, and the results achieved.
  5. Project Description: A detailed symposium project description including symposium title, goals and objectives, identification of the target groups, identification of the anticipated results and expected benefits for Canadians in terms of the dissemination and application of new knowledge in the area of privacy and data protection.
  6. One-Page Summary: A concise one-page summary of the proposed symposium that can be used for the Contribution Agreement.
  7. Timeline and Monitoring: Timeframe, work plan detailing activities to be undertaken to support the attainment of project objectives, and monitoring activities.
  8. Budget: A detailed budget of the symposium including amount(s) being requested from the OPC (see Schedule B) and other proposed sources of revenue including in-kind support.
  9. Community Involvement and Support: Where appropriate, an indication of the level of community involvement (commitment, endorsement, scope and level of participation, co-operation and volunteer involvement).
  10. Provincial/Territorial Support:  Where appropriate, an indication of the degree of provincial and territorial support for the project.
  11. Acknowledgement of OPC Funding: An indication of how the symposium organizers will acknowledge the financial support (and where relevant, other contributions) of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to the project.

3.3 Declarations

Applicants are required to answer the questions in the Application form regarding the Conflict of Interest Act, the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service, and the Lobbying Act.

3.4 Other Sources of Funding

Applicants may seek other sources of funding for their proposed symposium. Potential recipients are required to disclose all sources of funding when applying for funding from the OPC. This includes financial assistance (grants, contributions, etc.) from all levels of government, anticipated or received, that is related to the subject matter of the proposed symposium. This should also include applications for financial assistance which are pending.

In the event that total government assistance (including provincial and municipal assistance) received for the symposium exceeds the total cost of the event, the recipient will repay the Crown on a pro-rated basis (based on the OPC's share of total government assistance received).

4. The Assessment Process

Each request for financial support will be reviewed to determine the quality, relevance and timeliness, feasibility and expected outcomes/benefits of the proposed symposium. Applicant organizations and applications for funding will be reviewed in accordance with the general Program objectives as well as the specific eligibility criteria as outlined above and described below.

4.1 Assessing the Proposals

In assessing proposals, the OPC may, where appropriate, consult with other federal departments, provincial and territorial governments and other privacy commissioners or ombudsmen. The OPC may also involve independent, external reviewers from academic or other not-for-profit sectors.

In reviewing and recommending proposals for approval by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the OPC will take into consideration the following factors:

OPC Pathways to Privacy Symposium Competition Evaluation Criteria
Criteria Indicators Information to be provided in application
Excellence of the organization
(20 per cent)
Maximum of 1 page
Ability of the organization and its staff to deliver the symposium successfully
  • The applicant must describe all relevant experience in its previous public outreach activities.
Financial considerations
  • The maximum amount that can be awarded is $50,000. The applicant must provide a realistic budget forecast and explain how the symposium plan will deliver value for money.
Quality of the symposium
(50 per cent)
Maximum of 2 pages
Symposium objectives
  • The proposed privacy research-related theme must be related to one or more of the OPC’s four priority areas: identity integrity and privacy, information technology and privacy, genetic information and privacy, public safety and privacy.
  • The proposed theme will be evaluated for its originality, creativity, relevance and timeliness.
  • The proposed theme must be focused on the protection of personal information in the private sector.
Symposium content and format
  • The format of the symposium program must be consistent with the 2012 Pathways to Privacy Research Symposium.
  • OPC-funded researchers must form at least 50% of the researchers on the symposium program.
  • Proposals must demonstrate that applicants plan to and have the ability to organise and host a bilingual event—e.g., simultaneous translation must be provided and all symposium documents (the agenda or program, the biographies of speakers, etc.) must be in both official languages
  • Consideration will be given by the OPC to the ability of applicants to invite speakers who can partake in the symposium in either or both official languages.
Impact and Reach
(30 per cent)
Maximum of 1 page
Target audience
  • The applicant must include a plan to make the symposium widely accessible to the Canadian public, with particular emphasis on consumer and student participation, and including use of social media to broaden the reach of the event.
  • The applicant must commit to recognizing OPC support for the symposium in promotional material prior to and at the event itself.
  • The application must include a detailed communications plan (strategies, tools and timeline), a proposal on the use of social media platforms, and a commitment to use the existing Pathways to Privacy graphics and branding (in particular recognition of OPC Contributions Program funding of the event).
  • The applicant must commit to posting the symposium-related materials on its website in English and in French.
Monitoring and evaluation
  • The application must include a detailed evaluation plan to provide OPC officials with the results of a post-event participant survey.
  • The applicant must commit to providing bi-monthly updates to the OPC once the application has been funded until the event itself takes place.
  • The applicant must commit to providing a 250-word, post-event summary of the symposium, including links to any related background materials, for posting on the OPC website.

5. Control Procedures

5.1 Contribution Agreement

On approval of a request for a contribution, a detailed Contribution Agreement will be drawn up and signed by the recipient and the OPC. A Contribution Agreement is an agreement between the organization and the OPC regarding the project contribution awarded.

By accepting a contribution, your organization agrees to carry out the funded project and to be accountable for the amounts received. Accordingly, the Office agrees, subject to conditions stipulated in the Contribution Agreement, to fund all or part of the project's costs.

As specified in the Agreement, the recipient cannot make material changes to the scope of the project without the prior written consent of the OPC.

5.2 Reporting Requirements

By signing the Agreement, your organization agrees to submit progress and financial reports, as specified in the Agreement for the duration of the project.

The OPC reserves the right to publish the name of your organization, a summary of your project, as well as the amount of the contribution awarded in any manner it deems fit including, but not limited to, posting on the OPC's web site, publication in the Main Estimates, and so forth.

Recipients of OPC funding under the Contributions Program may also be surveyed some time after the completion of the project about further related work or follow up activities in an ongoing effort to evaluate the impact of the initiative  and the value of the Contributions Program.

5.3 Research Ethics and Integrity

Where applicable, applicants are required to adhere to the principles and responsibilities of researchers as set out in the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research, and if their proposed project involves human participation, the 2nd Edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement:Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans.

5.4 Method of Payment

Payment will be in accordance with the approved cash flow as well as the work plan, and will be consistent with the Treasury Board guidelines for cash payment under the Policy on Transfer Payments. See

Final payment of the hold back, not exceeding 20 per cent of the total contribution, or recovery of surplus, if necessary, will be made when the recipient has satisfied all the requirements of the project and on receipt and acceptance by the OPC of financial statements.

Payments will be made on the basis of documented claims for reasonable eligible costs incurred, to be submitted by recipients as per the Agreement. The Privacy Commissioner is unable to make any payment to recipients prior to receiving an invoice for eligible costs that have been incurred.

5.5 Public Acknowledgement and Recognition

Applicants must commit to recognizing OPC support for the symposium through use of promotional material prior to and at the event itself with the use of OPC’s Pathways to Privacy branding materials. Applications must include a detailed communications plan (strategies, tools and timeline), a proposal on the use of social media platforms, and a commitment to use last year’s symposium graphics and branding. Each applicant organization must commit to posting symposium-related materials on its web site, in English and in French, should it be retained for funding.

Further, the recipient retained to organize and host the symposium shall acknowledge the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's contribution to the symposium in all materials, be they written, oral or electronic, used to describe the event or resulting from the event. The Privacy Commissioner, or designated representatives of her Office, will be given the opportunity to participate in public announcements related to the project.

5.6 Audit Requirements

According to the Contribution Agreement, the funded organization shall keep proper books, accounts and records of revenues and expenses received in connection with the funded project. Such accounts and records shall be open to audit and inspection by the OPC to ensure compliance with the terms of the Contribution Agreement. The OPC may make copies and take extracts at all reasonable times for a period of six years after completion of the project.

The OPC may request at any time that recipients provide satisfactory evidence to demonstrate that all eligible costs claimed have been paid.

5.7 Contribution Payments

Where for any reason:

  1. a recipient is not entitled to the contribution, or
  2. the amount of the contribution exceeds the amount expended, or
  3. a recipient is late in submitting a deliverable related to the symposium as per the terms of the contribution agreement, or
  4. a recipient submits a deliverable that is incomplete or unsatisfactory as per the terms of the contribution agreement,

the Commissioner may at her discretion withhold payment or a portion of the total amount awarded to the recipient for the project, or require the recipient to repay all or part of the interim payments to the Office, those amounts being a debt due to Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada.

6. Language Policy

Organizations working at the national or regional level and receiving substantial financial assistance from the OPC through its Contributions Program are expected to provide services in both English and French.  This means that symposia proposals must provide for simultaneous translation at the event.  As well, all documents published in the context of the symposium – e.g. the agenda, biographies of speakers, and the event’s web page – must be in both official languages.  In evaluating proposals, consideration will also be given by the OPC to the ability of applicants to invite speakers who can partake in the symposium in either or both official languages.

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