OPC Contributions Program 2015-2016

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Applicant's Guide

1. Purpose of this Guide

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) is making $50,000 available to eligible organizations for the organization of Pathways to Privacy knowledge translation initiatives in Canada.

Funding will be provided to initiatives that translate into action the results of previously funded research under the OPC Contributions Program and other funding programs.

This guide is designed to help applicants prepare project funding proposals for this call for proposals.  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 August 14, 2015, at 11:59 p.m.

Please forward your application to the following address:

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Care of: Contributions Program
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 1H3
Email: contrib@priv.gc.ca


All information requested in the Guide, Application Form and Schedule B—Eligible Costs 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 this call is $50,000. This amount is subject to cancellation, reduction or increase in the event that funding levels are changed by Parliament.

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

Definition and Examples of Privacy Knowledge Translation Initiatives

Knowledge translation is the process by which research results get transformed into products or outcomes that relevant end-users can apply in practice.

Insofar as this specific call is concerned, it involves transferring knowledge about threats to privacy and how to protect against them from the sphere of academia or expertise into the hands of people or organizations that can put that knowledge to practical use.

Examples of initiatives that the OPC is interested in funding under this call include:

  • Art shows, exhibits or performances that feature privacy as the key theme of the event;
  • Workshops, conferences or symposia aimed at disseminating privacy related knowledge to relevant stakeholders;
  • Innovative and interactive online approaches for disseminating research findings and raising public awareness of privacy issues;
  • Education curriculum for teachers to use with students or parents to use with their children;
  • Content for journalists and specialized media to report on privacy issues impacting Canadians;
  • Toolkits for consumer protection organizations to use in better supporting consumers to make informed choices;
  • Privacy best practices for professional associations to promote among their members;
  • Educational games or mobile applications, aimed at increasing awareness of privacy threats and how to better protect personal information;
  • Videos or documentaries aimed at general and targeted audiences;
  • Any other innovative and creative knowledge translation projects that help people or organizations better understand privacy and how to protect it.

Translating Previously Funded Privacy Research

Funding will be provided to initiatives that translate into action the results of previously funded research under the OPC Contributions Program and other funding programs.

Accordingly, OPC Contributions Program funded researchers must form at least 50% of the content of the knowledge translation initiatives presented for consideration under this call for proposals.

Eligible Projects

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 privacy knowledge translation proposals that address issues in the private sector or that are at the interface between the private and public sectors are eligible for funding. Projects that predominantly address issues in the government sector will not be funded.

Research priority areas

The OPC encourages privacy knowledge translation proposals that address one or more of the four, new priority areas of the Office, namely:

  1. The economics of personal information
  2. Government surveillance
  3. Reputation and privacy, and
  4. The body as information

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

For full details on the priorities areas, refer to the OPC Privacy Priorities webpage.

2.3 Timing of Privacy Knowledge Translation Initiatives

Privacy knowledge translation initiatives funded under this call must be completed no later than March 31, 2016, and proposals for funding must plan accordingly to be eligible for funding.

The OPC Contributions Program is structured to provide funding for eligible expenses that are incurred within the same fiscal year that funds have been awarded, i.e. no later than March 31, 2016.  The budget plan for the initiative must therefore reflect this constraint, and provide that no expenses to be reimbursed by the OPC are incurred after March 31.

2.4 Allowable Expenses

Funds may be used only for expenses directly related to the activities related to the organization of privacy knowledge translation initiatives. 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.

Indirect administrative expenditures (i.e. overhead) 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 project proposal that, 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 privacy knowledge translation project description including the initiative’s 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. The project description must show how at least 50% of the content of the project will be based on previously funded OPC Contributions Program research.
  6. Community Involvement: A plan to involve decision makers in business and government in the knowledge translation initiative, so that those who can implement privacy-sensitive policies and programs can benefit from research done by academics and civil society.
  7. One-Page Summary: A concise one-page summary of the proposed privacy knowledge translation initiatives that can be used for the Contribution Agreement.
  8. Timeline and Monitoring: Timeframe, work plan detailing activities to be undertaken to support the attainment of project objectives, and monitoring activities. Privacy knowledge translation initiatives funded under this call must be completed no later than March 31, 2016, and proposals for funding must plan accordingly to be eligible for funding.
  9. Budget: A detailed budget of the privacy knowledge translation initiatives, including amount(s) being requested from the OPC and other proposed sources of revenue including in-kind support. In presenting the budget, the applicant must use the form provided by the OPC in Schedule B—Eligible Costs.
  10. 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).
  11. Provincial/Territorial Support:  Where appropriate, an indication of the degree of provincial and territorial support for the project.
  12. Acknowledgement of OPC Funding: An indication of how the organizers of the privacy knowledge translation initiatives 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 privacy knowledge translation initiatives. 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  privacy knowledge translation initiatives. This should also include applications for financial assistance that are pending.

In the event that total government assistance (including provincial and municipal assistance) received for the privacy knowledge translation initiatives exceeds the total cost of the initiative, 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 Contributions Program objectives, as well as the specific eligibility criteria as outlined in this guide.

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:

Evaluation Criteria – 2015-16 Privacy Knowledge Translation Initiatives
Criteria Indicators Information to be provided in application
Excellence of the organization
(20 per cent)
Ability of the organization and its staff to deliver the initiative 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 proposed privacy knowledge translation initiative will deliver value for money.
Quality of the proposal
(50 per cent)
Objectives of proposed privacy knowledge translation initiative
  • The proposed initiative must be related to one or more of the OPC’s four new priority areas: 1) The economics of personal information; 2) Government surveillance; 3) Reputation and privacy; and 4) The body as information.
  • 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.
Content and format of the proposed initiative
  • OPC-funded research must form at least 50% of the content of the proposed knowledge translation initiative.
  • Consideration will be given by the OPC to the ability of applicants that offer the initiative in both official languages.
Impact and Reach
(30 per cent)
Target audience
  • The applicant must include a plan to make the initiative 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 initiative.
  • The applicant must also include a plan to include decision makers in the business and government sectors in the initiative, so that those who can implement privacy-sensitive policies and programs can benefit from recent findings in privacy research.
  • The applicant must commit to recognizing OPC support for the proposed initiative in material created for the initiative.
  • 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, as appropriate (in particular recognition of OPC Contributions Program funding of the initiative).
Monitoring and evaluation
  • The application must include an evaluation plan to provide OPC officials with the results of a post-initiative outcomes report.
  • The applicant must commit to providing frequent and regular updates to the OPC once the application has been funded until the initiative itself takes place.
  • The applicant must commit to providing a 250-word, a summary of the completed initiative, 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, the recipient 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 the recipient organization, a summary of the recipient’s knowledge translation initiative, 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 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.

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.

Payment will be processed using a direct deposit to the Recipient’s bank account. The Recipient will be asked to provide banking information when signing the Contribution Agreement.

5.5 Public Acknowledgement and Recognition

Applicants must commit to recognizing OPC financial support for their initiative, in promotional material distributed prior to or at the initiative itself. 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 pre-existing OPC Pathways to Privacy graphics and branding, if appropriate.

Further, funding recipients shall acknowledge the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's financial contribution to their privacy knowledge translation initiative in all materials, be they written, oral or electronic, used to describe the initiative or resulting from the initiative. The Privacy Commissioner, or designated representatives of the OPC, will be given the opportunity to participate in public announcements related to the initiative.

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 their privacy knowledge translation initiative 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 his 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

Knowledge translation initiatives may be produced and/or submitted in the Official Language (English and French) of the Recipient’s choice.

Organizations working at the national level and receiving substantial financial assistance from the OPC are encouraged to provide services in both English and French and to foster the recognition and use of those languages especially in areas of significant demand recognized by the Office.

Consideration will be given by the OPC to the ability of applicants to offer knowledge translation initiatives in both official languages.

7. Access to Information and Privacy

The information provided to the OPC as part of the application is subject to the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act, and may be accessible or protected as required under the provisions of the Acts. For more information please contact the OPC.

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