Pathways to Privacy Applicant’s Guide 2016-17

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Note that the application process for 2016-17 is now closed.

Applicant's Guide

1. Purpose of this Guide

This guide is designed to help applicants prepare project funding proposals for the organization and hosting of the 2017 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 August 15, 2016, 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

We encourage applicants to submit their proposals electronically at the above noted email address.


Applicants should note that all information requested in the Guide, Application Form and Schedule B—Symposium Project Budget 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.

If you do not received a confirmation of receipt of your submission from us, it is recommended that you verify with our Office to ensure that delivery of your application has been received.

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 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

For the purposes of this call, the OPC will only accept and review symposium proposals that address one or more of the four 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

For full details on the research priorities, refer to the OPC publication The OPC Strategic Privacy Priorities 2015-2020.

Previously OPC funded projects

The OPC wants its Pathways to Privacy Symposia to prominently feature previously funded projects under the Contributions Program. 

Accordingly, OPC-funded researchers must form at least 50% of the researchers on the symposium program for a proposal to be considered eligible for funding. 

Applicants are encouraged to consult the list of previously funded Program projects and integrate some of these projects in their funding proposals.

2.3 Timing of Symposium

The symposium must be held between January 15 and March 31, 2017, and proposals for funding must plan accordingly to be eligible for funding under this call.

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, i.e. no later than March 31, 2017.  The budget plan for the symposium 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 symposium. These activities are as reflected in either the original budgetary submission, or via subsequent approved budgetary adjustments. Expenses may include:

  • salaries 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 – Symposium Project Budget”.

3. Completing the Application

3.1 The Application Form

Applicants must fill out and submit the Application Form provided for under this call.  It is important that you provide answers to all questions in the form and include any additional material in an appendix to the form.  Application forms that are not properly or completely filled out may lead to the rejection of funding proposals.

3.2 The Proposal

Applicants must provide a detailed symposium project proposal. If your proposal is retained for funding, it will serve as a basis for your Contribution Agreement with the OPC and related cash flow. The project proposal must contain the following sections/information:

  1. Basic Organizational Information: Name of applicant organization, 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. Note that OPC-funded researchers must form at least 50% of the researchers on the symposium program.
  6. Community Involvement: A plan to invite and include in the symposium, decision makers in business and government, 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 symposium 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.
  9. Budget: A detailed budget of the symposium 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 C—Project Expenditures Report.
  10. Community Involvement and Support: 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 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 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:

2017 Pathways to Privacy Symposium Evaluation Criteria
Criteria Indicators Question: Information to be provided in application

Innovation  (40 points)

Objectives of proposed privacy knowledge initiative; content and format

How innovative are the themes being proposed for the symposium? (0 not at all; 20 very)

(E.g. the workshop subjects proposed for discussion; the proposed panelists; the overarching theme of the event; etc.)

How innovative is the format of the proposed symposium? (0 not at all; 20 very)

(E.g. the overall structure of the event; the organization of the individual workshops; the use of communication or other technologies during the event; etc.)

Impact and Reach
(30 points)

Target audience

Does the applicant have a plan to reach target audiences, and if so how would you rate this plan? (0 if there is no plan and/or the plan is very weak; 10 if yes there is a plan and it is excellent)

Note: 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.


Does the applicant have a communications plan to advertise/market its event, and if so how would you rate this plan? Also, to what extent is the applicant planning—and does the applicant have the ability—to offer the initiative in both official languages? (0 if there is no plan and/or the plan is very weak; 10 if yes there is a plan and it is excellent)

Note: The applicant must commit to organize a bilingual event; recognize OPC support for the proposed project in material created for the initiative; 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.

Monitoring and evaluation

Does the applicant have a plan to monitor and evaluate planning and execution of the event prior to its being held, as well as a plan to assess outcomes and results after the event is held? (0 if there is no plan and/or the plan is very weak; 10 if yes there is a plan and it is excellent)

Note: 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 summary of the completed initiative, including links to any related background materials, for posting on the OPC website.

Quality & Feasibility
(30 points)

Overall quality of the proposal

Is the proposal of high quality and does it inspire confidence in a successful outcome? (0 no; 10 excellent)

Feasibility of the project

Does the applicant have the requisite capacity, a feasible plan and a realistic timeline for the ultimate realization of a symposium and other related deliverables? (0 no feasible plan or timeline; 10 excellent plan and timeline)

Financial considerations

The maximum amount that can be awarded is $50,000. Does the applicant provide a realistic budget forecast and demonstrate value for money? (0 unrealistic and no value for money; 10 totally realistic and excellent value for money)

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 and publication in the Main Estimates.

Recipients of OPC funding under the Contributions Program may also be surveyed 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.

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 for that purpose.

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 pre-existing OPC symposium graphics and branding. Each applicant organization must commit to posting symposium-related materials on the Internet, 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 the OPC, will be given the opportunity to participate in public announcements related to the project.

5.6 Audit Requirements

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 his or 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.

7. Access to Information and Privacy

The information provided to the OPC as part of the application for funding and Contribution Agreement 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 contact the OPC.

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