Annual Report on the Privacy Act for the Period Ending March 31, 2011
3. Statistical Report on the Administration of the Privacy Act
This section provides information about the processing of requests made to Elections Canada under the Privacy Act. Appendix II provides a statistical summary of the privacy requests received and/or finalized in 2010–2011.
3.1 Number of Requests
Elections Canada received 34 formal requests for personal information during the 2010–2011 reporting period. This was down from a high of 50 requests in 2009–2010. In addition to the 34 new requests, Elections Canada finished processing 3 outstanding requests from the 2009–2010 reporting period.
By the end of the fiscal year, the ATIP Office had completed a total of 35 formal requests, leaving 2 requests outstanding. These were carried forward into fiscal year 2011–2012.
3.2 Disposition of Completed Requests
Of the 35 requests completed during the reporting period, 29 resulted in full disclosure and 3 resulted in partial disclosure of the information requested. One request resulted in no disclosure because the information was exempt, one request was abandoned by the applicant, and in another case Elections Canada was unable to process the request because the requested records did not exist.
3.3 Exemptions to the Release of Information
The Privacy Statistical Report 2010–2011 (Appendix II) provides details on the exemptions that the agency invoked during the fiscal year. If an exemption is invoked several times within the same request, it is reported only once.
Elections Canada invoked exemptions under sections 26 and 27 of the Privacy Act. Section 26 protects personal information about an individual other than the individual who made the request, and section 27 protects information subject to solicitor-client privilege.
3.4 Completion Time
A total of 32 requests (91 percent) were completed within 30 days, 2 requests within 31 to 60 days, and 1 request within 61 to 120 days. In 2009–2010, 90 percent of requests were completed within the 30-day time limit.
3.5 Extension of the Time Limit
Section 15 of the Privacy Act provides for the extension of the statutory time limits if processing a request within the original time limit would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the institution or if consultations are necessary. Elections Canada took three extensions to complete requests in 2010–2011.
3.6 Informal Requests
The ATIP Office did not receive any informal requests for personal information in this reporting period.
3.7 Disclosure of Personal Information Under Paragraph 8(2)(m)
Subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act describes the circumstances under which a government institution may disclose personal information under its control without the consent of the individual to whom the information relates. Such disclosures are discretionary and are subject to any other Act of Parliament.
Paragraph 8(2)(m) stipulates that an institution may disclose personal information for any purpose where, in the opinion of the head of the institution, the public interest in the disclosure clearly outweighs any invasion of privacy that could result from it, or the disclosure would clearly benefit the individual to whom the information relates.
Elections Canada did not disclose any personal information pursuant to paragraph 8(2)(m) during the reporting period.
3.8 Fees and Costs
There is no charge to individuals for the processing of requests under the Privacy Act.
For fiscal year 2010–2011, the budget for salaries of employees assigned to the administration of the Privacy Act totalled $229,128, while that for operating and maintenance costs totalled $167,730. This allocation takes into account the work done in various areas, including processing requests, developing and implementing policy guidance, delivering ongoing training, conducting PIAs, producing periodic reports, and providing administrative or legal advice. This work was performed by employees and consultants as well as by casual personnel.
3.9 Complaints and Judicial Review
There were no privacy complaints and no judicial reviews reported to Elections Canada in 2010–2011.