Annual Report on the Privacy Act for the period ending March 31, 2017
3. Statistical Report on Requests under the Privacy Act
This section provides an interpretation of several statistics on the processing of requests made to Elections Canada under the Act. All figures and data for the 2016–2017 fiscal year are provided in the attached statistical report (see Appendix II).
3.1. Number of requests
Elections Canada received 50 formal requests for personal information during 2016–2017, a 16 percent increase from the previous year. Fifty-one requests were processed, including the three outstanding requests from the 2015–2016 reporting period. Two requests were carried over into the new fiscal year.
3.2. Disposition of completed requests
Of the 51 requests completed during the reporting period, 40 resulted in full disclosure of the information requested. This represents 78 percent of all completed requests, the same percent as the previous fiscal year. Four requests resulted in partial disclosure, where personal information of individuals unassociated with the request was exempted further to section 26 of the Act. No records were found to exist for two requests, and four requests were abandoned by the applicant. The disposition of one request was neither confirmed nor denied.
3.3. Completion time of requests
Similar to the previous year, 96 percent of requests for personal information were completed within 30 days. Elections Canada has historically received simple privacy requests that are uncomplicated to process. However, the 2016–2017 fiscal year included 2 requests with an increased level of complexity that were processed between 31–120 days.
3.4. Disclosures of personal information under paragraph 8(2)(m)
Subsection 8(2) of the Act stipulates that a government institution may disclose personal information under its control without the consent of those to whom the information relates. Such disclosures are discretionary and are subject to any other act of Parliament.
Paragraph 8(2)(m) affirms 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 where the disclosure would clearly benefit the individual to whom the information relates.
In accordance with previous years, Elections Canada did not disclose any personal information pursuant to paragraph 8(2)(m) in the 2016–2017 fiscal year.
3.5. Fees and costs
There is no charge to individuals for processing requests under the Act.
During this reporting period, the ATIP Office expended $97,350 to administer the Act. Salaries accounted for $89,239 of this total, whereas spending on goods and services amounted to $8,111. Some of the total Privacy budget was allocated to privacy-related activities outside of formal requests for personal information.