ARCHIVED - Privacy Act
Annual Report

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April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Part I — General Information on the Public Service Commission
    • Mission, Vision and Values – Striving for Excellence
    • Values Guiding the PSC's Actions
    • Mandate and Strategic Outcome
    • Access to Information Activities of the PSC
    • Implementation of new tracking system and imaging software (2008-2009)
    • InfoSource
  • Part II — Report on the Privacy Act
    • Highlights
      • Requests Received
      • Requests Completed
      • Completion time
        Consultations
      • Complaints
      • Advice and Training
      • Review of documents prior to release and project implementation
      • Personal Information Banks (PIB) descriptions created and/or updated for InfoSource
      • Disclosure under Section 8(2) of the Privacy Act
      • Data matching done within the PSC
      • Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA) and Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessments (PPIA)
    • Historical Comparisons
  • Appendix — Statistical Reports

Introduction

The Privacy Act (PA) (Revised Statues of Canada, Chapter A-1, 1985) was proclaimed on July 1, 1983.

The PA extends to individuals the right to access information about them that is held by the government. This is however subject to specific and limited exceptions.

The PA also protects individuals' privacy by preventing others from accessing their personal information and by giving individuals substantial control over the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.

Section 72 of the Privacy Act requires that the head of every federal government institution shall prepare for submission to Parliament an annual report on the administration of the Act within the institution during each fiscal year.

This Annual Report provides a summary of the management and administration of the PA within the Public Service Commission of Canada for the fiscal year 2008-2009.

Additional Copies

Additional copies of this report can be obtained by contacting:

Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Office
Public Service Commission of Canada
L'Esplande Laurier
300 Laurier Avenue West
West Tower
Ottawa ON  K1A 0M7
Telephone:  613-995-5316
Fax:  613-992-7519

Part I — General Information on the Public Service Commission

Mission, Vision and Values - Striving for Excellence

The Public Service Commission (PSC) of Canada is dedicated to building a public service that strives for excellence. The PSC protects merit, non-partisanship, representativeness and, the use of both official languages.

The PSC safeguards the integrity of staffing in the public service and the political impartiality of public servants. It develops policies and guidance for public service managers and holds them accountable for their staffing decisions. The PSC conducts audits and investigations to confirm the effectiveness of the staffing system and to make improvements. As an independent agency, the PSC reports its results to Parliament.

The PSC recruits talented Canadians to the public service, drawn from across the country. It continually renews its recruitment services to meet the evolving needs of a modern and innovative public service.

Values Guiding the PSC's Actions

In serving Parliament and Canadians, the PSC is guided by and proudly adheres to the following organizational values:

  • Integrity in our actions;
  • Fairness in our decisions;
  • Respect in our relationships; and
  • Transparency in our communications.

Mandate and Strategic Outcome

Mandate

The mandate of the Commission is described in the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA).

The PSC is an independent agency reporting to Parliament, mandated to safeguard the integrity of the public service staffing system and the political impartiality of public servants. The PSC's mandate combines staffing-related authorities with oversight functions. The PSC also provides staffing and assessment services to help federal organizations meet the changing needs of the public service. Under the system of delegated authority provided by the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA), the independence of the PSC particularly with respect to its responsibility to oversee the integrity of the appointment system and preserve the non-partisanship of the public service is essential.

Under sections 11 and 12 of the PSEA, the PSC is responsible more specifically for:

  • appointing or providing for the appointment of persons to or from the public service; 
  • conducting investigations and audits;
  • administering the provisions of the Act relating to political activities of employees and deputy heads; and
  • performing any other public service functions assigned by the Governor in Council.

Public Service Commission's Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture

In order to effectively pursue its mandate, the PSC aims to achieve the following strategic outcome. The chart below illustrates the PSC's complete framework of program and activities and program sub-activities that contribute to the achievement of the PSC's strategic outcome.

Public Service Commission’s Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture

Public Service Commission's Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture - long description

Program Activity 1.1.0 – Appointment Integrity and Political Neutrality

The Appointment Integrity and Political Neutrality activity develops and maintains a policy and regulatory framework for safeguarding the integrity of public service staffing and ensuring political neutrality. This activity includes establishing policies and standards, providing advice, interpretation and guidance and administering delegated and non-delegated authorities.

Program Activity 1.2.0 – Oversight of Integrity of Staffing and Political Neutrality

The oversight of Integrity of Staffing and Political Neutrality activity provides an accountability regime from the implementation of the appointment policy and regulatory framework for safeguarding the integrity of public service staffing and ensuring political neutrality. This activity includes monitoring departments' and agencies' compliance with legislative requirements, conducting audits, studies and evaluations, carrying out investigations and reporting to Parliament on the integrity of public service staffing.

Program Activity 1.3.0 – Staffing Services and Assessment

The Staffing Services and Assessment activity develops and maintains systems that link Canadians and public servants seeking employment opportunities in the federal public service with hiring departments and agencies. It provides assessment-related products and services in the form of research and development, consultation, assessment operations and counselling for use in recruitment, selection and development throughout the federal public service. This activity also includes delivering staffing services, programs and products to departments and agencies, to Canadians and to public servants, through client service units located across Canada.

Program Activity 2.1.0 – Internal Services

The Internal Services program activity develops and monitors corporate management planning frameworks and policies related to the Management Accountability Framework (MAF), finance, human resources management (HRM), information technology (IT), communications and other administrative and support services; provides central services and systems in support of all PSC programs, including the offices of the President and Commissioners; and formulates and implements policies, plans, guidelines, standards, processes and procedures to support the decision-making process of the Commission.

Privacy Activities of the PSC

The Public Service Commission has a Departmental Coordinator of Privacy that is responsible and accountable for the development, coordination and implementation of effective policies, guidelines, systems and procedures to enable the efficient processing of requests under the Privacy Act.

The Coordinator is also responsible for related policy, systems and procedures emanating from the Act, such as the government's policy on information collection and public opinion research.

The ATIP Office further consists of one Manager and one senior Analyst. For the last two months of the reporting period, the ATIP Office seconded a third PSC employee, on a temporary basis, to help implement the new ATIP software and the re-alignment of the InfoSource.

The activities of the Coordinator include:

  • processing requests made under the Privacy Act;
  • acting as spokesperson for the PSC in dealings with the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Privacy Commissioner, and other government departments and agencies related to the Privacy Act;
  • responding to consultation requests submitted by other federal institutions for PSC documents;
  • reviewing and approving information collection in accordance with the Government Policy on Information Collection and Public Opinion Research;
  • preparing the annual report to Parliament and other statutory reports, as well as other material that may be required by central agencies;
  • developing policies, procedures and guidelines for the orderly implementation of the Privacy Act by the PSC;
  • promoting awareness to ensure the PSC's responsiveness to the obligations of the Act;
  • monitoring the PSC's compliance with the Privacy Act, regulations and relevant procedures and policies; and
  • providing, to PSC employees, advice and awareness sessions on the provisions of the Privacy Act and Treasury Board policies and their impact on various program initiatives.

Implementation of a new tracking system and imaging software (2008-2009)

The ATIP office is replacing the ATIPflow tracking system with the new AccessPro Case Management System (APCM) software. The software application and data will reside on a more stable server.

Also, new imaging software solution, AccesPro Redaction (APR), is being implemented. The system rapidly copies and severs an increasingly larger volume of records.

During the reporting period, the ATIP employees have followed training sessions and both software systems have been intensively tested by the ATIP Office. These systems will be fully operational by Spring / Summer 2009.

InfoSource

In the course of the fiscal year, a Full assessment was conducted by the Treasury Board Secretariat for the PSC. As part of the Management Accountability Framework (MAF), the InfoSource introduction has been changed to reflect the PCS's Program Activity Architecture (PAA). Over the course of the next three (3) years with resources permitting, the PSC will be working on revamping its InfoSource Chapter to re-align the classes of records and personal information banks to reflect the PAA.

Part II — Report on the Privacy Act

Highlights

Requests received

The number of requests received under the Privacy Act has increased in the last year. From April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009, the Public Service Commission (PSC) received 39 requests while the previous year, in 2007-2008 it received 30 requests.

Not only did the number of requests increase but the number of pages of information reviewed was also much larger: 12,868 pages in 2008-2009 versus 1,934 pages the previous year.

There were also 2 requests from 2007-2008 that were carried over.

Requests completed

This year, 41 requests were completed. They covered a range of topics:

  • 14 requests (34%) pertained to individuals seeking feedback regarding their Second Language Evaluation.
  • 13 requests (32%) pertained to staffing-related activities. For the most part, these requests were om individuals seeking personal information contained in competition and priority administration files, or regarding test results obtained during the assessment part of a competition.
  • 8 requests (19%) were from individuals seeking information about themselves on various issues.
  • 3 requests (7%) were from individuals seeking information contained in investigation and appeal files held by the former Recourse Branch (now Investigations Branch).
  • 2 requests (5%) was from an individual seeking personal information regarding political activities.
  • 1 request (3%) was not processed by the PSC. The requests were either abandoned, transferred, or treated informally. In some cases, records were not found at the PSC as the staffing actions were handled by departments and agencies. The PSC is not responsible for staffing all positions in the public service.

As was the case last year, the preferred method of access reported by the PSC, as well as by departments and agencies throughout the federal government, is to receive copies of government records as opposed to simply view them.

Completion time

This year, 41 requests were completed, of which 39 (95%) of the requests were completed within the prescribed legislative time frame:

  • 35 (85%) requests were completed within 30 days;
  • 4 (10%) requests were completed within 31 to 60 days; and
  • 2 (5%) requests were completed within 121 days or over.

Consultations

The PSC received 11 requests for consultations from other government departments and agencies. These requests amounted to a review of 258 pages of information. After a thorough review of the files, the PSC determined that in 9 of the 11 requests (completed over the course of the reporting period), information pertaining to the PSC could be released in full.

The requests for consultation pertained to the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA), staffing and priority administration files and various Personnel Psychology Centre tests.

One (1) consultation request was carried from 2007-2008.

Complaints

One (1) complaint regarding a request addressed to the PSC was lodged with the Privacy Commissioner during this reporting period.

Complaint received

Specifically, 1 individual alleged that the PSC withheld personal information pursuant to section 26 and 22(1)(b). The Privacy Commissioner continues its investigation into this complaint.

Complaints closed

There were 10 complaints closed during this reporting period:

  • In the first case, an individual alleged the PSC withheld personal information under section 26 and that the PSC did not provide all the records related to his request. After the review of the information not provided to the requester, the Privacy Commissioner's Office was satisfied that the information was properly withheld under this provision. As to the complainant's allegation that information was missing, the PSC conducted a subsequent search for records and located eighteen documents which had been inadvertently overlooked by the office of primary interest during the original search. These documents were released to the complainant. This complaint was deemed as well-founded.
  • The second complaint was made by an individual who alleged that the PSC failed to grant her access to personal information regarding an Appeal Hearing. More specifically, she was not provided access to a tape recording and a transcript. The complainant had been provided access to 72 pages and was advised that the tape was accidentally erased and that a transcript was not made. This complaint was deemed as well-founded.
  • Eight (8) complaints related to the publication on the internet of PSC appeal board decisions which contain personal information. Several other institutions have received similar complaints regarding the posting on the internet of their own quasi-judicial board decisions. All of these complaints were deemed as well-founded.

Advice and Training

The Access to Information and Privacy Office continued to provide advice and training on the provisions of the PA and its impact on PSC programs and initiatives:

  • The ATIP Office participated in 5 "PSC orientation sessions for new employees" were ATIP information was provided to over 100 new PSC employees.
  • Seven (7) ATIP awareness sessions were scheduled to be given to PSC employees for this year. Four (4) sessions were given to 62 PSC employees from the Audit and Data Services Branch, the Staffing and Assessment Services Branch and the Corporate Management Branch. The other 3 sessions were abandoned or brought into the next fiscal year due to the lack of resources over certain periods of the fiscal year.
  • One hundred and three (103) individuals including PSC managers, public servants and members of the public consulted the office for advice on the provisions of the ATIA related to various PSC topics like political activities, the Public Service Employment Act and Regulations, investigations and recourse files.
  • Finally, the ATIP Office responded to 10 informal requests for records or for review of records for publication over the course of the reporting period.

Review of documents prior to release and project implementation

In 2006-2007, the ATIP Office started to review staffing audits prepared by the Audit and Data Services Branch, prior to their release. This is to ensure that any decision by the PSC to release personal information found in the audit report is in the public interest and that Privacy Commissioner is informed, as per section 8(5) of the Privacy Act.

During the 2008-2009 reporting period, there was no personal information released. The ATIP Office reviewed 2 internal audits completed by the Legal Affairs Branch. The first audit was for the "Appointment under the PSEA following the participation in federal students' employment program". The second audit was on the "Preliminary Survey Report Public Service Staffing Modernization (Project) – next phase"

In 2008-2009, the ATIP Office also reviewed Informatics Technology Project Initiation Forms to ensure the conduct of Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) when required, and to add descriptions of Personal Information Bank (PIB) to InfoSource. This year, the ATIP Office reviewed 5 forms: 1 possibly requires a PIA and a PIB description (See the PIB and PIA sections of the Privacy Report); and, 1 required that we amend an existing PIA (PSRS PIA).

The ATIP Office also reviewed and updated 10 PSC Privacy Notice Statements over the course of this reporting period.

Personal Information Banks (PIB) descriptions created and/or updated for InfoSource

This year, the ATIP Office worked on 20 PIB descriptions on program activities and systems for the 2009 InfoSource publication.

Statistics
  • Personal Information Banks initiated: 20
  • Personal Information Banks submitted to TBS: 17
  • Personal Information Banks re-submitted to TBS: 6
  • Personal Information Banks registered: 3
  • Personal Information Banks abandoned: 10

The 20 PIBs' initiated during this fiscal year were:

  • Aboriginal Self-Declaration
  • AMPhibian Six
  • Applicants and Inventories (PSRS)
  • Assessment Accommodations
  • Audits
  • Drop-off Studies
  • Employee Engagement Survey
  • Evaluations
  • Executive Resourcing System (ISS)
  • Hiring of the Retirees to Alberta
  • Innovation 2008 OnLine Consultation Event
  • Minister Staff Certification Program
  • Part-time Commissioners
  • PeopleSoft
  • Research and Development
  • Staffing Knowledge Exams (SKE)
  • Statistical Studies
  • Studies
  • Test Scores and EE Information – Case Studies
  • Update for the Second Language Evaluation (SLE)

The 17 PIBs' submitted to TBS during this fiscal year were:

  • AMPhibian Six
  • Audits
  • Employee Engagement Survey
  • E-my Career in Harmony with my Objectives (E-CHO)
  • Evaluations
  • Hiring of the Retirees of Alberta Recruitment of Policy Leaders Program
  • Human Resources Management Information System (HRMIS)
  • Infotel
  • Investigation Management Information System (IMIS)
  • Other Inquiries
  • Part-time Commissioners
  • PeopleSoft
  • Permission to Seek Nomination
  • Political Activities Monitoring Program (PAMP)
  • Research and Development
  • Studies

The 6 PIBs' re-submitted to TBS during this fiscal year were:

  • AMPhibian Six
  • Assessment Accommodations
  • Hiring of the Retirees to Alberta
  • Permission to Seek Nomination
  • Recruitment of Policy Leaders Program
  • Research and Development

The 3 PIBs' registered during this fiscal year were:

  • Other Inquiries
  • Update to the Analytical Environment
  • Update to the Second Language Evaluation (SLE )

The 10 PIBs' abandoned during this fiscal year were:

  • E-my Career in Harmony with my Objectives (E-CHO) (will be replaced with Talent Management Framework)
  • Executive Resourcing System (ISS)
  • Human Resources Management Information System (HRMIS)
  • Infotel
  • Innovation 2008 OnLine Consultation Event
  • International Visits
  • Part-time Commissioners
  • PeopleSoft
  • Statistical Studies
  • Test Scores and EE Information – Case Studies

The PIBs abandoned during this fiscal were either replaced with a new initiative, where considered to be part of standard PIBs or the PSC confirmed that there was no personal information collected with the initiatives.

  • Seven (7) PIBs were carried forward from 2007-2008
  • A total of 21 PIBs were carried forward to 2009-2010

Disclosure under Section 8(2) of the Privacy Act

(Authorised disclosure of personal information without consent from the individual to whom the information relates to.)

Under section 8(2)a) of the PA (disclosure consistent with the collection of information) on matters directly related to sections 11 and 12 of the PSEA, the PSC routinely disclosed personal information when:

  • appointing, or providing for the appointment of persons to or from the public service in accordance with the PSEA;
  • conducting investigations and audits in accordance with the PSEA;
  • administering the PSEA provisions relating to political activities of employees and deputy heads; and
  • performing functions related to the public service that have been assigned by the Governor in Council.

Under section 8(2)b) of the PA (in accordance with an act or regulation of Parliament which authorises the disclosure), the PSC also released personal information:

  • authorized in the context of the old PSEA (R.S.C., 1985, c. P-33), section 21(1) pertaining to appeal matters.
  • contained in its staff relations files to assist the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in their investigation processes.
  • in accordance with section 19 of the Public Service Employment Regulations (under the public interest to disclose).
  • Our Personnel Psychology Centre, on an infrequent basis, needs to disclose personal information for matters related to investigations, including, for example, the PSC Investigation Directorate, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Privacy Commissioner. Normally this is done in response to a complaint to which we are required to respond because we are (at least in part) the subject of the complaint, or when the Investigative entity believes we may have information relevant to the complaint.
  • The Political Activities Directorate provides information further to section 118 of the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA): "The Commission may investigate any allegation, in accordance with the regulations, that an employee has failed to comply with any of subsections 113(1), 114(1) to (3) and 115(1) and, if it concludes that the allegation is substantiated, may dismiss the employee or may take any corrective action that is considers appropriate".
  • The Political Activities Directorate also provides information for Publication in the Canada Gazette. This information is provided further to section 116 and subsections 114(4), 114(5) and 115(2) of the PSEA.
  • The Appointment and Information and Analysis Division (AIAD) disclose personal information on an infrequent basis within the confines of the PSC.
    1. AIAD provides personal information at the record level to audit teams in Audit, Evaluation and Services Branch as part of their planning process in carrying out departmental audits. The caveat is always mentioned that the disclosure of personal information cannot be made for administrative purposes.
    2. AIAD provides personal information at the record level to the PSC Investigations Branch as requested in order that they may check employment history concerning an investigation process, here again; the caveat is added that the record level information can not be used for administrative purposes.
  • The Departmental Audit Directorate received and has disclosed personal information in accordance to sections 17 and 18 of the PSEA while conducting audits.

Under sections 8(2)c)d) of the PA (for the purpose of complying with a subpoena or warrant; disclosure to the Attorney General of Canada in legal proceedings):

  • The PSC disclosed personal information under rule 317 of the Federal Court for cases regarding Investigations under the PSEA.

Under sections 8(2)e)f)g) of the PA (disclosure of personal information to an investigative body; under an agreement or arrangement; to a member of Parliament):

  • There were no disclosures of personal information under these sections.

Under section 8(2)h) of the PA (internal audit):

  • The PSC disclosed personal information on one occasion for an internal audit that was conducted within the PSC.

Under sections 8(2)i)j)k) of the PA (archival purposes; research or statistical purposes; in association with aboriginal people):

  • There were no disclosures of personal information under these sections.

Under section 8(2)l) of the PA (for the purpose of debt collection):

  • The PSC disclosed personal information on one occasion to Canada Revenue Agency.

Under section 8(2)m) (public interest):

  • The PSC disclosed personal information to the Ottawa police for one of their cases. In this case, notification was provided to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner as per section 8(5) of the Act.
Data matching done within the PSC

1) Our Investigations Directorate has done 2 data matching activities during the course of the fiscal year.

  1. The first was during the course of a fraud investigation (which is still on-going), the Investigations Directorate requested information from the Public Services Resourcing System (PSRS). The person under investigation indicated on his/her PSRS application that he/she was a Canadian citizen. Following his/her appointment to the federal public service, it was discovered that he/she did not possess his/her Canadian citizenship. The person stated that he/she had done this by error and that he/she corrected his/her profile on PSRS for subsequent applications.

    In order to assess the veracity of the explanation provided during the course of the investigation, a history of the PSRS profile used to apply to various positions was requested for a specified period of time.

  2. The second case (still on-going) was as part of an Audit. The names of 180 public servants who had been students at a specific language school were obtained. The names of those 180 employees from 29 different organizations were provided to the Personnel Psychology Centre (PPC). The PPC searched its database of Second Language Evaluation (SLE) tests results and, for each of the 180 individuals, extracted historical and current results of each SLE test taken by the employee (630: Reading; 650/651: Writing / Written Expression and Oral Interaction).

2) The Government Wide Audit and Evaluation Directorate, during the planning stage, Government Wide Audit Divisions, audit of Federal Student Work Employment Program (FSWEP) and Subsequent Bridging appointments, did data matching in order to finalize the Sampling Plan for File review of FSWEP Hiring Activity and Bridging. More specifically, the personal record identifier (PRI) from payroll records were matched to the FWSEP # of the PSC database for two reasons; 1) to generate a sampling frame that would allow them to select only new hires and to identify cases either by PRI or departmental file number, and 2) to estimate the amount of FWSEP hiring done by departments without the involvement of the PSC.

Table 2 below summarizes the method of the data matching exercise. The matching exercise began with two large databases, 1) all hiring actions for the 11 select departments that occurred in the 2006-2007 fiscal year registered in the payroll records, and 2) all departmental requests made by the 11 selected departments for an FWSEP student placed within the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 fiscal years (PSC database).

Table 2: Summary of methods used to match Payroll files in PSC FWSEP database.
Step Criteria used for matching cases
1 Matched on Surname, First Initial, Department, & Region
2 Matched on Surname, Department, & Region
3 Matched on Surname, Department, & Start Date
4 Matched on Surname, First Initial, Region, & Start Dates within 30 days
5 Matched on Surname, Region, & Start Dates within 7 days

3) The Evaluation Directorate did not participate in any internal data sharing activities for reporting period 2008-2009. They, however, did share non-identifiable personal information with two consultants. One consultant was provided with the responses (100+) to the Surveys of Appointments and for the following data from appointments file – fiscal year, age, official language, gender, and EE group. With the second consultant, in addition to the information noted above, data from PSRS – specifically, aggregated information on candidates language profiles, education, and location (region). Information was also shared with respect to advertisements (posters_ including classification, category and tenure). No unique identifiers for advertisements were shared – a dummy number was created to ensure that no data matching could occur that would facilitate the identification of any candidate.

All information was put on a password protected CD. In addition, all files were password protected. The CD was sent to the consultants as per the instructions provided by Security personnel and in accordance with the guidelines for the sharing of information.

4) Quality Management Practices Division did not shared any personal data during the non-advertised study. The only materials given to the departments are a list of files (identified by selection process number) for them to retrieve the information for review.

5) Appointment Information and Analysis Directorate (AIAD) carries out Data Matching as described below on a frequent basis, and is identified as a consistent use in PIB PSC PCE 761.

  1. The PSC matches data from the TBS Employment Equity Data Bank (EEDB) to the PSC appointment and population files, as requires, in order to gauge the percentage of Employment Equity members being recruited, promoted, laterally moved or receiving an acting appointment within the public service. The EEDB contains only PRIs and EE identifier. PSC only produces statistical tables with EE information and uses suppression techniques to block out small cells in order to protect the identity of individuals. The PSC reports on Employment Equity to Parliament each year in its Annual Report. At no time are individual names or identities produced from this matching process.
  2. The PSC, in 2007/2008, matched its appointment files to the PSC Public Service Recruitment System (PSRS) by surname, first name and partial date of birth in order to estimate employment equity representation using the self-declaration information captured in the applicant portion of the Applicant Inventories and Referrals from PSRS. Data elements provided from PSRS were: EE designation, last name, first name and/or partial first name (initial), partial date of birth, gender and PSRS applicant number. This information was matched to the PSC Job-based Analytical System (JAIS) to determine which profiles corresponded to actual employees, and then with the TBS EEDB, to see which ones had already declared to be Visible Minority (VM). The purpose was to assess the extent to which there were discrepancies between capture systems. A Data Sharing Arrangement Checklist document was put in place for this exercise and was later submitted to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. The PSC is currently updating both the PSRS PIA and the Analytical Environment Privacy Impact Assessment, which includes this sharing of personal information.
  3. The PSC receives on quarterly basis information from all organizations under the PSEA for all appointments to the public service, promotions and acting appointments. This information is identified by department name, personal record identifier, classification, position number and appointment effective date plus the area of selection and the selection process number with the 1st 3 digits of the postal code of new recruits to the public service.
  4. This information is then matched to the PSC appointment files in order that the PSC can respond to questions under the PSEA and to parliamentarians such as to how many external and internal selection processes are advertised or non-advertised. (As this information is not available on the PWGSC pay file from which the PSC estimates staffing activities across the public service.

6) The Political Impartiality Monitoring Approach created a "Candidates Databank" which contains the first, middle and last name of the candidate, the name of the municipality, the province, the gender and the position of the candidate is seeking (e.g. mayor/councilor/warden/reeve). It also contains fields indicating sources that Political Activities Directorate (PAD) verifies to determine if the candidate could potentially be a federal public servant.

These candidate databank consists of the following fields: PSC list of candidates who made a request for candidacy (Permission to Seek Nomination and/or be a Candidate in an Election and Leave of Absence Without Pay – PSC PCE 763); Government Electronic Directory (GEDS); Municipality Web sites; Google Web sites.

The names of the candidates or elected officials are verified on the PSC list of candidates to verify if they have made a request for candidacy (PSC PCE 763). GEDS is verified to see if the name can be matched. Other Google sources (e.g. municipal web sites, local newspapers web sites, etc.) are verified to check if the candidate or elected official could be the same person as the federal public servant.

Once a candidate or elected official is identified as potentially being a federal public servant, the Analytical environment Bank – PSC PCE 761 (held by the Appointments Information and Analysis Directorate within the PSC's Audit and Data Services Branch) is accessed to verify if the name that is identified has a public servant status. The designated representative of the organization where the candidate has been identified as working, is asked to verify and to confirm if the candidate is the same person as the public servant. If it is confirmed that it is the same person, PAD refers the case to PSC's Investigations Directorate which may decide to investigate or not. If founded, corrective actions may be determined by the PSC.

A PIB has been submitted to TBS for registration and a PIA has been submitted to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

(Source: PSC Political Impartiality Monitoring Approach – Privacy Impact Assessment).

7) The Corporate Management Branch has shared 8 disclosure of personal information. The nature of these disclosures was Talent management Questionnaire at the EX-02 and EX-05 levels. These were shared with the Chief Human Resources Office (CHRO). The Privacy Commissioner was not notified of these disclosures; however the CHRO had undertaken a PIA to address this issue.

8) a) The data and Reporting team within the Public Service Staffing Modernization Project (PSSMP), provided the PSC Audit and Data Services Branch personal information from the PSRS for an Employment Equity exercise. The data was provided to Audit who then used the information to estimate employment equity representation using the self-declaration information captured in the application portion of the Applicant Inventories and Referrals from PSRS. Data elements provided from PSRS are: EE designation, last name, first name and/or partial first name (initial), partial date of birth, gender and PSRS applicant number. A Data sharing Arrangement Checklist document was put in place for this exercise.

b) The PSSMP also provided, on an ongoing basis, personal information (specifically data on candidates) from the PSRS to government departments for their staffing processes (including referrals made, recruitment campaign information, etc.). In some cases, this access is direct (i.e.: self-service), while in other instances, the information is provided on demand.

Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA) and Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessments (PPIA)

Over the last three years, the ATIP Office has been developing a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) framework and an accompanying communications strategy. In 2007-2008, a PIA Advisory Committee was created. This committee is now helping with the development of the PSC guidelines on PIAs and will start reviewing PIA reports prior to their submission to the PSC President and to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. The terms of reference for the Committee and the PSC guidelines are still under development.

Statistics
  • Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessments initiated: 0
  • Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessments completed: 0
  • Privacy Impact Assessments initiated: 4
  • Privacy Impact Assessments completed: 2
  • Privacy Impact Assessments sent to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner: 5
  • Total: 8

The 4 PIAs' initiated during this fiscal year were:

  • Update to the Analytical Tools: Job-Based Analytical Information System (JAIS), Cube data Analysis Tools, Electronic Program of Special Surveys (EPSS) PIA conducted in 2004
  • Update to the Public Service Resourcing System (PSRS) PIA conducted in 2006
  • PeopleSoft
  • Privasoft System – Access Pro Case Management (APCM) and Access Redaction

The 2 PIAs' completed were:

  • PSRS data warehouse Reporting Solutions Database (RSD)
  • Political Impartiality Monitoring Approach (PIMA)

Five (5) PIAs were submitted to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for this reporting period.

  • Public Service Resourcing System (PSRS) update to the E-recruitment PIAs
  • E-my Career in Harmony with my Objectives (E-CHO)
  • Investigation Management Information System (IMIS)
  • PSRS data warehouse Reporting Solutions Database (RSD)
  • Political Impartiality Monitoring Approach (PIMA)

Here is a short description of the 8 PSC programs for which PIAs were initiated, completed and/or sent to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner during the course of the reporting period.

The assessments and the results of the PIAs are currently not available to the public, as required by Treasury Board PIA policy, until the PSC's PIA Communications Plan has been approved. To do so at the present time would compromise the vulnerability of certain programs and systems. Any privacy requests about these PIAs will be duly processed, at which time, the Office will determine which portions of the PIA can be made publicly available.

Privacy Impact Assessment Descriptions initiated

Update to the 2004 PIA for the Analytical Tools: Job-Based Analytical Information System (JAIS), Cube data Analysis Tools, Electronic Program of Special Surveys (EPSS)

The Appointment Information and Analysis (AIAD) of the Audit and Data Services Branch within the PSC is responsible for, among others things, producing statistical reports needed by the PSC to fulfill its mandate. These reports are published in the PSC Annual Report, and are distributed and used by the PSC for analysis purposes. In order to modernize its operations AIAD expanded the utilization of its information systems and implementing new analytical tools:

The Job-Based Analytical Information System (JAIS) is a longitudinal system used as an oversight tool in analyzing trends government-wide. It is a database of more than two million records spanning a 13-year period (1990 until today). Internal and external stakeholders within the federal public service have requested access to JAIS-derived information.

The Cubes consist of data analysis tools being implemented by PSC that enable individuals to extract specific statistical information relating to hiring and staffing activities.

The Program of Special Surveys (PSS) is a survey tool developed to help ensure that the staffing system is operating effectively. The PSS provides quantitative and qualitative information that will allow the PSC and delegated departments and agencies to improve staffing. The PSS is being transitioned from a paper-based format to an online format, the EPSS.

Update to the 2006 PIA for the Public Service Resourcing System (PSRS)

The Public Service receives hundreds of thousands of applications every year and managing such a large volume of resumes is cumbersome and has been handled in a variety of ways by the various hiring departments across the Public Service. The primary process used has been manual in nature which does not address the needs of users. Additionally, such processes will not be able to address the expected increase in applications received nor will it comply with the modernized resource approach mandated by the Public Service Modernization Act (PSMA).

The primary purpose of the PSRS is to improve the process of recruiting outside of the Public Service. PSRS allows hiring agents to create customized job applications and advertisements for positions that need to be filled. The Canadian public can in turn view and apply for these postings and the system will use its automated screening functionality to provide departmental hiring managers with a filtered set of referrals.

Currently the administrator portion of the application is only accessible to PSC users. PSC HR consultants and/or HR assistants work with client departments to create advertisements and manage the referral process. As of April 2006, however, other government departments were able to use the PSRS system to directly advertise external positions, develop questionnaires, and screen referrals.

PeopleSoft

The PSC has decided to precede with the transition to the PeopleSoft Government of Canada (GC) HRMS application as part of the federal government shared services approach for the delivery of HR operations services. The PSC has agreed to enter into a partnership with Veteran's Affairs Canada (VAC) and share the GC PeopleSoft application. Under the arrangement after PSC HRMS needs are implemented with the VAC infrastructure, VAC will provide full infrastructure and technical support for the PeopleSoft application.

The project scope is to replace existing legacy systems and functionality (Leave Information Management System (LIMS) and Human Resource Management Information Systems (HRMIS). Therefore, the following PeopleSoft HRMS modules to be implemented by June 2009.

Position Management Workforce Administration (Org. Instance/Person Model Enterprise Learning (partial implementation- Training Administration Manage Priorities (no data conversion, to be used as is Base Benefits (Self Service Leave) GC Interfaces (PCIS, etc.,) available with PeopleSoft V8.9 Internal interfaces with other PSC Systems.) Reports available from VAC Version

Veteran's Affairs have implemented PeopleSoft GCHRMS V8.9 2 years ago and have completed a Privacy Impact Assessment. Both PSC and VAC are currently doing a Threat and Risk Assessment and will be completed by next year.

ATIP Privasoft System – Access Pro Case Management (APCM) and Access Redaction

Effective case management requires a unique approach for managing a related group of documents and records distinguished by a central event that has a clear beginning, analysis period and resolution; all the while maintaining control and keeping a comprehensive log of all case-related activities.

Privasoft delivers specialized case management software that helps public sector and regulated industries address information disclosure processes.

This is done by automating business processes and tracking adherence to legislated, client -initiated request. It captures related content and all associated actions in order to satisfy a request, ensure nothing is missed and ensure compliance.

The Privasoft AccessPro Case Management (APCM) Suite delivers an integrated information management infrastructure that allows case workers to map services to electronic processes, facilitate communications, capture activity history and archive files for future reference. It also automates the assembling and capturing of content while tracking, managing and reporting on information disclosure processes. The solution serves to demonstrate accountability, speed up case resolution time and deliver consistent decisions while reducing the potential for error.

AccessPro Redaction is electronic redaction software that provides the ATIP offices of any size with the features needed to manage a completely electronic redaction process. Unlike photocopiers and generic redaction software, AccessPro Redaction has been designed from the ground up to meet the needs of information access professionals.

Privacy Impact Assessment Descriptions completed and /or submitted to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Public Service Staffing Modernization Project (PSSMP) Reporting Solutions Database (RSD)

The Staffing and Assessment Services Branch hired the services of a consultant to conduct the Privacy Impact Assessment. It was completed in February 2008. A Threat Risk Assessment was also conducted in 2007-2008 and has been completed.

The PSSMP RSD is a business intelligence data warehouse that will ultimately provide public service management information to users through a single web interface. The purpose is to provide consolidated reporting, analyzing and displaying data to improve strategic planning and decision making. The initial implementation will be built with data from the Public Service Resourcing System (PSRS), which contains information on jobs open to the public as well as information on individuals who are applying for employment within the federal civil service. Potentially, all systems will eventually supply data to the RSD. The action plan and the PIA were finalized and approved over the course of the reporting period, and submitted to the Privacy Commissioner.

Political Impartiality Monitoring Approach (PIMA)

Policy Branch is the first PSC program to develop a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) under the guidance of the ATIP Office. The PIA is complete and was submitted to the Privacy Commissioner over the course of the reporting period.

Under the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) that came into force on December 31, 2005, the PSC has a key role to play in safeguarding the political impartiality of the public service. This responsibility stems from the PSC's mandate and the specific responsibilities assigned to it under Part 7 of the PSEA on political activities of public servants.

One of the PSC two core values is non-partisanship. This means that appointments and promotions to and within the public service are made free from political influence.

Employees have the right to engage in political activities, while maintaining the principle of political impartiality in the public service. The political activity of employees must not impair, or be perceived as impairing their ability to perform their duties in a politically impartial manner. Political activity is described as; a) any activity in support of, within or in opposition to a political party; b) any activity in support of or in opposition to a candidate, and c) seeking to be a candidate in an election.

Under the PSEA, the PSC is responsible for; a) overseeing public servants' involvement in political activities including granting permission and leave for candidacy in federal provincial, territorial, and municipal elections; b) providing guidance with respect to involvement in political activities; c) investigating inappropriate involvement of a public servant in political activities; and d) taking corrective action when the allegations are founded.

In order to fulfill its responsibilities, the PSC has developed and is validating a comprehensive approach to monitor the state of political impartiality of the federal public service. One of the PSC's approaches is to monitor the level of compliance of public servants with the obligation under Part 7 of the PSEA, to request and obtain the permission from the PSC before seeking nomination as or being a candidate in federal, provincial territorial and municipal elections.

E-CHO

The Corporate Management Branch hired a consultant to conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) on the

E-CHO Human Resources system. The PIA was conducted during this reporting period. This assessment was submitted to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner at the beginning of the year 2008-2009 along with the Threat Risk Assessment report. However this tool and program has been replaced with the Talent Management Framework.

E-CHO is an electronic tool that is considered the authoritative source of personnel accomplishments and professional profiles at the PSC. This bank contains information captured or viewed via the E-CHO web application and is connected to the HRMIS (Human Resources Management System – ref PSE 901), which is the key source of HR information.

The purpose of E-CHO is to provide the organization with information about its employees that is not usually readily available. This information is really important for human resources planning activities.

For example, E-CHO provides easy and fast access to information which can be used to offer assignment opportunities. It can also be a tool for employees to promote their skills, competencies and career objectives. Their records may contain information about employment outside the organization, education, professional and personal accomplishments, competencies and career objectives.

The tool can also be used to support and document decisions relating to the overall succession and operational planning of the organization and it can also enhance performance discussions between employees and their supervisor. It allows for a better alignment of employee's objectives with their learning plans.

Investigation Management Information System (IMIS)

The Investigation Directorate has implemented a new Web-based internal system known as the Investigation Management Information System (IMIS). This is a new information and file tracking system that is used to address the Investigation Directorate's new operational needs and manage files and data relating to investigations conducted under the new PSEA. Under the new Act, the PSC may receive information about a concern relating to staffing from a variety of sources, including: audit findings, concerns raised by individuals, internal information, media reports and others. Regardless of whether or not an investigation is conducted, the source of information is documented administratively and entered in the new IMIS in order to ensure timely response(s) to the originating source of the document/information, ensure logistical and administrative support, manage workload, ensure the collection of quantitative data for report generation and establish service standards. The IMIS PIA was submitted to the OPC over the course of the reporting period, and feed back from their office was received..

New Initiatives that may require a PIA

The ATIP Office is working on 4 other activities that may or not require PIAs. These are:

  • Second Life project;
  • Communications and Parliamentary Affairs database;
  • Public service staffing tribunal monitoring tracking system (PSST), and
  • IT Infrastructure for Risk Management and Publiservice.

The Public Service Commission will report on these activities in subsequent reports.

Historical comparisons

Requests
  2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
Requests received 37 39 41 27 43 41 36 30 39
Requests completed 35 42 41 27 43 39 35 33 41

Exemptions invoked
  2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
22 (1)a) 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2
22 (1)b) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 0
24 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 1 0
25 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
26 37 39 41 27 43 41 36 30 9
27 9 15 15 8 19 11 15 10 2

Appendix - Statistical Report

Statistical Report on the disposition of complaints by category

Complaints processed

  • Received during 2008-09: 1
  • Closed during 2008-09: 2
  • Carried forward to 2009-10: 1

Complaints received for:

  • Delays/extensions: 0
  • Non-disclosure/exemptions/missing records: 1

Closed

  • Settled after investigation
    • Delays/extensions: 0
    • Non-disclosure/exemptions/missing records: 0
  • Resolved
    • Delays/extensions: 0
    • Non-disclosure/exemptions/missing records: 0
  • Withdrawn
    • Delays/extensions: 0
    • Non-disclosure/exemptions/missing records: 0
  • Founded
    • Delays/extensions: 0
    • Non-disclosure/exemptions/missing records: 2
  • Unfounded
    • Delays/extensions: 0
    • Non-disclosure/exemptions/missing records: 0