ARCHIVED - Annual Report to Parliament: Access to Information Act and Privacy Act 2007 - 2008

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Author: Published under the authority of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians
Date: 2008
ISBN: 978-0-662-05836-6
QS- QS-6220-011-BB-A1

PDF Version   (710 Kb, 26 Pages)



Table of Contents




1. Introduction

Overview

While the purpose of the Privacy Act (PA), proclaimed in July 1983, is "to extend the present laws of Canada that protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by a government institution and that provide individuals with a right of access to that information" (section 2), the purpose of the Access to Information Act (ATIA), also proclaimed in July 1983, is "to extend the present laws of Canada to provide a right of access to information in records under the control of a government institution" (section 2) to Canadians, permanent residents and anyone living in Canada.

The principles underlying these Acts are:

This Annual Report to Parliament is for the 2007-2008 fiscal year, as required under subsections 72(1) and 72(2) of the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act.

Departmental Mandate

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) is responsible for two separate yet equally important mandates: Indian and Inuit Affairs and Northern Development. This broad mandate is derived largely from the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act , the Indian Act , territorial acts and legal obligations arising from section 91(24) of the Constitution Act , 1867; however, the Department is responsible for administering over 50 statutes in total. Consequently, INAC's mandate is complex and its responsibilities encompass a broad range of programs.

The Department is responsible for meeting the Government of Canada's obligations and commitments to First Nations, Inuit and Métis and for fulfilling the federal government's constitutional responsibilities in the North. The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development is also the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. The Federal Interlocutor's role is to provide a point of contact between the Government of Canada and Métis, Non-Status Indians and urban Aboriginal peoples.

Effective June 1, 2008, Indian Residential School Resolution of Canada (IRSRC) was transferred to the Department. IRSRC previously a separate department reporting to the Minister, is responsible for addressing and resolving issues arising from the legacy of Indian Residential Schools. A separate annual report for IRSRC will be submitted for 2007-2008.

Delegated Authorities

Under section 73 of both Acts, the Minister's authority is delegated to enable the Department to meet its legislated requirements as well as exercise its powers. Responsibility for all sections of the Acts has been delegated to the Corporate Secretary, Office of the Corporate Secretariat and to the Departmental Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator. Certain staff are also delegated to carry out specific administrative functions. The Department's Delegation Orders for both Acts can be found at Appendices A and B.

Structure of the ATIP Unit

In order to fulfill its responsibilities under both Acts, the ATIP Unit is divided in three (3) teams; one (1) team is responsible for Privacy Policies and the other two (2) teams process all the requests. The Coordinator is assisted by two (2) Senior Policy Advisors who oversee the operations by handling logistic matters, special projects, training and human resources management. The unit reports to the Corporate Secretary who is directly accountable to the Deputy Head and is a member of the Department's Executive Committee.

Information Sessions and Annual Workshop

During the last fiscal year, forty-eight (48) information sessions were given on Access to Information Act and Privacy Act, on a national level. Over six-hundred (600) participants attended these sessions given by two (2) instructors, who are employees of the ATIP Unit. They received positive and constructive reviews.

These sessions were primarily directed toward departmental staffs who are involved in the ATIP process. The goal was for them to understand the process and its requirements, and in doing so, to improve the handling of requests, ultimately providing requesters with better support and service.

In the same vein, the ATIP Unit held a National Workshop in the National Capital Area from February 28 to March 1, 2008. Over seventy (70) participants attended this very successful learning and networking event.

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2. Access to Information Act

Highlights

Between April 1, 2007 and March 31, 2008, the Department received four hundred (400) requests for information under the Access to Information Act (see Figure 1). Along with these new requests received, thirty-nine (39) requests were carried over from the previous fiscal year, for a total of four hundred and thirty-nine (439) requests. During the reporting period, three hundred and fifty-four (354) requests were completed; eighty (80) active files will be carried over to the next reporting period. The annual statistical report on the operation of the Access to Information Act can be found on pages 8 and 9.

Requestor Sources

The Access to Information requests received during this reporting period break down as follows (see Figure 1):

Media116
Academia0
Business102
Organization61
Public121
TOTAL400

 

Figure 1: Number of Access to Information requests received between April 1, 2007, and March 31, 2008.
Figure 1 - Number of Access to Information requests received between April 1, 2007, and March 31, 2008

 

Disposition of Completed Requests

The distribution of completed requests is as follows (see Figure 2):

All Disclosed 75
Disclosed in Part 116
Nothing Disclosed (Excluded)1
Nothing Disclosed (Exempt)4
Transferred 3
Unable to Process[Note 1] 63
Abandoned by the Applicant70
Treated Informally22
TOTAL 354

 

Figure 2: Disposition of completed requests received between April 1, 2007, and March 31, 2008.
Figure 2 - Disposition of completed requests received between April 1, 2007, and March 31, 2008

 

Fees and Costs

For the reporting period, the Department collected $12,364.00 in fees, and waived $42,105.80 in fees.

Consultations with Other Institutions

When a request contains records that are of a greater interest to another institution, the Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator of that institution is consulted. INAC was consulted in one hundred and fifty four (154) cases in the reporting period.

Complaints and Investigations

During the reporting period, nineteen (19) complaints against the Department were filed with the Information Commissioner of Canada. To deal with these, six (6) investigations were completed; thirteen (13) will be carried over to the next reporting period. Of the six (6) completed investigations, the Information Commissioner of Canada found that two (2) complaints were not substantiated and four (4) were resolved to the satisfaction of the requestor. None of the complaints were considered to be founded.

Report on the Access to Information Act

Institution Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Reporting Period 04/01/2007 to 03/31/2008
Source
Media 116
Academia 0
Business 102
Organization 61
Public 121

I. Requests under the Access to Information Act
Received during reporting period 400
Outstanding from previous period 39
TOTAL 439
Completed during reporting period 354
Carried forward 85

II Disposition of requests completed
1. All disclosed 75
2. Disclosed in part 116
3. Nothing disclosed (excluded) 1
4. Nothing disclosed (exempt) 4
5. Transferred 3
6. Unable to process 63
7. Abandoned by applicant 70
8. Treated informally 22
TOTAL 354

III Exemptions invoked
S. 13(1)(a) 4
  (b) 0
  (c) 6
  (d) 0
S. 14 13
S. 15(1) International rel. 2
  Defence 4
  Subversive activities 0
S. 16(1)(a) 3
  (b) 0
  (c) 3
  (d) 0
S. 16(2) 0
S. 16(3) 0
S. 17 1
S. 18(a) 1
  (b) 2
  (c) 0
  (d) 7
S. 19(1) 73
S. 20(1)(a) 0
  (b) 49
  (c) 30
  (d) 16
S. 21(1)(a) 32
  (b) 29
  (c) 28
  (d) 4
S. 22 5
S. 23 31
S. 24 3
S. 26 3

IV Exclusions cited
S. 68(a) 9
  (b) 0
  (c) 0
S. 69(1)(a) 8
  (b) 1
  (c) 3
  (d) 2
  (e) 5
  (f) 2
  (g) 30

V Completion time
30 days or under 230
31 to 60 days 46
61 to 120 days 61
121 days or over 17

VI Extensions
  30 days or under 31 days or over
Searching 24 16
Consultation 12 35
Third Party 8 50
TOTAL 44 101

VII Translations
Translations requested 0
Translations prepared
English to French 0
French to English 0

VIII Method of Access
Copies given 190
Examination 0
Copies and examination 1

IX Fees
Net fees collected
Application fees $1,810.00
Reproduction $3,037.00
Searching $7,517.00
Preparation $0.00
Computer processing $0.00
TOTAL $12,364.00

Fees waived No. of times $
$25.00 or under 50 $383.00
Over $25.00 25 $42,105.80

X Costs
Financial (all reasons)
Salary $975,854.65
Administration (O and M) $169,173.97
Total $1,144,028.62
Person year utilization (all reasons)
Person year (decimal format) 15.75

Supplemental Reporting Requirements for 2007-2008 - Access to Information Act

In addition to the reporting requirements addressed in form TBS/SCT 350-62 "Report on the Access to Information Act", institutions are required to report on the following using this form:

Part III – Exemptions invoked

Section 13
Subsection 13(e): 2

Section 14
Subsection:
14(a): 8
14(b): 5

Part IV – Exclusions cited:

Subsection 69.1: 2

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3. Privacy Act

Highlights

Between April 1, 2007 and March 31, 2008, the Department received twenty-seven (27) requests for information under the Privacy Act. In addition, three (3) requests were carried over from the previous fiscal year, for a total of thirty (30) requests. During the reporting period, twenty-eight (28) requests were processed and two (2) active files will be carried over to the next reporting period. The annual statistical report on the operation of the Privacy Act can be found on pages 13 and 14.

Disposition of Completed Requests

The distribution of completed requests is as follows:

All Disclosed3
Disclosed in Part14
Nothing Disclosed (Excluded)0
Nothing Disclosed (Exempt)0
Unable to Process8
Abandoned by the Applicant2
Treated Informally1
TOTAL28

Disclosure of Personal Information

Personal information under the control of a government institution shall not, without the consent of the individual to whom it relates, be disclosed by the institution except in accordance with subsection 8(1) of the Privacy Act.

Further to the formal twenty-seven (27) requests received under the Privacy Act, as indicated above, there are permissible disclosures of personal information under subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act which may be disclosed without the consent of the individual to whom the information pertains (see Figure 3). These disclosures constitute three hundred and sixty (360) requests and their breakdown is identified in the following paragraphs.

Paragraph 8(2)(a)

Personal information may be disclosed "for the purpose for which the information was obtained or compiled by the institution or for a use consistent with that purpose."

Under this paragraph of the Privacy Act, seventeen (17) requests were received and treated.

Paragraph 8(2)(b)

Personal information may be disclosed "for any purpose in accordance with any Act of Parliament or any regulation made thereunder that authorizes its disclosure."

Under this paragraph of the Privacy Act, seventy-three (73) requests were received and treated.

Paragraph 8(2)(c)

Personal information may be disclosed "for the purpose of complying with a subpoena or warrant issued or order made by a court, […] for the purpose of complying with rules of court relating to the production of information."

Under this paragraph of the Privacy Act, one (1) request was received and treated.

Paragraph 8(2)(d)

Personal information may be disclosed "to the Attorney General of Canada for use in legal proceedings involving the Crown in right of Canada or the Government of Canada."

Under this paragraph of the Privacy Act, thirty-five (35) requests were received and treated.

Paragraph 8(2)(e)

Personal information may be disclosed "to an investigative body […] for the purpose of enforcing any law of Canada or a province or carrying out a lawful investigation..."

Under this paragraph of the Privacy Act, thirty-one (31) requests were received and treated.

Paragraph 8(2)(f)

Personal information may be disclosed "under an agreement or arrangement between the Government of Canada […] and the government of a province [or territory] […] for the purpose of administering or enforcing any law or carrying out a lawful investigation."

Under this paragraph of the Privacy Act, one hundred and ninety (190) requests were received and treated.

Paragraph 8(2)(j)

Personal information may be disclosed "to any person or body for research or statistical purposes if the head of the government is satisfied that the purpose for which the information is disclosed cannot reasonably be accomplished unless the information is provided in a form that would identify the individual to whom it relates and obtains from the person or body a written undertaking that no subsequent disclosure of the information will be made in a form that could reasonably be expected to identify the individual to whom it relates."

Under this paragraph of the Privacy Act, two (2) requests were received and treated.

Paragraph 8(2)(k)

Personal information may be disclosed "to any association of aboriginal peoples, Indian band, government institution or part thereof, or to any person acting on behalf of such association, band, institution or part thereof, for the purpose of researching or validating the claims, disputes or grievances of any of the aboriginal peoples of Canada."

Under this paragraph of the Privacy Act, eleven (11) requests were received and treated.

Disclosures made under the various paragraphs of Section 8(2) of the Privacy Act.
Figure 3 - Disclosures made under the various paragraphs of Section 8(2) of the Privacy Act

Complaints and Investigations

During fiscal year 2007-2008, only one (1) complaint was filed with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, against the Department, in relation to the processing of requests made under the Act. The complaint will be carried over to the next reporting period.

Report on the Privacy Act

Institution Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Reporting Period 04/01/2007 to 03/31/2008

I Requests under the Privacy Act
Received during reporting period 27
Outstanding from previous period 3
TOTAL 30
Completed during reporting period 28
Carried forward 2

II Disposition of requests completed
1. All disclosed 3
2. Disclosed in part 14
3. Nothing disclosed (excluded) 0
4. Nothing disclosed (exempt) 0
5. Unable to process 8
6. Abandonned by applicant 2
7. Transferred 1
TOTAL 28

III Exemptions invoked
S. 18(2) 0
S. 19(1)(a) 0
  (b) 0
  (c) 1
  (d) 0
S. 20 0
S. 21 0
S. 22(1)(a) 0
  (b) 0
  (c) 0
S. 22(2) 0
S. 23(a) 0
  (b) 0
S. 24 0
S. 25 0
S. 26 14
S. 27 1
S. 28 0

IV Exclusions cited
S. 69(1)(a) 0
  (b) 0
S. 70(1)(a) 0
  (b) 0
  (c) 0
  (d) 0
  (e) 0
  (f) 0

V Completion time
30 days or under 20
31 to 60 days 6
61 to 120 days 1
121 days or over 1

VI Extensions
  30 days or under 31 days or over
Interference with operations 4 0
Consultation 0 0
Translation 0 0
TOTAL 4 0

VII Translations
Translations requested 0
Translations prepared
English to French 0
French to English 0

VIII Method of Access
Copies given 17
Examination 0
Copies and examination 0

IX Corrections and notation
Corrections requested 0
Corrections made 0
Notation attached 0

X Costs
Financial (all reasons)
Salary $66,656.73
Administration (O and M) $11,567.45
Total $78,224.18
Person year utilization (all reasons)
Person year (decimal format) 1.08

Supplemental Reporting Requirements for 2007-2008
Privacy Act

Treasury Board Secretariat is monitoring compliance with the Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) Policy (which came into effect on May 2, 2002) through a variety of means. Institutions are therefore required to report the following information for the 2007-2008 reporting period.

Indicate the number of:

Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessments initiated: 4

Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessments completed: 1

Privacy Impact Assessments initiated: 19

Privacy Impact Assessments completed: 2

Privacy Impact Assessments forwarded to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC): 2

If your institution did not undertake any of the activities noted above during the reporting period, this must be stated explicitly.

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4. Administration of Personal Information

Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA)

A PIA is a step-by-step evaluation of the flow of personal information held within a given program or service. This process enables the Department to determine whether new technologies, information systems, initiatives, and proposed programs or policies meet federal government privacy requirements.

The Privacy Policy division of the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Unit has been instrumental in making the PIA process a focal point for privacy activities at INAC. By providing advice and guidance, including written and verbal training, the Privacy Policy division has enabled all INAC program offices to incorporate privacy into their fundamental program planning.

A PIA outlines salient points about new or existing personal information, including hard copy format or through technology systems, by answering questions about the information that will be collected, who will be able to access the information, how the information and data will be maintained, what administrative controls will be in place, and how the decision to use the information was made. From the initiation of a PIA to the final product, the Privacy Policy division has provided PIA direction to program offices and their components.

The Privacy Policy division has provided critical privacy advice to new initiatives, resulting in changes that will improve privacy protection in departmental programs. Procedures are being established to ensure that privacy is considered throughout the life cycle of INAC's processes and programs and that fair information principle inform policy decisions concerning data collection and use.

In the past fiscal year, INAC has completed two (2) PIAs as indicated in the statistical report.

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Appendix A - Access to Information Act - Delegation Order

This is an image of the watermark used for the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs' letterheads.

 

Minister of Indian Affairs and
Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor
for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Access to Information Act - Delegation Order

Pursuant to the powers of designation conferred upon me by Section 73 of the Access to Information Act, the persons exercising the functions or positions of Corporate Secretary, Corporate Secretariat (position number 12294), and the departmental Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator (position number 62185) and their respective successors, including in their absence, a person or officer designated in writing to act in the place of the holder of any such functions or positions are hereby designed to exercise those powers, duties or functions of the Minister as the Head of the government institution under the Act, and as set out in the attached Schedule A.

The departmental Access to Information and Privacy Senior Advisors (position numbers 62364, 12590, 12061 and 12058) and their respective successors, including in her/his absence, a person or officer designated in writing as being authorized to act in the place of the holder of any such function or position, are hereby designated to exercise those powers, duties or functions of the Minister as the Head of the government institution under the Act, and as set out in the attached Schedule B.

This is an image of the minister of Indian and Northern Affairs' signature.
___________________________________________
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Dated at Gatineau, the 26th of May, 2008

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Appendix B - Privacy Act - Delegation Order

This is an image of the watermark used for the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs' letterheads.

 

Minister of Indian Affairs and
Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor
for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Privacy Act - Delegation Order

Pursuant to the powers of designation conferred upon me by Section 73 of the Privacy Act, the persons exercising the functions or positions of Corporate Secretary, Coporate Secretariat (position number 12294), and the departmental Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator/Manager (position number 62185) and their respective successors, including in their absence, a person or officer designated in writing to act in the place of the holder of any such functions or positions are hereby designated to exercise those powers, duties or functions of the Minister as the Head of the government institution under the Act, and as set out in the attached Schedule A.

The departmental Access to Information and Privacy Senior Advisors (position numbers 62364, 125590, 12061 and 12058) and their respective successors, including in her/his absence, a person or officer designated in writing as being authorized to act in the place of the holder of any such function or position, are hereby designated to exercise those powers, duties or functions of the Minister as the Head of the government institution under the Act, and as set out in the attached Schedule B.

This is an image of the minister of Indian and Northern Affairs' signature.
___________________________________________
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Dated at Gatineau, the 26th of May, 2008

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Schedule A.1 - Designation pursuant to Section 73 of the Access to Information Act

Sections and Powers, Duties or Functions

6
Advise requesters that we need additional information to proceed with their request

7(a)
Give written notice to requestor that we can proceed with the request

8(1)
Transfer request to another institution or accept transfer from another institution

9
Extend time limits

10
Refuse to acknowledge or deny the existence of records

11
Charge additional fees

12(2)(3)
Provide access in alternate format

13
Exempt information obtained in confidence

14
Exempt information pertaining to federal-provincial affairs

15
Exempt information pertaining to international affairs and/or defence

16
Exempt information pertaining to law enforcement and investigations

17
Exempt information pertaining to the safety of individuals

18
Exempt information pertaining to the economic interests of Canada

19
Exempt personal information

20
Exempt or disclose third party information

21
Exempt information pertaining to advice, decision-making processes of government plans and positions, etc.

22
Exempt information pertaining to testing procedures or audits

23
Exempt information pertaining to solicitor-client privilege

24
Exempt information subject to statutory prohibitions or other Acts of Parliament

25
Sever information

26
Exempt information to be published within 90 days

27(1)(4)
Notify third parties of their rights to provide comments/representations regarding the disclosure of their records

28
Receive third party representations; make a decision as to whether to disclose the record or part thereof; and, notify third party of right to appeal to Federal Court

29(1)
Disclose information on Information Commissioner's recommendation

33
Advise the Information Commissioner of any third party involvement

35(2)
Make representations to the Information Commissioner during an investigation

37(4)
Release information to complainant

43(1)
Issue a notice to a third party of an application for Court review

44(2)
Issue a notice to an applicant that a third party has applied for Court review

52
Request special rules for hearings

69
Exclude Cabinet Confidences

71
Inspect and exempt information in manuals

72(1)
Prepare Annual Report to Parliament

77
Carry out responsibilities conferred to the Head of the institution by the regulations made under section 77 which are not included in the above

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Schedule B.1 - Designation pursuant to Section 73 of the Access to Information Act

Sections and Powers, Duties or Functions

6
Advise requesters that we need additional information to proceed with their request

7(a)
Give written notice to requestor that we can proceed with the request

8(1)
Transfer request to another institution or accept transfer from another institution

9
Extend time limits

11
Charge additional fees

27(1)(4)
Notify third parties of their rights to provide comments/representations regarding the disclosure of their records

28
Receive third party representations; make a decision as to whether to disclose the record or part thereof; and, notify third party of right to appeal to Federal Court

33
Advise the Information Commissioner of any third party involvement

35(2)
Make representations to the Information Commissioner during an investigation

43(1)
Issue a notice to a third party of an application for Court review

44(2)
Issue a notice to an applicant that a third party has applied for Court review

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Schedule A.2 - Designation pursuant to Section 73 of the Privacy Act

Sections and Powers, Duties or Functions

8(2)
Disclose personal information without the consent of the individual to whom it relates

8(4)
Keep copies of requests made under 8(2)(e), keep records of information disclosed pursuant to such requests and to make those records available to Privacy Commissioner

8(5)
Notify the Privacy Commissioner in writing of disclosure under paragraph 8(2)(m)

9(1)
Retain a record of use of personal information

9(4)
Notify the Privacy Commissioner of consistent use of personal information and update index accordingly

10
Include personal information in personal information banks

11(a)
Publish annually an index of all personal information banks and their respective contents

11(b)
Publish annually an index of all personal information held by the institution which is not part of a bank

14
Respond to request for access, within statutory deadline; give access or give notice

15
Extend time limit and notify applicant

16
Where access is refused

17(2)(b)
Language of access or alternative format of access

17(3)(b)
Access to personal information in alternative format

18(2)
May refuse to disclose information contained in an exempt bank

19(1)
Shall refuse to disclose information obtained in confidence from another government

19(2)
May disclose any information referred to in 19(1) if the other government consents to the disclosure or makes the information public

20
May refuse to disclose information injurious to federal-provincial affairs

21
May refuse to disclose information injurious to international affairs and/or defence

22
May refuse to disclose information injurious to law enforcement and investigation

23
May refuse to disclose information injurious to security clearances

24
May refuse to disclose information collected by the Canadian Penitentiary Service, the National Parole Service or the National Parole Board

25
May refuse to disclose information injurious to which could threaten the safety of individuals

26
May refuse to disclose information about other individuals, and shall refuse to disclose such information where disclosure is prohibited under section 8

27
May refuse to disclose information subject to solicitor-client privilege

28
May refuse to disclose information relating to an individual's physical or mental health where disclosure is contrary to the best interests of the individual

31
Receive notice of investigation by the Privacy Commissioner

33(2)
Make representations to the Privacy Commissioner during an investigation

35(1)
Receive the Privacy Commissioner's report of findings of the investigation and give notice of action taken

35(4)
Give complainant access to information after 35(1)(b) notice

36(3)
Receive Privacy Commissioner's report of findings of investigation of exempt

37(3)
Receive report of Privacy Commissioner's findings after compliance investigation where the institution has not complied with sections 4 to 8

51(2)(b)
Request that matter be heard and determined in National Capital Region

51(3)
Request and be given right to make representations in Section 51 hearing

72(1)
Prepare Annual Report to Parliament

77
Carry out responsibilities conferred on the head of the institution by the regulations made under section 77 which are not included above

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Schedule B.2 - Designation pursuant to Section 73 of the Privacy Act

Sections and Powers, Duties or Functions

10
Include personal information in personal information banks

11(a)
Publish annually an index of all personal information banks and their respective contents

11(b)
Publish annually an index of all personal information held by the institution which is not part of a bank

15
Extend time limit and notify applicant

31
Receive notice of investigation by the Privacy Commissioner

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Footnotes

  1. There were no records in response to these requests. (return to source paragraph)
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