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Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (International Trade)

Annual Reports on the Administration of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act

2004-2005

Copies of this document may be obtained from:

Access to Information and Privacy Protection Division
International Trade Canada
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2

This publication can be made available on computer diskette, compact disk or in large print, upon request

Enquiries about this document may be directed to:

Access to Information and Privacy Protection Division
International Trade Canada
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2
Tel: (613) 992-1425
FAX: (613) 995-0116

**For the purpose of this report, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (International Trade) will be referred to as International Trade Canada (ITCan).

PART I – INTRODUCTION

THE ROLE AND MANDATE OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE CANADA

International Trade Canada was created on December 12, 2003 as part of a wide ranging reorganization of government undertaken at that time. The department brings together nonsector-specific trade and investment functions as well as the international business development components of the former Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and Industry Canada.

The Department’s role is to ensure that trade and investment support the following three government priorities: 1) to strengthen Canada’s social foundations; 2) to build a 21st Century economy; and 3) to ensure Canada’s place in the world.

More specifically, the Department is responsible for positioning Canada as a world business leader for the 21st Century. This is accomplished by helping both large and small Canadian companies expand and succeed internationally, by promoting Canada as a dynamic place to do business, and by negotiating and administering trade agreements.

The services of the Department are offered through three broad business lines:

  • Services for Canadian Businesses
  • Services for non-Canadian Businesses
  • Information about Canada’s Trade and Economic Policy

The responsibilities of the Minister of International Trade include investment policy and promotion, the Export and Import Permits Act and the regionally based International Trade Centres. The Minister is assisted by a Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Emerging Markets.

The following outside organizations report to the Minister of International Trade: Export Development Canada, the Canadian Commercial Corporation and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Secretariat (Canadian Section).

THE ORGANIZATION OF THE DEPARTMENT

A significant change in government machinery was made on December 12, 2003, separating the former Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) into two organizations: Foreign Affairs Canada (FAC) and International Trade Canada (ITCan).

The new ITCan is composed of the following main sectors: Trade Policy, Investment

Partnerships, International Business Development, World Markets and Corporate Planning and Strategic Policy.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE ACCESS AND PRIVACY FUNCTION

During 2004-2005, the ATIP Office of Foreign Affairs Canada has continued to process ATIP requests for both FAC and ITCan. This will continue until such time as ITCan can fully accommodate and integrate this function within its operations.

The Director General, Strategic Policy has been given the authority by the Minister of International Trade to make decisions on behalf of ITCan on the release of information requested under the Access to Information and Privacy Acts.

During 2004-2005, the ATIP Office continued to provide training sessions for employees for both departments. These sessions provided 150 employees with an overview of the Acts and a better understanding of their obligations and the process within FAC and ITCan. Customized sessions were also provided to divisional teams upon request.

PART II - ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT

OVERVIEW

This report describes the administration of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act for International Trade Canada for fiscal year 2004-2005.

WORKLOAD

The Department received 59 Access to Information Act requests in 2004-2005.  Fifty-three requests were completed by March 31, 2005, and the remaining 20 requests were carried forward into the next fiscal year.

STATISTICS

The most frequent type of requester was members of the public (29). Media (17), organizations (7), business (5) and academia (1) accounted for the rest of the requests.

Of the 53 requests that were completed, full disclosure was provided for nine requests, partial disclosure was provided for 18 requests, and all records were denied for two requests. Besides this, the department was unable to process 10 requests for various reasons, 10 requests were abandoned by applicants, two requests were transferred to other departments and two requests were treated informally.

The three main reasons where access to information was denied related to either the operations of government (Section 21), personal information (Section 19) or international affairs (Section 15).

Of the 53 requests completed in 2004-2005, the Department found it necessary to extend the time frame on 37 occasions - twenty-six times in order to conduct large searches, nine times in order to consult other departments and twice in order to complete third party notifications. In 32 cases the extensions were for 31 days or longer.

The Department is also responsible for processing numerous consultation requests from other departments and other governments. A total of 77 requests were received and processed during the reporting period.

OTHER REQUESTS
Internal Requests for Advice

The ATIP Office also acted as a resource for ITCan officials and offered advice and guidance on the provisions of the legislation. The ATIP Office was consulted on 14 departmental issues relating to a range of matters from on-line web applications, surveys, outsourcing initiatives and other programs.

RESOURCES

As indicated above, the processing of Access to Information Act requests for International Trade Canada is administered from the Access to Information and Privacy Protection Division, which isa shared corporate service office with Foreign Affairs Canada. However, it is estimated that $96,000 was spent on the administering the Act, and staffing came to 1.56 full-time equivalents.

PART III - PRIVACY ACT

International Trade Canada did not receive any requests under the Privacy Act in 2004-2005.

PRIVACY IMPACT ASSESSMENTS

Under the Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) Policy, which came into effect on May 2, 2002, Treasury Board Secretariat is to monitor compliance with the PIA Policy through a variety of means. Given the foregoing Policy requirements, institutions are asked to report the following information for the 2004-2005 time period.

ITCan report for the 2004-2005 time period:

  • Number of PIAs initiated 2
  • Number of Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessments (PPIA) initiated none
  • Number of PPIAs/PIAs forwarded to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) none
  • The number of PIA summaries posted on institutional web sites none

The ATIP Office has been participating in the development of the following assessments: On-line Registration for Canada Trade Missions and EXCOL - Export Controls On-Line.

PART IV - ANNEXES

Annex A - Statistical Report on the Administration of the Access to Information Act

Annex B - Statistical Report on the Administration of the Privacy Act

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Date Modified:
2009-06-26