Online Registration for Canada Trade Missions

Executive Summary

The International Trade Missions Division (WST) at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) is primarily responsible for the planning, coordination and execution of trade missions abroad led by the Prime Minister, the Minister of International Trade, and/or senior departmental officials on behalf of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. In developing the trade missions, the division liaises with, and provides advice to, stakeholders such as the Privy Council Office, the Office of the Minister of International Trade, senior management, various divisions and posts abroad, as well as other federal government departments and agencies, provincial and territorial governments, and, most importantly, the Canadian business community.

In addition to coordinating international trade missions, the Division is also responsible for organizing special projects. These include: Canada’s presence at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland; a new business recognition program that will replace the Canada Export Awards program; and other Ministerial projects as required.

In order to recruit companies for trade missions, WST consults various sources to collect names of companies (including the name of a contact person within that organization and the business address, e–mail, etc.) and other business organizations that may be interested in the particular destination or sector–focus of the trade mission. This information is usually provided to WST by posts abroad, or by other government departments (OGDs), but sometimes by other entities, like business associations, if they are willing to share their members’ lists as well as publicly available lists (i.e. Web sites). The format used to provide the information is normally in an electronic spreadsheet, and these files are sent to us by e–mail.

If following receipt of our invitation, a company expresses interest in the particular trade mission, a registration package is sent out for their completion. Following receipt of consent, a directory of participants is printed and company profiles are put on DFAIT’s website.

WST has very short lead time to organize these missions. They are most of the time approved only two months prior it taking place, leaving a very short preparation time. Information gathering then has to be done in a very quick turn–around, making it impossible to seek approval to seek consent from every contact of the list to use their information.

Description of data elements

The following section is a list of all the information collected for a trade mission and other related events organized by the International Trade Missions Division (WST). For every section on the list, the purpose for which the information is collected, the type of information, the format and the retention period are indicated.

  1. Registration package

    Purpose:

    Delegates fill–out the registration package in order to provide WST with their contact, organization and payment information.

    Format(s):

    Delegates provide WST with the original paper copy (sometimes sent by fax, but original is received afterwards). Business Development Officers keep a complete copy of the package in their files.

    Retention period:

    • Paper copies: two years
    • Electronic copy: n/a
    • The registration package includes:
      • Name of company
      • Company (headquarters) mailing information
      • Company telephone and fax numbers
      • Company e–mail and website addresses
      • Delegate’s name
      • Delegate’s title
      • Delegate’s mailing information (if different than headquarter address)
      • Delegate’s telephone and fax numbers (if different than headquarter address)
      • Delegate’s e–mail address
      • Delegate’s preferred language of correspondence
      • Company’s experience in exporting (export ready, experienced, currently doing business in that market)
      • Expectations/interests/goals in the destination country(ies)
      • Type of company (Small Medium Enterprise, aboriginal–owned, woman–owned, young entrepreneur–owned)
      • Company’s main sector of business
      • Company profile (150 words outlining the organization’s business activities, products and/or services)
      • Cities to be visited during trade mission witnesses
      • Contact details in cities to be visited during trade mission (if they are making their own accommodation arrangements)
      • If delegate wishes WST to make hotel reservations: Check–in and check–out dates; Room type; Credit card information (through the payment form); Passport information; Visa information (if applicable); Other requirements/requests
      • Information on guests to be invited on delegate’s behalf to hospitality events: Name; contact information (mailing/e–mail address, phone numbers)
      • If delegate is planning to sign a business agreement, the following information would be requested: type of agreement; city agreement would be signed in; brief description of project and value in Canadian dollars; foreign counterpart’s name, title, company and city; name, title, company, city/country of two
      • Media related information: can media contact the company for a story (local, Canadian, international); if so, contact person’s name and telephone number
      • Signature of delegate on Waiver, Release and Indemnity form
  2. Database (this applies to the current database as well as our upcoming TRIO database)

    Purpose:

    Information is stored in the database for referral and historical purposes. All past participants’ information is kept (unless the information is no longer valid). WST adds all information on delegates who register for present missions and update information of previous participants.

    Format(s):

    The information in the database is kept electronically, although it is possible to extract part of it into an Excel spreadsheet. The database can be accessed through the SIGNET platform, and is password protected (only employees from the International Trade Missions Division (WST) are granted access, or other departmental employees that were granted access by the Information Management Officer in WST).

    Retention period:

    • Paper copies: n/a
    • Electronic copy: no disposition
    • The database includes:
      • Name of company
      • Company (Headquarter) mailing information
      • Company telephone and fax numbers
      • Company e–mail and website address
      • Delegate’s name
      • Delegate’s title
      • Delegate’s company mailing information (if different than Headquarter address)
      • Delegate’s e–mail address
      • Delegate’s preferred language of correspondence
      • Type of company (Small Medium Enterprise, aboriginal–owned, woman–owned, young entrepreneur–owned)
      • Cities visited during trade mission
      • Sectors attended in each city of the mission
      • If delegate agrees to WST doing hotel reservations for them: Check–in and check–out dates; Room type; Credit card information; Passport information; Visa information (if applicable)
      • Comments Box
      • Missions participated on
  3. Lists (master invitation list, Interested and Registered list)

    Purpose:

    The registration lists keep the basic information on delegates who are interested or registering for a trade mission. These lists are used to send information to WST partners (other divisions, posts, etc) on registrants prior to trade mission. They also have historical value once a mission is over, as such lists are easy to access and manipulate.

    Format(s):

    The registration lists are produced electronically in an Excel spreadsheet and the files are kept on the department I: Drive. While we do print copies, they are shredded and only the electronic files are kept.

    Retention period:

    • Paper copies: two years (if copies are printed)
    • Electronic copies: no disposition
    • The registration lists include:
      • Delegate’s Name
      • Delegate’s title
      • Delegate’s organization
      • Delegate’s company mailing information
      • Delegate’s company telephone and fax numbers
      • Delegate’s email address
      • Delegate’s sector(s)
      • Cities visited
      • Objectives during trade mission
      • Type of organization (Small Medium Enterprise, young–entrepreneur, women–entrepreneurs, aboriginal–owned)
      • Language of correspondence
      • Date of registration
  4. Financial lists

    Purpose:

    Financial lists are created by the administration section of the International Trade Missions Division (WST) in order to track delegates’ registrations and payments.

    Format(s):

    The financial lists are prepared in a Quattro Pro spreadsheet. Paper copies are also printed, but considering the sensitivity of the information they remains confidential.

    Retention period:

    • Paper copies: five years
    • Electronic copies: two years
    • The financial lists include:
      • Company name
      • Delegate’s name
      • Method of payment: credit card number; cheque number (certified cheque or bank draft number)
      • Cities visited during trade mission
      • Amount paid
      • Date received
      • Date of deposit
  5. Website

    Purpose:

    A website is created for every trade mission. It is used primarily to share information with potential and registered delegates. Internally we also use it as a historical tool to store information on past participants, corporate participants and business programs.

    Format(s):

    • All websites are on–line and no print–outs are kept of the posted information.
    • Retention period:
    • Paper copy: n/a
    • Electronic copies: no disposition
    • The website includes:
      • Delegate’s name
      • Delegate’s title
      • Delegate’s company mailing address
      • Delegate’s company telephone and fax numbers
      • Delegates’ e–mail and company website address
      • Photos of delegates on trade mission (name and title of delegates is below each photo)
  6. Hospitality forms

    Purpose:

    When registering, we ask all delegates to submit names of business contacts they would like to invite to the networking events during the trade mission. A form is included in the registration package for this purpose.

    Format(s):

    The hospitality forms are submitted in paper and/or electronic copy. The information is then transferred to a spreadsheet and all the information is kept electronically.

    Retention period:

    • Paper copies: two years
    • Electronic copies: two years
    • The hospitality forms include:
      • Invitee’s name and title
      • Company name
      • Company Mailing address
      • Company Telephone and Fax numbers
      • Cellular number
      • E–mail address
  7. Directory of participants

    Purpose:

    A directory of participants is produced for every trade mission. The directories are distributed amongst the trade mission delegates as well as to local business contacts. The officers also keep a copy of the directory following the mission for future reference purposes.

    Format(s):

    Although the finished product is a paper copy, an electronic copy of the directory of participants and photos are also kept. Hard copies are kept for historical purposes.

    Retention period:

    • Paper copies: no disposition
    • Electronic copies: no disposition
    • The directory of participants include:
      • Delegate’s name
      • Delegate’s title
      • Delegate’s company mailing address
      • Delegate’s company telephone and fax numbers
      • Delegate’s e–mail and company website address
      • Delegate’s photo
  8. Photos

    Purpose:

    A photographer is hired for each trade mission. Pictures that are taken are sent to the delegates following the mission and a few are posted on the trade mission website.

    Format(s):

    • The pictures are kept both in an electronic and paper copy.
    • Retention period:
    • Paper copies: no disposition
    • Electronic copies: no disposition
    • Information enclosed with photos are:
      • Photograph
      • Name of delegate
      • Company name
  9. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Forms

    Purpose:

    The RCMP does a background check on all delegates who wish to participate in a trade mission. Delegates submit the form with their registration package (this form is mandatory in order to register for the mission). WST then forwards the information to the RCMP and retain a copy for our files.

    Format(s):

    • All forms are submitted in paper format, and are kept in that same format.
    • Retention period:
    • Paper copies: two years
    • Electronic copies: n/a
    • RCMP Forms include:
      • Surname and Given name
      • Sex
      • Date of birth
      • Place of birth
      • If foreign born: Port of entry; Date of arrival
      • Height
      • Weight
      • Colour of hair
      • Colour of eyes
      • Home address
      • Telephone number
      • Occupation
      • Name of employer
      • Address of employer
      • Passport information:
        • Country;
        • Number;
        • Issue date;
        • Expiry date;
        • Port of entry;
        • Date of arrival in Canada
        • Applicant’s signature

Security measures to protect personal information

Most of the information collected and shared is not personal information. For sensitive information, the International Trade Missions Division (WST) ensures that paper copies are placed in locked cabinets. As for the electronic copies and database, these can be accessed through SIGNET (the database is password protected) and through the I: Drive, which only WST staff have been granted access.

WST employees were also given a quick briefing as well as written information as to what is expected to do with the personal information collected.

Access controls and Information integrity

Access to information collected by the International Trade Missions Division (WST) is limited to WST staff and posts. The information is stored on the database (accessed through SIGNET and is password protected) and on the WST I: Drive.

The information received is not in any cases modified or processed. As most of it is business people’s coordinates, the information stays untouched.

Collaboration

Posts and Other Government Departments (OGDs)

No risk is identified in collecting lists from our posts abroad given they are part of our department. As for OGDs, Memorandum of Understandings will be put in place in order to receive information from them. As for other sources from which names of companies are seek from, it will be processed on a case–by–case basis in consultation with the Access to Information and Privacy Protection Division (DCP), DFAIT.

Applications Solutions Division (SXED), DFAIT

SXED was actively involved during the entire building and delivering of the current database. With their collaboration, it was decided what and how the information would be stored. Once the database was delivered, they would still be involved in any modification to the structure of the database, as well as for extracts of information within the database.

PemD and eServices Division (BOI), DFAIT

BOl is the division that developed the new Trade Commissioner Service Database, TRIO. This database was beforehand built for the Trade Commissioners, but as it answers many of our needs, the International Trade Missions Division (WST) thought it would be appropriate to migrate the information from the Team Canada Database to the TRIO database. TRIO has a WST section, and this section only accessed by WST employees and other departmental employees that have been granted access by the Information Management Officer in WST. The development of this section has been done in collaboration between BOI and WST.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

At the International Trade Missions’ request, the RCMP performs background checks on all potential participants. An RCMP form is included with the registration package. (Information collected includes name, date of birth, and address.) Once the registration process has been closed, all RCMP forms are sent from WST to the RCMP. The RCMP has specifically requested that WST deliver these forms in a group as do their other client other government departments. If something comes up during the check, the RCMP informs us that there is a situation (without telling us the details), and then WST can inform the delegate that the mission fee will be reimbursed as the RCMP cannot take part on the mission.

WST will be asking Treasury Board for a Personal Information Bank number to ensure WST has the proper authority to collect this information. WST will also be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the RCMP regarding the joint sharing of information.

Information gathering:

The Business Development Officers with the Information Management Officer and Administrative Officer are all working together to create invitation lists for upcoming trade missions. They visit consult with other government departments to gather names of organizations that could potentially be interested in taking part on the mission that is being worked on. Once these lists are created, the organizations are sent an invitation letter by e–mail, fax and paper copy through regular mail.

Information processing:

Following the invitation letter, the delegates register to the trade mission by sending their registration package to the International Trade Missions Division. The Business Development Officers and Project Office collect delegates’ information for the creation of the Directory of Participant, hotel bookings, Website, Royal Canadian Mounted Police background checks and hospitality events. The Administrative group collects information related to payment for the mission. A list of “registered participants” is also created and shared with the other divisions and posts involved in the organization of this mission.

Information disclosing:

Every employees are responsible for disclosing the information they gather and process.

Risk Summary

The following are the summary of risks identified as a result of undertaking a preliminary privacy assessment conducted by the International Trade Missions Division (WST) at DFAIT.

  1. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) background check application
    • This risk is identified as medium.
    • WST will develop business processes to manage transfer and handover of background check RCMP applications filled out by perspective trade mission participants.
    • WST will develop secure procedures for receipt, handling, and delivery of the RCMP applications in accordance with security, and privacy policies. WST is further taking steps to enter into an official agreement with the RCMP to further formalize the process.
  2. Personal information disclosure to Other Government Departments (OGDs)
    • This risk is identified as low.
    • WST is taking steps to sign Memorandum of understanding with those government departments where WST and DFAIT disclose personal information. Formalizing the sharing process will enable DFAIT to monitor and manage disclosure more effectively.
    • WST recognizes that prior to any sharing activity it must seek consent of all individuals’ whose information will be shared with OGDs. WST will not share any personal information with any other department unless it has secured the consent of all individuals involved.
  3. Using personal Information beyond the original purpose
    • This risk is identified as low.
    • Where possible WST will take steps to seek consent from all individuals whose information will be disclosed or used for a secondary purpose.