Info Source 2013 - Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

Introduction to Info Source

Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information provide information about the functions, programs, activities and related information holdings of government institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. It provides individuals and employees of the government (current and former) with relevant information to access personal information about them held by government institutions subject to the Privacy Act and to exercise their rights under the Privacy Act.

The Introduction to Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information and a list of institutions subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act are available centrally.

The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act assign overall responsibility to the President of Treasury Board (as the designated Minister) for the government-wide administration of the legislation.

Background

The Commissioner of Official Languages is the spokesperson for the Office of the Commissioner. The Commissioner is an Agent of Parliament who plays several key roles in promoting and achieving the objectives of the Official Languages Act. The first Official Languages Act came into effect in 1969, and an updated act was adopted on September 15, 1988. These roles include ensuring that federal institutions comply with the Act, upholding the language rights of Canadians and promoting linguistic duality and bilingualism. Subsection 56(1) of the Official Languages Act sets out his mandate.

The Commissioner of Official Languages reports directly to Parliament.

Responsibilities

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages has a mandate to promote the Act and oversee its full implementation by the Government of Canada and federal institutions, to protect the language rights of Canadians and to promote linguistic duality and bilingualism in Canada.

The Commissioner takes all necessary measures to ensure that the three objectives of the Act are realized. The objectives of the Act are to ensure:

  • the equality of English and French in Parliament, the Government of Canada, the federal administration, and institutions subject to the Act;
  • the development and vitality of official language minority communities in Canada; and
  • the equal status of English and French in Canadian society.

In pursuing these three objectives and their priorities, the Commissioner monitors the application of the Act by federal institutions and other organizations and promotes Canada’s official languages and respect for linguistic duality, which is a fundamental aspect of our national identity.

Institutional functions, programs and activities

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages has two program activities: (1) the protection of linguistic rights; and (2) the promotion of linguistic rights.

Protection of linguistic rights

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages investigates complaints filed by citizens who believe their language rights have not been respected; conducts performance measurements and audits to evaluate compliance with the Official Languages Act by federal institutions and other organizations subject to the Act; and intervenes to prevent non-compliance with the Act.

As well, the Office of the Commissioner may intervene before the courts in cases that deal with non-compliance with the Official Languages Act or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Description: Information on requests for information, the investigation of complaints, audits, performance measurement, and working relationships with institutions. This information illustrates the Commissioner of Official Languages’ ombudsman role.
Document types: Investigations and interventions; audits; report cards; relationships with institutions.
Record number: COL CAB 100

Compliance and assurance
Description: This bank consists of complaint files (complaints and investigations or their resolution), requests for intervention, audits and report cards. Files are also kept on requests for information regarding official languages.
Class of individuals: Individuals who file complaints with the Commissioner of Official Languages, individuals with whom the Office of the Commissioner is in contact for investigation or study purposes, and individuals and groups who submit requests for information.
Purpose: This information supports conclusions that the Commissioner of Official Languages draws and recommendations he makes as part of his duties pursuant to the Official Languages Act. Requests for information on official languages are kept for analytical and statistical purposes. Information from audits and report cards allows for an evaluation of institutions’ performance and helps raise institutions’ awareness of their obligations.
Consistent uses: This information is used in accordance with the requirements of the Official Languages Act. The Commissioner presents a report to Parliament each year on significant matters that arose from the investigations, studies, and follow-ups on the recommendations he made while exercising his statutory mandate. To protect privacy, every precaution is taken to eliminate personal information from the report. Audits are published and made available to the public. Institution report cards are available on the Web site. Investigation reports on complaints are provided only to the parties concerned. The information in complaint investigation files and the computer database remains confidential, in accordance with section 60 and sections 72 to 74 of the Official Languages Act. Legal opinions contained in investigation files are protected by solicitor–client privilege.
Retention and disposal standards: Files pertaining to complaints, audits, report cards and follow-ups are retained for 20 years. Files that were subject to a court remedy are then transferred to Library and Archives Canada as historical records; the others are destroyed. Requests for information on a given file or set of files are retained for three years and then destroyed.
RDA number: 95/026
Related record number: COL CAB 100
TBS registration: 001261
Bank number: COL PPU 005

Promotion of linguistic rights

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages works with parliamentarians, federal institutions and other organizations subject to the Official Languages Act, official language communities, and the Canadian public in promoting linguistic duality. The Office of the Commissioner builds links between federal institutions, official language communities, provincial and territorial governments, and municipalities to help them understand the needs of the official language communities, the importance of bilingualism, and the value of respecting Canada’s linguistic duality. To fulfill its promotion role, the Office of the Commissioner conducts research, studies and public awareness activities, as well as intervenes with senior federal officials to help them instill a change in culture to fully integrate linguistic duality in their organizations.

Description: Information on research and analysis aimed at identifying opportunities and implementing strategies for effecting change among stakeholders, as well as information on activities to inform the public about the provisions and scope of the Act and about the Commissioner’s role.
Document types: Research studies and analyses; liaison with central agencies, parliamentary committees and national associations.
Record number: COL COM 100

Documentation requests by members of Parliament and senators
Description: This bank contains information on members of Parliament and senators, as well as their assistants, to whom information produced by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages is provided. The information on file may include the name, address, telephone number and preferred official language of the member of Parliament or senator, as well as an details on the information requested and delivered.
Class of individuals: Members of Parliament, senators and/or their assistants.
Purpose: This information is used for distribution, analytical and statistical purposes.
Consistent uses: This information is used mainly for distributing information related to official languages, and occasionally for analysis and statistics to support these efforts.
Retention and disposal standards: Records are destroyed after five years.
RDA number: 95/026
Related record number: COL CSB 100
TBS registration: 003450
Bank number: COL PPU 016

Opinions, observations and representations
Description: This bank contains information on individuals who wish to express their opinion or make observations or representations to the Office of the Commissioner on any matter related to the mandate of this organization that is not a complaint or a request for information.
Class of individuals: General public.
Purpose: This information is used to respond to correspondence received.
Consistent uses: This information is used for data research in order to reply to subsequent correspondence.
Retention and disposal standards: Records are destroyed after five years.
RDA number: 95/026
Related record number: COL COM 100
TBS registration: 003337
Bank number: COL PPU 015

Internal Services

Internal services constitute groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are management and oversight services, communications services, legal services, human resources management services, financial management services, information management services, information technology services, real property services, materiel services, acquisition services, and travel and other administrative services. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

Acquisition Services

Acquisition services involve activities undertaken to acquire a good or service to fulfill a properly completed request (including a complete and accurate definition of requirements and certification that funds are available) until entering into or amending a contract.

Communications Services

Communications services involve activities undertaken to ensure that Government of Canada communications are effectively managed, well-coordinated and responsive to the diverse information needs of the public. The communications management function ensures that the public—internal or external—receives government information, and that the views and concerns of the public are taken into account in the planning, management and evaluation of policies, programs, services and initiatives.

Financial Management Services

Financial management services involve activities undertaken to ensure the prudent use of public resources, including planning, budgeting, accounting, reporting, control and oversight, analysis, decision support and advice, and financial systems.

Human Resources Management Services

Human resources management services involve activities undertaken for determining strategic direction, allocating resources among services and processes, as well as activities relating to analyzing exposure to risk and determining appropriate countermeasures. They ensure that the service operations and programs of the federal government comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies and plans.

Information Management Services

Information management services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective information management to support program and service delivery; foster informed decision making; facilitate accountability, transparency and collaboration; and preserve and ensure access to information and records for the benefit of present and future generations.

Information Technology Services

Information Technology Services involve activities undertaken to achieve efficient and effective use of information technology to support government priorities and program delivery, to increase productivity, and to enhance services to the public.

Legal Services

Legal services involve activities undertaken to enable government departments and agencies to pursue policy, program and service delivery priorities and objectives within a legally sound framework.

Management and Oversight Services

Management and oversight services involve activities undertaken for determining strategic direction and allocating resources among services and processes, as well as those activities related to analyzing exposure to risk and determining appropriate countermeasures. They ensure that the service operations and programs of the federal government comply with applicable laws, regulations, policies or plans.

Materiel Services

Materiel Services involve activities undertaken to ensure that materiel can be managed by departments in a sustainable and financially responsible manner that supports the cost-effective and efficient delivery of government programs.

Real Property Services

Real Property Services involve activities undertaken to ensure real property is managed in a sustainable and financially responsible manner, throughout its life cycle, to support the cost-effective and efficient delivery of government programs.

Travel and Other Administrative Services

Travel and other administrative services include Government of Canada travel services, as well as those other internal services that do not smoothly fit with any of the internal services categories.

Legend

  • Standard Classes of Records (CoRs)
  • Standard Personal Information Banks (PIBs)

Manuals

Additional Information

Please note that each request made to the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages under the Access to Information Act must be accompanied by an application fee of $5.00, cheque or money order, made payable to the Receiver General of Canada.

For additional information on the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, as well as its programs and activities, please contact:

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
30 Victoria Street, 6th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0T8
Telephone: 819-420-4877 / Toll free: 1-877-996-6368
information.information@clo-ocol.gc.ca
www.officiallanguages.gc.ca

Reading Room

In accordance with the Access to Information Act, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages provides a public reading room on its premises:

Library – Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
30 Victoria Street, 1st Floor
Gatineau, Quebec